Andrew Broder goes three for three
If he were Detlef Schrempf in NBA Jam, he'd be on fire, raining in half court threes and setting the net ablaze.
In just three weeks, Andrew Broder has released three ambient albums for free download. Titled I Must Fix All Problems, Experts, Specialists, and, most recently, Raw Bulb (downloadable here), the ambient works give winking thumbs ups to Brian Eno's seminal Music For Airports-- lighter than air, water tight, Raw Bulb translucently glows with the oddities of a lucid, waking dream, drifting from song to song like a skein of milkweed.
Free download works are all the rage as the record industry begins to circle the drain in ever tightening orbits. With Radiohead's In Rainbows and Trent Reznor's Ghosts quadrilogy bringing ever increasing attention to the crisis facing the entire industry, it's clear that artists of means (which, on a local level at least, Broder certainly is) are seeking a new avenue to reach an ever more resourceful, disillusioned, and, in many ways, unscrupulous consumer base.
What hasn't been made clear is exactly how artists are going to survive in the new model. For all intents and purposes, the new model isn't even a model. It's a mirror portal to a new dimension, and the only way to find out what lies on the other side is to close your eyes and step through.
How, for example, will artists survive on their music if the new model goes no further than free online distribution? It's a haunting question, and, in an email statement to Twin Cities Decider, Broder expressed that his fans ought not expect this level of output (or these kinds of savings) to become the status quo, at least insofar as Broder is concerned:
"Now, just because I am putting out free albums, that does not mean I can necessarily afford to do so. I can't. But in this ever-changing musical landscape, it seems like everyone is trying to re-configure how they do what they do, me included. So these are not tossed-off ideas, or freebies to advertise something else. This is what I do, and if you want to support it, you can feel free to send a voluntary donation via PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't do that, just telling a friend, or your thousands of friends online to check it out is also very helpful."
Pretty diplomatic, but one still wonders what will become of any recognizable music economy should this trend catch on a bit too well. In any case, Broder's work is always manna-- take it, praise the Lord, and don't ask questions.
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