Thursday 12 June 2008


Hey friends. Not really a music post here; rather, I'm asking for some opinions of you groovy blog readers. I've spent many hours thinking about the state of music (electronic is a narrow field I know, but extending to just about everything) and its future. A year or two ago I thought the idea of music blogging was the greatest thing that could ever happen to the development and growth of the industry in the still early stages of the digital revolution. It's certainly a very cool thing that anybody has the opportunity of having their own musical creations shared and promoted to the e-masses, and that careers can be built not on just luck but on recognition and appreciation of quality and potential.

Lately, though, I've become pretty cynical about the whole thing and I'm worried about what the implications may be in terms of the music industry, in terms of musical creativity and genre exploration, and in terms of both the immediate and perhaps more long term future of the way music is consumed. I won't say too much, because I could ramble forever and ever, but it's something I'm really interested in and I'd like to do some more research and thinking. I'd love to hear from anybody who has any thoughts on this though. Is this whole concept of blogging (and everything that's tied to it) actually doing good things, or is it going to end up having detremental effects? Are we taking steps forward or taking steps back?

Give me an email if you've got a view on the matter. My address is over on the top right. Or leave a comment or something. I'd really appreciate any input you guys might have!

As for tunes.. I suppose I'd better post something. So for your aural pleasure, check out a few lovely gems that need no polishing. A cruisy Avalanches B-side groove, an upbeat strutting funky remix of Justin Timberlake (don't judge yet!) by the marvelous Casino Inc, and the slightly dark and twisted SMD tweaking of Bjork.

The Avalanches - Thank You Caroline

Justin Timberlake - My Love (Casino Inc Amazing Disco Remix)

Bjork - Innocence (Simian Mobile Disco Twelve Inch Remix)

Drop me a line yo!

Oh, and for those who have been asking, I'm reuploading the Daft Punk live sets now. Uni holidays start this weekend for me so I'll start sorting shit out then. Sorry for the wait!


Anonymous said...

I think it's good for the music industry in general as people stop relying on one or two magazines to find out about new bands, which had previously allowed the labels to get lazy in finding new music. They new where to market and what tastes the reviewers had.

Music is supposed to be about aural pleasure and finding something new which keeps your interest. Music evolves. The blog revolution is not going to replace the mainstream (at least I hope not because they play their role in filtering the wheat from the chaff for most people who would never spend the time looking at 10-20+ blogs), but work alongside it, allowing tastemakers and people who truly love being immersed in new music to have open discussions about what's good, what's new, and what isn't. The blogs offer debate and views outside the mainstream that are shared by fewer people, but people who were not previously served by the music media.

I see the whole landscape changing, with large music media staying the most popular way for people to hear about music with their newspapers, magazines, and large websites. Some blogs are now and will in the future grow to a middle size that has strong influence over their niche and a substantial readership, helping organise gigs and smaller festivals.

The majority of blogs will remain relatively small with readers that enjoy their writing style or particular tastes, but it remains a part timer for the blogger. They can still break some great bands, and are able to have open discussions with those further up the ladder meaning the whole web of music media becomes larger and looser.

Well that's my view of the future anyway.

andy webb said...

thanks for the comment tim! i appreciate you taking the time to do it.

i certainly agree with what you're saying, i suppose it's more the hidden issues i'm worrying about, on a more grand scale than blogs alone - especially linked with the digital format, illegal and legal downloading, and how it will ultimately affect things.

one of the many things, for example, that worries me is the idea that the 'album' continues to become less and less significant. more and more people are becoming less interested in albums and more interested in songs, which are far more easily available these days. the idea of songs rather than albums, i think, degrades a number of aspects of music and (speaking very generally here) transforms art into consumerism.

ok so this may be pretty exaggerated, i'm not saying that it's some kind of music apocalypse, i'm just concerned about these things and what their implications may be with both mainstream and sideline music cultures. i'll try and gather my thoughts and write some things down so i can *attempt* to make some sense.

Anonymous said...

i think the music industry started out with singles and it's returning to that mindset. there was a time when you had to deserve an album, and it resulted in some great stuff (and extravagant excess). i think people will still buy a record if they really want to be a fan. we shouldn't (and can't afford to) be luddite about what the technology is doing for music period. we have to make more music because it's more accessible. not any less full of wonderment

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about how less and less people are buying albums, and focusing on singles.

But I used to only buy albums if I already knew and enjoyed three or more songs from it when I was at school (often the singles). Singles were £2-£4 and albums were £9-£12, so it was worth it.

With the download distribution model (where the distribution costs are basically zero), I think albums should be given free (as downloads) to anyone that downloads 4 songs from it. Taht way the bands/artists get their album out to a wider audience and users get to experience it for what they are already paying.

