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Messages - Julio Di Benedetto

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APK the Japanese produce single malts and I think blended whiskey and I have heard good things though I have not tried any myself.....good question?

From Projekt Record's Sam Rosenthal.

Over the last 20 years, Projekt has brought in over $7,000,000 ! Color me impressed (sort of an aquamarine, a little on the green side). But don't make the mistaken assumption that I lined my pockets with cash. Projekt was a very effective money churning-machine, moving cash around the economy. Nearly all of that money went right out the door.

Keep in mind that Projekt was really expensive to run back in the peak era (1995-1999):

* Projekt bought full page ads in Alternative Press
* Projekt had massive bills at the pressing plants. Those deluxe-packaged CDs were pricey to manufacture, I would have to order 5000+ CDs at a time, and often 3 big releases at once. Furthermore, while the option was there to press-for-cheap in China or the Czech Republic, I chose to press in the USA. It was the right thing to do, to keep the money in the "local" economy.
* Projekt artists were paid their royalties
* It cost $1000 to make a poster (film + printing).
* Each release had it's own postcard
* At the peak of our time with Ryko Distribution, they got 400 - 600 promotional CDs for stores, and we sent another 200+ to press, radio, etc. For Lycia, that number was much higher, as they were touring a lot, and Pat was working on local press pieces.
* In that 1994-1998 time frame, Projekt was distributing tons of Hyperium and Tess and Cold Meat Industry CDs; after I moved to Chicago, the label had 11 employees with two key employees earning more than I earned, plus they got health care.
Yes, I took a salary, but nothing extravagant. Pretty much all of that seven mil was consumed by the business.

Now wait! Actually, come to think of it, Projekt consumed way more than what it earned. Projekt was building up debt on my credit cards.

Of course, fans in the late 90s had this perception that Projekt was much larger than we were. All those ads, and postcards, and catalogs helped build the mystique. I remember talking with Mike of Lycia about how fans on the road made guesses like, "You guys must sell 20,000 CDs!" "30,000 CDs!" Oh, if only!

A few releases did some lofty numbers, but these were the best-sellers, not the typical sales numbers. Black tape for a blue girl's 1996 Remnants of a deeper purity was the biggest selling non-compilation release, with around 16,000 sold. Love Spirals Downwards first two albums were each not that far behind. Three compilations did extremely well; the two we released exclusively with Hot Topic: 2002's Projekt: Gothic (27,000) and 2003's The New Face of Goth (25,600); and the first Christmas CD, 1995's Excelsis: a dark noel (15,000).

Projekt was really busy, and bands were getting out to their fans, but by early 2000, Projekt was in considerable debt. In fact, $180,000 in credit card debt, and the future looked like a downward slope. Yikes! That was the time when - if I had a business degree - I might have cut my losses and gone bankrupt. But that thought only flickered by in passing. I left Chicago for NYC; I downsized, huddled, got caught up on royalties due to Projekt's artists, and slowly paid down the debt. In a way, I downsized Projekt at the perfect time. Most of America waited for the fall-out from the dotcom bust, and 9/11, to tighten their belts. Because of the excesses of the '90s, Projekt was a year or two ahead of the crowd.

For a while there in NYC, it was only Lisa and I at Projekt. I kept releasing great music and finding new bands to work with. My budget was very sober and close to the bone.

At that time, people were still buying CDs, yet the music industry was changing. Napster existed from June 1999 to July 2001. On January 9, 2001, iTunes 1.0 was released, though it took a while to take off. Projekt's sales were slipping (like every label in the music business); yet I was bailing out the waters of debt; the ship was righting itself (have I tortured enough metaphors?) When Lisa got pregnant in late 2001, I brought Shea on staff to handle the mail-order.

2002 was the year things really shifted in the industry; it was the year when Projekt's key releases stopped selling in the 5-10,000 range (except for those aforementioned Hot Topic comps, which sold amazingly.)

Fast forward twelve years, I've been adapting and learning every since. Gone are the days when we'd regularly ship out 5000 units of a new release to stores. No more big tours, nor ad budgets, and a lot less cash flowing in and out the door. Projekt is lean. The staff hours are about the same as in the early 90s. I don't work 60 hour weeks anymore. 

When people say to me, "Projekt's problem is you don't know how to adapt to the times," I shake my head and sarcastically mumble, "Yeah, right. THAT's the reason records aren't selling! It's because Projekt hasn't changed since the heyday of 1997." Not at all, my friends. Projekt is small but alive, and I'm enjoying my life. And things are good, thanks!

- Sam


The Hammond Novachord.....claimed as the first commercially available synthesizer in 1938

Heres a Link to the restoration of the Noverchord pictured above

What a celebration...just finished watching it.  Wow!

