New Label Imprint and Website Refresh

Posted March 17, 2013

So why two label names? The answer is complicated and simple. I think the real problem stems from the fact that John and I have always had two personalities that we've tried to meld together for everything we do. That works great when we're writing material and creating artwork for an album. Our differences actually work as strengths and we both tend to go where neither one of us would go alone and I am happy that he brings his mad scientist cap to the proceedings and he's probably happy that I bring a desire to cut through the artifice to our work as well.

But with a label name how do you meet in the middle and satisfy the hopes of both individuals? When it comes down to it, we've needed one category that's more cerebral, experimental and on the fringe to brand Remanence related material and another category to capture the more organic music and photography that I've been producing.

Cultivating a label is a lot like building a mythos around your idea. You try to create a storyline that's believable but at the same time projects a fictional world that could exist alongside the real one. The idea needs to have meaning for you or there's no point doing it in the first place.

But, I'm not even entirely sure that most listeners really care about great label names anymore, do they? In our formative years, John and I were enamored with a few of the greats in the pre-digital age such as 4ad, Wax Trax, Projekt, and Cleopatra - for us, they captured our imaginations with their logos, typography, artwork and artist roster. Somehow I want to believe that it still matters. I mean, there's no way we're ever gonna be big, or rise to the level of Vaughn Oliver but we can certainly try to find something that resonates with our identities as individuals and musicians.

Oddly, it wasn't until I was finishing artwork for the upcoming Ecotone album that I realized a change had to happen in conjunction with it's release. Geophonic Records had been in the back of my mind for some time. I found the word "geophony" while reading Bernie Krause's book Wild Soundscapes and he used the word to describe the sound that the environment makes - such as water, air, earth, etc. Given that so much of what I do is about recording sounds in nature and photographing it - this was an obvious choice.

As for Resonant Effects, it wasn't much of a stretch to use it as the more science-minded, experimental side for Remanence material. For me, it conjures images of electromagnetic occurrences, measuring seismic activity or trying to capture EVP recordings in a charged location. We typically do a lot of audio experiments and work with chance operations and randomness and research scientific journals or historical material of interest when we work together, so "Resonant Effects" actually is a very good fit.

At first, considering two imprints seemed kind of redundant. But after hashing it out off and on over the years, it's also a reasonable way to solve a practical problem. And if we're looking for other examples, it's really not all that unusual for labels to have two or more imprints. Glacial Movements has two, Hypnos may have three, and And/Oar has four imprints. So, we're in good company and it's not all that unusual.

So obviously changing the label name brought with it a number of other needed changes. One being that the website had to be updated. John has wanted a darker site for a long time. After trying out some design ideas, I have to say I like the new color scheme a lot. It works great with the heavy focus on photography and conjuring a sense of mystery.

And now that we've made the change - I feel a sense of relief and freedom and John and I are both happy. Thankfully, we didn't put any new material out during that time, so we only have to tweak the artwork for past releases just once - from Mpath Records to Geophonic Records for Aperus related material and Resonant Effects for Remanence material.

Brian McWilliams

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