Observant Records was born out of impatience.
When I was growing up, I thought the only way to get my music heard by people other than me was to get signed to a record label. As active as the Hawaiian music scene may be, I knew my kind of writing would not play well in Honolulu clubs or radio.
So I waited till I graduated from college and moved to the Mainland to get a lay of the land. By the time that happened, creating your music in your own home became a viable option. As technology improved and an independent infrastructure became more accessible, the record label system seemed more trouble than it was worth.
I wanted to make music on my own and distribute it on my own. And I didn’t care that it didn’t sound entirely professional just yet. I wanted it out there now.
A stimulus check from the federal government kickstarted Observant Records, which I formed on my birthday in 2008.
enigmatics was the first release, and I optimistically pressed 100 copies. I still have 86 of them in my closet.
The label turned 10 years old in 2018, even though it hasn’t be entirely active all that time. But it’s a long-enough duration to produce an archive, one that seems worthy of retrospection.
Bandcamp made subscriptions available to artists, which I haven’t found occasion to use — till now. I’ll be making available the old Work Release Program releases, early versions of the albums now available. I might even find a few infant demos and studio experiments. These releases will be subscriber exclusives.
Visit the Bandcamp pages of Eponymous 4 and Empty Ensemble to subscribe and to access these new old recordings.
The next Eponymous 4 album, Travis, comes out on March 30, 2018, and the first single from the album, “August“, arrives on Aug. 4.
Eponymous 4 announced the release of a new album. Originally scheduled for a September 2017 release, the album will now come out in 2018. Titled Travis, the album deals in part with the theme of escape and overcoming obstacles that prevent it. Here’s the track listing:
- Prelude: The Travis Lament
- I Want to Follow
- Another Fiction
- ||: :|| (Repeat Signs)
- 世界の終わり (Sekai no Owari)
- The Man Who Stopped the World From Falling
- Interlude: The Travis Reel
Empty Ensemble officially announced the release of Gakusei and 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」. Gakusei arrives on May 28, 2016 with 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 following on Oct. 28, 2016. Both titles will be available through the Empty Ensemble Shop on Bandcamp. Here’s the track listing for both titles:
- String Quartet No. 1: I. Allegro
- String Quartet No. 1: II. Adagio
- String Quartet No. 1: III. Allegro (reprise)
- Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: I. Ar nÁthair
- Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: II. Naomh Mhurie
- Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: III. Glóir don Athair; Amen
- Disintegrating Jig
- Soliloquy of a Vampire
Empty Ensemble announced the release of its first single on Aug. 25, 2015. The instrumental track, titled 「無題平成23六月五日」, combines Indonesian gamelan, Indian tabla, Japanese taiko and a Western string orchestra. The single is being released through CD Baby and will be available on all major outlets — iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 Store and Google Play.