Or if the new Orange (French) all you can eat DRM free music subscription package catches on, then bands just need to package their albums and people will download.

black Sunshine said...

As a DJ, I can say that one thing that blogs do is ensure that people know the tracks that I'm playing out - there are few things more satisfying than seeing the look of recognition on a club-goers face when you drop a track. I think that the blogs that post older and/or non-electronica tunes are very instrumental too, because I like to mix it up a bit ;-)

-black Sunshine

andy webb said...

that reminds me of something a dj said wayy back when i was about to start this blog. i was asking people what they thought of blogs and he immediately said he hated the whole concept. he explained that he loved the idea that good djs playing in good clubs would spend a lot of time in record stores (and alike) finding new stuff nobody had heard, and they would be the ones to show the keen clubbers hot new underground music in a club environment.

this especially comes from the perspective of a vinyl dj (of which i am also) and i think it's an interesting point. that's generally the way things would have been for quite a while before blogs made it easy for anybody to find the same great music that's hiding below the surface. it's good to play things people recognise, but it's also great to play really quality tunes that people don't know.


Anonymous said...

Personally I'm entirely in love with the whole blog thing. Yours is actually my first bookmark in a big list of music blogs I visit. If it weren't for blogging, I wouldn't know any of the slew of electronic/dance artists out there now, simply because they just don't really exist in New Jersey.

Also, I disagree with who said that moving back towards single releases is mostly consumerism. I mean I guess it's true in the sense that no one wants to buy an album with one good song on it. Personally I feel that degrades the art form much more than someone releasing a handful of good songs.

Ados said...

I agree with the above comment. If it weren't for blogs, I wouldn't have half the knowledge of music that I do now.

For the undiscovered artist, to be picked up by the blog world can be a godsend. For those not lucky enough to have official releases, blogs can help promote their careers or performances.

However, blogs can be a pain in the ass. I know I had downloaded the entire Apocalypso album off various blogs before I went and bought it. There is a fine line between promotion and free music.

Anonymous said...

This was an issue discussed on insight the other week (don't know if this is were u got the topic).

a few points from that discussion

- we are moving towards single orientated music, i,e Ed Banger records only two albums from all those artists...very valid point

-royalties. artists are now missing out on royalties from cd/single sales.

-paid downloads are only available for credit card holders, in most cases.

-music is to ecpensive to buy, lets think about it the downloaders are mainly teenagers and uni student.

-the asoption of the an american system were ISP uses are charged 10 per month on there bill and can download as much as they want.

-the interent has revolutionised the industry but the industry hasn't kept up.

-Lets face it the music industry is more dynamic and bibrant than it ever has been for one reason: THE INTERNET, ppl are pretty quick to forget that.

its only old well established artists that are crying because now there market share has to be divided up.

i'm sorry but blog sites do it for me i download about 50-70 songs a week and about 5-10 mixes a week, i'm addicted. if we go back to the good old days i'll leave the music industry and the club scene and go back to playing sport. i even bought decks to muck around on, LOOK AT THE FLOW ON EFFECT...

the internet is not the demise of the music scene its the beginning of a new revolution

Anonymous said...

also artists are making more out of Touring than they ever have before...since when would an artist from Italy (besides Operah) evercome to australia and get paid for playing music, i.e crookers and BB's.

u don't hear artists whinging about not getting paid enough for touring, this is were they are making all there money and more than if they were just selling cd's.

i guess there are winners and losers in every argument

Anonymous said...

a good example of blogging working to the advantage of an aspiring bedroom producer/dj is someone like Grum.

Dunno if many of you have heard of him, but i think it was late last year when i first saw a post or two on him which included 2 of his tunes. And over the last say... 4-5 months... his work has been blogged quite heavily and has quickly made a name for himself.

In my opinion, he owes a large portion of his success...(obviously not entirely...he does make some quality tunes) to the internet and blogging.

What the internet (which is essentially a product of an increasingly globalised world) has done is cut out the once necessary step of being signed to a record label for a band or artist to have any chance of their music being heard outside their bedroom, garage or local pub etc.

I can make a track, post it on Disco Delicious or any other prominent electronic music blog for that matter, and instantly, a Dj in France might dig it and play it that night in a club on the other side of the world.

One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you're signed to institubes and are suddenly playing with surkin in front of 5,000 people.

What the digital revolution has done is allow audiences to no longer be simply passive consumers of media, literature, music, film, etc. but are now increasingly becoming the producers of a lot the content.

So in that sense, blogging and the internet are pretty much indispensable mediums to the undiscovered bedroom producer or garage band.

Though, it's true your chances of getting rich or getting to #1 in the charts from a life music are growing increasingly slim as the record label is becoming more and more obsolete.

