Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dancing to their own tune

The internet, so the story goes, has revolutionised the way that music is disseminated and consumed - a democratising tool that has weakened the power of labels and allowed aspiring musicians to bypass the mainstream record industry altogether and instead seek out alternative paths to an audience. While the mainstream is more depressingly homogeneous than ever, the internet is enabling a new DIY culture to flourish and presenting a dizzying variety of different bands with a platform in the quest to find a fanbase.

Though there is certainly truth in such claims, they shouldn't overshadow the fact that, musically speaking, DIY culture isn't new and in fact can be traced back beyond the 1980s heydey of indie, and indeed beyond even the punk era of the 1970s. There was actually an explosion of self-made, self-released music in the 1950s (in the US, at least), coinciding with the increasing number of vinyl pressing plants opening up, as well as increased leisure time and disposable income. Enjoy The Experience is a book chronicling and celebrating this first wave of homemade records, and judging by this clip (which includes music from some of the featured albums) it would be a fasinating read.

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