Editorial Emissions »»
Of course there are some who valiantly fight against this major label hegemony. Indeed, the Enemies List label states that it declares war on the majors. Independent record labels do their best and labels such as Cherry Red, Renascent, Rhino and the like specialise in reissuing lost classics. But they cannot take on the financial clout of the big companies. Individual bands also try by putting out their music for free on their own websites. But they are fighting a losing battle. What is needed is a new musical revolution. In the seventies, punk caught the UK record industry very badly out. The latter failed to appreciate the impact would have and seriously underestimated it. They thought they had recovered by the end of the seventies but then along came synth pop to catch them out again. EMI nearly went bust – twice. The time has come to turn away from major label output. Find what you can. Promote what you can. Avoid the major labels in favour of the indie. If we can drive these tottering dinosaurs out of business then musical creativity will be saved. Do your bit!
And now we move into the 400’s.
Garnering high praise from esteemed musical legend Quincy Jones, calling any musician “one of the most prolific and gifted jazz pianists of the 21st century”, is no small feat. Coming across this quote, I immediately needed to know more about Cubano master composer and pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. As the notes from the first piece I played simultaneously glided and firework shattered across my eardrums, shades of musical genius and discussions of the “next jazz great” emerge. Unpredictable yet intricate. Random yet delightfully purposeful.
Back in the day, when this place was crawling with forums and chats about random acts of music, we used to poll ourselves to see which release by an artist not only set them atop of the industry but stapled them in as musical gods.
So, should you download music without paying for it? Yes. Why? Three reasons. First, if you already own it on vinyl it comes under fair use. If it did not, then every time you rip a CD to your iPhone you would be breaking the law and I cannot see the courts enforcing that. Second, if you cannot buy it in hard copy or through any other source. If I could, I would prefer the hard copy. And if the record companies don’t want the money they would receive from re-releasing it, how can they begrudge me if I get it any way I can? I would rather have the hard copy anyway, but because they insist on trying to control what I listen to they restrict the choice available to me. Third, I often download tracks from an album to check out whether or not I like it. If I do, I buy the CD. If I don’t, I do not buy it. Either way I delete the downloaded version. All the Performing Rights Association and its overseas counterparts are achieving is to reduce consumer choice and trying to eliminate the exercise of choice through product testing. And they think that will boost the declining revenues of the major labels? These people are seriously misguided.
And now we will reach half way.
Among the fresh batch of April album drops this week, U.K. bred Vienna based electronic producer/artist SOHN’s ‘Tremors’, with tinges of pop and R&B, easily shook itself away from the rest of the pack. Offering album stream previews on iTunes and live performance videos, these sneak peeks cleverly drew in his audience, with this release currently rising up international charts as we speak. Hyped to briefly connect with the mysteriously black hooded one who’s produced remixes for Lana Del Rey, Kwabs, BANKS and Disclosure during SXSW, I had the amusing and memorable experience of getting kicked out of a hotel lobby with him at that time (you had to be there).
The music from various decades has its high points and low points.
The 1930s were a great time for popular music. It was groundbreaking via the efforts of Louis Armstrong. Robert Christgau wrote in a review of a collection of Armstrong’s songs his sound was quite remarkable for the time.
Armstrong’s changes lead to development of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. It was also a time for music, which featured wonderful melodies via Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters and Count Basie.
Succeeding decades had their moments through the 60s, when rock n roll went through dramatic changes. The Beatles took the changes made by the invention of rock in the 50s (thank you Chuck Berry) and ran with them.
They came up with a sound, which was different than anything else on in the pop arena. And they featured two excellent song writers in John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
You could still find practitioners of pop music from earlier eras. Armstrong took the No. 1 spot from the Beatles with his hit “Hello Dolly.” Frank Sinatra and Jack Jones had their hits. There was still classic jazz from Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.
All of these different styles presented the listener with many choices. It was also a time where the culture was changing and artistic progression was equated with overturning existing mores.
Somewhere along the line in succeeding decades it became harder to find alternatives to rock. Dance music accelerated by the disco movement in the 70s celebrated the values of the rock world.
You can always find changes with merit in various music trends. Rap music grew out of disco. And it embraced a sound in line with rock even the hard variety spearheaded by Run DMC. Read more…