Believe in Billy Records
A netlabel offering electronic music - techno, electro, ambient, experimental and more
January 2022: Nighttime is a source of new perspectives and surprising revelations.
Mental Health Consumer (Brian Ruskin) returns with "Too Warm to Be This Late, Too Chilled to Feel Secure", an ambient journey through the late evening and early morning hours to accompany your sleepless activities. Entirely beatless, the album's emphasis is on shifting atmospheres and sensations. Tracks are named simply by the changing hours, so the listener can project their own meanings. The record is the spiritual sequel to 2016's "Early Spring Midnight Walks With Us" (released on Archaic Horizon records), another ambient excursion through the evening. In addition to the individual tracks, Mental Health Consumer shares a Continuous Mix that emphasizes the transitions in mood as the hours progress - sometimes subtle and gradual, sometimes reactionary and significant, hopefully, contemplative and inspiring.
October 2020: Mental Health Consumer returns with an album that's fitting sonic description of 2020. The term "Nonplus" means being in a state of surprise, confusion and not being certain how to react. MHC has long drawn inspiration from the mixture of awesome and unsettling in nature and state, and for "nonPlus", that balance is more tenuous than ever. Otherworldly basslines and urgent melodies mix with morphing ambient chords, and the energy ebbs and flows between extremes of calm and chaotic. Inspired by eclectic mid-90's to 2000's techno/IDM, as well as a range of electronic soundtracks, "nonPlus" is an immersive experience that may occasionally unnerve or confuse, will often relax, and certainly will surprise the listener.
Free to download via Archive.org
Free to download via Bandcamp
April 2020: It's been almost 2 years since we've heard from Advances in Obsolete Technology, so Believe in Billy Records is excited to share their new album. "The Perceptual Process" explores themes of refocusing, organizing, interpreting and responding to stimuli during times of uncertainty. Written and produced while isolated at home (March-April 2020), the moods and electronic genres range from subdued to manic, anxious to hopeful, organic to synthetic. A bit of creative therapy for the producer and hopefully for the listener, as well. Free to stream and download via Archive.org.
April 2020: Gears in the Rain- "Brightness and Contrast"
Gears in the Rain's production style is hard to describe. Some call it IDM, ambient electronic, or laptoptronica. Others concentrate on the field recordings, found sounds, live instruments and label it "experimental". What about the drones and the glitchy patterns? Well, the results are always surprising and challenging, regardless of the attempts to categorize. "Brightness and Contrast" explores the perception of natural spaces with reverence and awe. it is released 17 April, 2020 on the eclectic Cold Fiction Music.
September 2019: Announcing ESCALE and the monthly "Good Light" release project:
"ESCALE": n., a stop, a port of call, a station on a journey.
From November 2018 and continuing for a year, the legendary electronic band Underworld released a new track/video/archival music piece every week. Sometimes experimental, often fully-formed, the project (called "Drift Series 1") was collected and released en masse after the 52 weeks, and also gave rise to a sample LP that plays as well as any classic album, except it was assembled in a unique way.
Inspired by the Drift series, Jiri Blazek and Brian Ruskin have reset as ESCALE to begin their own ambitious project/journey of releasing new tracks as episodes every month on the 29th, beginning September 29 and continuing until...? Demos, experiments, and finalized songs will eventually be compiled into an album called "Wait for a Good Light". Their means of collaborating via email and across the ocean has evolved over the years, but now is revitalized: there's a new challenge to produce works for the monthly release, but also no limits on how/when the final album should appear. The process may be longer, but is more enjoyable and includes chances to revisit past episodes, archival material and varied inspiration, as well as gain listener feedback to shape the eventual record.
Each month's ESCALE "The Good Light" episode is available for free on ESCALE's Bandcamp page. Enjoy the stations on this journey.
June 2019: JIRI BLAZEK & BRIAN RUSKIN - "Across The Ocean"
Another eclectic album from the archives of Mr. Blazek and Mr. Ruskin, this one dating back to 2013. After spending over a year producing their debut LP "Walk in the Park", the second record came together relatively quickly - only 6 months! The title inspired by their disparate geography on different sides of the Atlantic, and their unique perspectives on production, this is a record that finds the writers confident in their collaboration, inspired by distinct source material that evolved into something collectively much stronger. From the keys-in-the-ignition, pedal-to-the-floor opener, the driving electro influences are felt throughout. However, Blazek & Ruskin aren't afraid to alternate between breezy ambience and aggressive techno. "Across The Ocean" was archived for years as the two worked on other challenging projects, together and apart. However, this collaboration has always inspired nostalgia for summer's gone, styles explored, and experiments shared, almost effortlessly - a joy to produce and listen. It holds together well over the years, across the ocean.
January 2019: MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMER - "Who Do You Think You Are"
"Who Do You Think You Are?" - a question that could be confrontational or contemplative. A fitting duality for an album this varied. It's been 3 years since Mental Health Consumer's most recent album, 2016's ambient excursion "Early Spring Midnight Walks with Us" on Archaic Horizon Records), a long gap considering the prolific catalog from 2006 on. Whereas "Early Spring Midnight..." was entirely beatless, with subtly shifting atmospheres and sparse melodies, there's nothing subtle or so soothing about "Who Do You Think You Are". From the get-go, there's an aggressive edge to the analog synths and digital bass lines, layers of drum loops and unnerving effects. Thematically and stylistically, the new LP hearkens back to MHC's rough-and-ready debut "Help Us Help You", covering a diverse set of electronic genres, mysterious subjects and propelled by big beats and brazen melodies. So who does Mental Health Consumer think they are -practitioners of ambient or aggro techno? Both, it seems, and continually exploring how to merge genres and evolve their unique sound.
