Author Topic: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?  (Read 35867 times)

mgriffin

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What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« on: October 01, 2009, 01:25:24 PM »
Pete Kelly started a topic here http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=2240.0 called "The Ambient Scene" in which many of us have discussed what has become of this genre's "scene," such as it is and has been, from the 90s to the present.

After a few pages of discussion and commentary (much of it interesting, by the way, so check out that thread if you haven't already) I asked people would they wished they could see/hear in the genre.  This was a slight derail of the topic, and quick-witted Hypnos Forum moderator APK suggested I create a new topic, so here we go.

My original post:

Quote
So, how about we come at this question from a different angle?  I'd like to hear what people feel is missing from the ambient "scene," such as it is, and what they would wish for?

Do listeners want more work from new, unknown artists?  More work from established artists?  More compilations?

Do followers of the genre, whether "consumers" or "producers," wish for more printed magazines & newsletters?  More/different blogs?  More/different podcasts?  More artist interviews, more behind-the-scenes or "how the artist works" kind of stuff?

Any specific kinds of music that are perhaps a bit over-done, or any other styles you're dying to see explored?


Let's keep the forward-looking "where do we wish things would go from here?" discussions in this topic, then.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 01:27:18 PM »
Also, since my post in that other topic, there have been two responses which I'll quote here.

Seren wrote:
Quote
Some interesting ideas in there Mike, I'm always interested in getting to know more about musicians and their music.

I recognise that creating such things takes time and effort though, and you are already very busy, would we, as those interested, need to offer time and effort if anything is to come of the ideas??


and then Jeff Stephens wrote:

Quote
Yes, more collaborations are always a good thing, from the listener's point of view.  The last couple of hyped collabs. that come to mind on this forum were Grassow and Jim Cole, and Circular Ruins and Off the Sky.  Seems like anytime people are talking about an album for more than a week here, it can be classified as hype, I guess.  Have there been any other majorly hyped duos or trios recently?  Sorry if I missed them.  Another shot from the hip I'll take on the subject is that we've witnessed a certain dronification of ambient in the last couple years, at least on this forum I've noticed.  It's not that I don't like some drone- the sunnier, warmer and slightly fuzzy drone really is nice and hits a certain chord in the psyche, especially in the morning for me for some reason.....but I think what you see is people who like it add their two quiet cents in about how they enjoyed it, but by nature it just doesn't lend itself to a lot of storied descriptions and hype.  Even a lot of the famous musicians have gradually become more and more minimal with their work (and with their hair ) 

So as a big sector of the genre has "shrunk" in terms of style, stripping the sound down, like someone I believe it was Mike, said a lot of the rest is retro-ambient whether it's 70's sequencer or 80's space music.  As good as it is, it just isn't groundbreaking.  But most artists who stick around usually take chances with their music at some point.  If Steve Roach only did Structures from Silence-type synth music, or stuck with techno-tribal, he wouldn't be the phenom. he is today, right?  I know a lot of his music gets mixed reviews, but Dust to Dust was a risky move... Prayers to the Protector with a Tibetan Monk, Mystic Chords, Early Man and teaming up with Vir Unis... I'd say all of those creative turns he took were worth it, for the listeners and himself as an artist.   

Some of my favorite "groundbreakers" would be:  Thom Heasley- Where the Earth Meets the Sky- Ambient Tuba mixed with throat-singing.. I mean you'd have to hear that to believe it was good.  Forrest Fang- Gongland- An album full of rich ideas, instruments and sounds- I don't think I've ever heard anything like it.  Off The Sky- Cold Distances- not too many debuts put somebody on the map quite like this one.  Ishq- Orchid-  Superb sound design, like strolling through a futuristic alien garden. 

So I think original sounds, ideas, and instruments are what have always driven the change- I don't know if it's me but it seems like there is more pure electronic music now and a lot less electro-acoustic recordings compared to say, the 90's.  In a way I do miss earthier ambient that uses more winds and chords, or just a new combo that we haven't heard before.

