Xerox

IMG_2162When it comes to old fashioned printing techniques your easily think of silk screen printing and risograph printing for example… but doing some old school copying on an Xerox machine fits nowadays in the same category… at least for me…

While the artwork for the upcoming Europ Europ 7 inch is done by silk screen printing (see below) and the Staatseinde is done with a Risograph machine the Sololust artwork is coming out of a Xerox machine…

Well… you just have to love the grainy quality of it all… so the design of the sleeve was done in away to make this even more evident… and for an extra touch the inside of the sleeve is also xeroxed… the end result is a trashy black and greyish sleeve not only referring to the (post-) punk era and DIY aesthetics but being all of that… and maybe more…

Now only the Staatseinde sleeve has to be done… and then you can enjoy these 7″s with fitting artwork (design and printing technique!) at home…

Printing time (again)

europ_petit_insertYesterday was printing time again at Kapitaal in Utrecht… this time it was the insert / artwork for the upcoming Europ Europ 7 inch… with the help (as always) of the printing chief of Kapitaal super nice double sided printed inlay cards were realised… we printed them with silk screen printing technique and did a little experiment with two colours of ink so all inlay cards came out different…

All I need to do now is cut them… but that is for the printed parts only as a few small other things still need to be finalised for the Europ Europ records… and still the artwork for the Sololust and the Staatseinde records need to be printed… so more work is waiting… but I expect all to be ready in time for the release date late November…

Printing time again

Gooiland_Elektro_logo_whiteEven though the three new Gooiland Elektro releases by FOQL, Monocorpse and FFFC are delayed it does not mean we are not working on them… so we have started to print the sleeves, and this printing job will be finished next week…

As announced the looks of the Gooiland series have been revised and the sleeves are now hand printed by silk screen printing by myself with the help of the printing chief of Kapitaal

Below a first impression of the front and the backside of the sleeves (click to enlarge)…

FFFC_printedmonocorpse_printed

My first little Riso project

NN_insert_risoprintFor the upcoming Neugeborene Nachtmusik album the inserts were planned to be just printed by a copy machine… but as I am doing more and more with older printing techniques and enjoying that a lot I changed this at the last minute…

When at Kapitaal where I print a lot of the artwork pieces  now the printing chief  thought it would be nice to use the Riso (or Risograph) machine for these inserts…

A Riso machine is a bit like a lo-tech contemporary copy machine with a technique based on silk screen printing… so in a way it is like automated silk screen printing…

The end result thus also has a silk screen printing touch but you can see it is done in a different way… it look also a bit like what came out of a stencil machine… it looks quite raw… or like DDR propaganda prints… sort of…

This time I just did one colour but you can do several colours… in layers just like with silk screen printing… you need to change the colour cartridge in that case and  feed the paper to print on again to the machine… there is a project coming up for a 7″ single where I will do a multi colour Riso print for…  but it was nice to have a first go with the machine for an easy one colour project…

Vinyl hype?

niedow_endSince some years there is a lot of talk about a vinyl hype… and indeed it seems some people are selling more vinyl records as before… but the funny thing is that all small independent labels I know are only selling less and less… this is a strange paradox…

After some investigation into this matter by reading articles on vinyl sales and talking to different people including other small independent labels and the younger generation of music buyers I have a vague idea on this… but mostly more and more questions… I plan to get into this matter more thoroughly in the near future…

For me and I am quite sure my fellow small independent label bosses a good record is all about making a product which should amaze, surprise and confuse people who buy it…

It is all about telling stories and in some cases as what I am doing with Vrystaete and some other people are doing likewise the process of creating a record is a story on its own… it adds layers of meaning and value to the end product…

To me that is the real meaning and spirit behind DIY (Do It Yourself) and DIT (Do It Together)… making the difference by creating a more personal product… a product people can connect to and maybe even identify with… creating a product with real value and meaning to people…

Some time ago my label was called ‘the musical equivalent of avant-garde fashion”, which is quite striking I think. In the past I myself made the comparison between my label and biological, seasonal and locally grown food and handmade products.

While I still think this comparison is quite a good one it has maybe even more meaning as before… if a small independent record label is like a small independent garden with a shop where they sell only locally grown and seasonal biological vegetables then the big(ger) labels are like the Aldi and Lidl stores of this world or for that matter like any big(ger) supermarket…

These labels put out and sell uniform and impersonal products with no narrative… these records are not made to connect with, identify with and there is no need to invest time and energy in them to get into the story behind… as there is non… I do not say that the music on these records are not telling a story… I am focusing here on the product itself and the process of creating the product…

The buyer of these records is supporting an industry here, the vinyl industry, not necessarily music culture… This as an industry it is… the vinyl records being sold today are mostly those with older music, not only but for a big part it is about re-issues… music which was sold once on cassette tapes and vinyl, later on again on compact disc, then in a digital format and now again on vinyl…

So what we have is for a big part old(er) music being sold again on an old format… then of course there is the question who is buying these records and why these and not other vinyl records?

Maybe the younger generation buys vinyl records to store them and show off with while playing the music in a digital format they get as download code with the vinyl? Or… is there too much being produced and is it harder and harder for a small independent label to show up in between this weekly pile of records? Does the younger generation have no time or interest to invest in, and in connect to, a product?

And what about the older generation? The ones who bought vinyl records before the so-called hype? Did they stop buying records? Maybe they switched to cassette tapes, this as an act of resistance? Like producing and buying vinyl records were once during the cd era for some people? One of the reasons pressing plants still exist today…