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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lively interview of Voodoo Funk-meister

The guy behind, Frank Gossner, has an interesting interview over at another blog called Dust and Grooves. The link to the whole interview is here:

Voodoo Funk is a great blog with piles of interesting music (see the link below right, on the sidebar) and Frank is himself a mightily opinionated guy, as can be seen from this extract from the intervie win which he rails against CDs and, even more so, against MP3s. I am curious what people have to say about this. Is he just being a Ludditmp Or does he have a legitimate point?

In the interests of full disclosure, I'll admit to having no problems with CDs, though I have yet to warm up to mp3s. Yeah I have an iPod-type device, but I mainly rip tunes from my physical CDs... I think I've downloaded stuff (apart from free sample tunes) maybe a half dozen times in my life. (Free tunes, on the other hand... well I've got thousands of those.)

Here's Frank's rant:

"Vinyl is the most civilized way to listen to recorded music.

For my personal taste, the best music ever recorded was all released on vinyl. Why would I want to listen to it on any other format? If you're into art, would you want the original painting or a digital print?

The CD always was a shity format. I mean sometimes I would buy some, like for example when my wife and I recently went on a long road trip. The CD to me was a substitute for the music cassette but no replacement for the record. The music industry thought, "Oh, these crappy things are real cheap to manufacture and they're good enough for the idiot consumer out there" and for the most part they were right. I remember those technology embracing fools who in the mid- to late 80s sold off their record collection for cheap and "switched" to CDs. It's funny how most people are willing to sacrifice quality and content for what they see as technological progress. Today they have to realize that they're sitting on a pile of worthless plastic.

Now we have MP3s and a lot of people say it's a great thing how music is now not anymore seen in connection with a physical format but only as the sound itself. Great, you've made it from a 12" album with room for cover art, lyric sheet etc to a ringtone for your cell phone. Some people call this advancement. I call it pitiful. People are sticking cheap plastic plugs into their ears and inject badly compressed audio files into they hearing cavity. This doesn't have anything to do with enjoying music. It's consumption on the most primitive level. This whole mp3 culture really pisses me off. And you can take those ugly "docking stations" and disgusting miniature speakers and shove them. Maybe that's why they're shaped so ergonomically.

I'm not an audiophile. I'm not the kind of guy who spends thousands of dollars on a hi-fi system but you need some real speakers and you want your music to sound like it has some balls.

I grew up listening to Punk Rock and I still believe that the best way to listen to music is really loud, drunk and with a bunch of friends. Fuck an iPod.

It's a shame that besides a few specialized boutique stores, there are almost no record stores around anymore. Record stores were great places to hang out, meet people, talk about music, browse through records and check out new stuff. Sure you can argue how nowadays all of this can be done in cyber space but is this a good thing? Call me an old fuck but I still believe in leaving the house every once in a while and in socializing with real people in the real world. I'm glad if I don't have to stare into an LCD display every waking minute of the day. I don't have a desk job but if I imagine having to sit at a desk all day and stare into a computer screen and then go home and do the same thing in order to talk to friends, shop for music etc. this just seems so incredibly sad and boring.

People have this weird trust that every new piece of technology has to be embraced, that technological progress always is a great thing, especially if it makes certain aspects of your life more easy and less time consuming. Now what do they do with all that extra time? Let me tell you, they don't do fuck all. They throw out another hour or two updating their Facebook accounts. You walk into a bar or a club these days and you see people staring into their "smart" phones instead of concentrating on getting shitfaced and chasing real life tail. That's some embarrassing and shameful shit.

I know... I'm writing a blog myself (although that's more or less just an archive of reports stemming from my 3 year stay in Africa) and it's ironic how I'm writing all this shit for another blog and probably some people will read this after having had a link sent to them via Facebook or Twitter or some other shit but I hope you understand what I'm talking about. I think it's just getting too much. Sometimes when I grab a book, I have to force myself to really read as in really consciously read and digest each word in every sentence instead of just briefly scanning page after page for the most basic content? Sometimes I catch myself having read a few pages when I have to realize that I've not caught anything but the most rudimentary shit and have to go back several pages and start over. And I think it's the same thing with music. If almost all you could be interested in is available instantly, you consume with haste. You can really immerse yourself into a book or into a record and I think this doesn't really work to this extend with an e-book or with sound files.

Imagine to switch on your stereo, flip through stacks and stack of records to find something that fits your mood, pull the record out of the sleeve, put it on the turntable, sit your ass down in a nice and comfy chair, hold the cover, look at it and listen to the music. Now imagine scrolling through your iTunes library, hit play and sit there in the bluish glare of the screen which makes your face look like the undead... you think you're enjoying music? You think you're having a good time? Think again."

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