Tuesday, December 17, 2013

alionmind News December 17. 2013

And again, the monthly news blog is  a bit late ;) . The reason is roughly the same as last month, and if we continue like this, we will eventually get back to the first of the month ;). As I said, there is  not exactly much new to report. This is of course once again caused by winter time when my creative output is rather moderate in general. In addition, I am currently working hard to bring the alionsonny album "Continuity" in shape. Hah! I have an idea: I fill the space that remains free due to the lack of new releases with a small, long due explanation of how the process of production, quality management and quality assurance works here. I have indeed already explained it all several times on Facebook etc., but there's still allways somone who missed it... and someone is usually unfortunately the majority. So I will outline briefly the process from a song idea idea to the final album version (release version). Here we go:

The Creative Process
  1. I have an idea for a song and create a small rough sketch.
  2. This sketch is stretched to a length of 4-5 minutes and extended to a rough arrangement.
  3. From this sketch I render snippets that appear promising and publish them on the official alionmind Work-In-Progress SoundCloud. This is to give a first early opportunity for listeners suggestions and comments. Here you can say "I like the idea (not)" and give suggestions for improvement for the first time.
  4. This work remains for a period of a few days to several months, more or less untouched, on the hard disk.
  5. Sometime I grab the thing and complete it to an audience compliant version. This is the so-called pre-release version.
  6. This version will be uploaded to the SoundCloud of the project and is now until the completion of the release version available for commenting and criticizing. The Sound Clouds of the projects are:
  7. Once the (traditionaly) 13 songs for a project are finished in form of pre-release versions, I take a close look at each song again and improve what I recognized as improvable since the uploading of the pre-release version. Also I now look at any comments and suggestions from listeners and refer them in the improvement process. The changes between pre-release and release version can be just a few cosmetic improvements such as fixing the mix. But it can also be, that the entire song is changed drastically, as in the case of "Green Hills" (alionsonny album "Continuity"), that there is nothing left of the pre-release version.
  8. Once all 13 tracks are in good shape, the album is finally released.

So you see : You, my listeners, are involved in the entire creative process of the creation of my music. I have already clearly understood one thing during my time as a software developer and IT consultant: A really good product can only be developed in cooperation with the customer. The more the customer is involved in the creative process, the more the product will also be his product. And this in turn increases customer loyalty to HIS product. And I 'm doing my music for you, so it should be your music. With the opportunity for each of you to place your own requests and suggestions at every moment of the creative process, I reach this goal.

So much for the explanation ;) . Finally, I want also to present the sparse creative fruits of the past month:

Willma Poppen - Maschinenmensch
We are joking already here, if Willma Poppen will beat alionsonny at the end regarding to to the album's release date. After all, with the publication of the pre-release version of "Maschinenmensch" the ninth title for the album "Willma im Wunderland" has been completed. And who was able to witness the development of the album "Heroes of the Popp-Culture" in 2012, knows that everything can go pretty fast with Willma sometimes. And four remaining songs are done quickly. Well, I do not promise anything. I recently like to say: It's finished when it's finished ;). With "Maschinenmensch" I have consistently continued what I have already announced shortly after the release of "Heroes of the Popp-Culture" as a future development direction of the Willma Poppen Project: The sound is going more experimental. if you listen to the pre-release versions of the already finished 9 tracks for "Willma im Wunderland" you will notice one thing: This album is colorful. Read more about the genesis of "Maschinenmensch" in the Willma Poppen Blog. And here is "Maschinenmensch":

alionsonny - Brainforest Chapter III
It iss done! The 13th track for the album "Continuity" is here and thus the album is complete in terms of the song material. But as I already said, now the album versions must be created. Since the second part of the "Brainforest" series was published in 2006, some listeners asked again and again if there would be a sequel. For an album with the title "Continuity" I found it only fitting to produce not only tracks detached from the past, but also the continuation of an old, quite popular, idea. Since the first part of the series I had a specific scenario in mind on which I built the "soundscape" of the respective song. It should always have a "mystical jungle feel". In my opinion I achieved that goal with the third part even more successful than with the predecessors. However, "Brainforest Chapter III" is also a lot more complex than the previous parts. Read more about the song on the alionsonny blog. And here's "Brainforest Chapter III":

