Five questions for Time Released Sound

As Colin Herick states, Time Released Sound is “basically a beatless label focusing on ambient, drone, neo-classical IDM and pseudo-eccentric foltronica.” Find out more about this audio-visual boutique via our Five questions profile.

Igloo :: When did Time Released Sound start up and what was your inspiration?

Time Released Sound (Colin) :: I started working on the packaging for my first three releases in late 2010. I thought if I had my first packaging ready in advance, that it would be easier for me to lure the artist’s I intended to approach, for release, into my Time Released Soundweb! Those first three releases, coming out in early 2011, were by the Japanese ambient drone artist, Shaula, and by the two Italian sound artists Fabio Orsi and Alessio Ballerini.

TRS :: I’ve always been interested in unusually packaged music, and in the recent past had started to buy releases from smaller, creatively minded labels like Cotton Goods, Fluid Audio, Students of Decay and others. The Cotton Goods label in particular was a major inspiration for me, and its owner Craig Tattersall was most helpful in my early days, with advice and support.

I had always thought that my artwork and design sensibility lent itself to musical packaging design, but no one ever asked—I suppose I started Time Released Sound as a way of finally getting what I wanted!

Igloo :: Who were some of your initial artist relations and did your location help or hinder progress?

TRS :: After the aforementioned three artists, I’ve had releases from Maps and Diagrams, Wil Bolton, David Newlyn, Sonmi 451, Plinth, and others. Everyone I’ve had dealings with so far has been most professional in all aspects, and in some areas, particularly the technical end of this madness, much more proficient than I! With each release the learning curve, for me, lessens a bit, mainly through the help in this regard, that these fine talented folks give me while working together.

One year + later, I’m now on my 14th release. 12 of those 14 releases have been with artists that live overseas. Obviously this is not the problem that it would have been 10 or more years ago, as the digital age, with its ease of communication and file/image sharing, has made the fact of just about anyone’s location, or distance from me, a non issue. In fact, I’m even more interested in working with people in extremely unusual locales.

I’d like to think that everyone that buys a Time Released Sound package is getting something completely original, which although perhaps similar to others in its particular edition, is something entirely personal and unique.

Igloo :: What were some of the challenges (if any) starting up a label? …and how did you envision the label to stand apart?

TRS :: As I said I’ve been greatly inspired by some of the other smaller “boutique” labels that have been doing this for several years already. I suppose that in a way, I wanted to take the whole idea of limited edition musical releases to the next level. Rather than develop any particular stylistic or design oriented “look” to my label, I wanted to make each release stand on its own as a particular sort of folly, in an edition of little art pieces, of some sort. I didn’t want my releases to be all about the lovely photography and beautifully printed paper. Although that generally plays a large part in what I’m attempting to put together with the TRS releases. I wanted to insure—in creatively unusual ways—that every copy of a particular edition was unique in itself, somehow. Whether this means including a specially personalized Polaroid print with each copy, as I’ve done with several releases now, or uniquely collaged outer boxes and envelopes, I’d like to think that everyone that buys a Time Released Sound package is getting something completely original, which although perhaps similar to others in its particular edition, is something entirely personal and unique.

Igloo :: What is your motivation in keeping the label moving forward into the next decade?

TRS :: After 14 fairly labor intensive and somewhat complicated releases I feel as though I’m just getting started. It’s a balancing act between releasing as many artists/releases as I’d like to, and finding the time to do something extra special and different with the packaging, for all of them. There are obviously so many hours in the day…at this point, at times I feel as though too many of those hours are filled with communicating and promoting, which although, of course, is absolutely necessary, greatly reduces the time available for the actual making of these things.

What year is it? 2012? I can’t even think ahead to next year, much less the next decade haha…however I’d like to think that at some point I’ll be slaving away at TRS100—hopefully I will have enlisted a little help by then and improved my distribution network as well!

Igloo :: Tell us more about how you (and your staff?) take the label’s “sound” to the listeners and fans. Distribution, campaigns, live shows, word of mouth etc.

TRS :: Oh My! I’m afraid it’s just me at this point…at times even I find that hard to believe! At this point I am basically a “beatless” label. Ambient/drone, neo classical IDM, pseudo-eccentric folktronica…those are some of the catch phrases I toss out when asked what sort of music I am releasing, and am interested in releasing. These days I’m particularly enamored with field recordings and soundscapes, and their usage in a lot of the music being made in the circles I’ve found myself swimming in. I suppose I’m releasing what might be called cerebral and experimental sounds.

Facebook in particular, I suppose, has been most helpful in getting my label and its releases/packaging/imagery noticed by those that might have some interest in what I’m doing here. The building up of a fairly large mailing list, and seemingly and appreciatively loyal following has been most beneficial as well. At this point I’m selling about 70% of my releases myself, and 30% or so is going to distributors. Distributorship is something I will be working on expanding this year, when I can find the time, as it is both a way to sell more copies and at the same time get some exposure in quarters I may not have thought to look. Any potential distributors are most welcome to get in touch with me through the website.

For more information about Time Released Sound, visit their website at timereleasedsound.com.

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