... But in the end, if you're in it for the money, you shouldn't be in it at all.

NEIL UPPPP said...

Some weeks i download up to 3-4 gigs of music, from every dance genre(minimal, techhouse, electro, indie-dance etc) and i will only extract 10-20 songs that i like....its all about the individual user, there is not many 'bad' songs out there, but blogs are supposed to filter out the good from the bad, and now i find i just trawl it, filter it, and then delete whatever i dont like. But need to find a 320 version of the song! id much rather buy the vinyl, but with such limited options in sydney, its also quite hard!the whole credit-card/shipping fee/wait that comes with ordering online is also irritating for me.... but i guess ive got nothing better to do, and we all love music, so its worth it in the end.

andy webb said...

thanks for the responses - those who emailed too! sorry i haven't replied yet, i'll try and get onto each one.

they've all been great and well justified, and as i expected almost entirely pro-blogs. one person helped clarify something in my mind that i hadn't totally sorted out. taking a very very broad look at things well outside of music, i think it's hard to debate that people in this decade are more impatient than ever. technology continues to make things more and more efficient and we have to do less and less.

i think this has had a profound effect on the way many people listen to music. in a way, i think, it's constantly heading more towards music being a more 'express' form of entertainment. people aren't interested in sitting down and listening to an album for an hour - they want something more condensed that requires less patience and more dense/concentrated energy.

i really dislike the idea that we shouldn't have to invest time and attention to fully experience and enjoy music. i think, like any art form, it needs some kind of intellectual and emotional involvement to really achieve enjoyment. i'm sounding terribly wanky now, sorry.

Anonymous said...

hi there
can you tell me please how i can upload my tracks in my blogspot? do you work with html codes for this application?
i need your help please ;)
thank you very much


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think the real question you need to be asking is what your position is as a blogger. The reality is, people have different motives and needs when it comes to blogging. The obvious being a wish to bring new/old (beat electric is a fine example of this, D.I.S.C.O.) music to people all over the world. But I think we have to analyse a little deeper than this to truly understand the motives of a blogger. I feel it surley can't be so two dimentional!

One thing I feel is really beginning to become clear is the role of an album. I think it is still too early to say what will happen to the album as a means of artistic expression, but I can only think that blogging is a positive thing for it. Pressure is put on the artist to provide solid tracks not 'fillers' when and if an album is created. Already I have seen amongst so called 'blog' artists a real push for quality on albums.

For me this is all part of the great movement that is music. We are now entering the age of people, not managers and organisations, bringing and creating music to each other. While this movement is not as loud and instant as other musical moments have been, it is having a progressive impact on music today (touring increases is perhaps great evidence of this).

To whether its a bad thing well....anything has got to better than composers/musicians having to provide exclusively to the elites of society in the late 18th century.

sara c. said...

I agree with a majority of the comments above. It has a lot to do with the listener AND blogger relationship. I posted a link to this article on my website, hopefully it will bring some more inspiration your way!

andy webb said...

thanks again for the great replies. i honestly didn't really expect to be swayed much by what people said since i have quite a strong and complicated view of it all which i'm still trying to figure out, but i actually have been inspired by peoples' arguments. so thank you!

i guess from a blogger and blog reader's point of view it's mostly quite clear what the intentions of some bloggers are. some are completely focused on sharing quality music that they genuinely feel others need to hear.

then there are some whose motives are a bit less sincere. i see blogs that are quite clearly more interested in posting tracks that will generate traffic to their blog.. things that will top the hypem charts or attract a lot of searches. to some it's more about being the first to post the new justice remix or find some exclusive mstrkrft leak than really try and offer a selection of music that will help promote artists and assist people in finding new music they love.

perhaps that's something which has really determined my thoughts on this. in any case, it does get to me a bit that there's this kind of misrepresentation by some of the point of music blogs.

anyways, i really appreciate everybody reading and giving me opinions to consider. love!

Anonymous said...

please insert your 2cents:

i only buy albums if i want the cd to keep forever, like my favourite teddy bear. you might even say it's human instinct and an underlying culture of economic rationalism that's seeping through: why pay when a nice little boy or girl will post it up on their blog site and hypemachine will conveniently assist the transaction? sadly, even if blogs were detrimental, it's too late - everyone loves them.

releasing music on cds is kewl.. but live shows are the future primary means of income for artists.

Anonymous said...

Great post and great blog!

To check out a hot new mix from Ajax plus mixes from Crookers, K.I.M. from the Presets, Cajuan and others head to MIXD UPT right now.

Anonymous said...