October 2018: Jiri Blazek and Brian Ruskin - "Starlight EP"
A companion to the "Walk in the Park" LP, this collection features standout album track "Starlight", alongside an extended dance remix, and several other remixes from the sessions, circa 2011-2012. This was the beginning of the collaboration between Mr. Blazek (Liquid Green) and Mr. Ruskin (Advances in Obsolete Technology, Mental Health Consumer, Down Team Up, Gears in the Rain). It proved to be a prolific period of production, and these tracks represent a collation of versions that were in contention for the album. From the unique, driving, danceable title track, to the aggressive techno of "This Has to Happen Right Now", to the extended ambiance of "Pinot Gris", this EP documents the mixture of styles and genres favored by the creators. Download at Bandcamp and at Believe in Billy Records!
July 2018: Advances in Obsolete Technology - "Tacit"
Maintaining the momentum of 2017's return on the "Avid Renewal" EP, Advances in Obsolete Technology showcase their unique production with a glossy new LP entitled "Tacit". Continuously mixed as a journey through moods and environs, soft synths give way to electric guitar, thunder and birdsong , and fractured beats. Each track is a juxtaposition of genres, the live and the programmed, the introspective and aggressive. As the title alludes, Tacit delivers its effect through implication and without words of easy description. Listen and Download here!
April 2018: Jiri Blazek & Brian Ruskin - "Walk in the Park"
"Walk in the Park" is the first album-length collaboration between Jiri Blazek and Brian Ruskin, begun in 2012. Though they never met in person, tracks, files and remixes were exchanged over the ocean via email for several years. They merged their individual styles, creatively collaborating to produce a surprising, cohesive, continuously-mixed album. In its final form, "Walk in the Park" incorporates multiple electronic genres, and takes the listener down many paths, shifting between sunlight and shade. Listen and download at Bandcamp...Includes a bonus pdf of album artwork.
January 2018: Jiri Blazek & Brian Ruskin - "Remember To Let Go"
This is the latest collaboration between Mr. Blazek and Mr. Ruskin, who have been swapping files, loops, beats, tracks and remixes for years...across the ocean and many time zones. They've never met, but they share some key inspirations, and have an appreciation for expanding their tracks to incorporate each others' styles and strengths (see their 2015 release Steps Before the Final Installment).
"Remember To Let Go" is a continuously mixed EP blends electro, techno, ambient and experimental elements. Free to listen and download here!
September 2017: GEARS IN THE RAIN - "Entrainment"
The concept of entrainment through music (or "biomusicology") related to synchronization with a rhythm. Patterns of notes and especially beats can encourage the listener to move, dance, clap, or - in the case of this album - relax.
Gears in the Rain returns with their first release since the 2012 album "Right on the Edge" (released on the late, great Secret Station Records). The record is awash with atmospheric ambience, field recordings of nature, unobtrusive drums and palindrome note patterns that are designed to calm you and encourage some reflection or retrospection.
The record is free to download and stream Right Here!
(CC) 2017 Believe in Billy Records
January 2017: ADVANCES IN OBSOLETE TECHNOLOGY - "Avid Renewal" EP
The aptly-named "Avid Renewal" EP is a return to the hard-hitting, yet melodic techno and electro that Advances in Obsolete Technology specialized in during the 2000's. Resurfacing in 2010 with the experimental "Scary Tale" EP and the immersive, edgy
"If I Keep Up This Way" album, Advances in Obsolete Technology (a.k.a. AViD) have proven that heavy beats, rolling basslines and loads of synths can combine in ways that are both dance-able and well-suited for careful headphone listening.
This new extended play powers through 4 uptempo tracks that relentlessly layer hook after hook. Opening track "Infinite Runner" clocks in at 15:39, but you'd never know it, given its locked-in marathon groove and shifting melodies. Up next is "Groundwork", which builds a lattice of beats and old-school electro counter-melodies. "Elephant's Room" features deep synth bass lines, acid squelches lumbering all about your head space. Closing track "Late Night Mind (Intersession January '02)" lives up to its name, capturing the over-activity of a nostalgic insomniac with no time for sleep, thanks to driving beats and swooping synths on a bed of lush chords.
"Avid Renewal" is available for free download from Believe in Billy Records! Go get it!
July 2016: MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMER:
"Early Spring Midnight Walks with Us"
Calling all night owls and insomniacs: here’s the soundtrack for your late-night pondering. Available for free download from Archaic Horizon Records.
With “Early Spring Midnight Walks with Us”, Mental Health Consumer delivers an immersive, continuously-mixed record of ambient pads and drones, gently progressing melodies, and field recordings from a night outside. As the hours advance, the environs and moods shift, just as one’s perspective changes when seeing the world turned magical by moonlight, or when making memories on the other side of the clock.
Producer Brian Ruskin puts it this way: “I’ve always been a night owl and have struggled with insomnia. This album reflects that uneasy juxtaposition of wanting/not wanting to be awake with your thoughts. That’s why nighttime on the edge of spring is inspiring, comforting to some but also slightly uneasy: it’s too warm to be this late, too cool to feel calm. Maybe I should be at home sleeping, or perhaps this is just when and where I will figure things out.”
The hallmarks of Mental Health Consumer’s sound, showcased on previous Archaic Horizon release “Same Places, Different Times” are firmly in place here: organic recordings and live instrumentation are integrated with programmed, yet emotive sounds. “Early Spring Midnight Walks with Us” is the most ambient, and perhaps most ambitious record in Mental Health Consumer’s catalog – forgoing beats entirely and concentrating on varied atmospheres that evoke those late night searches, private or shared.
Also, do check out the incredible Archaic Horizon catalog of experimental electronic artists.
Please check out our Artists' pages and Catalog to find more music!