News

  • We are incredibly excited for the NYC edition of CONCEPT to launch at the end of this month. Live performance will be provided by Dusk Notes co-label head, Cory James with resident DJs, Mapes, First Circle, and Richard P. Visual accompaniment will be supplied by Blankstairs co-label head, Nathaniel Young.

    CONCEPT originated in Portland, OR as a collaborative series of art and performance events organized by Portland/NYC based record label Blankstairs and Portland’s RECESS gallery. The events brought together an assortment of visual artists, musicians and DJs in an effort to create unique contexts through which audiences could engage with experiential art and performance by exhibiting installation pieces to complement the shows’ sonic or musical elements.

    CONCEPT NYC will manifest itself as a monthly curated gathering at the newly opened DIY space Hang-Time, located in the basement of Trans-Pecos. The night will be an inclusive artistic forum, showcasing the dialogue between audio and visual art, and the interdependence of the performer and the dancer.

    + www.blnkstrs.com

    + www.hang-time.net

  • BST008: Josef Gaard, ‘Obsidian Falls’ EP (out 03.31.15)

    We are extremely excited to present our second release of 2015, BST008: ‘Obsidian Falls’, from the prolific Seattle based DJ/Producer, Josef Gaard. This record has been in the making for over a year and we could not be more ecstatic to share it with you. BST008 also marks the foray into the 12” vinyl format and we are overjoyed to continue this journey throughout the course of 2015.

    BST008 will be out 03.31.15 in both 12” and Digital formats. Stream the opening track, ‘Perennial’ via The Ransom Note and pre-order the record via our Bandcamp.

    The ‘Obsidian Falls’ EP from Seattle’s Josef Gaard sits at a very fascinating but incredibly complimentary space between traditional techno tendencies and freeform ambient composition and experimentation. Each track seamlessly references each other providing a straightforward sense of cohesion while maintaining a constant and aggressively progressive motion. The EP will guide and gently coerce the listener into experiencing a somewhat altered perspective on sonic and musical expression. Without much notice the listener will effortlessly travel from point “A” to point “C” without realizing they’ve ever touched on point “B”.

    As was the case with Blankstairs alum, Archivist, Josef Gaard has played an integral role in the development of the foggy and seemingly bleak techno leaning sounds coming out of Seattle and the surrounding Pacific Northwest as of late. As a curator and active resident for the Secondnature crew Gaard has shared bills with Abdulla Rashim, Silent Servant, Israel Vines, Heatsick, and Mick Finesse among many others. The ‘Obsidian Falls’ EP is his debut 12” release and a rather successful statement on adventurous music targeted for the mind and the body.

    Pre-Order ‘Obsidian Falls’ directly from us here: http://goo.gl/c63066

    Tracklist

    A1. Perennial (9:03)

    A2. Obsidian Falls (7:40)

    B1. Elysea (7:51)

    B2. Fjord (8:26)

    Digital Only: Obsidian Falls (Archivist Remix) (7:13)

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    BST007: Archivist, ’Migration’ EP (out 01.27.15)

    We are very pleased to present BST007: ’Migration’ from our dear friend, Archivist. The ’Migration’ EP is available now for pre-order via our Bandcamp and will be out January 27th.

    Archivist’s ‘Migration’ EP is a multi-dimensional exploration and experiment in sonics and uses of sincere emotional movement to elicit listener feedback. The EP maintains an effective balance between practical motion and subjective listening while remaining free of convolution.

    Alex Markey (Archivist) has been an active part of Seattle’s growing techno scene, along with the superb Secondnature crew. For the last few years he’s seen success as an incredibly prominent DJ, curator, and event promoter known for his lengthy, tactile and proficient sets. Archivist has shared bills with Tin Man, Efdemin, Israel Vines and a host of others. The ‘Migration’ EP is Markey’s debut release and acts as his commentary on a form of musical expression that’s best to leave uncategorized. Expect to hear more from this talented DJ and producer as his journey continues.

