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Food For Thought: Mediocre Music


The availability of cheap and accessible production tools is something of a double edged sword. While it allows the previously less privileged would be musicians the opportunity to make and create music, it also allows every man and his dog to roll out a beat. So what? No big deal? Or does this vast sea of mediocre music have an effect further up stream?..

Recently while filming a yet to be released video feature with who we will call artist ''X'' for the sake of this feature, we touched on the evolutionary nature of the genre and they highlighted an interesting point regarding the amount of music they get sent. While it often ticks the boxes for technical grace and the production being of a generally good level it lacks innovation or any unique characteristics. So rather than having a lots of music that doesn't make the grade technicality, you have alot of music that just about gets there as an exercise in classically held production ideals but has no soul or personality. This can be in part attributed to the functional nature of a dance floor led genre and the assumptions made by would be producers on what a label wants. Therein lies the potential conflict within the motives of a musician...

Any genre, as a collective movement both musically and culturally is only as strong or rich as the sum of all it's parts. At times i've found this to be a really demotivating factor, especially with relation to the previously mentioned amount of insignificant music. How many tracks will stand the test of time? Production values evolve, technology moves on. Music being released now will sound old and tired in a few years. It is the music that dares to be reactionary or rebellious that will hold it's own. Calibre mentioned to us (although it didn't make the final cut) while filming recently that he doesn't like his own earlier releases and that there are some tracks that he regrets releasing, so it's an issue that goes all the way to top. Hindsight has taught us time and time again that the musical rebels and innovators are the ones who leave the most enduring mark... Photek, LTJ Bukem, Dillinja, Instra:mental, Reinforced collectively... There are more.

It would seem that the old mantra of quality over quantity is more apt than ever in 2011...