#boycottspotify

I’m not typically swayed by calls to boycott billionaire’s products. Especially when those are things I really like and find useful. Its difficult to find any billionaire that isn’t doing stupid things with their money e.g. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos. Well I have already canceled my Amazon account and will likely never be able to afford a Tesla or a ride on a rocket anyway.

The case against Daniel Ek and his Spotify has been mounting since the very beginning. Ek’s investment in the military industrial complex has been the final straw for me. I initially avoided Spotify as I was content at the time with my CD collection and my mp3 player, but over the years I caved. I want to be completely honest about this: I love Spotify. They totally got me. The ability to listen to new music every single day and to explore the depths of obscure experimental music, and also get recommendations for more weird avant garde music, was right up my musical ADD alley. But it has been a guilty pleasure of mine. I felt shame using the service. I wanted to stand with all those other cool kids who were saying stuff like “I only listen to music on vinyl,” or what have you. The reality is I work 10 hours a day baking bread and can listen to whatever I want and I’m not going to lug my record collection to a dusty bakery. So Spotify was bliss for me.

This year I made the decision to start distributing Histamine Tapes music in other digital channels than just Bandcamp. While Bandcamp is the clear winner when it comes to the ethical distribution of music online, it will never have the convenience that streaming services have. There is an allure to the possibility of having your music playlisted with the big names of your respective genre. I had immediate gratification with this when Carlos Ferreira’s Vortex from Hakanai was picked up by one of Spotify’s editorial playlists. My decision to join the streaming world was specifically to get on Spotify. It’s the service with the most playlists, it’s one of the most popular, and it’s the one I personally used. I wanted to see and hear Histamine Tapes music when I was at work. I wanted others to discover these artists this way. I wanted to create label specific playlists to share with the world and the fans of the label.

I discovered the news about Ek’s investment in Military AI tech immediately after spreading word on social media about the updated Histamine Tapes Spotify playlist. I got a deep sinking feeling reading this news. I felt ill. There’s no way I can justify associating my name and the names of all the artists on my label, with faceless, bigoted technology of death. Being antiwar is at the core of who I am and what I do as a label. Music is about peace and should remain that way.

All this is to say that these are big complex feelings. I know there is little I can do to avoid all support for war outside of living in a tiny house in the wilderness and being totally self sustaining (or maybe not I don’t know). I’m writing this to share my guilt and also my complicity in this system, and acknowledge the inherent hypocrisy of living during late capitalism. I’m not here to shame you for making the decision to stick with Spotify. I wouldn’t blame you. I switched to a different service (Apple Music) because I’m an addict, but certainly Apple isn’t guilt free. I’ll likely change my mind about this and support a different service or none at all since that seems to be the “right thing to do.” But for now I joining the #boycottspotify movement. Fuck these billionaires and the stupid shit they do with their money.

For the time being my music and the music of other HT artists that I had distributed will remain on Spotify, but I will begin pulling my own music from the service, and reaching out to other artists to see if they want to remain their.

5th Annual Antihistamine Compilation Out Now

This years compilation I asked for multiple perspectives on the concept of percussion. I was very pleased with the variety of ways folks took this years prompt. I feel like it could have been easily ignored by the more ambient folks who normally submit or it could have ended up being one long drum solo, but I’m pleased to say folks really engaged with the prompt and presented some refreshing ideas.

Please enjoy a pay what you want download and spread the world. As all digital releases these year, part of the proceeds will be donated to Extinction Rebellion.

https://histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/antihistamine-2021

Post Soviet Aggression by Poverty Line

I met Charles from Poverty Line 4 or 5 year ago (maybe longer? this pandemic has done weird things to time) in one of the most charming basement venues I had the pleasure of occupying. There was a corner of worn yet very cozy couches, a furnace that looked like the scarier cousin of the one from Home Alone, and warm lighting provided by Christmas lights. This was Gloom Garden Winooski’s (maybe Vermont’s) only basement punk venue. I was brought there by invitation from a friend of coworker to play a set for Experimental Vermont, a concert series that brought folks from around New England’s noise and avant garde scene together.

