The Origin and History of Overlook Hotel Records
Back in 1999, I released a collection of recordings from my archives called “Room 237 (R237-001)” which became the very first release on Overlook Hotel Records. It is a small collection of early electronic compositions with one track featuring Todd Gerber (Dinah Shore Jr./Umlaut). Hardly any copies exist (they were made to give out to friends), but you may still be able to locate one at the main library branch in Cincinnati. I also recorded a collection of songs called La Notte – “La Notte De Cavelieri” (R237-002) with my friend Paul Ash (Unto Ashes, Night Gallery). For this release, we burned all of the CDs, printed the artwork, and also did our own cassette duplication. Despite being a complete DIY project recorded with two microphones in a small room, the recording did well and feedback was very positive. There are probably still quite a few old copies of La Notte floating around the planet. These recordings mark the beginning of Overlook Hotel Records.
Room 237 – “Rain & Shadows” (with Todd Gerber)
Shortly after these were released, I began working on the dark ambient Umbra project (R237-004). It was released on Overlook Hotel Records as well as mp3.com before they were purchased by Vivendi Universal. I recently reissued it on bandcamp along with the “Umbra: The Dusk Single” (R237-003) which features various percussion backing electronic music. Music from the Umbra release was licensed to use in a film called “Jigsaw” in 2002 and has turned up in some strange places all over the internet and elsewhere.
Cambium was released on April 22, 2013 through Bandcamp and marked the beginning of a new era for Overlook Hotel Records now no longer limited to solo works. Around this time, I also organized and produced an independent collection of original songs created as a tribute to Gary Numan called “The Replicon Project.” Some of the artists involved with Cambium also appeared on the tribute.
The next release from Overlook Hotel Records came in the form of an EP of music by Toxic Web, a mix of electronic rock, darkwave, and dark ambient influences.
The Toxic Web – “I” EP (R237-007) was released on Bandcamp on October 4, 2013. Deanna Quijada, who I consider the undocumented love-child of Kate Bush, Yma Sumac, and Nena Hagen, is featured on some stunning vocal work. As much as I love the title track, I feel that her vocal performance on “My Hands Are Blue” is absolutely fiendish and beautiful. Jason Whitcomb is responsible for the majority of the synth wizardry heard on this 4-track EP as well as sharing vocal and songwriting duties.
Trinity & Triage contains a very interesting assemblage of instruments used to create the unique sound on this collection of recordings. Traditional instrumentation such as acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, drum kit, B3, and vocals are combined with Mellotron, clavichord, harmonium, sitar, and a colorful assortment of percussion instruments. “All At Sea” is a good example of many of the aforementioned items.
Upcoming releases on the way…
Rodin Coil is a solo project I have been working on for some time now. Songs are in various stages of development and slowly making progress in between juggling production duties for various other projects.
Sinistrad is a dark ambient/post-industrial project with Jason Whitcomb currently in the writing process. Expect music that should only be played in the dark.
Also in the works is a solo album from Vic Bonat, a new project from Mike Chambers (dreampop / indie rock), and various other releases currently in development at this time. If you enjoy the music from Overlook Hotel Records, be sure to stop by our Facebook page as well as each band project page and hit the “like” button. I look forward to sharing our music with you.
Overlook Hotel Records