IMO I think some artists that feature on blogs do face several risks. Since the internet age, and the new music revolution how we obtain and listen to music has changed. What I am trying to say is everything moves along faster, artists featured on blogs kinda face the risk of being one 'blog' hit wonders. Speed takes precedence over quality on a lot of blogs, while blatant plagiarism occurs on others. (I guess that's why I like your blog quite a bit, your posts are well thought out and honest).

So I just think things should slow down a bit, so the artists truly deserving of success can come into light, while those mediocre are removed from the spotlight. Take all the current electro sound ushered in by the likes of Daft Punk et al, which have been manipulated and rehashed by lesser artists trying to capitalise on that sound.

There's almost too much music out there, leading to music that is content in being stale and flavour of the month.

Ultimately, it is up to the listener though to cipher through the blogs and make download decisions for themselves. Blogs have introduced me to a huge variety of music and for that I thank them for and I think they should concentrate on variety and innovation, rather than celebrating the same old.

benjimite said...

It is such a difficult subject to really ascertain any sort of generalisations about bloggers and their motivations. Writing a blog, I have really started to question my motives in why I am posting things. I have now only started to post things when I think the band/producer can get something out of it as well, like a record sale or concert ticket. I think If you truly wish to expose music to the world, dues must be paid to its creator.

I love blogs, I read them everyday and download off them about the same. Though one thing I have noticed is I think I am becoming a little desensitised to music and the wondrous emotional attachments that can be associated with it. Listening to the latest single from some cool group by yourself on your computer doesn't compare to when you might be drinking with friends at a mates house when you hear an amazing track on their stereo that you've never heard before. Anyway that's beside the point a little.

One thing is also what you choose to offer on the blog. Say a well know but still up and coming producer releases a single and that ends up on all the blogs taking away the majority of income the artist might receive. I mean you post a tag at the end saying 'Buy ..artist.. stuff from juno or iTunes', but why would you when you can just download the track right there and then? If you offer a b-side, a remix or an earlier track from the artist and perhaps emphasise in writing how good the new track is, it may encourage more purchasing, or just force the more cynical reader to move to the next blog that has posted that new single.

Anyway cool thread Andy, a subject very worthy of discussion. Another good, if very long, thread can be found at Resident Adviser by an author of well known blog Little White Earbuds @


Anonymous said...

more comments than you could ever hope to read apparently,

a few brief thoughts...

Marshall McLuhan noted the affects of television on the populace. How perhaps it would change the way people felt about information... that they would believe everything to be more instantaneous and therefore judge their communication based on such experiences with technology. Likewise, I think that the blog has perhaps created shorter attention spans than ever. Though the internet, and the blog, have been amazing as far as opening doors to the common person to influence a global platform, it still might have a counter effect by creating the most mindless, fastest produced crap we've ever experienced. In the end I think the trade off is worth it,...

at least perhaps through these transactions in blogs we can free up the constraints that corporate media has put on individual contribution to society.

haha, the complexity..

Anonymous said...

I think we represent a small sample of the population. The majority of humans are unaware of the electronic world and the mass amounts of music available for free.

I download up to 60g of music a month and only select a small portion of songs for keeps. If this music was available on vinyl I wouldn't hesitate in buying it. However due to Australia's isolation we do net get the same amount of music (vinyl or cd) that other countries do. Therefore i rely heavily on blogs, beatport, soulseek, torrents and international music communities.

I also believe that regardless of how good a blog is. There are always undiscovered tunes out there. It seems these days that alot of blog's take and post stuff that has already been released on another blog - it seems that people are more focussed on being known or having more hits than actually posting genuine music gold. People also seem to be posting more and more 'cool' music over music that is clearly much better produced and written. This takes away the deserved acclaim good artists are getting in comparison to a 'cool' producer.

Generally I think that this is only an issue in Australia and it wont change. In particular, with the state of things in Sydney at the moment its hard to say whether we will ever crawl out of our commercial shell. There are far to many nights starting and failing. A mass lack of quality artists, a new dj every day and not nearly enough people to keep something good going.

- Üpps (

Diego said...

well, for my opinion, I'd just like to say that blogs are probably my only connection to the music I love. I actually love almost all genres of music, but what's played in the radios and clubs in my country (Uruguay, in South America) is surprisingly poor in diversity. I mean, every single fucking electronica club (of which there are few) spins minimal, and I just can't stand minimal, it gets on my guts.

My first electronic love was Daft Punk and that has led me down the path of late Ed Banger goodness, and many other kinds of music I wouldn't have even dreamed of finding if it weren't for blogs. Honestly, I first heard of Daft Punk when they played One More Time in MTV in 2002, and that's about it for the electronic genres here.

It's really quite depressing, because I've developped a taste in music that's not shared by almost anyone down here, where it's almost all "Punk" rock, candy pop for 40 year-old housewives and tropical music.

Paul B said...

Bjork & Timberlake mixes both cool.


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