Several months ago, a friend & I, he lives in California and I reside in Oregon, were discussing the distinction between vocation and avocation. The former refers to a form of lifelong work or career and the latter refers to a long-term pursuit as well but the distinction is that avocations are generally regarded as voluntary pursuits; frequently avocations are not remunerated by much public recognition or financial compensation. My avocation is writing and the blogsite is the primary outlet for this pursuit. His avocation is music.
The friend, Jim Goetsch, has his day job, as I have my day job, but he has devoted himself to performing, composing, and producing music; these days his musical focus has been on electronica and jazz idioms. He is also an active member of the L.A. electronic fusion band, Stratos Ensemble. Over the past two decades, he has created his own micro-record label, Psychosomatic Records, and created/produced his own music, the Subversive Element project, as well as producing/promoting other electronica artists.
Micro labels, micro-record labels, and/or other alternative music release platforms, are not a new development in the music rather it has existed in various forms for many years. Most famously, the British group, Radiohead, spotlighted this developing phenomenon with the 2007 self-release of In Rainbows. Users could initially download the CD and pay-what-they-wanted. It has now become more and more common for new bands to self-produce, self-release, and self-promote their own initial musical work, as a complement to their touring, as they seek to grow their fan base. And established musicians extend their musical career by self-producing and self-releasing their own material; such as, the progressive rock musician Steve Hillage (System 7) or the alternative rock band Primitive Radio Gods, both of whom started their careers with major record labels and now release their music through their respective websites.
Website information is below for Jim Goetsch’s micro-label:
Website information for Stratos Ensemble:
Check out this sample track from his latest CD, Night Music. Track #7, Weather, includes my digitalized voice that Jim incorporated in the final mix.