Silent Records

Stillstream features the netlabel Silent Records this month, and today’s program digs into the archives of that excellent label. Based in San Francisco and founded by Kim Cascone, the original label was founded in 1986, folded in 1998, and is now enjoying a recent reboot thanks to the renewed efforts of its founder.

Silent Records brings a catalog of classic, high quality ambient music back to life. Please check out the full catalog here: https://silentrecords.bandcamp.com/

The video program today features a replay of the excellent night photography of Silva Capitana.

  • “Cloud Structure Silence” – The Heavenly Music Corporation – In A Garden Of Eden (1993)
  • “Seafloor Starlight” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “The Quiet Mind” – The Heavenly Music Corporation – In A Garden Of Eden (1993)
  • “Ambient To Be Here” – The Heavenly Music Corporation – In A Garden Of Eden (1993)
  • “Lunar Phase” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “Dawn Chorus” – The Heavenly Music Corporation – In A Garden Of Eden (1993)
  • “St. Giga” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “Nautilus” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “Cloudless Light” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “Orgone” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Lunar Phase (1995)
  • “Reentry” – The Heavenly Music Corporation – In A Garden Of Eden (1993)
  • “Sunfish = Starflower” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Consciousness III (1994)
  • “Riding Windhorse (Buddhafields)” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Consciousness III (1994)
  • “Anechoic (whole cd)” – Heavenly Music Corporation – Anechoic (1995)

We asked founder Kim Cascone to tell us how the regeneration of Silent Records came about. He wrote this note:

Resurrecting Silent

While suffering a bout of tendinitis in both my knees — which kept me from touring last fall — I decided to concentrate on developing projects and working in the studio.

I’d been a fan of the web radio station SomaFM for many years and out-of-the-blue I had the idea of creating a station for SomaFM that played the back catalog of Silent Records. I sent them an email and within an hour I received a response saying they were totally on board with this idea and set up a time to meet with me.

During the meeting the founder, Rusty Hodges, floated the idea of my restarting the label. I found the prospect of running a label again overwhelming and dismissed the idea out of hand. Later on while chatting with a friend, who also runs a label, I mentioned my meeting with SomaFM and he said that I definitely “had to reboot Silent,” “that I owed it to the fans and the artists” and informed me that an almost cult-like fan base had developed in the 18 year dormancy.

This was news to me because I had been out of touch with the ambient scene since selling the label in 1996. After discussing matters further with friends I found the idea to be less daunting that I had originally thought because I could do almost everything digitally now.

My label boss friend put in touch with the fine folks at The Orchard and I signed a distribution deal with them. We have 12 reissues available in late April and more in the works.

There will also be new Silent projects one of which is a new “From Here To Tranquility” compilation featuring new works by the original artists on Silent in addition to some new artists invited to the fold whose work compliments the “Silent sound.”

We have other plans on the drawing board and many fans are delighted to see the label rise from the ashes and continue to release high quality ambient music again. Something very much needed in these dark times.”

Kim Cascone 3/25/16

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