Over the last while I’ve contemplated what music means to me. I put a lot of time and effort into electronic music, but finally – after much thought – I have to concede that I do not know who my target audience is in marketing terms. I make music that I like: very self indulgent sounds that please my ideals of composition structure, dynamics, energy, percussion, melody, instrumentation and so forth. That is fine – I should make what I want to make. However, I am not always certain where this music should finally go, or who I should be talking to. It has been made abundantly clear that the kind of music that gets play in clubs is more or less music I have no interest in making. I had coffee with Thor / Fractal last night while taking a break from the mix of the track I am making with Formulate and Dustin H. Myself and Thor talked a fair bit about the gap between what we make and the certainty of what seems to be popular for the “dance” clubs.
I don’t make “dance music”. I generally make music that you can dance to, but “dance music” I would say it is not. It’s not “dance club” music at all. Seismic might be the exception. Speaking of Seismic, how about this? I am not particularly sold on the Flash MP3 player or the style of it but it’s more the function of the below that I am looking for feedback on. I’d like to house all previews of my music here in this sort of style:

AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Original mix)
AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Shiloh remix)
AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Powerplant remix)
AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Stefan Anion’s Running For Cover remix)

So what does this have to do with departure? Not sure exactly. I haven’t yet departed the electronic music scene obviously but I am feeling fairly disconnected from it right now. Maybe that’s because I have not been doing many shows at all lately. It is inspiring to see music connect with people on a dance level – even though, as I say, I don’t make “dance music.” I am mainly differentiating what I make from the more mainstream stuff that you might even hear on your local commercial radio station. I’m not even saying there’s anything wrong with that kind of music – I absolutely do not think there is anything wrong with it on a general level. It’s more of an accessibility issue.
Last night the topic of artist albums came up as well. I have been giving some thought to making an artist album lately and putting that in stores. This would require many things, not the least of which is time. Also, as I type this, there are signs in the front of A&B Sound in downtown Victoria saying they’ve shut down and opened another store in Langford. What’s left in downtown for music? Ditch and Lyles Place, I think. So I’m aware that there’s not much milk in that particular cow. I think what it is .. is that I want to connect with whomever it is that I am making this music for. Being able to share over the internet is great, but it is faceless and immemorable – is that even a word? Maybe amemorable – I am pretty certain that’s not a word.
The photo above is of Charles leaving the Commercial Drive skytrain station a few weeks ago. Time for me to get some fresh air!

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  1. My friend, if marketing is the art of determining the wants of ‘the masses’, and you consider yourself someone with a discerning individual with an evolved artist palate (as I consider you)…
    You need to only look inside of you. To your ‘Katra’, and then, and only then, will you dominate your dojo.

  2. I like you’re music Davin. You’re music and dj’ing talents are inspiring to me. I feel that there is so much to learn from you, on so many levels. You are someone I look up too. Keep doing what you love to do, because others love what you do.

  3. The experience may be somewhat faceless, but it doesn’t render it any less meaningful. Long-time luker just now making his presence known. I always make it a point to check in here for some thoughtful images and mixes for mornings-afters. Your efforts are much appreciated always enjoyed… I just stumbled onto the January Pacific Front Sessions and it’s providing to be the perfect piece of punctuation for the end of my day.

  4. Hahaha not much milk in that cow, nicely put. Yeah A&B’s are closing over here too. The whole record store thing doesn’t seem to be doing so hot these days, which is unfortunate, because I always enjoyed going to places like that to buy music. But for me, that was a long time ago.
    I must say this: it was a real inspiration to go to WMC and see thousands of people enjoying and connecting with… music that I like too! It really takes it out of the realm of the abstract when you find yourself in the middle of something like that.
    There are a lot of styles that I like a little bit, in a lukewarm kind of way, but not enough to want to try and execute them myself.
    Disclaimer: this next bit may sound like advice but really it’s just my own observations about the creative process. And it may ramble a little too…
    Alright, here goes:
    Personally I think the only way I have a chance of making music that’s any good is to make stuff that pleases my own ear/mind/body/soul/sensibilities. If you think about it, there are a couple good reasons for this.
    First of all, if you don’t really care for what you’re working on, you probably won’t work on it very hard–certainly not as hard as would on something that you love. Secondly, if you happen to come up with some new sound that hasn’t really been market-tested yet, it’s quite a bit simpler to just say “yeah I like that” or “no, that doesn’t quite work,” than it is to try and guess who might be receptive to said innovation, and then base your decisions on that kind of information. At least I find so.
    By the way, that’s not to say that I am some kind of self-actualized “pure artist” who is above caring what other people think. There are times when I wish that was the case, but it certainly is not, and here’s why: I think music is a lot more fun when you can share it, and its power to bring people together is a significant part of what makes it valuable to me. That’s certainly the aspect that inspires me (more on this in a second).
    Now another point, somewhat related to the last one: if it’s true that we are all unique, listening to our own voice gives us an easy way to be original.
    Let’s finish this off then with a word (or 986) about what inspiration means to me. I thought of this the other day and I find it interesting, because I think inspiration is one of those things that is often misunderstood.
    So let’s start with what it is NOT: inspiration is NOT the ability to have an idea. Having ideas is effortless, so to me it does not require inspiration as such. In fact there are times when I hate having ideas, because when I have an idea, it means that I have just made more work for myself. The idea will need working on so it can come to life, and I will feel bad if I don’t do it, but without a better sense of purpose than that, not much is going to happen. So this is where inspiration is required: it’s the sense of purpose that forms a bridge over self-doubt, and transforms the hundreds of menial edits, cuts, adjustments, decisions and manipulations and other tasks of production from a burden, into an adventure.
    And it comes from sharing. There.

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