понеделник, 28 януари 2013 г.

Zero degrees and a book

Originally posted on DIY Conspiracy / columns.

I guess it's about zero degrees celsius. It has been snowing for the last two days even though the week before actually felt pretty closer to a spring. After grabbing a Saturday cup of double coffee with some mates I'm on my way home. I walk my daily route, I cross the small bridge like I do everyday and just like that I toss a short glimpse at the stone handrail on my right, where in drier and warmer days the local bibliopoles sell old books.

For my surprise even in this cold afternoon there are still few books lined there. I get closer, excited that I'll fulfill my beloved ritual despite the weather and look through the titles. I find an old textbook - 'History of Music' pt. 3. I look around and see a man standing a meter from me, obviously he's the one selling the books. I remember faces, but this one I've never seen before. I ask him about the price, he replies it's 2€. After the coffee, I'm left with only 1.50, and it happens to be enough for the book. “I don't like to bargain with my first client for the day, it brings me bad luck and now it's really, really cold”, he says. I take the book and rapidly jump into the tram. It will take me home in 5 minutes, instead in 10if I decide to walk. But suddenly it has become colder. Because that man won't catch a tram home at least for few more hours.

There are people who are selling old books in their fancy and warm antiquarian bookstores. There you can find great stuff, that's for sure. But you will probably won't be able to buy anything, because antiquaries will probably do their best to cheat you and sell you overpriced stuff only because they can. At least that's how they mostly roll here in Bulgaria. It seems they have long forgotten that books are to be read, and not to be left rotting on the dusty shelves of greed.

I know it was already 2 pm when the man told me I was his first customer. I know it was probably because he had just got up with a crazy hangover and went to sell some stuff on the bridge so he can cure himself with my 1.50€. I know he may choose to buy booze instead of food for himself or his family. And still he didn't want to cheat me. In the next snowy afternoon I'll meet another person, I'll give him my last 1.50€, cus when it's about zero degrees it's cool to get back home, especially with a book. Books are cool.

сряда, 23 януари 2013 г.


This is how the year began. First shows and releases for 2013 to be announced soon. January only looks dead, it was actually pretty cool in terms of planning stuff.

понеделник, 7 януари 2013 г.

Bits of history: ODP (2005-2010)

Few nights ago I came across at quite a sad piece of news, namely that Feedback Loop Label is preparing its very last release before it's shut down. If you are not familiar this project, it was/still is a netlabel currated by Leonardo Rosado, one of the most active and dedicated artists I've come across in the last few years. If you are also unfamiliar with the concept of netlabels I highly encourage you to do some research, and then finish reading this post. In short and by default netlabels are mostly non-profit initiatives, and as such they are very likely to end up like this. In the case with Feedback Loop, this is surely a loss, because Leonardo is really passionate about music and FBL had always meant quality despite its short life. And quality is not a usual thing when we're talking about putting music online, as it's a process that pretty much anyone could do. 

the first handmade logo I did for odp in 2005, fun times
However, this whole thing reminded, that me few years ago I was also involved in a netlabel. If you're somehow familiar with me, my work or surrounding you probably have heard about ODP. It was started when I was only 17. The concept of ODP was to promote mainly Bulgarian underground music (predominantly electronic) in harsher genres such as dark ambient, noise, power noise, gabber etc. This experience introduced me to a big number of local and foreign artists (I am pretty certain I got to know Leonardo because of what I was trying to do with ODP back in the day). But at a point I felt my efforts became worthless. Nowadays all music can be found online and for free, especially when it's put out only digitally. That's why I felt I was no longer needed as the medium between an artist and its eventual listeners. That's why after printing ODP's first and only physical release, the CDr compilation 'hear / share' in 50 copies, I put out only one more digital release (also one of the best) and decided to call it a day. Since then, from time to time I've been considering getting back to releasing other people's music in a similar form, but I haven't yet really figured out how to make it more special, because nowadays no one needs 'more of the same' as it is more of a 'do your best' age that we're living in.

Our official page is long closed and gone, but if you are interested in what we were doing back in 2005-2010 you can check the best stuff from the ODP catalog in Archive.org, or just browse our blog. The coolest thing is that some of the releases we put back in the day are still being played, if we are to trust the Last.fm stats. By the way, I'm pretty sure that Abandonment have at least one copy of our last release, so if you are feeling sentimental you can grab it.

By the way Leonardo is still running heart and soul publisher, a physical label whose releases are always a great mixture of arts. And I, being a part of Amek, am still self-releasing music (for now mostly solo works or collaborations, but this may change in the future). Anyhow, there's always more to come.