Category Archives: News

Who Is Generation X, and Why Don’t People Talk About Them?

Generation X is actually my Generation. I was born in 1975. If anything, I am the perfect example of a Gen X person. I’m a non-conformist, cynical, musician, computer nerd who never really grew up. My parents were never around, and I basically raised myself. I’m damn proud of my generation and we deserve to be recognized. Boomers and Millennials get all the attention, but it’s all pretty bad, so maybe it’s good we’re the forgotten ones.

A lot of people don’t really realize that it was the punk band, “Generation X” who were fronted by a very young Billy Idol (who is actually part of the Boomer generation) were basically the ones responsible for this title. I loved these guys as a kid (still do). Plus Idol was a pretty damn hot sweaty twink in his day, haha.

 

The Struggles of Being an Experimental Freelance Musician

 

That’s me a couple days ago when I was thinking about all the struggles of being a freelance experimental musician (I know, boo hoo, right?) haha. Anyway, this post isn’t for you to feel sorry for me, but rather to reach out to those of you that are in a similar boat as me.

I’ve been making music since I was 10 years old, and started producing my own music when I was 20 when I got my first cassette 4 track recorder back in the 90s. Since then I’ve created my own record label called Anthill Recordings and self-produced over 20 albums. As far as sales, some have done okay, some have had literally no attention at all, but absolutely none of them have done extremely well. At this point it doesn’t bother me that much, but there was a time when it did.

When you pour your heart and soul into something you think is unique, passionate, and extremely well done, and others do not respond to it at all, it can be a disheartening experience. At the same time when you observe others seemingly churning out the same old thoughtless dribble and getting praised for it, can be even more maddening. The problem is with our society is it rewards conformity and punishes uniqueness. This is something we all learned well in grade school. All of the most popular kids were doing whatever was cool. Football, cheerleaders, jocks, whatever music is on TV or the radio they liked, they wore all the same name brand clothes. They’re all good little sheep.

So it really should come as no surprise to me when I craft something as unique as my album Turn of The Scroct that has a measly 4 bandcamp supporters, while vaporwave artists are simply re-releasing slowed down previously released pop music and are getting thousands of downloads. Here we are again, people just following what other people are doing. There’s literally hundreds of thousands of releases like this, none of which have any originality whatsoever. Contrary to what I just wrote, I don’t hate vaporwave, and have dabbled in it myself, but took it as inspiration. I didn’t merely copy what everyone else was already doing and slap some statues in front of a Windows 95 screenshot and call it a day.

I spent time making my music, thought about it, tried to make it different, tried to make it unique. I took time to perfect my playing, as a drummer, and with all the other instruments I put on my recordings. Am I rewarded with sales? No. No I’m not. To me it’s not desirable to fit neatly into a specific genre of music. This is a huge problem with today’s music and marketing. If it doesn’t neatly adhere to a specific hashtag, nobody cares about it. Because hashtags seem to define people’s identities these days.

However, I am rewarded with my own love of creation. When I listen back to what I made, I think about how good it felt to finally be able to play the drum part I struggled with, how I was able to achieve such a strong sounding mix, how I was able to press a vinyl record after playing every single instrument on it, recording it, mixing it, mastering the vinyl, all by myself. And the few that have reached out to me thanking me for my efforts have done so in a very heartfelt manor. One listener even called me on the phone after I released my album “In The Park” and wanted to personally thank me for making it. This was really nice.

But again, this isn’t why I do it. I do it because I love the process of creation. Making something that I am proud of, that my own thoughts, ideas, focus and energy went into. Knowing it came out exactly the way I wanted it, and maybe one day people will find it and enjoy it as much as I do. But even if they don’t I don’t care. In a way, I’m glad I’ve freed myself from needing other’s approval of my music. Now I create for me. But what I do wish I was getting more of is….. money.