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 02:13:34 PM »
A few of the things I wish for would include...

More ambitious and "visionary" record labels
It seems to me as if earlier record labels had their own vision and style, and everyone knew that 12k was a glitchy electronica label, Projekt was a goth label that would occasionally foray into ambient, Hypnos focused on more nocturnal drone & long-form ambient, and so on.  More recent labels not only come around less often but also seem more inclined to be so "eclectic" as to be unfocused, unless they are so focused as to be one-artist self-release outlets.  Room40 is the only recently established label I can think of that has sought to stake out a distinct territory both in terms of sound and graphic presentation.  Maybe I'm forgetting others.

More energetic, obsessive, prolific ambient music writers/bloggers
We have a few -- and I thank them for their efforts, and hate to think where we'd be without them -- but considering how many more reviewers and "informal listener-describers" we had in years past compared to now, I can't help but wish more were willing to find some medium in which to report their thoughts and impressions on what they're listening to.  I know the monetary rewards are basically nil, but on the flip side, hey, blogging is free, certainly cheaper than printing a newsletter or a magazine on paper, right?  You'd think that if ten years ago, a handful of people were willing to self-publish magazines and newsletters at a personal financial cost, more people would now be willing to blog about ambient, right?

Podcasters, more in number and in variety
I think there's a lot of room for this kind of "bedroom broadcaster" role -- not just "here's a cool mix of tracks you may not have heard," but retrospectives/overviews of certain artists or labels or sub-genres, or maybe interviews or interpretive/critical features.  As interesting as it is to read an essay or an opinion piece about music, how much more compelling would it be to listen to an audio essay featuring example music?  And wouldn't a lot of people love to listen to an audio interview by interesting personages in our little music niche, not only featuring Q&A but also, again, example music?

More outlets for music
People actually do still buy CDs... seriously!  There is actual money to be made obtaining and reselling hard-to-find music, especially imported stuff from places like Italy and The Netherlands and Russia.  It blows my mind that nobody is out there trying to start new mail order businesses to sell CDs.  It's the kind of thing a person could easily do in their spare time (I did, for over a decade, until Lena took over Hypnos mail order full time), for a few extra bucks to start out, and then maybe for a modest full-time living, depending on your expense level.  Seriously... people take a stab at questionable small businesses and half-baked "work from home" ideas all the time, but nobody wants to try to buy CDs for $7-8 and resell them for $12-13?  You may be asking, "but Mike, why do you want people to compete with Hypnos?" and my answer is, because no single retailer can reach everybody, and I'd rather there were a hundred mail order businesses like Hypnos, because as much as our direct sales business would shrink with all the competition, we'd probably sell a whole ton of CDs to those other 100 mail order businesses.  OK, the ambient genre is too small to support 100 such outlets, but it's weird to me that the only place people buy ambient music these days is either Amazon, or from some mail order business that's a side operation of a record label.

I have other ideas/wishes but I'll stop for now.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 02:43:41 PM »
Another thing I would really love to see is a greater respect for the notion of the album as a unified statement, a planned and edited document that is shaped and refined until it's as perfect as possible.  That is, instead of artist just going into the studio and hitting the "record" button, and then every few months when they've accumulated 70-74 minutes worth of material they enjoy, giving the album a title chosen at random from a list of cool-sounding words and releasing it.

I've complained about this many times over the years but the unfortunate side effect of CDR and MP3 as cheap or free release formats for music is that artists have a casual "well, why not throw it out there where people can hear it?" attitude.  When it cost a substantial amount of money to release an LP or CD, artists would rarely release music casually or carelessly, or if they did, they would likely find they didn't sell enough copies to support a second such release.  

