The Post-Capitalist DJs of the 21st Century

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In all the conversation about music, art, and artists, one idea that is not often examined is the relationship between performer and audience, and the reflection this has on society. Today, streaming services dominate the music landscape, and DIY production methods are making it incredibly easy for artists to distribute directly to fans.

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Only a couple decades ago physical album sales were the driving force of the music industry, however these days plenty of artists don’t even bother to sell their music. To highlight the somewhat bizarre state of the music world today, James Sey over at The Conversation shared this anecdote:

Onto the stage bounds the evening’s entertainment, which everyone has come to see. But it’s not a band in absurdly tight trousers, brandishing top of the range and lovingly crafted guitars and drum kit. No, it’s a skinny young white bloke in shades and a rubbish hairdo, brandishing … a tiny USB stick!

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So what do industry trends have to say about the state of music, and society as a whole? Jacques Attali’s book Noise: The Political Economy of Music attacks this question head on, theorizing that the social control and institutionalization of music can be used to track the mutations of capitalism, from feudal structures to “post-capitalist” societies. Ultimately, his conclusion was based on the idea that a society founded around mass-production and mass-consumption would produce a very commodifiable form of music, one that reflects the society and economic climate around it.

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So it seems that for his revolutionary spirit, Diplo and our “skinny white DJ” are still not our post-capitalist heros, but they are leading the charge towards an industry that deals in entertainment experiences instead of MP3s. Diplo seems genuine when he says that he would rather have people hear his music for free than not buy the album and miss out entirely, and ironically this may be why so many people flock to festivals around the world to see him wave flags at them.

Major Lazer performing to a crowd of nearly half a million in Havana, Cuba
Major Lazer performing to a crowd of nearly half a million in Havana, Cuba

For more on DJs and post-capitalist society, click through to James Sey‘s article for The Conversation.

Auto-Share Your Latest Tracks Like Magic

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Soundcloud is part of what the Economist magazine called the new “virtuous circle

At a time when big record labels are hemorrhaging cash, Berlin’s nascent music technology start-ups have created a blueprint for what the music industry of the future could look like.

Part of the circle relies heavily on social media as a platform to share and distribute your latest work, connect with fans and, of course, promote your live appearances.

Soundcloud recently compiled a detailed account of how to connect your work to various social media platforms. If you’re not on the powerful website, now would be a good time to do it, and then walk through these steps on how best to get your work noticed and into people’s eardrums.

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For more insight into the new music business, go back and re-visit Diplo and Skrillex talking about it on Charlie Rose. The two very successful musicians offer some valuable advice.

Don’t forget we are also on MixCloud, SoundCloud, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Connect with us and let’s share music!

5 Ableton Keyboard Shortcuts for Productive Producers

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Ableton Live is a powerful Digital Audio Workstation, stomach to say the least. (Most recently it was highlighted in the New York Times).

How to use it best? DJ Tech Tools has 5 different keyboard shortcuts you can try out.

Click on over to their blog for more, prescription even a shortcut keyboard cover!

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Want to work with Bieber and produce number one hit songs? It all starts with an email.

Charlie Rose Talks to Diplo and Skrillex

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“The revolution is that all art has become digitized.” — Skrillex

You know you’re being taken seriously when you get booked on Charlie Rose, the PBS talk show that hosts dignitaries, politicans and superstar celebrities. The latest guests? Diplo and Skrillex.

Wesley Pentz and Sonny Moore have become the de facto flag-bearers of this thing people call “EDM,” and we hold that’s not such a bad thing.

Diplo, for one, is a rabid fan of music of all stripes. We first heard of him way back in the mid-1990s when he had a column at NYC record enterprise Turntable Lab. As you can see from these still online archives, Diplo’s encylopedic knowledge of music is pretty awesome. Despite his missteps and perceived ego of late, he simply wants to make good music, as he states time and time again in the interview below.

“The renaissance of how you can create art and music through technology. And that’s awesome. And that can lead to anything.” — Skrillex

Skrillex is another good story. Coming from hardcore, Moore is a considerable musical talent–and while he slips in his musical knowledge in the interview below–he’s been quoted as saying Aphex Twin’s electronic ballad “Film” is his favorite song of all time. The duo’s collaboration with Justin Bieber has racked up over 100 million views in just two months (also the concept of that video above is pretty dope).

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“There used to be barriers and genres about what you should listen to, what you shouldn’t, where the limits are. If we can change the ideas about what the limits are and change people’s ideas about music, that’d be really important.” — Diplo

So their collaboration makes real sense. Diplo, the consummate music fanatic and Skrillex, the naturally talented musician. Listen as the two talk about electronic music history (including a shout-out to Boston’s own Donna Summer), diss the major label system, comment on the end of distribution, and their future plans.

You can find the video here or below. Their conversation begins at about the 24-minute mark.

Want to see success like Sonny? He’s mastered the union of music and technology. That’s what we teach in our lab and until Friday, you can get 15% off using the code “summersale” at check-out. Where to begin? The best value is our master program.