Yes that’s right, I said money. I work hard and I would like to be rewarded financially for my work. I don’t care if people are calling me a genius, or if my music becomes the next trendy thing, I want money, lots of it. So over time I’ve found little ways to make a bit… not lots, but I keep trying to learn new ways to make more. Some of which are making gear reviews on YouTube with my music, creating exclusive content for music licensing, as well as offering my mixing and mastering services to others. Do I make as much money as the amount of work I do? No, not at this point, but I’m going to keep trying. To me this is the ultimate struggle, but I will never give up.

-Justin

MIDI 2.0 Prototyping Announced by MMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) and the Association of Music Electronics Industry (AMEI) announce MIDI 2.0TM Prototyping

Los Angeles, CA, January 18, 2019 – The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) and AMEI (the Japanese MIDI association) have finalized the core features and name for the next generation MIDI protocol: MIDI 2.0. Member companies are currently working together to develop prototypes based on a jointly developed, feature-complete, draft specification. A members-only plugfest to test compatibility between some early MIDI 2.0 prototypes is planned for Winter NAMM 2019. Participating companies include Ableton/Cycling ’74, Art+Logic, Bome Software, Google, imitone, Native Instruments, Roland, ROLI, Steinberg, TouchKeys, and Yamaha.

As with MIDI 1.0, AMEI and the MMA are working closely together and sharing code to streamline the prototype development process. Prototyping is planned to continue during 2019 as the associations work together on MIDI 2.0 launch plans, including exploring the development of a MIDI 2.0 logo and self-certification program for MMA and AMEI member companies.

During the prototyping phase, the proposed MIDI 2.0 specification is available only to MMA and AMEI members, because the prototyping process may trigger minor enhancements to the specification. Once a final specification is adopted, it will join the current MIDI specifications as a free download on www.midi.org.

The MIDI 2.0 initiative updates MIDI with auto-configuration, new DAW/web integrations, extended resolution, increased expressiveness, and tighter timing — all while maintaining a high priority on backward compatibility. This major update of MIDI paves the way for a new generation of advanced interconnected MIDI devices, while still preserving interoperability with the millions of existing MIDI 1.0 devices. One of the core goals of the MIDI 2.0 initiative is to also enhance the MIDI 1.0 feature set whenever possible.

Read more at https://www.midi.org/articles-old/the-midi-manufacturers-association-mma-and-the-association-of-music-electronics-industry-amei-announce-midi-2-0tm-prototyping

7 albums you should buy on Bandcamp right now!

Want to make the world a better place? Want to know something you can do to truly make a difference? Support independent music by buying 1 or all 7 of these albums on Bandcamp RIGHT NOW! How does this help the world? Well sharing fox news or msnbc to your facebook timeline doesn’t help anything but ad revenue of corporate fuck knobs. These are some great albums made by some great REAL people who would love to have you support them. Plus you’ll get 7 of the best albums you’ve heard in ages.

  1. Auterkeia EP by Auterkeia – Pseudonym of the extremely talented musician Jeremy Powell, this EP combines experimental electronics with world rhythms, and Jeremy’s amazing woodwind abilities, slickly produced in a heady package.

2. Somnium by Wayne Rowand – This is the deepest of deep space ambient. Put your head in a satellite exploring the unknown depths of space and time. Absolutely amazing stuff.

3. casing the sill by fulkramick – to try to explain fulkramick’s sound is not an easy task. It’s experimental. It’s trippy. It’s mathy. It’s fucking awesome, so buy this!

4. MÚSICAROBADA by Martin Lambert – Fusion… glorious dark fusion at its finest! Think Bitches Brew meets Tortoise. You absolutely cannot go wrong with that combination.

5.  Morning Day by FOLK9 – Thai tropical indie psych-pop. That pretty much says it all. It’s really really good, get it!

6. Cyberspace Database by Fornax Void – Retro tech ambient 16 bit FM synthesis lo-fi virtual memory installations for cyborg transformations.

7. Espiral by Armisticio – romantic, nostalgic, lush, beautiful synthpop made in Chile that fills your heart with good vibes.

So stop bitching and saying there’s no good new music. Here’s some great new music and it’s all laid out here for you to go get! Stop streaming the same old Hall and Oats from Spotify and support some real musicians you cheap fucks!