2018 Rewind: Michael Donaldson (Q-Burns Abstract Message)


How was 2018 for you?

Michael Donaldson: It was lovely. I did some fun label management work for Steven Hall of Buddhist Army, helping him release the new Arthur’s Landing EP and Nirosta Steel album. I accomplished some encouraging milestones with my music publishing company, 8DSync. I had a couple of great international trips — Scotland and Italy — which were for pleasure, not work, which I’m not used to. I started voraciously reading books. And I ambitiously launched a new record label.


Getting back into the label game. For the past decade, I’ve been helping out other labels as a consultant or manager-in-residence with no thought of re-embarking on my own imprint. Then a couple of acts I represented through my publishing company approached me, looking for help finding a label to release their new albums. Unexpectedly (especially to me), this lit a fire and now I’m working with these artists and a few others through 8D Industries. I don’t know what took so long … this label stuff is what I’m meant to do. It’s also been lovely keeping the 8D chain going that started in 1994 with Eighth Dimension Records.


It’s difficult to stay creative and focused when, every day, the world seems more and more like a blazing garbage pile. The clear lowlight has been my frustration and lack of motivation in this endless cycle of so-called ‘breaking news.’ As Ryan Holiday wrote in an article on this subject, “Perhaps it’s time we realize that consuming more news about the world around us is not the way to improve it (or ourselves), personally or politically.” The best way I can contribute to the world is to do my best work, and I can only do that by cutting the parade of ‘breaking news’ from my life. Which I’ve done, and the inspiration to launch 8D Industries came out of this relative calm.

Song of the year?

Matthew Dear – “Bunny’s Dream”

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

At the beginning of 2018, I started a curious production project called Tiny Accidents. I got distracted and off-course (see Lowlights above) so it didn’t last long. I plan on revisiting Tiny Accidents with gusto in 2019, resulting in fresh sounds from Q-Burns Abstract Message and other oddball pseudonyms I’ve got up my sleeve.

@Q-Burns Abstract Message

No paywalls, free to all. Help us remain 100% independent and unbiased. Please give to Big Shot by making a secure one-time donation to help us continue covering DJ culture and electronic music like we’ve done since 2003.

Darren Ressler

Add a Comment