Des Astres d’Or is an Artist run Platform for the Combined Publication of Avant Garde Music and Original Art by the Composer.
It only issues limited Edition Vinyl and original Artwork drawing the personal Stamp of the Artist. Des Astres d’Or is not a Music Label in the old classical Sense. Because of it’s Concept, it functions more as a Gallery or Platform than as a Musiclabel.
Des Astres d’Or believes Art should stay far away from Contemporary Society. That it should live as a Hermit far from People. Or live as a Clochard under the Bridge, as an Outcast of Modern Society. Art should stay far from Modern Society’s Reasonings. Maybe then it has a little Chance to preserve it’s own pure Nature.
Des Astres d’Or is issuing Artist Records in very limited Editions only. With original Artwork by the Artist and Hand Cut Vinyl Records. The Vinyl Records are cut on real vinyl with the same quality as a normal pressed record. No inferior lathe cuts…
Des Astres d’Or likes Music to be presented in a very personal Way, far from any Commercialism, but with a strong Emphasis on Music’s original Connection with Art…
Editions range from 1 to 25 Originals.
I’ve always wondered why there are so little original works sold in music. Editions of 1 or in a small series. The focus has always been on commercial releases in commercial numbers. Compare that to the visual arts where the artist sells his original work, and work in small series.
For bigger circulation there is the possibility of posters, books, etc.
That being said, the artworld is by far not in a healthy state… Highly commercialized and caught in it’s own ‘art for the sake of art’ concepts and sickened and corrupted by modern society, I’ve lost connection with it a long time ago… However, there will always be artists who work in the perifery of this misery… The contradiction of the fact that experimental musicians, poets, filmers, performance artists (etc) have never really been accepted in the artworld is the cause that in these places still very interesting artists can be found, who’s work is sometimes very personal. Because of their ongoing exclusion, their work had a bigger chance to stay pure… Basically, a lot of these people are in some way outsiders of the artworld. (Then again, aren’t we all… Thank god…)
Des Astres d’Or issues music in very limited editions, with each vinyl record paired to original artwork by the artist. I personally love the combination of art and music and strongly feel this is the perfect form of issuing music.
Whichever way one looks at it, when releasing music in a physical form, one is automatically bound to a visual and tactile experience.
This experience mixes with the music contained in this form (CD, etc.). So why neglect the form as if it is not really that important. It will influence the perception of the music nonetheless and therefore it deserves attention of the musician/artist.
I am an advocate of total art. There are many great examples in architecture which I love… Film is perhaps the most perfect form in terms of total art. The artist record is possibly even a greater example of total art, since several different sensory experiences come combined in one artform. Sound, vision, touch, smell and the ‘memory of the material’ all come together in the artist record. In this, the ‘memory of the material’ is one of the greatest ways a musician communicates with his audience. When the artist utilizes material to compile a work of art, it’s mental energy directly transferred to material. The audience can sense this energy consciously or subconsciously by means of sight, touch, smell and other sensory experiences. I strongly feel, all objects are alive and take in energy, memories, from events which happen to them.
The tactile experience is another important element of artist records. For now it goes too far to discuss this in detail here, but I will come back to the subject of artist records and it’s connection to total art in another text.
There is a great difference between music issued in a standardized industrial and commercial form (hence the MP3, CD, LP in commercial volumes) and music issued in a personal form with original art of the musician.
Des Astres d’Or offers artists the possibility to present their music in the most personal way possible.
I always find it strange that only so little musicians care about the physical form wherein their music is presented to the world. Or worse even, those who don’t care seem to lack the sensitivity to even being aware of their blunted perceptibility or lack of awareness.
Music is one part of the universe of the musician. It can be interesting to see how other parts of this universe may look, for instance the visual part. Some musicians may choose to make their own visual art, others choose to form a collaboration with a visual artist, when they feel it represents a part of their music.
Half of the actual edition goes directly to the artist. So you can directly support the artist by buying the specific record personally from the artist. Or, alternately, you buy it from Des Astres d’Or, by which you support the platform. The platform can only exist by the financial support of the interested music & art lover. When you really like these kind of publications, in which music is being released in the most personal way possible- with handmade artwork of the musician- and you buy the released titles, then you actively participate in keeping this platform alive and you help to create a place where on a regular basis new interesting works of musicians in experimental and new music are being published. We (artists and label) néed your support. Because clearly, this ultra small corner of the musicworld will never become a financial goldmine, ever. For that, it has too little commercial potential. At the same time, most artists who are active in this discipline, are not supported by any donations or art-fundings. Only a few are able to get a full income directly from their work. Often artists are forced to do other work besides their music. This is a far from ideal situation which is ultimately detrimental to the artistic flow and quality of the works. So, by buying, the audience is directly helping the artists and label to continue creating and publishing new works… In a sense, this is a very beautiful and personal way to create, publish and ultimately, enjoy the music.