The democratization of the music release process by these cheap or free methods is nice in some ways, but has done as much harm as good to the overall quality level of music in our genre, and really, all genres.  This is not an ambient-specific problem.  There is much more music being released, but the amount of very good music has not increased at all, meaning that those rare projects created and released with care are somewhat snowed-under by a great blizzard of works in large part issued with not much restraint or consideration.
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Scott M2

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 08:38:42 PM »
Another thing I would really love to see is a greater respect for the notion of the album as a unified statement, a planned and edited document that is shaped and refined until it's as perfect as possible.  That is, instead of artist just going into the studio and hitting the "record" button, and then every few months when they've accumulated 70-74 minutes worth of material they enjoy, giving the album a title chosen at random from a list of cool-sounding words and releasing it.
 

Well said. I cherish well-executed albums with a unified sonic mood or a well-thought-out path or concept.

jkn

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 05:33:51 AM »
100% agree with that last comment.   I miss the full "package" - of artwork, liner notes, the care that comes along with carefully putting together the right look and feel for an album.   I like to know what the artist was inspired by, maybe what they used to create the album.

I'm someone that even reads the 'thank you's' in the album notes... :-)

With the mp3 album... we're left with a postage stamp sized image much of the time.  :-(   If you're a major artist/major label - iTunes will play ball a bit and include album booklets and movies/videos with special higher priced versions of albums.  Not much leverage for a tiny label to get that placement though...





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Wayne Higgins

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 07:33:50 AM »
Quote
Another thing I would really love to see is a greater respect for the notion of the album as a unified statement, a planned and edited document that is shaped and refined until it's as perfect as possible.  That is, instead of artist just going into the studio and hitting the "record" button, and then every few months when they've accumulated 70-74 minutes worth of material they enjoy, giving the album a title chosen at random from a list of cool-sounding words and releasing it.
I like that

Quote
The democratization of the music release process by these cheap or free methods is nice in some ways, but has done as much harm as good to the overall quality level of music in our genre, and really, all genres.  This is not an ambient-specific problem.  There is much more music being released, but the amount of very good music has not increased at all, meaning that those rare projects created and released with care are somewhat snowed-under by a great blizzard of works in large part issued with not much restraint or consideration.
Interesting

Quote
Well said. I cherish well-executed albums with a unified sonic mood or a well-thought-out path or concept.
I try

Quote
100% agree with that last comment.   I miss the full "package" - of artwork, liner notes, the care that comes along with carefully putting together the right look and feel for an album.   I like to know what the artist was inspired by, maybe what they used to create the album.
You know, I work in this chemistry lab and I ordered a small (approx 1 inch sq) sheet of Cadmium metal.  It came in this great box, and I am trying to find out how to get them.  I'm not that fond of jewel cases, especially the cheap thin ones.

Quote
I'm someone that even reads the 'thank you's' in the album notes... :-)
You know I did this punk album back in the day and a reviewer mentioned something about the mix.  I asked him why he made such a statement when the credits stated "recorded and mixed live...".  His remark was that he never read album cover credits.

Quote
With the mp3 album... we're left with a postage stamp sized image much of the time.  :-(   If you're a major artist/major label - iTunes will play ball a bit and include album booklets and movies/videos with special higher priced versions of albums.  Not much leverage for a tiny label to get that placement though...
I take it you mean downloaded mp3 as opposed to hard copy.


I have been reading threads similar to this on other boards.  What I have discovered is the desire for artists and labels to be "honest".  No one gets pissed when a cd-r is sold, as long as it says up front "This is a cd-r".  The only thing that has ever rubbed me the wrong way is to order a disc only to receive something less than what I was led to believe I was buying.
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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 02:38:52 PM »
First and foremost, I'd like to see some new artists who are original and not trying to sound like someone else.  I'd also like to see the "innovators" continue to innovate, not just rehash 10-year-old ideas. 

