greyfade is a new york-based record label presenting contemporary sound editions, in both physical and high-resolution digital forms.
founded by joseph branciforte in 2019, the label aims to release finely distilled album-length statements from artists working at the edges of algorithmic composition, ambient, sound art, and minimalist chamber music. it serves as a home for those exploring computation, proceduralism, repetition, and stasis in their work — both in the context of electronically mediated sound and traditional acoustic instrumentation.
above all, greyfade is dedicated to realizing albums of the highest quality — conceptually, creatively, and sonically.
digital downloads are available in the following formats from the greyfade shop.
high-resolution / 96kHz, 24-bit
WAV / 44.1kHz, 16-bit
high-resolution digital files provide a listening experience closest to what the artist intends and hears during the creation process. these files contain about three times as much sonic information as a CD, thus the file sizes are somewhat larger than the average download. we believe that this is a small trade-off to enjoy the listening experience exactly as it was intended. please note that high-resolution audio files are not compatible with all mobile playback devices (yet) — fortunately, any purchase of a high-resolution album from the greyfade shop will also include a CD-quality WAV version to ensure compatibility across devices.
WAV files at 44.1kHz, 16-bit are uncompressed CD-quality files. if the album is released as a CD edition, these files will be sonically identical to the CD. this option is a good trade-off between quality, compatibility, and file size.
MP3 is a compressed format, which means that a significant quantity of sonic information is removed from the file in order to decrease its size. we, therefore, do not recommend this option unless you are particularly concerned about file size.
if you need downloads in MP3 or alternate formats, please visit our bandcamp store.
greyfade releases will not be available on streaming services, such as spotify, youtube, or apple music. we do not believe that these services currently offer an equitable or sustainable economic model for artists, nor an optimal listening experience for listeners.
we believe that the ideal relationship between artist and listener is a direct-to-fan model, where artists retain control over the quality and context of their work, and listeners can support the creation of music they value directly, without third-party intervention. in the current streaming model, artists must cede control over audio quality, artistic context, and fair pay for their work as a trade-off for "exposure" or "convenience for fans". we reject all sides of this compromise.
we do not believe that listeners should be treated like pawns, but rather as equals in a creative process that requires their attention to have meaning. currently, listeners are being barraged with peripheral visual information and ads as part of their listening experience, and are being stripped of essential pieces of artistic context like a properly sequenced album, carefully curated textual and visual information, and album credits. the return to vinyl records over the past 10 years has demonstrated that not all listeners are satisfied with this model, preferring a richer, more engaged mode of musical experience. beyond the tactile joys and collectibility of the physical object, it seems that a large part of what fans are responding to with vinyl is the intimacy of a private interaction — without distraction, hyperlinks, ads, or any third party entering into the experience. in the digital realm, we believe that the direct download model most closely mirrors this private interaction and should be the preferred mode of exchange.
listeners are also are being asked to accept highly compressed, low-quality audio that often bears little resemblance to the carefully prepared masters approved by artists. this is particularly ironic, as the ability to produce, distribute, and play back beautiful sounding high-resolution digital masters has become easier than ever. streaming services commonly employ proprietary compression algorithms that significantly reduce audio quality in order to stream with fewer dropouts. the calculus appears to be that fans will either: a) not notice, or b) be willing to sacrifice audio quality for convenience, wittingly or unwittingly. on top of this, artists and mastering engineers are not permitted to upload their own compressed versions of their work, which would at least allow a degree of quality control over lower-resolution editions.
lastly, the economics of streaming are directly undermining artists' ability to create. streaming subscribers are often not aware how little money makes it back to the artist. as a point of reference: a single album download via the greyfade shop is the equivalent of roughly 5,000 streams on spotify, or about 10,000 streams on youtube. 1,000,000 streams would allow an artist to break even on an album that cost a modest $4000 to make. this is not a sustainable paradigm for the creation of high-quality recordings moving forward.
by purchasing digital downloads and physical items from the greyfade shop, you are supporting the music in the most direct way possible. in return, you will receive the album exactly as the artist imagined it: without third-party mediation, audio transcoding/compression, or advertising — and with the full detail, dynamics, and depth of the musical experience intact.