Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Keeping It Real: 1

The world of music moves so quickly that either I'm going senile or I'm purchasing in my sleep. Let me elaborate. I spend money on records. Still. I've tried to cut down, receiving a lot of free stuff as I do, and feeling that what I do get from agencies and artists is enough. But no, it never is. I'm sure if I wanted to stick my neck out I could get more, but I'm so bloody lazy, and anyway I'm. Trying. To. Cut. Down. The listening experience, or what it has become, is so much more transitory these days, as is the critical one that, although I'm keeping up . . . (I've always managed to keep up, often to the detriment of everything else) . . .  I still feel that it's futile to do so and that the real secret to success is to opt out of the miasma of pursuit and pace oneself very much on one's own terms. Obvious I know, and it's not something which I've just realised, but what has made it a lot clearer is the sheer weight of homogenous product that I'm exposed to on an almost daily basis. It's said that the digital revolution has been a liberating one; that if you're after a scene which takes the DIY ethic of punk to its most logical conclusion then the marketplace governed by the electronic music download is just that. It's not, and with the greatest respect to everyone who send me stuff, after having listened to practically everything I've been sent over the last nine or so years, having first started receiving promos when my first radio show started in 2004, I've recently taken the decision to stop listening to everything I'm sent and to delete on sight. I feel really bad about this as time and effort goes into production and I don't like to be dismissive. I've never given a purposefully bad review. Sure, they can't all be above average but I'm of the opinion that if something isn't any good then it's better left alone. No need to twist the knife and end someone's career before it's begun. However, if one is to be critical then occasionally such things must inevitably come to pass. I've paid my dues. I've been buying, playing, living and breathing music since 1977. The money I've spent on it could clear the national debt of a small, unnamed South Pacific island nation. I've never pretended I could do it better than anyone else, and I hope I don't come across as a smart arse when I write. I'm an enthusiast, through and through, as well as a very late developer. A jack of all trades, master of none. Someone who has always comforted himself with the knowledge that not being able to play a musical instrument isn't a bad thing, because being in a band would be so boring anyway. Endless rehearsals, sound checks, playing the same stuff in the same way night after night, day after day. On the other hand, DJing is true improvisation. If one has a many and varied record collection, as well as access to a vast hold of sound, the possibilities are limitless indeed, and you never have to repeat yourself. These are the simple thoughts that I dream up on an almost daily basis to compensate for my lack of real ability. 

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