AlionLive - Return 2 Madeira - Day 11 - Part 3
Finally, the last short part of day 11 was uploaded. This probably most "alcoholic" of all AlionLive video finishes the chaotic 11. day of my trip to Madeira in an absolutely fitting way. But what do I tell? See for yourself:

Ok, and that was it for this time with the news ... STOOOOOP! I just remembered that it might be of interest, for the alionsonny listeners who wait for the album, to know how the progress on "Continuity" is going. And some also do not know which songs will are destined for the album also. Read the absolute up-to-date status on the alionsonny blog.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

alionmind News, 12. November 2013

Hello and welcome to the, once again, a little late alionmind records news blog. The delay has something to do with the fact that the creative output of alionmind, due to internal turmoil in the house, was rather limited in October. For this reason, I would have had little to report. I have now programmed a little software which I can use to analyze the data provided by the distributor Routenote on sales, downloads and streams. And for this reason I can add a few facts about the current best-selling alionmind releases to the few creative news in this news blog. But let's start with the musical releases since the last news blog:

Cimelium - Ad Hominem - De Omnibus Dubitandum

On October 17. the fourth track for the Cimelium album in production "Ad Hominem" was completed. "De Omnibus Dubitandum" as the song is titled, is once more something for lovers of quiet and rather gloomy Cimelium sounds like you know them from the album "Mesopotamia". Read more about it on the Cimelium Blog ->.

Cimelium - Madeira - Santana

Also for lovers of more "happy" Cimelium sounds there is something new available: The 7. track for the album "Madeira" was featured on November 2. This time it takes you to the rough  and tough north coast of Madeira, to Santana.  Read more about it on the Cimelium Blog ->.

Now for the new videos:

AlionLive - Bike ride to the Lüneburg Heath - Day 1 - From Glinde to Lüneburg

I just couldn't stay away from the editing of the video footage which I recorded during my bike ride through the Lüneburg Heath in August. And suddenly I had the first part ready, which is about the first day, when I rode from Glinde to Lüneburg. Read more about it on the alionsonny Blog ->.

AlionLive - Return 2 Madeira - Tag 10 - Teil 2 - Levadawanderung von Camacha nach Vale Paraiso

This three quarter hour monumental work is only for absolute hardcore AlionLive viewers. For 47 minutes, I have pointed the camera during the walk to the front of me and commented on it more or less in detail. Shaky camera, adorably lousy English, grotesque slips and my very own view of things make it all a... well... haunting experience ;). Read more about it on the alionsonny Blog ->.

  The raw and cold statistics

Ok, and that's it, regarding to the creative news. Now we get to the promised insight into the alionmind sales statistics. You do not really think that I publish real sales data (in € or $) here? No, everything is purely based on percentage. I myself was a little surprised when my analysis software gave me the first results. Namely, I had a completely different estimation regarding to the  popularity of certain albums.

The Top 5 Albums

For example: I would have never thought, that Cimeliums "Mesopotamia" is by far the bestseller among the albums sales and Willma Poppen's "Heroes of the Popp-Culture" didn't even make the top 5. TIP: Click the list entries to get to the page of the album on the website of the project!

The top selling 10 single tracks

The number of single sold MP3 downloads has also somewhat surpised me. There were relatively few and the distribution is quite uniform. You see,  Cimeliums "Mesopotamia" is well represented here too, but, to my great surprise, terrific surpassed by "Reggae" by the alionsonny project. TIP: Click on an album title in the list takes you to the album on iTunes. Clicking on a song title in the list, takes you to the song on iTunes. So, if you are currently in the mood for buying something... ;).

The top 10 streams

For the song streams via Spotify, Deezer & Co. everything turns out to be completely different. Here Willma Poppen is clearly in the lead. TIP: Clicking on an album title in the list takes you to the album on Spotify. Clicking on a Songtitle takes you to the song in Spotify. Just have a listen ... ;)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

alionmind promotion - Get your music promoted FOR FREE!

