A Samplers’ Journey To My New Album - The Meaning Of All Things - B(L)og 025

Here we are at a new B(L)og 025. Glad you’re here. Much appreciated! Today is the release of my brand-new album The Meaning Of Things. Really happy to bring this album into existence and for your listening pleasure.

Now on to the topic of today. Sample-based music is relatively obscure and incredibly niche to say the least. As that’s the case, the journey to establishing a presence as an artist who makes it is going to be one a slow burn over time. Today we’re going to revisit some of my sample-based albums the samplers used, and marketing techniques used to release them. I hope this chronological path will help you with your album making process.

The Daydream Sound I - 2002

This album was my very first attempt at being a solo artist. It was also my first crack at making a truly instrumental sample-based work.

I remember each song came from beats that I would play live while I was with my group in the early 2000’s. I would use “008” (track two) in particular as a soundcheck before we went on stage. It was just a poly-rhythmic beat and every time I played it my cousin and group member would be like -

Yo! Run that one again”.

That let me know that as odd as I thought it was, it was still relatable.

That was the beginning, and in retrospect, it was the only album of mine where the songs were tested and heard by other people than me before they were released. “Rele”, the lead off track was only in its skeleton stage when I would let my friends hear it and ask them what their thoughts about it were.

I was so heavy into sampling vinyl at that time. “VIWC”, the ending track had at least 20 separate records used to make it. Records from all types of sources and genres. It was really a diverse album. They were blended and mixed into a great song.

At this time all I had was the Ensoniq EPS16+ and Steinberg Halion (the original version). That was a whole lot of sampling power. The entire process of arranging each song was really a test to me. Out of all the albums this one really pushed me into a higher skill level.

I released this album on CD originally in 2002. I would walk around and give the CD out to people who I thought would like it. I would literally go to clubs and leave copies of it on people’s car windshields in the parking lot. I didn’t have any listeners and I didn’t know where to find people who would relate to it. I went to college radio stations as well. Some people liked it some didn’t.

As a matter of fact, everyone that I gave it to played in on the radio. It was really tough because the main way to get noticed was literally getting reviewed in a music magazine. That was a code I couldn’t crack. And furthermore, I didn’t have a way to distribute my home-made CDs anyway. I was just doing something I loved without a plan. I was discouraged. I knew the music was good but I couldn’t find the listeners.

9 years later, the world had completely changed. The internet became way faster. It became possible to sell music on the internet. Bandcamp in particular was the ultimate power shift. It gave any independent or major artist the ability to sell their music. All the artist had to do was promote themselves. By this time, I had people interested in what I was able to do with vintage samplers on YouTube and Facebook. Without realizing it, this became my listener base.

Long story short; On September 21st, 2011 I re-released “The Daydream Sound I” digitally and that’s when my music career really began as a solo artist.

The Daydream Sound II Passage to Alkebulan - 2013

Two years passed and I was ready to give an album a go again. By 2013 I had a small but growing buzz for my music. I had acquired an Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler during this time and decided that it was going to be the main feature of this album.

By this time, I understood how to market a digital product. I coupled this album with a fictional fantasy story that I wrote based around two orphaned young twins on a planet called Alkebulan. They were mentored and guided by three sage like characters. The story recounts their adventures. It came complete with artwork and production notes that were all included with the digital download of “Passage to Alkebulan”.

As far as sampling I was still using records as source material with a good bit of out-door recordings mixed in. I remember still being aware of the fact that it was an instrumental album. It was definitely different from a beat tape (which were popular around this time) I knew I couldn’t rely on the beat tape crowd to embrace this type of music. All I could do was rely on the people who like my first album. And that’s what I did (in addition to something that else I’ll describe next).

I went full industry mode for the release of this album. I contacted music blogs, magazines and music reviewers. I ended up getting a few write-ups out it all.

On release day, the album coupled with the story and artwork made a very solid impression. And if there’s anything I could say of this album is that it really informed people about my style of music.

The Daydream Sound III The Origin of Silence - 2014

You’re going to notice a trend with this one but I’ll withhold it until later on. “The Daydream Sound III” was way more o