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13 November, 2004

Just good music

Talking to K. last night, I happened to mention that I prefer to buy music CDs from musicians' websites whenever possible, and never from high street shops, as I'd rather see the retailer's portion of the cover price go direct to the artists.  Besides, some of the artists I particularly like don't have mass-market distribution deals.
In response, she laughed, "you said it."

The inference was that a band with the financial approval of a global megacorporation is artistically superior to a band promoting and selling its own music independently.  That's obviously a hideous generalisation, with which I disagree.

Only this week, I bought the new Bass Communion composition, 'Droneworks 6', on the Twenty Hertz label. In my opinion it's the best thing Steven Wilson has done under the Bass Communion title since BCII, yet this release, on an obscure Preston-based label, is so far below the radar of high street chainstores that it probably registers on sub-surface sonar. That it'll never appear in HMV or Virgin is utterly irrelevant; it's wonderful music (though admittedly a twenty-minute ambient drone might challenge the definition of 'music' for some).

I'd better state clearly that this doesn't mean I take the opposite view, that only 'underground' music is worthwhile and that anything on a well-known international record label is automatically trash - that's an equally ludicrous generalisation.
There's only music; some I like, some I don't (not 'good' or 'bad', just 'to my taste' or 'not to my taste'). How the metal-and-plastic carrier medium reaches my hand bears no relevance to the quality of the content.


I absolutely agree with you. I'd say about 80% of my music collection comes direct from the artists. Perhaps if the labels cared to market to people like me, I'd think differently...

Posted by dilvie at December 14, 2004 11:53 AM
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