Sunday, January 25, 2015
When I started wearallghosts nearly 3 years ago, the plan was always to give back: give back to the musicians who had given me so much with their music, in particular Cousin Silas.
Lately, I’ve been able to give back in other ways … supporting new or established ventures, and even raising over £150 for HOSPICE UK through our recent ‘end of year’ compilation (an amount that will be doubled by my employer).
I love the community that weareallghosts is part of … the DIY ambient music community that listens and promotes each other’s music; it is one that builds upon an initial idea raised, and focusses on the common good that brings us together rather than the things that divide us as people.
Rick Chase is a prime example of this common good. A chap who through his superb depository for videos on Youtube and his FB group - Ambiofusion - has always been highly encouraging and enthusiastic about ambient music and the community as a whole. Chase is, specifically, a big fan of Cousin Silas and, in Dave’s own words, he felt “compelled to help the lad” and thought it was time to give back.
And give back we will … via dronescape 024 (waag_drs024).
Cousin Silas is very generous with his music and puts everything he can on Archive or Bandcamp for free (PWYW). It is his way of ensuring everyone has access to his music and I fully endorse this rationale. Dronescape 024 (waag_drs024) is different, however. It will ONLY be available on Bandcamp and will cost you the minimum of £1. This isn’t to raise funds for wearellghosts but to raise funds for Rick Chase. This is Cousin Silas’ way of giving back.
A couple of weeks ago, Rick’s wife - Kelly - died of a rare form of cancer. Rick is left with two daughters … and a considerable medical bill to repay. As Dave said in recent correspondence, ‘Our donations are pitiful, but we are trying”.
Every single penny donated will go to Rick Chase. I will do my bit by covering the Bandcamp and Paypal costs … however, I will struggle if someone donates a £1,000. That aside, let’s see if we can raise something for Rick … and show him that the weareallghosts community cares and cares enough to help.
As for what you are getting for your £1: you are getting an intriguing 77 minute aural adventure, one that demonstrates how adept Cousin Silas is getting at post-60 minute pieces. This highly immersive piece is ideal for kicking back on a Sunday afternoon albeit you may not find the rest you need but, instead, discover somewhere new on the edges of perception.
In closing, this dronescape is dedicated to Kelly. It is also dedicated to Edgar Froese, a giant in the realm of expressive instrumental music and a genuine inspiration for the music of Cousin Silas and the work I do. Herr Froese may be gone but he will never be forgotten.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
A new year and a new Dronescape, Cousin Silas’ twenty-third to be exact … if you discount the mini-dronescape on “the Sound of Silas”.
When Cousin Silas sent the .wav file through he described his latest endeavour as rather dark … “’tis a bit dark, m’ lad” was his exact phrase.
I have come to expect that when my favourite Cousin says “dark” he means wonderfully atmospheric, haunting soundscapes that thrill and engage me, the listener. Dronescape 023 is no exception.
This isn’t a truly dark, disturbing noisescape but rather it is the soundtrack to your dreams, your Cylopean dreams in places and spaces not of this Earth, at least not of this time on Earth.
This is food for the imagination … and I, for one, cannot get enough. I really do hope you enjoy this dronescape as much as I do!
A 320kbps version of this release is available over on Archive for free with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’ which does include ‘free’. If you decide to download this album here for free, and you can with our best wishes, then all we ask is that you please tell people about it.
Monday, January 5, 2015
Presenting … ending the year on a high 2014. A compilation album that features twenty tracks from some of my most favourite people in independent ambient electronic music. There is well over 2 hours of music here to be consumed, music that I personally find tremendously inspirational and deeply thought provoking.
I have spoken, at length, about the power of ambient music to give the mind space to wander and the music presented here does just that. The music created by the folks on weareallghosts is truly exceptional - music from Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado, Brother Saturn and Kevin Lyons, Stephen Briggs and Tim Rowe, Negative Spectrum and Sound Awakener, Delicate Apparatus and Scott Lawlor, William Spivey, Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow, Mystified and Microvolt;
The tracks demonstrate the breadth of talent from further afield too - the music presented from the likes of Orbit Over Luna, åpne sinn, Row Boat, Daniel Prendiville, and Twin Cities; is truly awe-inspiring. I cannot thank each and every artist enough for their contributions.
