Alameda’s Time Released Sound in a Unique Music Industry Niche

In 2011, an unlikely idea flowered in the mind of Alameda-based artist Colin Herrick. Following three long-standing threads of interest – classical and folk ambient and electroacoustic music, expertise in printmaking, and the acquisition of collectibles, a practice dating back to childhood – Herrick began producing at the handmade, one of a kind, limited edition. luxury vinyl albums, as well as CDs and digipaks (custom CD cases).

Of English musician Orla Wren’s album “The Blind Deaf Stone,” above, Alameda artist Colin Herrick says Wren “lived a pastoral life on an old farm, surrounded by cows and sheep. That’s why I used turn-of-the-century animal prints I had in a book I kept on hand, waiting for a pastoral sound to occur.(photo courtesy of Time Released Sound)

Over the past 10 years, the label he named Time Released Sound, referring to a clock without hands and the timelessness of music and artistry for each album, has released 100 albums. A sub-label, Time Released Materials, offers six albums which, according to Herrick in an interview, are “a little louder, more rhythm-focused and, in the case of one album, ‘The Classical’s Diptych’, something with voices”.

Housed in a cozy boutique in the city’s East End, Time Released Sound shares space and philosophical superstructure with Moodswing (instagram.com/moodswingmarket), a vintage store at 2707 Encinal Ave. owned by Herrick’s work and life partner, Maria Chenut. Moodswing sells clothing, barware, vintage accessories and art sculptures.

“She has two-thirds, and I have one-third, divided by a curtain,” Herrick explains. “His shop is an extremely tight and well-stocked cabinet of curiosities. I am a netnik.

Their different styles stop at home decor, which means the seamless collaboration they enjoy combines Chenut’s skills as a seamstress, costume designer and collage artist with Herrick’s craftsmanship as an engraver and a prolific propensity to go to flea markets and garage sales to find vintage books. , old gift and candy boxes, children’s board games, card games, film cartridges, matchbooks, wallpaper, sheet music, cards and other materials used in the design and construction of each deluxe edition package.

In 2011, artist Colin Herrick, above, owner and operator of music label Alameda Time Released Sound, began producing one-of-a-kind, limited-edition, handmade luxury vinyl albums, as well only CDs and digipaks (custom CD cases), and since then his label has released 100 albums. (photo courtesy of Time Released Sound)

Together they organize submissions from musicians around the world which, as recognition of Time Release has grown, now circulate freely, with sometimes a new demo arriving daily. Herrick admits to having specific musical tastes that range towards atmospheric minimalist electronic and instrumental works that veer towards contemporary takes on the traditions and structures of classical, jazz or folk music.

“I get way more music than I can get out. I’ve averaged one album a month for the past 10 years. It’s a good problem to have – too much music – because I can be selective. Maria listens a lot, and I’m much more instinctive. I know right away if this is the kind of music I want to sit with for a long time. Even so, I respond to everyone who sends music – not with a form letter but with a personal note. In the world of small labels like mine, I’m known for being reactive.

Asked to speak specifically about two releases selected for the variety they demonstrate, Herrick says English musician Orla Wren’s “The Blind Deaf Stone” is pastoral.

“He lived a pastoral life on an old farm, surrounded by cows and sheep. That’s why I used turn-of-the-century animal prints I had in a book I kept on hand, waiting for a pastoral sound to occur. Inside each deluxe edition on a string is an old 1930’s cigarette card (with a picture) of the Scottish Hills.

Herrick makes 50 to 100 deluxe editions of each release—each handcrafted with thematically related components—and up to 200 standard vinyl editions or digipak CD releases. Collectors of his work scan most of the deluxe editions, but the standard versions are offered at lower prices and have nearly equal fast-selling records.

Asked to select a release to highlight, Herrick chooses “Ars Moriendi” from Polish band Bastarda above. The instrumental trio of clarinet, contrabass clarinet and cello on the album transforms medieval liturgical compositions into mysterious long-lasting jazz pieces. (photo courtesy of Time Released Sound)

“Errances Fractales” by Catherine Watine is the French artist’s third album produced by Time Released. Herrick says Watine’s neoclassical and minimal-symphonic music is a favorite.

“I just think she’s a genius and her music is fantastic. She was open to what I do and gave me no direction. The packaging just popped out of my head; sometimes inspired by the title , sometimes by other things.

The luxury “Wanderings” packages incorporate images of a 1980s sculpture made by his father, Ken Herrick, 125-year-old Parisian newspaper advertisements with fractal patterns of cut-out snowflakes, a page from a textbook of antique piano instructions and an insert with various music reviews in French and English and pictures drawn by French artist Guillaume Mazel.

Asked to select a release to highlight, Herrick chose “Ars Moriendi” by Polish band Bastarda. The instrumental trio of clarinet, contrabass clarinet and cello on the album transforms medieval liturgical compositions into mysterious long-lasting jazz pieces. Herrick struggles to find words to describe the flickering influences of spiritual gravity and enlightenment on the album.

“Haunted? Medieval Jazz? I don’t know what to call it, but I chose to use old prints from the era, vintage wall photographs from Eastern Europe, approved incense by the Catholic Church and 60 period-specific matchbooks from various morgues and funeral homes.

This indicates that if Herrick only finds limited stock of an item related to a specific location or concept, it will pass.

“Because my works are made in editions of 50 to 100, I need to find that many copies to be able to make each one an original. If there are only 25 matchbooks, I can resist that.

Looking ahead, Herrick embarked on his biggest project ever: a “large, 288-page, 10-square-inch hardcover book” that includes double-page spreads for each of the label’s 106 releases, as well that “behind-the-scenes” content. The 500 copies printed on offset press in Singapore will have two CDs embedded in the sleeve. The music is a compilation of new and unreleased tracks from 40 of the musicians Herrick has worked with.

“I’ll make a portion, maybe 50-100, in deluxe form with a handmade cover, some art stuff in the pockets, and maybe even a special box it will come in. “

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the book is expected to begin in mid-March. Visit timereleasedsound.com and timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com online for updates and more details on Herrick’s activities.

Lou Fancher is a freelance writer. Contact her at [email protected]

Alice P. Darby