Sunday, May 12, 2002

MUSIC OR RECYCLING?
I can't decide. I'm listening to a new album from the Jeep Jazz Project, a cut & paste collective in the acid jazz, ambient vibe. I like it, but it's hard to call it music. It's a collection of other records edited, recontextualized and presented as something new. I feel like one of those old union guys screaming In my day, the music had to be played by living breathing musicans!

I think what bothers me about this is a short story I read years ago. It was a sci-fi story and in it, a guy invented a computer which analyzed every hit song ever made, then scrambled their melodies and chords to produce new songs. The idea was, what better way to create a hit song than use bits and pieces of other hit songs? Listeners would find it familiar enough to enjoy quickly, but not enough to where they might think it unoriginal.

Every time I hear one of these cut and paste acid jazz projects, I think of that story and that computer.

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