How Lo-Fi Took Over Music

Lo-fi beats to study to
Lo-fi beats to study to

From bedroom set ups and Bandcamp LPs to the mainstream, the lo-fi aesthetic is in a lot of your favourite music.

Mackenzie Cummings-Grady wrote a great article on how lo-fi minimalism has permeated different genres. He opens with Jim Morrison’s famous 1969 interview with Rolling Stone:

“Some brilliant kid will come along and be popular,” he said. “I can see a lone artist with a lot of tapes and electrical…like an extension of the Moog synthesizer – a keyboard with the complexity and richness of a whole orchestra.” He went on to say there was somebody out there “working in a basement, just inventing a whole new musical form.”

I’m a massive fan of lo-fi hip hop and the aesthetic in general. Audiophiles can criticise its lack of care towards sonic clarity but there’s spirit in the heavy compression and the authentic (or artificial) crackles between notes. The great Miles Davis once said “it’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play” and low fidelity music captures that essence with its warm unrefined textures.

The good thing about the piece is it doesn’t solely focus on lo-fi hip hop, which is arguably saturated already. Lo-fi has found its way into R&B and indie rock as well. It’s no longer a “bedroom technique”. Will the revolution will be lo-fi? We’ll let you decide.

(via Pop Dust)

About Luke Alex Davis

Luke Davis is a music producer and editor of music blog Sampleface. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis and football and reading.

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