What’s missing from digital?

I’ve been into a lot of Conan Liquid’s productions over the years and when I see a link on twitter or facebook it’s always a definite listen. So I dashed over to Traxsource to take a listen to the new one. On first listen I didn’t ‘get’ it at all, I just thought it sounded nothing like the usual kind of Conan Liquid track. I looked at the artwork, looked at the waveform and still didn’t get it. Then I read the text; here’s an extract:

“The aim was to create a release that sounded like an undiscovered 80’s 12″. One that we stumble across in a second hand store on a label we’ve never heard of” (Conan Liquid).

This of course resonated with me, being a vinyl hunting teenager in the 80s (I actually worked in a record shop too) I decided to listen again, this time with my eyes shut. Everything slotted into place, I was transported back to that timeframe, back to that record shop and back to those early 80s parties I went to when I was under the legal age to drink. 

Why didn’t I feel this on first listen? Was I distracted by the identikit template format of the shop page? The artwork didn’t convey the music for me but I don’t want to go nitpicking, this is a nice release. I think something is missing, not just from this track but all tracks on digital stores – itunes included.

You can see why vinyl is so popular again, it’s the ‘experience’ of finding a track, taking it out of the sleeve and physically putting a record on a deck. Despite becoming an evangelist of the digital sound I do miss this aspect. If only there were a to recreate this experience somehow in a digital store? Traxsource’s website update is great but I wonder if instead of a generic template for ALL pages we need to start seeing stores where the labels have a large degree of customisation, almost like myspace of old. The selling framework is there but more of an identity is available. I don’t know, it feels like things could be ‘better’ in the digital world in the future, we just need someone to come along with creative thinking and good funding. Anyone got any ideas?


Out now – http://www.traxsource.com/title/209749/the-basement-tapes-volume-1



2 thoughts on “What’s missing from digital?

  1. They should upload small snippets of the original .wav-file instead of scrapping the sound quality down to fit only for a knacker’s yard. Of course many stores and sites are suffering from rip-offs and streaming issues when they upload premium quality files but I can’t stand these 96kbps pre-listening files any more. Sorry.

  2. I really like the idea of slots for the labels to be creative and customize their pages. What makes vinyl special for me is the effort you go to, to listen to a track and because they’re pretty big its more of an occasion to me. Digital websites make it so easy so flick through ten tracks in a minute, and therefore you miss a lot of the tracks impact. Its the impracticality of vinyl that makes it old school, punk, cool. Maybe we could use the slots idea, as well as a full screen shot whenever a track is playing, making sure that people aren’t skipping from sound to sound to find that one chord they instantly they love, but will take the time to listen to unusual stuff to them. The problem with this is that its impractical and that’s exactly the reason people use websites, but are we meant to teach newcomers to music to race past most of the tracks? Or is the path we’re on perfectly fine, one of immediate gratification from music, no patience, but available. I dunno.

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