As it is easier for ambient artists to release their music these days, there is simply too much of it (and much of it substandard or too similar to previous releases).  I agree 100% with Mike's comment about hitting the record button and giving it a fancy title!  Seems to me back in the early/mid'90's an artist would release one or two discs per year, and they were something special.  Now we get five or six from the same artist with uninspired music and fancy titles that sound good but don't deliver.  You know, the "Destination to the Upper Realms of the Stratosphere", and you're like "WOW, that sounds COOL!". Then it arrives and it's a boring 70 minute synth drone. 

I would also like to see ambient/electronic labels not go too "hi-tech crazy" by releasing download-only albums, or limiting the number of copies of their CD runs because they figure people can download it from iTunes instead.  The worst offender of this is Fax.  Most of their releases are now limited to 500 (used to be 2,000 or 1,000), but you have to pay close to $30 for a DTS surround disc included in the package.  I don't want to download, but I also don't want to pay twice as much for something I'll never use. 

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 04:34:09 PM »
...I agree 100% with Mike's comment about hitting the record button and giving it a fancy title!  Seems to me back in the early/mid'90's an artist would release one or two discs per year, and they were something special.  Now we get five or six from the same artist with uninspired music and fancy titles that sound good but don't deliver.  You know, the "Destination to the Upper Realms of the Stratosphere", and you're like "WOW, that sounds COOL!". Then it arrives and it's a boring 70 minute synth drone. 

Yes, there are only so many astronomical phenomena to choose from. After exhausting them all, you must turn to other sources of inspiration for a title.

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 08:36:08 PM »
I agree that a little quality control wouldn't hurt in our tiny genre, and maybe a bit more selectivity, even as to netreleases.  For those who are just starting out, I would encourage that you get some feedback from people whose ears you trust before making your music publicly available.  We should all do what we can to avoid diluting the appeal and interest in our music by releasing stuff that is not quite ready for primetime.

Forrest

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 01:28:22 AM »
Seems to me like we've lost the luxury in the ambient genre. Everybody does it on the cheap. Please, ambient artists, find professionals to design your covers and do your typography. I do kind of miss the relatively old days of Fathom, when a release was professional and had actual graphic design and good art. I've really slowed my cd buying to a crawl, because it seems to me that most ambient releases, in terms of the whole package, are just not inspired. And I hate taking a chance on a cdr release because if you don't like it, the resale is nil, so you're screwed both ways. More value added releases! If it is worth releasing, really worth releasing, then do it right.

I have to say, in regards to Phantoms, I wish Projekt would have gone the extra mile and released it as a six panel digipak, as they do with many Steve Roach releases. Phantoms is one of my favorite works so far, in any genre, it deserved more in terms of its release profile.

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 06:11:29 AM »
Seems to me like we've lost the luxury in the ambient genre. Everybody does it on the cheap. Please, ambient artists, find professionals to design your covers and do your typography. I do kind of miss the relatively old days of Fathom, when a release was professional and had actual graphic design and good art. I've really slowed my cd buying to a crawl, because it seems to me that most ambient releases, in terms of the whole package, are just not inspired. And I hate taking a chance on a cdr release because if you don't like it, the resale is nil, so you're screwed both ways. More value added releases! If it is worth releasing, really worth releasing, then do it right.

I totally agree that it would be nice to have a polished pro package for sale. But the simple problem is that for the majority of releases, especially on smaller labels with lesser-known artists, it is simply not possible. The cost is prohibitive. Paying graphic designers, paying someone well-known to master the release, paying extra for multi-page inserts, and paying to get just 500 pressed is money that is not likely to be recouped. I find that people not selling these things greatly over-estimate how bad sales are of physical albums. Its not the case that labels are offering a cheaper product to get more profits, its simply a matter of offering a cheaper product so you don't lose money releasing it.
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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 11:22:46 AM »
This is very true.

This is also why the majority of artists release CD-Rs instead of pressed CDs. Sure, it'd be great
to be able to sell a pressed CD, but there's not many ambient artists who can sell 500 CDs these
days.

It's not a case of 'Doing it on the cheap'. It's the gloomy state of CD sales making artists ensure
they can afford to release their material now, and in the future.

