Friday, September 05, 2008

Richie Hawtin: “All music is version 1.0”

Interesting article at Beatportal about Rich's vision for the future of how music is distributed and consumed.

“Every track these days should be considered a work in progress... Everything is version 1.0, and anybody should be allowed to take your ideas and add their own ideas to it. We need to be more open about music, ideas and ownership. Artists and labels should still be able to make money from their music when it gets sampled, but there should be a way of tracking how far down your samples go... We should be able to scan a track and say 50% of this is original, 20% is from this record, and 30% is from this record."

This sure sounds like a digital media SPIME to me. Here's where it gets most real and intriguing:
“We’re thinking about opening the Minus catalogue up to the public so that anyone who buys a release can have more creative options to manipulate and transform it.”

Mr. Hawtin is not one to make off-the-cuff comments and he's well known for pushing the envelope of technology and user interface when it comes to DJing. Take the above comments as a not so subtle hint as to what's to come...

Of course remix culture is as old as most of us, and artists such as Arnaud Rebotini and Trent Reznor have been providing isolated Logic/GarageBand tracks for fans to remix at their will for a couple of years now, and BMG of Ectomorph has been DJing with isolated digital loops for bloody ever. But no label has ever opened up its entire catalog to the public in such a way. Certainly not every music consumer wants or would even know what to do with this option, but it's very interesting to think about how different music consumerism would be if it were the standard.

Beatport already rapes us for $2.50+ per song, and a lot of us [myself included] happily pay because we can't legally find what we're looking for anywhere else. [With very few exceptions, I insist on paying for music for reasons that have been exhusted here.] I would think a whole lot of people would pay $1 for one killer synth or drum loop. In that sense, not only is it an interesting take on music distribution, but a solid business model.

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