Normally I would put this compilation out for free as a wee token of appreciation to our faithful supporters and fans, but this year I would like to try something different: I have set a minimum price of £5 or 25p per track. ALL PROCEEDS from this album will go to the charity HOSPICE UK (formerly HELP THE HOSPICES), a charity that supports the development of hospice care in the UK and internationally.
weareallghosts is my main side-project and something I do for the love of it. My main employment is as a Business Analyst in Glasgow, Scotland; my current employer actively and generously supports HOSPICE UK and doubles any donation made by her staff - by donating for this album I will hopefully be able to raise some money for a really great cause and give a little good back into the world.
My sincere thanks to all the artists who have contributed to the making of this album - they have given their time and, more importantly, their music for free to aid this worthy cause.
Whilst it would be wrong of me to single any individual artist out, I have to mention a generous gift provided by Mark Wardale aka Row Boat. He has offered his exceptional post-rock album - In Between (https://enjoyrowboat.bandcamp.com/album/in-between-2) - for FREE to the first twenty people who pay MORE THAN £5 for this album. I am indebted to Wardale for his generosity!
This album will NOT be available on Archive.
01. Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado - Elysian Fields | 06:36
02. Orbit Over Luna - It Seems A Small Thing | 06:37
03. Christopher Alvarado - The Amity Order | 04:26
04. åpne sinn - Auspice | 10:34
05. Cousin Silas - Recollections | 06:02
06. Row Boat - Draugen | 06:23
07. Brother Saturn - God Never Skips A Beat (Space Dimension 9) | 08:32
08. Kevin Lyons - The Burning Sky | 05:48
09. Daniel Prendiville - Floaty Floaty | 02:52
10. Stephen Briggs - Fuzz And Karbonades mk2 | 12:30
11. Tim Rowe - Orange | 06:26
12. twincities - Minim | 03:10
13. Negative Spectrum - Now You Know Where I Come From | 10:12
14. Sound Awakener - Sketching | 01:46
15. Delicate Apparatus - We Are Celestial | 04:21
16. Scott Lawlor - Night Terrors In The Darkness Of Space (Tribute to H.R. Giger) | 14:00
17. William Spivey - A December's Wish | 04:02
18. Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow - Innocent | 01:59
19. Mystified - Perseverance | 04:27
20. Microvolt - Raintown | 03:35
Thursday, January 1, 2015
"Forever is composed of nows"An Emily Dickinson quote seems like an odd way to open up a post celebrating 2015 but I intend it to become the motto to which I will live and work in 2015.
December 2014 was a crazy month for me ... especially with regards to my day job ... but also with regards weareallghosts and the application of VAT in the EU.
I won't bore you with the details but the rules on VAT have changed for providers of digital services as at today - instead of VAT within the EU being applicable at the place where the Business resides, it changed to the place where the consumer purchased the 'digital service'. The threshold also no longer applied - in the UK waag needs to make £81k before VAT needs to be considered whereas the new EU VAT rules are applicable from the first £1.
Bandcamp is our main market place with all bar one of our releases on there as 'pay what you want' (they are currently set to 'free' but I'll change that back ASAP) - this option allows our community to support us as / when they desire. Up until recently it looked like I needed to register for VAT so I could use the VAT MOSS (micro one stop shop) channel to pay any VAT that I needed to. As such, a good deal of time (valuable holiday-with-family time) was taken up changing the Bandcamp site and then registering for VAT.
Thankfully Bandcamp had a change of heart and will now take care of any VAT incurred. Whilst this means members of our EU community will have to pay more for their downloads (if they wish to support us) it means I won't be tied up in a VAT mess.
It will also mean that the plans in place for the charity fundraising end-of-year compilation can go ahead and we can put out more professionally mastered music on CDr.
At the end of the day, weareallghosts is a netlabel in the traditional sense ... we will always put music OUT THERE for free on Creative Commons licenses. Some of our releases will cost to buy - these fees will be levied to pay for professional mastering, packaging, and effort incurred - but we remain committed to putting out quality progressive ambient-orientated music for free.
I have a few ideas for weareallghosts in 2015 ...
- Keep putting out great music - downloads and, where appropriate, CDrs.
- Keep building a vibrant community through Archive, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud using Facebook, Twitter, and the blog.
- Update the website - move from a blog format to a portfolio format.
So here's to 2015. My sincere thanks for your support in 2014.