STS 011 - Portals Editions


Portals Editions Mix and Interview

Brandon of Portals Editions gives us a stellar mixtape of current and forthcoming label material and an enlightening interview on the label’s identity

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The Portals Editions label was founded in Berlin in 2014 by Marijn Degenaar (Circular Ruins, NL), Yair Glotman (Ketev, IS), Nicolas Lefort (Shaddah Tuum, FR), and Brandon Rosenbluth (Shaddah Tuum, US). Originally it served as a platform for their own creations, as well as those of their extended network of creative friends, however, the label is expanding its scope both genre and artist-wise. Although most of the label’s output up until now fits loosely within (and without) the confines of industrial, techno, noise, and drone, the Portals Editions curatorial process is by no means strict, and as such they are bound to surprise everyone with their fresh and amorphous, deep and boundary-defying sounds. But enough of that – Brandon (a.k.a. xorzyzt) has given us a mix that says more than we can. This mix is structured as an actual physical mixtape would be in order to reflect the label’s commitment to the physical aspect of music. Throughout the two sides of the mixtape you will hear both current and as yet unreleased Portals Editions material, all of which is stellar. There is some almost-drone, some kind-of-breakcore with Silver Waves, and some undeniably-noise, but this is not to say it’s all aggression – there are also some rather magical moments of subtle, ominous calmness as well, namely with Circular Ruins and Ketev. With this we’re even more excited to hear Portals Editions unfold.

We are delighted to present a new video of “Polar Kreis” by Circular Ruins

video director Hannah Schiefelbein

Interview with Brandon Rosenbluth

Where did the label name and identity come from?

Each release is a portal opened into another realm, completely of that artist's construction or conjuring. It began as a vehicle for our own music (Shaddah Tuum, Ketev, Circular Ruins) and that of our friends, as well as out of interest to create not only objects that carry sound, but also printed materials, all with a personal touch and a keen eye on the design, in order to extend and amplify the transmissions. Portals Editions is the initiation of a platform from which our voices may participate in the conversation surrounding the greater mysteries in this plane of existence.

How has the label developed over the years, conceptually and musically?

While the first few releases from Shaddah Tuum and Gainstage more closely referenced aesthetics of "heavy" music, using electronic and electro-acoustic tools within an experimental framework. The dark lense widened thereafter, especially with the cosmic synth sounds of Circular Ruins. We are headed steadily down a path of drone and deconstructed dance music, throwing the club into a desolate wasteland and hearing the journey of the sounds that make it back from eternity. Our curatorial process is alchemical and our listeners should be prepared for metaphysical manifestations.

As a curator, how much influence do you have on the artists? How much freedom do you leave them? What do you think are the most important features for a label owner and what relation should he/she maintain with the artists?

I work with the artists' individual visions and help hone them to their most powerful forms with varying degrees of input, but for the most part, until now, the delivered tracks have been quite close to, if not fully at, their finished form. We only release music which stirs something in our souls, so it's about the meeting of those two complementary frequencies with each composition under consideration and the ultimate shape the fully realized releases take. The process is a conversation, one within the broader conversation a label has with its public and the world(s) it inhabits.

How important do you think it is for an artist to have a high public profile?

We don't choose to work with artists based on the merits of their profile, but rather the content of the work being presented. As you can see the artists on Portals until now have very few, if any, prior releases to speak of, and we often find the ones lurking around the edges have the most inspired propositions. We don't want to retread established territory, but rather to present a newly mutated mode of mapping the terrain.

What are the essential rules of good networking?

There is no one way of making yourself known, and heard, but being involved in a local or non-localized music community is always a good place (or non-place) to start. The unfurling will naturally branch out to the wider spheres of recognition through the music's, and its creator's, own inertia. Generally, as a rule, it's frowned upon to bleed on your neighbor, but again, it may also work for the bold few.

What are your main driving inspirations behind the label?

Actions (Creation + Participation) propelling Bodies (Community) and Things (Art) to transmute and transpire. In a word: Magick.

And what are the biggest challenges in this activity nowadays?

Time. The economy of our own free time as well as the increasingly prolonged time it takes to get a record released from start to finish, and recouping the high costs in the shortest possible amount of time, to have a sustainable way forward. It is a long game, especially in this esoteric corner we find ourselves in at this time.

What are your all time favourite records? Why are they so special to you?

As the illusion of time passes, so do those things that inspire us - at the moment Cyclobe, Mika Vainio, and The Knife are big inspirations for my Tuum creations, and as an ethos, proto- and post-Industrial music. The progenitors of Industrial and many of those that splintered off from it (TG, PTV, Coil axis being the prime examples), used music, noise, performance, art, and life, as a unified vessel for the transmission of magick (self-empowerment in sculpting your reality) and questioning of anything that stood in the way of realizing the magickal state. Your reality is your portal, so probe as deep into it as you can and take charge of its constant transformation. Well crafted, intention-filled noise lends itself to overwhelming the body, dis-integrating the ego, and expanding the individual's reception of ideas and experiences within the infinite net of consciousness of which we are each only a tiny fragment.

What would be the labels you see as examples? Why?

The labels which are currently and most consistently consuming us include Subtext, PAN, Blackest Ever Black. Posh Isolation, Modern Love, Hospital, CONTORT, Tri Angle, Dais, Unknown Precept and Alter, because of the quality of concept, curation, and presentation.

What are your future plans? How do you see the label in, let's say, 5 years?

The intention is to release more fully realized statements from an expanding group of artists, to tackle increasingly more projects outside of a purely musical realm, and distribute the results of these cross-disciplinary efforts in new and non-traditional formats, and on stages, throughout this and other worlds.

Spotlight Mix


01. Create Her - Intention Versus (forthcoming Portals Editions, 2016)
02. Silver Waves - V (forthcoming Portals Editions / Howling Owl, 2016)
03. Noumeno - Sensorial Surrogate [Portals Editions, 2016)
04. Consulate - Italian Grin (Portals Editions, 2015)
05. Gainstage - Sediment One (Portals Editions, 2016)
06. Circular Ruins - Open Closure (Portals Editions, 2015)


07. Niko Lfo (Hanz Memorial) - False Number 0 (unreleased, 2015)
08. Ketev - Women / Animal Skull (Portals Editions, 2016)
09. Noumeno - Sensorial Surrogate (Fis' Wall of Crystal version) (Portals Editions, 2016)
10. Black Manual - Mordendo (Cut Hands remix) (forthcoming Portals Editions, 2016)
11. Gainstage - RGB Sun (Portals Editions, 2016)
12. Create Her - Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses (forthcoming Portals Editions, 2016)
13. Ketev - I Know No Weekend (forthcoming Portals Editions, 2016)

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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