In order to keep following our website’s guidelines and ultimate goal of supporting and promoting underground experimental, creative, and progressive music, we are now offering a web label service and our very own seal of approval: Not Music.
Through the years, we have built a strong community that is eager to discover new and challenging music, and we believe that acting as a label is the next step in helping promote up-and-coming artists of the underground.
We all enjoy music, and we don’t think it should be inaccessible to anyone. Therefore, the digital version of our albums will always be free, but feel free to spare a coin or two if you can: it shows support and appreciation to us. We are also going to make physical releases as affordable as possible (more on that below), so that more people can experience the joy of getting their CD by the mail. Next are three important aspects of our philosophy that we hope you will agree with and appreciate.
We most often hear bands getting signed on a label, however I want to try a different, more case-by-case approach: I’ll be signing albums, not bands. It’s a much more direct, but perhaps more cynical approach: instead of supporting vectors of music (the artists), I’m focusing on the music itself. Only when I can hear the final product can I give my fully informed approval and support for a piece of music. We hope that this little change in approach means as much to you as it does to us.
We don’t seek profit, this is a passion project, but we don’t want to suffer losses either, we all need to eat. Therefore, we decided to keep our profit margins at around 100%. While that might sound like a lot at first glance, it’s a necessary compromise of our vision and our monetary reality. What it means, basically, is that we break even if we sell half of the stock we manufacture. What it means, in practical reality, is that you should expect to pay around $5 for a physical album. This is about half the price of a regular CD; how we can achieve such a price is by keeping our margins low, not by cutting on the quality of the project. How the profits are split between the artist and the label is different for every case, but all the profits from the label will go back into funding other projects from the blog and label.
With our philosophy of being as accessible as possible, we’ve run into some sort of conundrum regarding shipping costs. We’ve decided to challenge the status quo and incorporate a flat rate system so that everybody in the world pays the same amount; no one is at a disadvantage. Where you are born and where you live oftentimes is not a choice of your own, and giving some people a different pricing based on that sounds downright unfair to us. We ask that you understand that decision, and unite in solidarity with music lovers and fans from around the world.
Regarding the Environment
We are a tiny label, and our actions will barely make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but it’s imperative that each and every one does its part to mitigate pollution and climate change. As such, we’ll use whatever tools we can to reduce plastic waste (e.g. not wrapping our releases in plastic) and other forms of pollution. For example, we will keep packaging and physical extras (like booklet, poster, cards, etc.) to a minimum while still putting the artist’s choice and integrity at the forefront. If the artist feels like a booklet or additional panels is an intrinsic and necessary part of the experience, we will oblige, but if they can be conveyed via electronic files, we will prefer this option as it puts a much lesser burden on the environment.
Regarding Quality and Quantity
I’ve noticed many a label churning out release after release, in what I assume can only be an avid quest for profit, with no regard whatsoever as to the quality of these (so long as they are above a certain, but low threshold of minimum quality). It has taken us almost one year, from inception to our first release, and I don’t expect our release rate to be much more than one per month ever (and I’m being optimistic), nor do I ever want to impose a quota of releases per year or per month; only the ones I feel I am completely on board with will get our seal of approval. It doesn’t matter if it takes another year to find another album to publish, only the most unique and special ones will pass. For us, it’s clear: quality over quantity.
NOT-002: Rïga – Chaos et félicité
Release date: 7 August 2019
Main genres: experimental electro, post-rock, noise
NOT-001: Potmos Hetoimos – Vox Medusae
Release date: 12 September 2018
Main genres: progressive doom metal, mathcore, blackened hardcore, jazz
It’s a self-contained arc, with a clearly defined beginning and end, yet philosophically open-ended and allowing of interpretations. Thematically and musically Matheson’s project doesn’t have many peers. His studious and attentive, almost obsessive approach to music and literary motifs is matched only by Jute Gyte (aka Adam Kalmbach) with whom he shares a similarly schizophrenic musical style. Listening to the record, it’s sometimes hard to believe that Matheson is playing everything himself, only occasionally helped by Jane Vincent and Raleigh Booze on vocals and Daniel Wallace on saxophone. The vocals are strong and alternate between a clean tone, hardcore rasps, and death metal growls, while drum, guitar, and bass parts are more than competently performed.
There’s a special chaos achieved within the hour-long experience that “Vox Medusae” encapsulates that’s executed brilliantly through a true menagerie of different instruments done via different takes on different styles that Potmos Hetoimos approaches with both fervor and talent.
[The] album is going to give you just as much of a wild ride; I still haven’t completely digested it as it takes influences from abrasive and heavy acts like Cult Leader but also channels some of the weirdness of bands like Dødheimsgard. But I can easily say that if you’re looking for some heavy, chaotic and conceptually well thought out, look no further; Vox Medusae is exactly for you.
Whether or not the throughline of a mythological analogy for porn addiction is your cup of tea, it’s difficult not to find something to latch onto in Vox Medusae. It’s focused (most of the time), and the jazziness can be downright intoxicating. Its best moments hint at brilliance. With a tighter focus, Potmos Hetoimos might just sit among metal’s best and strangest.
Vox Medusa (sic) is a fascinatingly eclectic journey built on a strong foundation of jazz. Sax and synths compliment the already technical and expectation-defying instrumentation. Chaotic, blackened vocals and doomy waves of distortion amplify the metal side of things; creating an overall effect and atmosphere not dissimilar from that of Dreadnought.
[The songs] don’t move in predictable directions, the manifold stylistic ingredients changing and falling into place in kaleidoscopic fashion. I wouldn’t call the changes chaotic, but they’re certainly sharp and surprising. It will help if you enjoy jazz and prog. It will also help if you enjoy being drugged and/or pistol-whipped. Also, the vocals, though chameleon-like, are relentlessly intense.
You can hammer your head with this music and move your body, and also fall into dreamlike reveries, experience expressions of agony and be lifted in exultation, find big smiles on your face and be left befuddled or aghast. Fascinating, exuberantly creative, technically impressive music for the adventurous-minded among you.
RTMB (in Spanish):
Esto me llevo concertar que el aporte que yo puedo dar y que he tratado de plasmar, es la visión que puede tener el simple consumidor entusiasta. Ese que le gusta compartir rarezas, esas que en el futuro puede que se conviertan en los aclamados discos de “culto”; no sé qué tanto pueda llegar a esto Potmos Hetoimos, pero de lo que sí estoy seguro es que cualquiera que tenga como propósito conocer cosas que se salen de su cotidianidad podrá encontrar algo valioso aquí.
For Vox Medusae, Matheson employs a variety of non-traditional musical scales. Vincent’s Medusa narration is told in harmonic Locrian, while other portions of the album see Matheson dabbling in Lydian Dominant or Hungarian Augmented. It all lends the track (and the album itself) a density, a confusion, a weight. There is a great sense of struggle in the way disparate styles compete for the listener’s ear, paralleling Matheson’s as Perseus’ own conflict for mastery of the monsters that torment him.
More to be announced.
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