My intro to Charles is perhaps a pretty typical scene. We conversed between sets with beer in hand. I was immediately struck by how friendly and kind Charles was. I then saw a completely different image when Charles hit the stage. His set up was simple. A couple of pedals (I feel like I’m remembering a Behringer Heavy Metal, but either way there was something in that genre) with a microphone connected to it. Charles then gave a very aggressive, scream filled performance. I was very grateful for the earplugs my band mate had given me. I attempted a few moments without them just to experience the full intensity of Poverty Lines set, and my ears will never be the same! I have definitely steered further from the harshest of noise in my old age, but there are very few things that match that sort of ecstatic, almost hallucinatory experience of having your ears pushed to this point in a basement that feels crowded with only a dozen people in it. It is both uplifting and nauseating and you get a feeling you’ve been bonded with these strangers around you your whole life.

I had lived in Vermont for a few years at that point, but it wasn’t until that night when I got to meet Charles from Poverty Line, Ian from Peasant Farm, and the colorful cast of characters at the Gloom Garden Basement, that I began to feel at home.

No recording will ever do justice to that experience, but you should still check out Post Soviet Aggression anyway. This is a work that I am very excited to release, and Charles is very proud to have produced. As with all Histamine Tapes releases these are all one of kind cassettes with various jcards based on the theme of church architectural drawing collaged with a strip culled from Southwest Airlines safety brochures.

Get the tape or download here:

https://histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/post-soviet-aggression-ht059

Check out The Noise Bundle link to get a deal on three of Histamine Tapes darker noisier tapes from 2021.

Bandcamp Friday October

Hello Friends of Histamine Tapes!

I had 87 notifications when I woke up this morning, which means it must be BANDCAMP FRIDAY!!!! I normally go light on BCFD, but today I went BIG.
First off is the new full length from Enstasy, the warm hiss of lofi synth meet the ethereal vocals of Adam Hutchinson (who brought us common quale by Arowan) Score yourself a BCFD download below!

histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/enstatic-ht058

Surprise! I’ve brought tou one more IV Track Study. This time the experiment is running the out put of my Tascam Porta TWO through my effects chain. Here I process a tape loop (hydrophone recordings, the sound of grains in a bag, guitar, and classical music tape reversed) with Walrus Audio Mako D1 Delay and Walrus Audio Fathom Reverb. Its a drone washed out mess!

histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/track/iv-track-studies-tape-loop-with-effects

In finale I got my artist copies of flop-house.bandcamp.com/album/what-traveling-through-water-feels-like from Flophouse. Feel free to grab a cop of that tape from them, or enjoy a bundle with Parenthetical in the link below.

histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/void-ht057

I also some how still have copies of Carlos Ferreira’s and Bahia Mansa’s Tapes get them in a bundle as well

histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/hakanai-ht054

Playlist Update

Check out the updated Spotify playlist. A collection of dark ambient, and doomy (maybe spooky) tunes inspired by the recent Parenthetical release. Come listen to some of my influence for the album Void.

Void by Parenthetical Out Now

This album had been on my to do list for over a decade. Back when I only used the Subversive Intentions moniker, I wanted to do an SI album in various genres and since the early 2000’s I felt I had to do some kind of ode to Sunn O))))

It never completely felt like the right thing to do then. I didn’t want to be taken as ripping them off. Not that what you hear on this album will be immediately recognizable as a Sunn O)))) rip off. I made an attempt like 5 or so years ago, but my inexperience with recording distorted bass (as well as my lack of mastering skills) made something that was either too quiet or too noise like. I think I finally found something I enjoy that still has some room for growth.

Expect reverb washed drones of distorted electric bass, layered with field recordings of wind chimes, wood work and BLM protests. In typical HT fashion this is on reclaimed cassette tapes with hand cut unique jcards.

https://histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/void-ht057

Bandcamp Friday

Nothing new from Histamine Tapes for #bandcampfriday but I wanted to check in and remind you all about some recent releases I’ve been a part of.
First there is the Glacial Erratics live recording on Histamine Tapes i dropped a couple weeks ago. While your there check out the last of my IV Track Studies or the performance I did for Vermont Drone Day.
Next there was the last album of ambient beats I made for Cavern Brew Records.
Finally don’t forget to check out the latest Subversive Intentions collection of cut ups that Flophouse has graciously released for me.

https://flop-house.bandcamp.com/album/what-traveling-through-water-feels-like