    Pre-Order 'Migration' directly from us here: http://goo.gl/ScB4H2

    Tracklist

    1. Migration (7:17)

    2. Phoebe Bug (5:25)

    3. Trophic (7:27)

    4. Ganymede In Transit (8:00)

    5. Migration (Josef Gaard Remix) (8:30)

    Stream ‘Trophic’ via XLR8R

  • Blankstairs at Moloko
    12.22.14 / / 10pm - close 
    3967 N Mississippi Ave
    PDX, OR 97227
    (No Cover)

    We have a lot of exciting material in store for 2015 and we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate 2014 while looking forward to the new year.

    Music will be selected by Nathaniel Young and Warren Mattox as well as other Blankstairs affiliates.

    Facebook Event

  • The next installment in the Blankstairs saga marks our first venture away from our typical cassette format. We are overjoyed to announce the 10” Lathe Cut Record, ’Pop Awareness’ from Asheville’s kuxxan SUUM set to release October 28th, 2014.

    The piece consists of a dense 12 minute throbbing and leisurely paced dance track that supplies the listener with a healthy dose of kitsch. Cooper has been known to churn out hefty dance-floor tunes that serve the simple purpose of making the listener groove and jive in a way they never previously thought possible. Formerly seeing releases on the fantastic and prolific Brooklyn based Styles Upon Styles imprint, the Long Island based label, South Fork Sound as well as his own venture, End Fence; ‘Pop Awareness’ stands as his introductory release for Blankstairs.

    ‘Pop Awareness’ is somewhat of a humorous exposé that serves as a simple experiment in medium, sampling, and context. Zach set out to achieve a reaction (of any kind) from the listener by merely placing samples from a hand full of commonly known pop songs in the midst of a completely different context. These samples, and subsequent placement, provide the listener with an alternative point of reference and challenges them to think critically and intentionally about the ideas and motifs commonly conveyed by contemporary pop music.

    The 10” Lathe Cut Record is cut at 33 1/3 rpm and comes packaged in a transparent PVC sleeve with a risographed insert which includes the artist’s statement as well as relevant release info.

    Read the artist’s statement here: http://goo.gl/M3Zo9o

    Pre-order the 10” Lathe Cut Record directly from us here: http://goo.gl/MgxRnq

    Tracklist
    1. Pop Awareness (12:06)
  • Our man Fugal has been tapped for the Athens based podcast series, Beatnik. Fugal is currently on hiatus in Berlin though is based in Seattle and is an active part of the Secondnature collective. Take the time to digest this mix in full and keep your eyes open for more from Fugal in the coming months.

  • We recently had the opportunity to chat with Bandcamp about our beginnings from the art-focused music nights we hosted during 2013 to the present state of the label. Take the time to dive into this excellent exposé on the current scene in Portland.

    Read our contribution below and find the article in full here.

    The relatively young Blankstairs label was set up by locals Nathaniel Young and Warren Mattox in 2013 as a direct result of their bonding over “adventurous music and challenging modes of creativity.” Seeking ways to promote what they saw as “disparate forms of individuality,” they created Blankstairs as an art-focused party in late 2012, held in alternative spaces due to their young age and licensing laws. This subsequently grew into a label with a focus on ambient, and gritty house and techno, from both local and international artists. Beyond the music, the pair oversee the visual aesthetic of the label. Blankstairs launched in July 2013 with a compilation featuring over 20 artists, including local acts like Philip Grass and Montgomery Word. Today the label is split between the two coasts, with Young relocated to NYC.

    Dropping Gems provided the pair with a “large influence on how we operate and function as a label. Aaron helped us tremendously with getting on our feet and learning how to put out a proper release.” The majority of Blankstairs’ collaborations, however, have been with the spaces in which they held their events. “Our interest in DIY party culture and the initial limitations imposed upon us by the drinking laws pushed us more toward these alternative spaces.” In 2013 the pair put together a month-long, pop-up club at the Recess gallery with musical and visual acts, and followed that with a show in the basement of a shopping complex. “Every space has operated differently and it’s been interesting to see the varying levels of involvement in the process.”

    As for what Portland brings to the mix, Young points to the city’s well-known open attitude as “essential for developing artists to have an unrestricted forum to present their work in, and I think that the free and open space that Portland offers its inhabitants is what draws people to the city.”