I am not entirely happy in this overly digital time. Don't get me wrong. While I do love plugins and how much easier they make production for me. I love being able to stroll around the net and find Just The Right Plug, download the demo, buy it and having it installed and running within minutes. The more I think about it, the more ecstatic I become. It's just so damn awesome. Just to celebrate this fact, I'll go buy a new plugin right now.
But for the rest - well, yeah. Sure. I do like being able to download my favorite artists knowing they get more of my money now than before - and sure, there is a wealth of new music that I've never heard before and an even larger amount of brilliant music will never reach my ears. And sure - I'm not lying sleepless in the night agonized by the financial troubles that certain record companies are now facing seriously bad times. They should have been gone a long time ago and while I'm not Paul the Octopus, there is a real possibility the world is going to be better without them.
But seriously - is it just me who feels that everything have become just so damn boring? Music is not just about music. I don't want to favor any producer, but when the people over at Sidsonic Libraries kindly sent me their circuit bending library - something just clicked. I remembered that there can be something else than the eternal struggle to keep the profit margins optimal. I am, of course, talking about passion.
I don't want to know how much it costs to produce a box like that. I really, really don't want to know. But I do know that just about everybody who walked into my studio immediately got captured by it, starting flipping the switch, feeling the box asking me what it was and what it did. I do know that when I started to read the Sample Magic book about house music production, I enjoyed the quality of the paper and the colors.
Although my relationship with the 80s is not as lightweight as with most of my friends - by some weird reason I take that whole messed up decade seriously - this period of time marked the high point of some of the most innovative marketing gimmicks I've ever seen. Odd inserts, lyrics, picture discs in different shapes, fold-out sleeves with even more stuff folding out, rare mixes on colored vinyl (such as the must-have-been-radioactive-for-real glo-in-the-dark 12 inch of Kraftwerks Neonlights). Or the infamous floppy sleeve of New Orders Blue Monday that cost more to produce than it was sold for. It's so obvious that the people at Sidsonic are in it with passion, and sooner or later that kind of energy always pays off.
If your stand is - f-ck that, I don't want to pay one cent for anything extra. I want my stuff cheap. I don't need boxes, rotating flamingos or 3D or what else. I need The Stuff. Cheap. You're right. You're a cheapskate, but you are right. I'm just pointing out that the business is severely unbalanced in this respect - and the clever ones should ease their wallets a little for attention grabbing gimmicks. At this point of musical marketing history, they work better than ever.