the original manifesto from 2007
before i present the original essay i want to put it in context because the music industry and the internet community have changed a lot in the last 15 years since i wrote this short text over a couple of beers in 2007.
selling music was still a lucrative business model, freemium and pay- what- you- want models weren't invented yet, niche or generally not accepted. back then music streaming services didn't exist and almost everyone just bought physical media. illegal file sharing was at its peak.
value meant a price tag was attached. if you gave something away for free, you were crazy or your product sucked— often both. either way, most people didn't take you very seriously.
this was a big problem for netlabels in the early days and the essay critizes this role of commerce in regards to arts and especially music. the internet has changed this relationship forever- for better or worse is another story.
but enough of this aimless random rambling. here is the essay in all its unedited, original glory. in essence it is still relevent but not as it was intended once.
industry kills music!
"a growing number of people are feeding on fast- food for their whole life. some regulary visit restaurants with family or friends. and others still enjoy cooking at home the most. of course everyone has his own taste and personal preferences. nothing to discuss here. however we can surely say that members of the fast food generation are not only missing an important social experience but are also badly damaging their health."
"music or art in general bears an analogy to food. today more and more people are consuming art like it is a mass product, like yet another non- sating burger. music means mtv is running like elevator or shop music allday. sure still some love to go to shows once in a while and there are even people who love to make music together with their friends or for themselves. we should have no problem to indentify which kind of music is the most honest and 'healthy'."
"believe me i'm not praising the atmosphere of dusty hippies sitting around a fireplace and singing bob dylan or cheesy donovan tracks from the 60s. all i want to say is that music is not meant to be the bulk product it has become today. and i'm not talking about mainstream pop music only but you notice the same degeneration in many genres. it's no difference if you look at punk, metal or the small "industrial" scene. the music gets more and more the taste of disgusting synthetic bubblegum or flavourless fast-food."
"i don't want to accuse all labels of being profiteers. for sure there are label bosses who are enthusiatic music aficionados doing the best they can to support the music and bands they love. but like it is in life always: exceptions prove the rule. the whole music industry is not based on the idea of fulfilling the basic needs of the people but on maximizing profit. remember they don't want to sell good music but plastic discs. even idealistic labels are forced to make compromises in what they release because they are doomed to make profit to avoid bankruptcy. welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism."
"those compromises are the malefactor which kill the music. real art arises from your emotional or intellectual needs to express yourself. if those needs are monetary then art looses its meaning."