As a result of some recent developments, me and some friends decided to lift our commitment to independent art to a new level. Here is alionmind promotion! What we want to do is, promote independent artists who create unique musical works and raise some awareness for the fact, that there is far more and often far better music out there than the music industry products. Let's face it: It is hard to get anywhere as an independent artist. The music industry invests loads of money into pushing their artists. You do not stand a chance against that. I often compare it with a busker playing guitar in the streets and suddenly somebody shows up with a full PA. You will not hear much of the busker anymore. So, from my point of view, we independent artists need to work together instead of the usual jealousy, I recognize quite often.

alionmind promotion will be a step on that path. We will create and maintain the full set of social media gimmicks available today and thus create a platform to effectively promote independent and original art. I will personally do a Youtube show (details not elaborated yet) in which I promote a selection of independent music I like personally. My friends and me will start this small and slowly expand as needed. Right after I am finished writing this, I will contact some fellow artists and ask them to submit tracks to be featured. If YOU are an independent artist and want some free extra promotion, just write a mail to promo@alionmind.com with a link to your Soundcloud profile. To make things easy for the start, we currently only accept submissions by artists with a Soundcloud profile.

I personally want to keep this service as open as possible, but as everywhere, there have to be some rules. And they are as follows:
  • Songs to be promoted have to be free of any content you do not own / created yourself.
  • Cover versions are currently not accepted.
  • When submitting a track for promotion, please include information about if you are a member of any rights collecting society. Also please say if you allow the use of your track in Youtube videos. We have big plans on getting your music featured by as many Youtubers as possible. There are always people out there, looking for original music for their videos.
  • Tracks by members of rights collecting societies will not be featured on Youtube for well known reasons ;)
  • The final decision about if and how a particular track gets promoted is ours and we do not discuss that matter ;) ...just in case...
This list will most probably grow a bit with the time as we make our experience ;). If there is any question left, please don't hesitate to ask. Just write a mail to promo@alionmind.com and I will do my best to help. 

And now send us your music!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

alionmind news - October 6. 2013

A bit later than scheduled, but here's your monthly news from the alionmind towers. A lot of stuff has been released for you during the past month. I hardly can believe it myself, that this all took place in just one month. Let's look at it piece by piece.

New old free alionsonny album "The Alion Archives"
The biggest event, especially for the old time alionsonny fans, was the release of a new free album, containing 13 tracks of which some are called "legendary" by some people. The album is free as in beer. It is titled "The Alion Archives" and can be downloaded right from the alionsonny homepage. Just CLICK HERE to get your free copy. The album contains mostly reggae-ish songs from around 2006, including colaboration tracks with Colin Mutchler, Ital Roots Players and Scott Durfinger.

2 new songs by the alionsonny project
But there's also brand new music from the alionsonny project. 2 new songs have been completed for the upcoming album "Continuity". And both tracks are a definition of the continuity of the alionsonny project as a music project without genre boundaries. On September the 4. "Pirates of Madeira" was released. It is a lively reggae-ish crossover track, which could aswell ended up as a track for the Willma Poppen project as some may say. It is dedicated to the brave crew of the Nau Santa Maria de Colombo in Madeira. Read more about the song on the alionsonny Blog.

The second track released by the alionsonny project in September is even more one of the strange genre mashups, the alionsonny project is known for. It is, like in the old days, a mix between Irish Folk and Reggae. Unlike the previous Irish Folk Reggae blends done by alionsonny, this track melts the genres together instead of just forcing them to coexist. It all started with the idea to version the classic "Sleng Teng" Reggae riddim and evolved into a Sleng Teng Reggae version of the well known Irish Folk song "Whiskey in the Jar" with the well known tune "Lord of the Dance" as a secondary melody. The track is titled "Ganja in the Jar". Guess why ;). Read more about the story behind the song on the alionsonny Blog.

2 new songs by the Willma Poppen project
Yes, also 2 new songs for the soon to be released Willma Poppen album "Willma im Wunderland" have been finished. First, on September 17th, a new very danceable track, titled "Himmelswiese" was presented to the public. One one hand it is another happy Willma Poppen track. On the other hand you will, as allways spot some unique moments. Read more about the track on the Willma Poppen Blog.

