We are excited for our friend, John Daniel, who creates beautiful music under the alias, Forest Management, in his new endeavor; Afterhours ambient label. We had the opportunity to speak with John about Afterhours.
Please introduce yourself and can you give us a little background information about you personally and the Afterhours label?
My name is John and I currently live in Chicago, producing music as Forest Management. I run a tape label with my friend Michael (Stumpf) called Reserve Matinee, and launched a separate imprint today to release ambient music on handmade CDrs. It's named Afterhours.
What prompted you to establish a label?
New ideas and inspiration, demos in my inbox, countless friends who are making amazing music, and a desire to work with my hands again. Some people may or may not know that I already had a CD label called Sequel. I've really enjoyed that label and am proud of all the artists that are on it. I learned a lot through that label (it was my first), made some mistakes, and gained rewards I never saw coming. Staying in Iceland with my friend Milena Kriegs in September, for example - you meet people from around the world who are like-minded, and with a label it feels like family. Sequel was no exception. I just needed to start fresh, it kind of became like a stress-inducing part-time job in 2017.. not what I was looking to do when I started out, but that happens. I wanted to start a new imprint that would be low hype, low expectation.. and very, very limited editions of handmade CDrs. I grew up in Cleveland and eventually discovered a community of artists who embraced handmade art and short-run editions of music, that also has been on my mind lately and served as inspiration.
What is your current roster of artists?
I don't want to give too much away about next year, but for this year there's a couple more releases arriving. As you can see, it's myself and Rime Trails at the moment. Evergreen Avenue, this young dude who lives in Georgia will be up next. Ross is another young producer based in Chicago, I met him while I was on a bad acid trip in the woods of Northern Illinois back in July. We've become friends, excited to hang with that guy more often.
How would you describe the music you release and plan on releasing?
Ambient and contemplative. The idea behind the name is just as it reads. I've recently grown a stronger interest in engaging late-night moments in Chicago with quiet and meditative music. There's an incredible, strong, and supportive dance music community here.. clubs like Smartbar are safe places for diving into an experience with music, with your body, with people. It's been a huge part of my Chicago experience since living there. I never saw that coming - when I started making solo music 9 years ago most of my music experiences had been with independent songwriting and folk music. It's cool how that community arc can expand; a central area that you become invested in (ambient music in my case) that eventually shows itself to be more universal and unifying than you originally thought. So I want to put these CDrs in my pockets and give them to friends at these clubs, at these after-parties and hangs. Anywhere.
What are your release plans or goals for 2019?
Only goals at the moment are staying in the green and learning new visual art techniques, for assembling the CDr jackets. I'm excited to try some art approaches that I've never done before. I don't consider myself a visual artist so this is also a vulnerable and challenging project, which is great.
Do you intend to release any albums on vinyl?
Not on this label, no.
Are you actively seeking demos and project submissions?
If so, how does one contact Afterhours?
I wouldn't say I'm looking for people to send me unsolicited music, but I will listen to any demos that get sent. I always try to listen to demos. I just honestly probably could fill 2019-2021 with all of the heads I know who are churning out zone by zone. I'm always overly aggressive with my music friends and annoying them after I hear 5 seconds of something they made, haha. I would say familiarize yourself with the label and its artists, then get in touch through the Bandcamp contact.