Cool...thanks Loren!

Computers, Internet and Technology / The internet and our Future
« on: October 04, 2014, 05:23:16 PM »
Douglas Coupland has or will shortly released a book about the biggest internet tech company in the world...Alcatel Lucent.  Im going to read this but below is a link to a quick paraphrase from the Financial Times.

Would love to watch that Pete but it seems I must be in the uk to view it on the BBC iplayer.  Thought I try and download the iplayer app.....not available. 

I'll just have to pull out my Kate Bush cds instead. :( :)

Thats true John, though once I commit I find the infinite very quickly comes crashing down to a more human scale as things take their place or the endeavor just simple crashes.

I think getting bored of a project is a bad way to end it...." I just cant be bother to do anything with it".  I do arrive at this place from time to time, perhaps its part of the journey but its where training and experience comes to aid, not musical training per se but the ability to be grown up for lack of a better expression.  Artist can through tantrums for sure but its the experience of dealing with these issues and overcoming the barriers the make us succeed.

We have this fancy Ionizing water dispenser in the kitchen where I work and Im often there during the course of the day / the water hole there is a picture of the basket ball player Michael Jordan with this quote:
                   "Ive missed more than 9000 shots in my career, ive lost almost 300 games, 26 times Ive been trusted to take the wining shot and missed.
                    Ive failed over and over and over again in my that is why I succeed."

Thanks for all the information Ekstasis...I know the Furman balanced power box you talk about.  It is very expensive1

For a while I had about four different malts going at one was a fun way to taste. 

Agreed.....quality over quantity.  A dram or 2, after that it ceases to be a benefit.

Its true single malt whiskey is expensive.......Its defiantly a luxury in the scheme of things but one that is so spirited.....why do they call it spirits in the Scotland / UK?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Echospace Detroit CD's
« on: October 02, 2014, 03:07:39 PM »
I collect CDs, and only want the physical product.  So if they have this obviously rabid following, and every CD shown on their bandcamp page is Sold Out almost immediately, they are doing something wrong...

Isn't there a similar problem with the Autumn of Communion/Nacht Plank limited releases on Txt?  I think it encourages impulse buying for fear of losing out and buying for resale at a substantial markup.  Seems like a questionable ecosystem.  No thanks.


Very good point Forrest.  I think for a respected ambient / electronic label or artist a pressing of 300 cds is a good place to start. Maybe more depending on the artist.  The art release are understandably very limited and expensive.

Definitely yes. To me, Auchentoshan 12 is good, but Three Wood is special. Definitely worth the extra money, so if you like Auchentoshan 12, definitely try Three Wood.

Good to know Mike, thanks....locally its up in the $75 range.  Getting into the special occasion price range.  I sense just such an occasion coming really soon. ;D

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Aphex Twin
« on: October 01, 2014, 05:14:40 AM »
Drukqs did not do much for either. 

I do like the analog sounds in Syro but the tracks I have heard seem too cluttered and is the irritating part for me.  Could be the desired effect though.  I still may get it.

Nice line up there Mike....the whisky I mean ;)

Aberlour 16 is a favorite.....Auchentoshan 12 is my go to malt and I had my eye on the triple wood but have not taken the plunge yet.  Did you like it?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 30, 2014, 05:27:12 AM »
Regarding 'blocks', I presume that the finishing of something is generally more the problem than the starting of something (?)

It is for me.....I have a music project that I thought was finished a year ago and was maturing so to speak.  Opened it up to see how its tasting only to discover it did not need more time but more work so Im currently throwing the kitchen sink at it.  Will it improve? Perhaps it was already all it could be.  And so it goes.


My current dram.....lots of coconut and vanilla.  Glenmorangie in body but much superior on all other counts

Please do and your fellow writers have great taste in single malts.  Look forward to it!

Excellent thirdsystem.......I can only imagine. That last picture is beautiful!  Its been a few months since I had some Edradour in the house.  Have to change that.   Thanks for sharing

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 29, 2014, 04:37:00 AM »
Thats a great post Mike!

Personally I am never blocked because I dont look at it as if something is in my way preventing creation.  Im not doing anything now and now I am....or perhaps there simple is not a beginning or and ending it just is happening.

Does not mean I don't struggle and doubt during the creation. 

Does not mean that I can  take the fun out of creating by being too serious.....Im make serious ambient music now.

Does not mean that I dont labor for months to years over a music or photographic project wonder is it done.  Is it enough.  It needs something.  When should I just let it go?

All of this is part of the process and I put it together as the journey.....departure and arrival are not so important for me....its whats in between that is.

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