Mindcrate: music is meant to be made.
20 years ago there weren't as many of you. And 40 years ago you were a very, very rarified type of person. The musician who was recording music? It wasn't a common thing until the last 10 years really. Before that, this was a world where people bought music because they couldn't make music. It just wasn't common to find people who had access to a recording studio, or the knowhow to utilize one. And the music industry reflected that. The music industry created a marketplace where people who couldn't make music came to buy music from people who could. The sum of those purchases can be measured in dollars, but the weight of all that music that was being bought was also an account of cultural identity. People bought a lot of music because music is one of the chief goods through which we experience, identify with, and participate in culture. But, all of that has changed. Because as laptop computers became more common, the cost of music software dropped, the cost of music hardware dropped (and in many cases the software meant that the hardware was no longer necessary to create), and the music marketplace is now a place where musicians converge to share their work.
Sampling has always been a part of music culture. Even before we called it sampling, and even before we called it music. That's because what we understand as sampling--taking a piece of recorded music and turning it into a a component in a new piece of music--is just one iteration of a more common phenomenon. If you think about the basic idea that prompted Kool DJ Herc to create the merry-go-round and extend a break infinitely in time it isn't really about music. The achievement is more about manipulating space and time than creating a masterful array of notes. When Herc spun two copies of one record back and forth he was actually opening up a portal back to the studio where those records were created and instructing the musicians to play it differently. Sampling is the act of intervening between the creation of a sound, and the perception of a sound. Before Herc did it with turntables Pierre Schaeffer did it with tape, before Schaeffer there was Paul Hindemith and Ernst Toch creating compositions with turntables, before them there was Michael Wienmeister who invented the keyboard phonograph, straight back to prehistoric cave paintings that correlate to acoustic properties of caves. Humans have been using the most current technology to manipulate sound since the stone age. Literally. And with the proliferation of technologies, access, and networks that have come with laptops and the internet we have entered a new era.
As we shift from a culture with an excess of music consumers and a shortage of music producers, to a culture that creates music en masse we're encountering a need to build, but it doesn't seem to have been identified yet. The customs of a culture that consumes music are radically different from the customs of a culture that creates music. Mindcrate is a large part of what we think is missing from our current customs. We don't really want to buy new music from other people, and that's ok. But if you're anything like us, spending $10 for some new sounds to make music from is still a really good deal, and sharing the music you make from those sounds is still really fun. Especially if those people also make music, and also use the same sounds. Then you can compare and contrast, and have a lot to talk about, a lot to share in common with someone that you might not know otherwise. Mindcrate is the bridge between the terrestrial culture of making music on earth using samples from records, and the celestial culture of making music in space with computers.
Rad Reef isn't about creating another feed to connect to and ultimately be distracted by. Rad Reef, and Mindcrate are about creating a culture with like-minded artists to be included in. We're sick of seeing music that serves as little more than a distraction. It's fine to use music as a distraction, but art itself shouldn't take you away from life, it should take you further into it. We don't agree with a music culture where "best music" is only "most catchy music". There used to be a lane for music that was about making art, and we're doing what we can to resurrect that. Send us what you make with Mindcrate samples, we'd love to hear it, and we'd love to share it with other folks either on our blog or through our label.
Mindcrate #1: Joeybagadoughnutz, Mosaics, William Ryan Fritch, and Zachg:
William Ryan Fritch: Brutal
William Ryan Fritch: Real
Zachg: Tropical Unnerpants
Get the free Mindcrate sampler Luxurious Treasure Seats here.
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