The second new Willma Poppen track is the first collaboration track of the project ever. It is also the first track with vocals, namely spoken word by Donnie Ozone. It also features a quite unusually serious sound for the Willma Poppen project. Read more about the track and the quite interesting story behind it on the Willma Poppen Blog.

2 brand new AlionLive videos
First, the little video series about my bike trip from hamburg to Mölln and Ratzeburg has been completed. Read more about it on the alionsonny Blog. You can also now view the whole video series in one playlist with a total run time of 2 hours and 14 minutes. Nice entertaining for a cozy video evening ;)

I also started working at the remaining video material of my 2012 trip to Madeira "AlionLive Return 2 Madeira". I had a bit of a problem with the video material of day 10 I had to resolve before working further at it. Read more about that trouble on the alionsonny Blog.

Sorry Cimelium fans
I have to beg the Cimelium fans for patience. No new track for the "sibling" albums "Madeira" and "Ad Hominem" has been finished during the past month. Currently I want to get the alionsonny album "Continuity" out at all cost. So stay tuned. I promise: In October you will get at least one new Cimelium track. And i keep my promises. And, hey Cimelium fans: None of the other projects has 2 albums about to be released. So in fact you are the ones who get the most when it is album release date. So keep patient. All comes when it comes ;)

So that's the news from the alionmind multimedia factory. Let's see how things go in October! We cary on, we are alion :D.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

alionmind news - September 1. 2013

Yes, a month has passed allready again since the last alionmind news. Because of the summer activities, no new music has been released. Nope, not a single song by any project. But no fear: I worked at a lot of great song concepts for all projects. So, now that the end of summer is near, it is more than just likely, that a lot of new song releases will take place soon.
And I have not been idle on the video production works also: A total of 3 (!!!) new AlionLive videos have been published since the last alionmind news: 1 for the "Return 2 Madeira" series and 2 for the "Bikeride Hamburg-Mölln-Ratzeburg" series. Here they are:

...and as if this wasn't enough... I added another big project to my stack: I did a bike ride (as announced on Facebook,Twitter etc.) to the Lüneburger Heide and brought back about 3 hours of usable video material. So, here we go: A new AlionLive video series. The first editing pass of the first part of the series is allready done, so it will be only a matter of short time, until we start.
As said: Summer is slowly fading away in Germany and so the time of sitting at home and working at new stuff is here again, instead of the summers outdoor activities and other "distraction". So what's next?
  1. we have a minimum of 5 parts for "AlionLive - Return 2 Madeira" still to do and I would love it to get the series done before a year has passed since I went to Madeira in 2012.
  2. there is still 1 or maybe 2 parts left of the "Bikeride Hamburg-Mölln-Ratzeburg" series.
  3. a number of songs for ALL projects are in "allmost finnished" state.
For the album releases:
  1. The new alionsonny album finally has a title and cover art is allmost done (see below). Still, there are 3 tracks to finnished.
  2. For the Willma Poppen Album "Willma im Wunderland" aswell as for the Cimelium album "Madeira" about half of the songs have been finnished. For both projects some tracks are in allmost finnished state. I am not completely sure that both albums ill be still released in 2013, but will do my best.
  3. The "youngest" album project "Ad Hominem" by Cimelium will take some additional time until it's release date. Roughly 3 of 13 tracks are finnished and because of the albums concept, this is not a quickly produced album. I am thinking positive if I say, that I assume the release date to be around summer 2014.
Ok, and that's it from the alionmind headquarters  this time!
Album coverart concept for the album "Continuity" by the alionsonny project. Release date: Fall/Winter 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Loads of work going on at the project websites!

Since the summer heat turns each task which involves heavy computing into a hazard for the studio hardware, the decision has been made to do some long due work at the project homepages. There has been some troubles with a little security leak in the homebrewn alionmind content management system. For that reason, the alionmind records homepage has been currently taken offline completely. But with the new shiny version of the content management system, a new security paradigm is ready, which allows me to get all homepages up and running in quite a short time.

