January 31, 2007

Moving Day...

by Chris Randall

It's a big day in our other world, as we've put the final nail in the Sister Machine Gun coffin and turned that website in to an archive, basically, with no more user-driven content. Simultaneously, the Chris Randall site is now open for business. To quote Jamie Zawinski, "Dear industrial music: it's time we broke up. It's been over for years."

My new album is at the pressing plant as we speak; pre-orders and digital sales will be available in the next couple days. (We generally don't allow pre-orders until we have a ship date from the plant.) If you're at all curious as to what I've been up to in my studio over the past two years, the entire album is available for streaming on LastFM, so go have a listen if you've got nothing else to do. I'm all nervous now that it's out in the wild. I was supremely confident last week, but this week I'm concerned. Go figure. Let me just say that it's some nerve-wracking shit to try and pull a massive genre change off when you're an established artist.

One final note: the CR site is on posiNET, as is this one, so your login and password here will log you in there, if you feel like posting something pithy in the newsgroup.



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Jan.31.2007 @ 12:19 PM
The record is a delight to listen to, what a great mix! the drums sounds should give you a free bfd upgrade path for life, and I love the way the guitars sound, and your vox sounds really great as well.

It is pretty brave to take a big artistic chance like this and do music the way you want to do, so i applaud you for that.

If I buy the songs online, are they drm'd?


Jan.31.2007 @ 12:24 PM
Chris Randall
No DRM here. We use LAME with alt-preset-standard, so the encoded tracks are about as good as they can be, and still have a reasonable size.

Note that if you buy the actual CD, you get the download right when you purchase, and the CD shows up a few days later, which we think is a neat trick. This works for all purchases at shopPOSI, aside from a few of the outside labels we carry.



Jan.31.2007 @ 12:39 PM
Jeff C
Genre change? Chris, you haven't even _had_ a genre since [R]evolution. Maybe earlier.

Either way, this sounds fucking amazing. You don't have a thing to worry about.

- Jeff


Jan.31.2007 @ 1:10 PM
I like the irony of the browser/bookmark icon. Song production is quiet nice also.

Jan.31.2007 @ 3:55 PM
D' MacKinnon
Man, I can't get over that these drums were programmed. They sound amazing.

Question, did you track the clarinet at your studio or did the musician record it remotely?


Jan.31.2007 @ 4:13 PM
Chris Randall
That's Don Mennerich, dm of Soundarc fame. He tracked it at his home studio and sent me the files.



Jan.31.2007 @ 4:58 PM
In all the years you've been making music, I can't say I've heard anything by you to any significant extent (maybe 30-second snippets here and there over the years). So the style change isn't as shocking to me as it might be for an ardent SMG fan. I definitely like the new tracks.

Are you a Matt Johnson fan by any chance? You're singing style on many of the songs here (other than the more Tom Waits-ish tracks) reminds me of some of his Americana inflected stuff (post-Mindbomb albums like Dusk and Hanky Panky).


Jan.31.2007 @ 9:40 PM
I notice a decided lack of keytar solos.

Feb.01.2007 @ 12:00 AM
Well, normally this might be an impolite question (it is kind of like asking someone how much money they make)... but since this is a music industry style blog, and the topic would be of great interest to many people here, I don't think it is too rude. At least not tactless enough to get me banned, so here goes:

I am curious how well a typical album from Positron Records sells? What percentage of sales is MP3 nowadays? Is a Chris Randel record a significant source of income, or a side project from other things? How wide of in-store distribution do you see? What kind of promotion do you do?

I am particularly interested to know how viable indie record labels are nowadays? It seems like it is easy enough for anyone to start a "record label" nowadays, that can sell MP3s, or run small batches of CDs (You can get fully manifactured CDs nowadays, with proper inserts, full on-disk printing, etc, 50 for $50 bucks... so virtually anyone can have a record), but beyond owning a vanity label I think it is probably much harder to run a record label as a profitable buisness nowadays than it was in the mid-90s. While it is so easy to set up some sort of download buisness, or give downloads away for free, that area is so saturated that I don't see any big profits.

Will there be such things as professional indie record labels in 3 years? Or will all indie music (sans vinyl stuff for the DJs, of course), just be digital download and totally bypass any traditional commerce system?


Feb.01.2007 @ 1:09 AM
Chris Randall
I fully agree with all your statements. Since Positron is an established, going concern, with some relatively big artists (myself, Matt Walker of Garbage/Smashing Pumpkins/Morrisey/etc, Mike Fisher of Machines Of Loving Grace, Wade Alin of about 65 different things) we have an easier time of it. But I _WOULD NOT_ start a label now. This industry is just getting hammered, especially for labels that put out music that isn't emo.

Obviously, SMG was (and still is) the bread and butter of Positron. Won't know how the CR album will do. However, the vast majority of our income comes from licensing to TV shows and games, not selling CDs.



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