There’s a strength in obscurity
For those who find meaning in the words above, Des Astres d’Or will hopefully become a beautiful place to connect with music in it’s most personal physical form.
Raymond Dijkstra, 15 October 2017.
“Our sight is being corrupted on an unimaginable scale. Daily it is drowned and blunted by a flood of the most banal consumerist culture which, aided by television, commercial film and advertising, degrades our visual sensibilities. To force the eyes to ‘stop’, to rest on an object and to enable its comprehension by our visual perceptions, is becoming more difficult with our increasingly superficial powers of observation.
Sight and hearing have been ‘spoiled’ by an audio-visual-heavy society. I think that just the ‘primitivistic’ touch could bring some fresh authenticity to creation.”
I like to stand up for Degeneration…
Recording of Music should not merely be a dry Registration of an Event. It’s Qualities (like Color or Imperfections) should reflect the Music and it should give the right Atmosphere for the Mind to thrive in.
I always find that Distortion is a genuine Part of my Music… I’ve never been a Supporter of clean Music. Even the cleanest Music often benefits from a slight Amount of Distortion, wether it being Hiss or just because of primitive Equipment. Minimal Music with Distortion always sounds better than the Same recorded super clean. An old Recording of an Opera has a certain Charm over it which is never possible to attain with perfect recording Techniques.
In the second Half of the 80’s there was an interesting Shift in Music. Lot’s of psychedelic Bands suddenly started to do Albums which were recorded in the Studio with perfect Sound. Away with the Distortion and Imperfections went the Filth and Psychedelia in the Music. You can even feel how the clean Sound affects the Musicians who’s playing became more controlled. Those Bands which sounded incredibly weird, degenerated and dirty sounded like a caged impotent Beast on their Studio Albums.
For me, Distortions in all it’s minute Forms, wether it being Feedback, overloaded Sounds, Overmodulation, Hiss, bad Microphones, Deterioration of Tape, cracking Volume Faders, Disbalances of any Kind, failing Equipment, false Instruments etc, etc. are like the Flaws in the Psyche, translated to Sound. Like the overloaded high pitched Feedback you hear in your inner Ear when your Brain is overstimulated by Mind altering Substances… The Swirling in your Head, of Sounds going in endless spiraling Circles, or Sounds spiraling into Oblivion, it is never a clean organized Sound. The Brain subconsciously is aware of all the Dirt Particles and other Imperfections in both Sound, Image, Touch and any other sensory Experiences. Sound and Image are distorted. Smell and Touch are as well. Everything is out of Position to a certain Degree. And Nothing is clean.
My Music should be a Reflection of my Innerworld. Since it’s not clean… my Music is not clean…
It’s not merely a pathetic Excuse for my bad Recording Techniques… Although perhaps partly… More important is that I’m Way to occupied with where the Sounds are leading me. Where I lead the Sound and becoming in a State wherein it’s no longer clear if I started the Sound or if I’m being lead by it. Creativity, Confusion, Chaos… In this State I’m seldomly capable of giving the right Amount of Attention to my Recordings which would lead to more perfect Recordings. So yes, the Recordings are bad and full with technical Failures, but it’s simply a Reflection of the State of my Psyche at that specific Point in Time… I’m not interested per sé in Professionality. It has it’s Benefits to being able to make perfect Recordings, when you chóose to. For a technically optimal Result it’s even necessary to have a maximum Amount of Control and professional Knowledge. However, at certain Moments, especially when it comes to the actual Creating of Music, I like to let go of all Control and just start playing… The bad Recordings and imperfect Recording Surroundings (the Studio, recording Space etc.) therefor become not only a Reflection of my State while playing, it also interacts with me whíle playing… The Hiss, Feedback and Distortion, it subconsciously inspires me, stimulates me.
A sudden Burst of overmodulated Sound in my Plate Reverb can throw me in a mental Deep. Feedback may take me with it in a Spiraling Course. The constant Hiss already lays down a nice Carpet of Disfunction…
A Misstep, a Fall, a Mistake, a faulty Judgement, a Projection of the Self, a Cup which slides out of your Hands and scatters on the Floor, a Crack in the Wall of your Livingroom, waking up screaming from a bad Dream, a Misunderstanding, a faded Color, being attacked by vicious Dogs on the Street while daydreaming, a Kink in your Head, Discomfort, a Man talking on an imaginary Televisionscreen on your Bedroom Wall, your House burning, a Car Crash. These give Life it’s true Meaning…
Failures in Sound are for me a Reflection of Failures in the Mind. People always tend to strive for Perfection and Cleanliness… That’s why Plastic was invented. Like Plastic, clean Sound is… dead……… It may be a nice masturbatory Project for some Audio Engineers, but, it has never directly lead to a great Performance of any Musician. The Dirt in Sound is for me like the Yellowing of the Colors in 15th Century Paintings of Dutch Masters. And German Expressionist Painting would never have the same Impact when there would not have been a certain Degree of Disfunction. Even the Ruins of Persepolis look better than they would have ever been in their full original Glory…