And so it allready happened, that the homepages of the 3 main projects are available again in better shape than ever. And not just that: All homepages are now also available in German language. I know about some people who will be really happy about that. Look for yourself:

alionsonny's Homepage
Cimelium's Homepage
Willma Poppen's Homepage

If you did not allready recognize it: You can switch languages from the top menu. Just look at the right and you will see a flag and the name of the language you can change to. Just click there -> voila: Different language! ;)

So that was a bunch of work. What's next? As I said, the alionmind records homepage is currently offline. This is not just because of the security leak, but also, because the page will get a completely new layout. Because of the fact, that this page will be not just a bit different from the project pages, I will have to do some real coding work to get it up and running again. But I think, the alionmind nucleus will be online during this week.

By the way... we have no alionmind blog in German language -> on the to-do list ;)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

alionmind News July 14. 2013

A lot of thing have happened at the alionmind labs since the last update on this Blog. And not one month has passed since then. I t is so much that has happened, that I will waste no further time and get right to the facts.

For Willma Poppen's upcomming Album "Willma im Wunderland", 2 new songs have been carefully crafted. One could be a perfect sequel for the previous tracks of the "Spacejourney" series by the alionsonny project. The track maybe a bit unusual for the Willma Poppen project, but stuff happens ;) Here is "RaumReise":
The other new song is quite complicated to describe and has it's own story, which you best read at the official Willma Poppen Blog. And here is "Karussell":
Excellent news also for the fans of elaborated reggae-ish and ska-ish sound madness by the good old alionsonny project. Also 2 new songs have been crafted during the past month. You folks wait for the new album for so long now, that the decision has been finally made, that the new alionsonny album has absolute priority. And as a start in that progress, the 2 new typical alionsonny productions were  created. Both tracks have a slight and heavily mangled Ska influence. The first one, "Flight of the Butterfly" is a rather lightweight happy bouncing thing. Listen for yourself:
The second track sounds not just a bit more "serious" and heavier in my opinion. It reminds a lot of songs like "Revolution Now" from 2007. Here is "The Storm":
So we are just 3 more tracks away from the new alionsonny album!

And of cause also the audiovisual side of alionmind has been served. There is also 2 new AlionLive videos available for you to watch. One is part 2 of the "Biketrip from Hamburg to Mölln and Ratzeburg" series:

and the other one is the long awaited continuation of the "AlionLive - Return 2 Madeira" series. Want to go on a mountain hike along a Levada with alionsonny? Here you go:

And that's it for our first monthly blog news issue. Yes, me and my friends will do our best to give you a shout here at the Blog at least once a month.

Keep rockin'

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Here is alionmind records!

Many times I thought about just closing this blog as there are the several project blogs and I have enough to do, keeping them at least a bit up to date. But I know that some of the listeners of alionmind music would love to have a central blog for all projects. It is quite obvious: Not just a few listeners of one alionmind project listen to the music of the other projects too. At least they want to be informed why a certain project makes no progress, because delay in project x is caused by heavy work at project y usually ;).

So after discussing the topic "alionmind Blog" with the crew, we were all convinced, that this blog has definately it's purpose... even though it was not used according to thast in the past. Crew? Aren't you doing this all by yourself, Sonny? Aren't you a one man team anymore? Nope! There is great news: Even though I am still not able to employ anybody, by now I have some "employees", or better call them volunteers. The team is by now 5 persons strong, including me. If you are a friend on Facebook, you may have seen 2 of my partners there. With the exception of Kate Kuhn, they prefer to stay anonymous. 3 of the team members live in Hamburg, the other 2 abroad. Those kind folks help me to keep the promo running and to keep everything organized. No, we are not big yet, but we are prepared for everything that may be ahead.

So this blog will in the future be the nucleus of all announcements by alionmind records and also AlionLive. The alionsonny blog will from now on solely function as the project blog for the alionsonny project and AlionLive. So, the only RSS stream you need to get all the latest news about alionsonny, Cimelium, Willma Poppen, AlionLive and all the other stuff, is the one on this blog.

There will be a German version of this blog also once we see, that it has enough readers ;)

 There is some new music been just released by Willma Poppen

and also by Cimelium