Everyday White Noise

Industrial is white-hot funky dance music, squeezed out of everyday white noise. The sound fragments and fluffed up news of our lives provide the back beat, over which are added lyrics of domination, control, and disaffection, usually sung by a demonic-sounding narrator singing from a distance. Post-Industrial dance (like early Industrial) is built around the sounds our culture…

Some Advice About Unsolicited Demos

Most label owners are overwhelmed with demos. Speaking as someone who has, at times, attempted to actually get to every demo arriving in my inbox, the vast majority are not worth looking into, and I don’t blame any label owner who ignores unsolicited demos—sorting through what might be worthwhile to release is actually a full-time job known as A&R…

BitTorrent Is Not a Universal Solution

One of the most common suggestions I receive from Ektoplazm visitors is to open a BitTorrent tracker for free music, ostensibly to decrease hosting costs. There are a number of problems with this suggestion, however, and given how frequently it is mentioned, I figure a full post might be helpful to explain why BitTorrent is not a universal…

Winter Containment Unit

New Music Digest: Winter 2011

Every season I try to gather up some of the more interesting music-related articles I’ve been reading to share and discuss. Much of this comes from subscribing to various “music 2.0” blogs, though I will admit to feeling uninspired by much of what I have found in the last few months. Is the movement running out of ideas? Not exactly.

Metal Shavings

New Music Digest: Fall 2010

Continuing my quarterly habit of rounding up some of the more informative and thought-provoking content in the new music literature… First off, Cory Doctorow shares his views in The real cost of free, a fantastic opinion piece summarizing many of my own views about copyright, piracy, free content, and creativity. Required reading.

rip-remix-manifesto

RiP: A Remix Manifesto

I recently had the pleasure of watching RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a documentary about culture, copyright, and creativity in the 21st century directed by Canadian filmmaker Brett Gaylor. The main focus of the film is Girl Talk, a mash-up artist, though you will also hear from Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of the Creative Commons (and a huge…

Eliminating Atoms

The ultimate cost reduction is eliminating atoms entirely and dealing only in bits. Pure digital aggregators store their inventory on hard drives and deliver it via broadband pipes. The marginal cost of manufacturing, shelving, and distribution is close to zero, and royalties are paid only when the goods are sold. It’s the ultimate on-demand market: Because the goods…

Urbane Archaeology

New Music Digest: Summer 2010

Every now and then I gather up some of the more provocative or informative articles I find in my travels in order to compile a digest post such as this one. What follows is an assortment of music-related content I’ve been reading in the last couple of months. Revealing Shakespeare’s Inner Pirate takes a close look at how culture…

dj-basilisk-moonshadow

Moonshadow

Moonshadow is a classic psytrance mix originally composed for the Global Goa Party, a virtual event conceived to “create the soundtrack for a full night (and morning) of old-school Goa trance by ten DJs from all over the world.” The rules were simple: record a mix with music that would have been heard on the dance floor in 1999.

This Is the World of Peer Production

This is the world of ‘peer production,’ the extraordinary Internet-enabled phenomenon of mass volunteerism and amateurism. We are at the dawn of an age where most producers in any domain are unpaid, and the main difference between them and their professional counterparts is simply the (shrinking) gap in the resources available to them to extend the ambition of…