Friday, August 29, 2014

State of the art in 2014

Thanks for coming by! Our next releases are two cassettes - yes, audio cassettes - for Cassette Store Day, which is taking place on September 27 in the UK, US and several other nations. These releases are 100 copies of "Music From The Middle Room", under our other moniker of Bleak House...

Bleak House - Music From The Middle Room cassette

...and 25 copies of "Freaks At A Wake", backed with its squalling tumbling Monotron remix on the reverse.

These will be available from your cassette retailer of choice (including Burger Records in the USA, Pebble Records in England and VOD Music in Wales) from September 27th, and if we have any left we'll sell them too, on our wildly successful Bandcamp page, afterwards.

There's a lot of interesting-looking material coming out for this event, doubtless a few releases from hipsters, but much of it from obscure home-recording types who need all the support they can get. Of course, you may find you now need something to play all these new cassettes on, like I did recently when my trusty Sony HCD-RXD5 finally became unresponsive on both tape decks, after 14 years of service. Ruddy electronics - for years, the CD play button has triggered the FM radio. Or perhaps the belt's simultaneously gone on both sides. It was originally bought, along with a MiniDisc recorder, as part of an earlier attempt to upgrade my audio facilities and get some relatively clean recording/copying equipment (compared to cheap-bottom Alba stereos and the Spinney Tronic).

Now then, dear Kesh-chum. We relish the freedom of working outside label/management structures, allowing us to follow whatever whims we like and put the results out directly to you, dear reader. However, we don't make money from it. Now, one of our most-visited net presences is at the Free Music Archive, where we have a page...

Keshco at the Free Music Archive

From there you can see that our recent EPs have been downloaded many thousands of times - Accountants By Day alone is now over 100,000 downloads. It's great that so many people have shared in our music, which is shared under Creative Commons licensing.

On the top right hand corner of the page at the FMA, there's a box with a dollar ($) symbol, saying "Tip The Artist". We're still looking for ways of making this free music idea work financially, and micropayments seem a good way to go. You can click on the tip box (here's our FMA link again), and then via Paypal, donate anything you wish, as little as $0.01 if you feel like it, towards our past and future music-making. Yes, $0.01. That's not an insulting amount and you shouldn't be deterred - it's a valued micropayment. If we get enough little tips, we can put the money towards something useful, like monitor speakers or better mics, or just towards the rent. It also gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling that people appreciate what we've put out.

Imagine if footballers made their cash in micropayments.

Of our other net presences, Reverbnation recently bit the dust. Poor Reverbnation. It was a pointless exercise really. All those tools to gather listener data and nobody listening. Like having a flashy shopfront in a no-go area of town. You could reach the top 10 for your area just by a couple of people clicking onto the page.

All the best now x

PS: If you, like us, are skint, you may appreciate the wise words of Alvin Hall, in Your Money or Your Life: A Practical Guide to Getting - and Staying - on Top of Your Finances which has been recently updated (Amazon UK and Amazon US affiliate links - oh go on, every little helps). It's a useful book, particularly for those who are perennially close-to-the-wire but can't work out why because they obviously aren't wasting money or overbuying... think again. Think everything over again, keep your receipts, and write it all down.

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