Pete

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2009, 11:46:34 AM »
reality is... it's really not that "cheap" to release a cdr anymore...   ok yes, of course you can burn the cdr yourself and print and cut and insert... but then you've got to factor in the amount of time you're stuffing cdr's into cases and mailing instead of writing music when 99.99999% of artists have day jobs, families, and a certain required amount of sleep per day to also contend with.

I know from my year+ of being a co-owner at AtmoWorks... the physical copies barely sold any copies at all (some albums sold zero cdr's...) - while the downloads tended to sell 5x or 10x more depending on who it was...   
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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 12:10:40 PM »
Seems to me like we've lost the luxury in the ambient genre. Everybody does it on the cheap. Please, ambient artists, find professionals to design your covers and do your typography. I do kind of miss the relatively old days of Fathom, when a release was professional and had actual graphic design and good art. I've really slowed my cd buying to a crawl, because it seems to me that most ambient releases, in terms of the whole package, are just not inspired. And I hate taking a chance on a cdr release because if you don't like it, the resale is nil, so you're screwed both ways. More value added releases! If it is worth releasing, really worth releasing, then do it right.

I totally agree that it would be nice to have a polished pro package for sale. But the simple problem is that for the majority of releases, especially on smaller labels with lesser-known artists, it is simply not possible. The cost is prohibitive. Paying graphic designers, paying someone well-known to master the release, paying extra for multi-page inserts, and paying to get just 500 pressed is money that is not likely to be recouped...

It's cheaper to raid the public domain image galleries on the NASA website.

MikeS

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2009, 04:36:15 PM »
I hope my last post didn't come across as being harsh. As an artist who has to work a day job to support my personal projects, I can understand what it means to put money into a project and have to sit on it for a while. But is it possible that there is an element of self fulfilling prophecy going on here? If the physical product has had only basic effort put into it, and the cd itself is a cdr, could that possibly be deterring people from buying it as well? There definitely are a fair amount of underground, ambient and drone type labels out there that are releasing cds in artistic packaging, who seem to be getting by just fine. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't speculate, as my direct experience of labels is nil, so I apologize if this is sounding naive. And I realize it is unrealistic to hire a graphic designer and such, but it seems like making the product as fine as possible will indeed encourage more to buy it. But it's true, physical store sales do seem to be quite difficult these days. I am actually getting first hand experience of this. My brother, who is a full time musician, and has to struggle to make ends meet, just put up a sizeable chunk of cash to release his own album. I did all the graphics and package design for free. We went all out, six panel felt finish paper, letterpress, and poster, and pressed cds. He's had the most luck selling it when he plays live, but I have had to struggle to sell it in stores, whereas I thought the fine packaging would sell itself. If we were trying to run label, we would be in the shit pretty quick with this method. I am thinking of ways to release things more cheaply, and have thought of cdrs. But as I have access to a printing press, and can do my own labor, the packaging would be the focus of the release, and the cdr a kind of supplement. So that kind of reverses the model, where the packaging takes precedent and the music illustrates the art.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, as far as the ambient scene goes, I miss having really nice packaging, of getting that magical feel when you buy an album and pore over its packaging while putting the release on for the first time. Hypnos is a good example of this trend for me. I used to buy almost every Hypnos release that came along, and liked the graphics very much, as well as the music But now, with the Secret Sounds releases, I only get something if I already know the artist really well, and know I wil still be listening to it a year from now. I have great respect for Mike and I think he has made the decisions that are right for his label and himself, but as one fan, I have dropped out somehat, due to the packaging.

Is there anyone else out there like me? Is this a shallow kind of way to appreciate the scene? Maybe I am more broke these days, and just can't afford to buy like I used to, or maybe I my collection is reaching saturation point, and I just don't feel compelled to keep buying more, unless I can get the full experience. Or maybe I just envy those who got to enjoy the full glory of the vinyl days.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 04:47:47 PM by 9dragons »

mgriffin

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2009, 04:46:04 PM »
This is where you get to say what you would LIKE to see happen... whatever you wish for, whether it's practical or likely, or not.

