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11297Re: [thewire] Re: PLEASE READ

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  • simonsmith@readingchronicle.co.uk
    Mar 30, 2001
      I think you're spot on about the seeping of hip-hop and dance culture into leftfield stuff - and the associated vinyl=cool equation.

      I think what irked me about the Negativeland piece is the assumption that the kind of market forces wnhich have seen the rise of the CD are automatically bad news for underground culture - strikes me as a gloomy view. There's a whole host of labels and artists out there muckin about with formats


      ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
      Subject: [thewire] Re: PLEASE READ
      Author: jeff_colley@... at INTERNET
      Date: 29/03/2001 16:47


      Yeah, I see your point. I should have made myself a little clearer though. From what I have seen there was a significant shift away from vinyl at the end of the 80s, which looks like it was based on a policy which swept across the music industry. Now, what I mean is, I think a lot of people in the underground (and generally on the fringes) went on releasing vinyl instead of cds, for a number of reasons. For example, in terms of practicality, I know that smaller labels and D.I.Y operators may have found the new technologies too expensive to invest in, but I think there was a definite cultural reaction. The most explicit example I can think of is when the San Diego band Drive Like Jehu were (if I remember correctly) put under pressure by their record company to release their new album on CD, which they did, but with the words 'cds really fuckin' blow' printed on the cds, a protest of sorts. However, I think there has been a significant shift in recent years, which can also be traced back to many possible causes. For example, vinyl has seen a resurgence in mass culture in general due to the growth of the cult of the DJ--teenage kids get decks instead of electric guitars nowadays. Off the back of this, and the growing fragmentation of mass audiences, many of whom seep into underground culture via leftfield hiphop, electronica and dance, it may be more in the interests of the market to promote vinyl, at least to a limited extent. Especially seeing the air of cool that people are staring to reassociate with it in mass-culture. Furthermore, in underground culture, I believe there has been a shift away from vinyl culture recently, or at least efforts to place less stress on it. Again, there are many factors that I can see that are leading to this. For starts, it is becoming cheaper all the time to release cds (and there are even some people selling their music solely as an intangible object, via mp3's). Which leads to the fact that much music is being made/consumed via computers (and thus cds are an easier option than vinyl). So there's the ecenomic/technological side. But also, there's a reaction, I feel, to the commodification of DJ culture, and a feeling that music shouldn't need to be pinned down to any one format. If certain types of music do this, it's a lot easier to pigeonhole them, and not need to think about them anymore. But working in different formats (given the history I've mentioned) helps to keep things shifting, and evolving. So that even people involved in the culture can't be too sure of themselves. So it's good in that it helps to work against things like elitism, forces people to be more open. And I think that's increasingly becoming a trend in these leftfield/experimental/obsessive music cultures: openness, enthiusiasm, diversity, etc. Even to the extent of blurring lines between serious and pop, good and bad, etc. Just raising questions in general. Hopefully, this will lead to the continuation and growth of people making and listening to interesting, fresh, new music.

      Sorry for going on...again.

      jeff

      --- In thewire@y..., simonsmith@r... wrote:
      > The reality is that my local HMV will order for me virtually any release I want on vinyl from the smallest label - so long as it's got proper distribution - and, as the classified pages of Wire show every month, there's no shortage of companies doing mail/internet order.
      > > In the past few weeks Virgin and HMV just down the road have stocked vinyl releases from - off the top of my head - V/VM, Stockhausen and Walkman, practically everything released on Domino or Warp, all the Sonic Youth own-label releases, all the Soul Jazz compilations on vinyl, lots of white label dance stuff, some decent jazz reissues, Sigur Ros, every Godspeed release and some other Constellation stuff.
      > > OK, there's nothing too bleeding edge, but what do we want ... the moon on a stick? I think it's pretty good going within the constraints of a capitalist market economy. And no, I don't work for them. Anyone who argues that there isn't ENOUGH music released - on vinyl or otherwise - either has too much time on their hands or doesn't look hard enough.
      > > AND, practically every hip-hop, new metal or US 'punk' release gets mainstream vinyl distribution - surely a sign that the market-driven approach adopted by the majors is flexible enough to incorporate a bit of youthful dissent.
      > > > ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
      > Subject: [thewire] Re: PLEASE READ
      > Author: jeff_colley@y... at INTERNET > Date: 28/03/2001 20:28
      > > > > > Patrick said:
      > One of the many reasons that I moved to the US. And that I try to only buy stuff on vinyl.
      > > And that I try to only buy stuff on vinyl.
      > > interesting. do you think that that's a reason why so much underground/indie/experimental/etc stuff gets put out on vinyl, often as the main or only format? as a reaction to record company control?
      > > if anyone has opinions on this i'd love to hear them > > jeff
      > > --- In thewire@y..., Patrick Oliver <patrick_oliver@y...> wrote: > Yes, its utterly evil and despicable. In fact, you'd
      > > be even more disgusted by the price of cds in the UK. > Several years ago Sir Leon Brittan led a parliamentary > inquiry into the whole business of why the British
      > > public should have to fork out more than anyone else > in the world. The finding of the committee?
      > > > British people pay more for EVERYTHING. > > So that explains it.
      > > > One of the many reasons that I moved to the US. > > And that I try to only buy stuff on vinyl.
      > > > There, I said my piece...
      > > > >
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