Rabbits Full of Magic

13 April 2009

 

Fidelity Wars IV: A New Hope

This I Love Music thread about the upcoming Beatles remasters had me writing a bunch of silly things and getting annoyed responses because I didn't realize that my whole philosophy towards music is vastly different than most of the people on this planet, particularly people that contribute to a forum called "I Love Music". Let me lay down my main creed:

Digital technology has progressed to the point where music can be recorded or duplicated by the general public in quality that rivals the most expensive and exclusive music studios.

This century has seen the creation (and simultaneous conquest) of music production by 'the industry' which has become known as the RIAA, or the Record Industry Association of America. A giant corporate entity with LOADS of lobbying power, the RIAA purports to be the official voice of all musicians and recording artists. It has taken many legal (and sometimes illegal) and certainly immoral paths to monopolize music production, from under-reporting record sales to waging copyright wars. The nature of the internet and current technology is seeing this monopoly melt away, and likely, the industry with it.

One of the remaining tools the RIAA is using to control the field is the myth of fidelity, that better fidelity is better music. Fidelity has always been a marketing tool, from the invention of stereo to quad to the supposedly supreme sound of the CD. By making periodic changes to fidelity and format, they have been able to sell the same product many times over to the same consumer public. The big fad of the last decade has been issuing remastered albums thereby reclaiming a potentially lost demographic in the audiophiles, those sonic nerds that decried the poor quality of the original CD issues compared to the beloved vinyl. By selling remastered albums the RIAA is making a public admission of an inferior product, yet all is forgiven in light of appeasement of the music's 'most hardcore' fanbase.

The thing is, the public is buying it up. They love the chance to purchase superior product, with no thought to questioning why in retrospect the first product was inferior nor why in the future this 'remastered' product will doubtlessly be inferior. In 10 years the White Album will be issued in nanobot form, remastered yet again, the industry admitting that their 2009 product was inferior product, that they didn't know what they were doing. But oh yes they do now. The RIAA has become George Lucas'd.

Truth is, The Beatles recorded on 4-track tape when they were the hugest band in the world and could've recorded on fucking 16 channel if they wanted to. They probably could've paid someone to invent 64 channel in a month if they wanted to. They didn't though, because they weren't nerds. Well that and they were too busy writing 'A Day in the Life' to give a shit.

I'm really rambling now, kind of getting off track.

Anyways nowadays we have digital shit and any kid can record Sgt. Pepper on Garageband, provided he has access to a harpsichord and french horns and stuff. I think we're reaching the point where sound quality is insignificant, because PERFECT SOUND FOREVER can be achieved so easily that it won't matter. This is something I really wanted to target with Cave Paint Records, the idea that the music is not the quality of sound, but the pattern that cuts through the air. That the shape of a groove is like a strange attractor in the Dynamic System of the universe, a system of constant vibration from all points. Confining music to a fidelity is like placing a finite limit on an infinite universe. The truth is that music is so affecting to people because MUSIC IS INTER-DIMENSIONAL. Music is the vibratory influence of an entity in motion on the immediate environment, as experienced over time. We need to start making crude records, starting taking lo-fi into the no-fi, start breaking down this false prejudice of fidelity, this ridiculous and insignificant bigotry towards something that ethereal and spiritual as vibrations. With Cave Paint Records I am sounding off a shot for the No-Fi movement, which is as spiritual as it is based on a tangible product.

The critics will combat us with the old 'Sounds like shit' argument. So what? Shit is natural, it is a produced by organic processes, it is fertile and when returned to the Earth encourages the growth of LIVING THINGS. And as the lowest form of Youtube compression shows us, EVEN ROBOTS CAN SOUND LIKE SHIT. Join us and let's make some hot shit together.

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