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06 Apr: Why Streaming is the Future of DJ’ing

Download sales are in a free-fall as acceptance of music streaming continues to grow. If you’re in the dance music industry, you might feel some immunity (at least for now) as DJs are your primary customers. And DJs have to download, right? They still need the digital files on a USB, or a CD if they’re (ahem) old school. Well … Complete Music Update: Dance music download platform Beatport has acquired Pulselocker, the DJ-centric streaming…

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18 Mar: Musical Memories from Imaginary Places

I came across this wonderful article in The New Yorker about a YouTube-posted version of Toto’s “Africa” made to sound like it’s playing in a shopping mall: In my 3 a.m. mood, the YouTube edit, uploaded by a user named Cecil Robert, was almost too affecting to bear; it sounded like longing and consolation together, extended into emptiness, a shot of warmth coming out of a void.Oddly, listening to Toto’s “Africa” in a mall seems…

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26 Jan: Awkwardly Blissing Out: A Ghostly Occurrence

  Listening to F ingers is a ghostly occurrence, not of the floating sheets kind but that of an occupied space, occupants unknown. Just as stylized cinematography or purposefully scratchy film grain can feel like an additional character in a movie, F ingers’ lo-fi, mumbling production imagines a confined architecture and a smokey mist seeping through door cracks. I’m cautious but entranced. Comprised of Australians Carla Dal Forno, Tarquin Manek, and Samuel Karmel, F ingers…

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09 Sep: Holger Czukay’s Secret Code

My friend Tom was years older than me, and he let me regularly visit his house to listen to records. I was a weirdo growing up isolated in Central Louisiana, and friends like Tom were invaluable. His record collection was immense and consistently opened my mind to amazing sounds. Tom introduced me to Krautrock, a music genre that was startling to a Louisiana teenager in the mid-’80s. I think Faust came first and I paid…

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04 Sep: The Digital Dispute Over Mechanical Royalty

Lots of confused, angry, and wide-eyed rumblings due to Spotify’s latest legal pronouncement. The Hollywood Reporter explains: What {Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons member Bob} Gaudio’s lawsuit alleges — as did the prior class action — is Spotify is violating the reproduction rights of publishers and songwriters. Those making a mechanical reproduction of a musical composition can obtain a compulsory license and bypass having to negotiate terms with publishers. However, those doing so have…

PATREON

31 Aug: The Patronage Economy and Fan Accessibility

Here’s an enthusiastic TED Talk from Jack Conte, co-founder of Patreon and one-half of Pomplamoose:   Conte: What gets me super excited to be a creator right now, to be alive today, to be a creative person right now, is realizing that we’re only ten years into figuring out this new machine, to figuring out the next hundred years of infrastructure for our creators. And you can tell we’re only ten years in as there’s…

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26 Aug: The Zen of Consistently Recording Songs, Not Albums

Author James Clear recently published an enlightening post about goals vs. systems. He proposes that one can find effectiveness in a project by focusing on systems and jettisoning goals. The general idea is this: a goal to complete a novel in three months is intimidating, and this looming target often triggers anxiety and procrastination. Regardless, you should have a system planned out to reach that objective, such as ‘write five hundred words each day.’ Clear…

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23 Aug: Dubset’s Major Move

TechCrunch: Spotify and Apple Music could soon get the legal grey area of music like remixes and DJ sets that today live unofficially on SoundCloud. Sony Music Entertainment today became the first major record label to allow its music to be monetized through unofficial mixes thanks to a deal with rights clearance startup Dubset. That means Sony’s master recordings will be indexed by Dubset, and rights holders will be compensated even if just a tiny…

Noise Gate and Gated Reverb

19 Aug: The Gated Reverb Conundrum

Do I know someone over at Vox? Perhaps there’s some psychic mind-link? I ask because the music topics the site covers in its ongoing video series are coming from my unbeknownst internal wishlist. I mean, here’s an eight-and-a-half minute video on gated reverb. Holy cats.   Okay, so we’ve got to talk a little bit about music production trends. These trends represent sounds, styles, and motifs that, at best, enhance a song and, at worst,…

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18 Aug: Destroying the Perfect

On the Building New Law podcast, Seth Godin had this to say: We always destroy the perfect before we enable the impossible. For example, sonically CDs are not as good as vinyl, and MP3s are not as good as CDs. But this degradation is necessary to get to the technological point of ‘every song in your pocket,’ and audio quality will someday catch up. And we’ve seen it before. The eight-track tape: sounded like crap…