It doesn't surprise me if listeners, especially those collector-types who enjoy the CD-as-object, prefer CDs over CDRs, at the same time it doesn't surprise me to see more and more record labels focusing on CDR releases.

Likewise it doesn't surprise me that some people would prefer to see professional graphic design, and professional audio mastering, while others may say "can't do it, too expensive."

Still, regardless of the practicalities, I'd love to see listeners, recording artists, and label types alike express what they'd like to see happen.
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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2009, 04:52:27 PM »
I would like to see artists, printers, and musicians collaborating, splitting the costs of the releases, maybe releasing fewer things, but having those releases stand a lot longer, and be something more monumental. At the same time, I realize there is an element of daydreaming here.

Do we already have too much music? Does it make sense to try to strive for quality over quantity? Is it impractical? I am honestly curious to know, as Mike is, what people's feelings are in this realm...

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2009, 05:42:58 PM »
I would like to see artists, printers, and musicians collaborating, splitting the costs of the releases, maybe releasing fewer things, but having those releases stand a lot longer, and be something more monumental. At the same time, I realize there is an element of daydreaming here.

Do we already have too much music? Does it make sense to try to strive for quality over quantity? Is it impractical?

To the last three questions: yes. yes. and no.

There is waaaay too much of everything out there and the positive sides of the DIY revolution have been bitten in the ass by the resulting indifference caused by ubiquitous mediocrity aided and abetted by a lack of critical dialogue and strategies for A&R.

For those of us seriously into the hard copy, uncompressed and well packaged model but who also like a wide variety of new music, we're going to look very hard at purchases in each genre.

I have a composer friend who initially had me in mind for CD cover graphics. I said: "This represents x years of work and you want to honour that by having strong imagery, typography and design. Do. Not. Cheap. Out!" He did. I'm afraid to see the results.
It sends a message to a potential buyer, however subtle, that something, somewhere, just isn't good enough. Total excellence or go home is my view on this.

jkn

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Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009, 05:47:43 AM »
I'd like to see ambient music reviewers continue to write on their own websites or blogs - but I'd love to see someone aggregate these into one location.   A place that's easy to view latest reviews and search for old ones.   Something with the searchability Wikipedia, but with the immediacy of a news blog.

I'd like to see ambient release information, label and artist news... also on a site like that.    I've always wanted something like that - and even thought about launching it.   I remember Mike tried setting up a wiki site at Hypnos that kind of stalled out and died quickly.   With most website utilizing blogs that have RSS feeds...  it might be easier these days to aggregate everything into a central feed.   Who knows - maybe I'll take a crack at it in a year after my new label is up and running.

I'd like artists to take their art seriously and go that extra mile to get the best possible sound quality, best possible art and graphics within their grasp... and to seek out someone willing to help if their skills don't cover certain things (not all great musicians are great graphic artists, and vice versa...).   

I don't know about telling artist to slow down or speed up - artists should create their music as they want.   The amazingly lower costs of entering the self-release, or niche label music business is amazingly cheap to do (well... in a "cheap" way...) - but with time and care and planning - a relatively inexpensive release can still sound and look utterly stunning.

And as always - one persons "utterly stunning" is another person's "utterly pointless".  ;-)

I guess one thing I would like to say to some artists... is slow down on the release...  don't just toss it out there as soon as you've finished recording.  Let it sit and bake a little in your head - step back so the excitement of recording it has faded a bit so you can listen to yourself with fresh ears.   Then tackle the final edits and mix - and mastering.    Of course - many artists do this - but I know a few who (at least seem to...) just crank out an album.   

I can't count the number of songs where I've recorded something in a fantastic session - was bubbling with happiness... went to bed, got up and went...  ummm - what was I thinking?    :-)
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei