Two Different Angles On The Record Industry

June 19th, 2013 |  Published in Blog



I very recently acquired two compilations, both full of great tracks and both raising very interesting and pertinent issues.



The first, Enjoy The Experience – Homemade Records 1958-1992” is a fantastic double album of tracks from american private pressings. To quote some words from the accompanying booklet: ““The recordings collected here are artifacts of a media universe that no longer exists. They were created, against very high odds, in a world in which both the means of production and the means of distribution were held as near-complete monopolies by the ‘record’ industry.” Today, i can record some sounds on my computer, upload them to Youtube, and wait for fame to come knocking; but the tracks here come from people who had a few more hurdles to jump and miles to run. As such, we are in the realm of the driven and obsessed; a beautiful place to be. Whilst this kind of area and compilation normally ends up being a bucketful of “outsider” artists and deranged zonk, “Enjoy the Experience…” is a very varied platter, and uniformly listenable. Indeed, try and tell me that you’ve heard a more ecstatic pop song than this recently…



The second compilation is “Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2“, collecting up tracks from Northern Mali, in 2010. In the Sahara, mobile phones aren’t of great use for actually phoning people – networks are spotty in their service, and the charges are very expensive. So, often a phone becomes more used as a computer, camera or stereo; and its this last use that the compilation documents. “Recorded music now exists on a network of cellphones – a metaphoric public radio of popular music. The songs are purchased in black market mp3 markets from armies of youth on street sides with laptops and USB keys, or traded from phone to phone…” Thus tracks are passed around, swapped; existing as some weird, transient, intangible network: a sonic virus or chain letter. The sounds on the album itself (selected from previous tape compilations) vary from the idiosyncratic to mainstream bangers. Here’s one of the more exciting songs: no-one is safe from auto-tune…

You can listen to the whole album here.

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June 19th, 2013 | by | Published in Blog