Ben Craven – The Single Edits – finally on Spotify!

Ben Craven – The Single Edits – Artwork by Freyja Dean

My opinion has always been that making music freely available on streaming services is an admission that music has no financial value.

Music is not free to produce and I rely on sales to justify releasing more music. Streaming, however, becomes the complete consumer transaction. Physical and digital sales are eliminated as income sources by a minimal streaming royalty rate.

Yet, the market has spoken. Streaming is here to stay. And I cannot afford not to be ‘discoverable’ on streaming services.

So perhaps I can make it work for me.

Ordinarily my albums are designed to be listened from start to finish as each track segues into the next. Not so this time. The Single Edits is a digital-only collection of single edits from three albums, compiled especially for streaming. Each track stands by itself and is ripe for cherry-picking.

It is my hope that this collection will act as a gateway into the Ben Craven musicverse. For instance, someone who discovers the 3-minute version of Spy In The Sky (featuring William Shatner) might also be interested in seeking out the complete 18-minute suite on CD.

Or, if you enjoy the 3:30 edit of No Specific Harm, you might find yourself unable to live without the full 11-minute version on vinyl.

Or maybe even you might just want to download the collection in lossless high resolution audio from Bandcamp instead.

Or not. It’s all good.

Ben Craven releases blu-ray “First Chance To Hear”

“First Chance To Hear” blu-ray cover

To celebrate the release of my album Last Chance To Hear back in March 2016, I held a launch party at the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane. A small room was booked upstairs and everyone was invited.

I had no band at my disposal. Even if I had, the rehearsal effort required would have been the equivalent of going on tour. I briefly considered playing a solo acoustic show but thought it would be more fun to present a virtual band performance. Armed with backing tracks for drums, bass and occasional keyboards – plus the disembodied voice of William Shatner – the show was billed as Ben Craven & Friends.

With a handful of cameras and audio feeds, the entire show was captured for the high-definition blu-ray release, First Chance To Hear. The audio has been remixed in 24-bit stereo and 5.1 surround. Some of the lighting and camerawork is not completely perfect, so I’m calling this an “official bootleg”!

First Chance To Hear marks the launch of a new record label imprint named Cleanskin Records. Here in Australia, a “cleanskin” is a wine sold under a different label by the winery. It could be for reasons like excess stock, an experimental blend or wanting to supply directly to the public. Similarly, Cleanskin Records exists for musical projects outside the realm of big releases and big marketing budgets, such as live shows and high definition surround remixes.

All copies of First Chance To Hear will be burnt on-demand, numbered and signed by the artist (me)!

View the trailer here:

Blu-ray disc and 24/96 stereo audio download now available from Bandcamp!

Technical specifications:
Duration: 96 minutes (approx)
Video: 1080p 24fps HD video
Audio: 24-bit 96 Khz LPCM stereo, 24-bit 48 kHz 5.1 LPCM surround
Media: Duplicated using high quality Verbatim recordable BD-R. Region-free. Backup for personal use is encouraged.

Winner! Best Instrumental – 2016 Australian Independent Music Awards

2016 Australian Independent Music Awards (AIMAs)

2016 Australian Independent Music Awards (AIMAs)

On Wednesday 26 October I was honoured to accept the award for the “Best Instrumental” category in the 2016 Australian Independent Music Awards!

The MusicOz AIMAs are one of the last remaining opportunities for recognition of independent musicians in this country. And a huge shot in the arm for me – my style of music is independent at best. What this means my friends is that prog rock can still be a thing!

There’s even a video of the presentation!

To celebrate, the winning track, “Critical Mass Part 2”, is now available for free download for a limited time!

20161030_critical-mass

The winning track! Critical Mass Part 2

(Just click “Buy Now” on the Bandcamp page and enter a price of zero, nada, nothing!)

The “How to buy Last Chance To Hear” Episode

If you are thinking about picking up a copy of Last Chance To Hear and haven’t yet, I’d just like to point out some of the excellent vendors online:

Germany: Just For Kicks Music

Netherlands: Beyond Rock Mail Order

USA: The Laser’s Edge

USA: Syn-Phonic Music

USA: CD Baby

Australia: Red Eye Records

And of course, worldwide, there’s good old Bandcamp, selling both digital and physical. If you purchase the CD/DVD from here, you get an immediate digital download to tide you over until the postman arrives!

New interviews and reviews!

The Press page has been updated to include all the recent reviews of Last Chance To Hear. It’s always good fun to be reminded that not everyone in the world thinks exactly the same way about things as I do!

Also scattered on the web now are some interviews and podcasts I’ve been privileged to take part in. Here is a sample:

So much news!

Last Chance To Hear - Packaging

Last Chance To Hear – Packaging

Well, the word is out. This Tuesday, my album “Last Chance To Hear” is finally being released on Bandcamp!

And I’m incredibly excited to announce that one track features a very special guest vocalist… None other than William Shatner!

Meanwhile a new single, “The Remarkable Man”, is now up on Youtube:

“Last Chance To Hear” Album Launch

My album launch for “Last Chance To Hear” is on 8 April! Come along for a rare live performance of old and new tracks, and partake of some fine drink appreciation with me (responsibly).

Album Launch Details

TuneLeaks Completed!

Well, the “Last Chance To Hear” album is now completed, the artwork almost nailed, and we’re just about ready to ship everything off for manufacture.

Thank you everyone who came along on the TuneLeak journey! You will receive more information later this week about ordering “Last Chance To Hear” from my Bandcamp page, if you are so inclined.

This was a fun experiment! Based on your feedback and my own experience, I’ll definitely do something similar for the next album, maybe with a couple of changes.