A Netlabel offering experimental / electronic music
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.




October 31, 2015: New Artists - Jiri Blazek & Brian Ruskin
Trick or Treat! Time for a Frankenstein's Monster of an album: "Steps before the Final Installment (Almost Ready Demos and Works in Progress)

Jirka Blazek (Czech Republic) and Brian Ruskin (USA) have been collaborating since 2011. They've never met.  They swap files via email and large-file hosting sites. They've collaborated on several full-length records.  But this is their first public release - a meshing of styles, the result of many decisions and revisions, and still, after many months, it's not done!  Consider this, then, a sampler - a sonic glimpse into the kitchen, where source material inspires remixes, where experiments are tried out and tested.  These tracks are versions that Jiri and Brian are proud to share, representing their unique collaborative production technique.  They may not be the "Final" versions (more releases are forthcoming!), but these tunes are a fine snapshot of electronic dance producers perfecting their craft.  


October 2015: Mental Health Consumer: Secret Treetop Studio
Mental Health Consumer albums are typically epic in scope, contemplative in tone, unique in style.  Secret Treetop Studio is no exception.  The album concerns changes in life, from the typical (changing hours, seasons, weather) to the internal (moods, how we consider memories), and topical (the style of the tracks ranges from expansive soundscapes to ambient electro to dubstep).  Created late at night from a second story bedroom, the insomnia-blue flicker of monitors providing the only light inside and out, "Secret Treetop Studio" is an immersive, expansive album for listeners who are overactive on the "Wrong" side of the clock.


August  2015: Down Team Up: Five Years Down 2010-2015
They say all good things must come to an end, and so it seems to be ending for Down Team Up.  For the past five years, this mysterious trio has given us 7 releases, covering diverse genres but always delivering cohesive records. Time for a rest, moving on to new musical horizons.  

As a parting gift, here's  Down Team Up: Five Years Down 2010-2015,  a compilation of 15 of their best tracks, all newly remastered and continuously mixed, such that old favorites have fresh life and the retrospective plays like an entirely new creation.  As an added bonus, the album concludes with the edgy, electrified, slow-burning new track "We're Done Here".  Are they?  Let's hope not, but while they recharge, it's  fine time to revisit the Down Team Up catalog on Believe in Billy records.


June 2015: Down, but back up!
Where have we been? Believe In Billy Records went silent for a while, mostly because we packed up the studio and moved across the country. There were some trying times, but the experiences and the new setting have inspired a ton of music, and there is a growing backlog of albums by Mental Health Consumer, Down Team Up, and Gears in the Rain waiting for their release...  So, let's make up for lost time with two recent records by Down Team Up.

    Down Team Up: Awake & Aware (released 15 June 2015):
This is the seventh release by Down Team Up since their emo-shoegaze-electro eponymous debut EP in 2010.  Along the way, they've dabbled in techno (2010's Give and Take LP, the Live and Learn concert recording) but also a more relaxed mix of electronic and field recordings (Right Before the Memory and January EPs). Here, the group (B Ruskin, along with B. Andes and J. Carlo) seamlessly mix a set of uplifting Summertime tracks. Available on Bandcamp for Pay What You Want

    Down Team Up: January  (released 25 January, 2015): 
This EP was recorded at the end of the year and the start of the next, and therefore is a record about recollection and new beginnings. Down Team Up trademark sounds remain, but here they function almost as "Sound Therapy", with specially treated effects designed to bring about a state of calm while listening. Available on Bandcamp for Pay What You Want.



November 2012: A look back before looking forward...
What Have We Learned from Mental Health Consumer


 We have compiled a special retrospective of seven years of music by Mental Health Consumer.
 Entitled "What Have We Learned? Proliferation: 2006-2012", this chronological compilation tracks the evolution of Mental Health Consumer's sound over the span of 12 albums.


Producer Brian Ruskin explains: "After five years of making music as Advances in Obsolete Technology, I'd seen my style  progress from lo-fi and loop-driven dance tracks to music that was much more melodic and carefully produced. To change things up and re-explore production and analog dance, I started the Mental Health Consumer moniker.  The first record, "Help Us Help You" (2006) was recorded live and is very heavy in sound and beat. But before long, MHC replaced Advances In Obsolete Technology my main musical outlet and also moved toward experimental, ambient and what I call emotional electronic music - it still has a beat, but the albums have a concept and hope to tell a story with the help of live instrumentation, field recordings, found sounds and hopefully harmonious production." 






 

 This progression of style is evident in the chronological track order, but because these songs are drawn from many albums with unique themes, there's a lot of variety along with the hallmarks of MHC's sound: skittering beats, layers of guitar and samples, retro basslines amid soft atmospheric pads. From the most urgent dance tracks to ambient soundscapes to epic electronic trips down memory lane, "What Have We Learned?" answers its own question.  

Enjoy the free download here.



May 2012:  Gears in the Rain
   
Proud to introduce a new artist to the ranks of Believe in Billy Records:  Gears in the Rain.  The debut album, "Right on the
Edge"   is released on Secret Station Records for free download!  The tracks could be considered dark ambient, but it's not quite so clear-cut.  Melodious guitar lines and soft layers of pads are put to the test against found sounds, field recordings and distorted electronics.  The album evokes being outdoors before a storm hits, being surprised by what's seen, seldom seen and unseen.

"Right on the Edge" also includes 4 alternate versions, remixed by producer Jirka Blazek, of Liquid Green (featured on the Electric Eye On You EP)



April 2012:    Two new Mental Health Consumer albums!
 
Mental Health Consumer: "Same Places, Different Times" released 3/30/12 on the excellent Archaic Horizon netlabel. 
 
 

In same places, different times mental health consumer examines the ups and downs of a troubled psyche. His insights are presented in a satisfying mix of robust beats, ambiance, live instruments, intriguing samples and quirky electronic noodling.  An album about nostalgia for places and times both enjoyable and haunting, but always emotionally powerful. 

Mental Health Consumer : "WYO" released 3/10/12 on the prolific test tube netlabel
 «Brian Ruskin Ph.D is back after 'Backyard Mysteries' with a brand new adventure. He went to the wild west (Wyoming), recorded a lot of field recordings and went back home with inspiration to tell new stories. So the stories about the places and people that Brian experienced fueled this new collection of songs.
'WYO' takes us all on this musical journey across a US state that is full of cowboys and indians, coyotes and rattlesnakes, boulders and trees, creeks and canyons, blazing days and stormy nights, rodeos and campings, and deserted landscapes.»
- test tube
 
 

August 2011:
 Mental Health Consumer - "Ithaca"   Limited Edition CD via Secret Station Records!
 
 
New from Mental Health Consumer, a musical lovel letter to Ithaca, NY, a place often called "10 square miles surrounded by reality".  In the artist's words: "I have been gripped by nostalgia since leaving Ithaca, warmed by familiarity when visiting, always filled with wonder when exploring.  Others may associate the town with different genres or tunes, but hopefully if you've been thre, these offerings will ring true.  Even if you haven't been, i hope these tracks recall your favorite, indescribable place!"
 
This collection, written in 2009 and released 30 August 2011 by Secret Station Records as a Limited Edition CD and mp3 package, is a set of 15 warm electronic soundscapes.  In the labels' words:
 
"This beautiful ode to Ithaca NY is the third Secret Station release from Mental Health Consumer, and is some of his best work. Guitars drenched in delay and reverb mix with electronics and samples, with an occasional beat dropped in. A very nice virtual trip to Ithaca. "
 
 

  Please check out our Artists' pages and Catalog  to find more music!