Poet, musician and actor Saul Williams recently likened digital culture today to what drug culture represented in the 1960s. Saul provides a contemporary echo of what Terence McKenna and particularly Timothy Leary have been saying, both icons of the ‘60s cultural revolution: “Drugs were a connector, and now we have technology as a connector.”
So, excuse me when I refuse to share the pessimism or concern some have over streaming royalties, the future of songwriters, etc. I think it’s trivial, because we are living through a cultural revolution and those that focus all their energy on defending the status quo are choosing not to be a part of it. Music has always been a medium for communicating feelings, stories, emotions, thoughts, and now it has become possible to do this near-instantly with people from all around the world.
Forgive me for getting annoyed when legacy copy-monopolists threaten the existence of platforms that foster this immensely important cultural development. It’s not that I don’t care about creatives getting paid - that’s one of the things I care about most. It’s just that I’m too busy checking out how some kid from rural Peru took a Jersey club track remixed by a Berlin techno DJ and blended it with local prehispanic rhythms. I’m too busy telling people about blends of trap music from the south of the US with Yugoslavian pop music. Too busy watching how fanbases of ‘internet producers’ connect and share their love for the incredibly niche music the subject of their fandom creates.
This is also why I don’t listen to bands so much anymore. As a band, it takes a lot of time to create a recording to participate in this conversation. I think bands, in their traditional form, are slowly losing their cultural relevance. Also from an economic perspective, electronic music makes more sense: it’s easier to tour, easier to make music on the road, and you have less people to split earnings with. This is true for hiphop too, which has similar origins to modern electronic music....
- Bas, MusicxTechxFuture