It has become somewhat customary to write here once or twice a year only. This is not intentional, and neither have I abandoned this place (or stopped doing music for that matter). It is primarily a reflection of the state of things in the broader sense, in the wider world. I still do the occasional Twitch stream. I still debate whether to close my Instagram account. Largely things have been.. static.
Back in 2017 I made a list of things that disturb me - from small to big. It had Brexit, Bitcoin, Trump, Putin, as well as "not enough time", "growing older", "corporate speak", "post-truth", "privilege", not to mention "global (weather) weirding". Sadly,
six seven years later, these are at play as much as they were back then.
Talking to friends, when looking back, it feels like much of our lives are somewhat on hold. Personally, change has come at me at irregular pace – sometimes things not moving at all, sometimes one big chunk at a time. I keep telling myself to just keep going till the really good times show up. Mostly did music in 23 as a form of meditation. Released very little.
Obviously 2024 starts with three simultaneous big waves.
One is AI and the phenomenal push to devalue art, and to just settle for all sorts of derivative bullshit, and forever rob once creative people of their chance to earn a living doing what they do best – create. We have the algorithms to stream freshly hallucinated words, music, video, etc, which doesn't even need storing on a drive, or recording in the first place. My music jam instagram is an endless scroll of ambient noodling and not much else. The long tail is gone. We have Swift and the millions of buried artist names no one else cares about.
Two is corporate greed. Tell me where to look to not see it. In the cities, it has huge sway over our lives, and even more so on the internet. But going to live somewhere away from corporations seems self-defeating and vastly expensive.
Three is war. Having the shittiest politicians here in the UK, I've had it up to here with hearing war is the reason for everything else that's bad - from water pollution to house prices. I like to think of war as a symptom – that something else has gone totally out of balance – and war is just a reflection of that, masking the truth, instead of letting us closer – doubling down instead of fixing things.
I'm sure none of the above reads as "Hello 2024 Good Vibes!!!1". Which, dear reader, is why I mostly keep to myself. Plus, in a terribly fragmented online space, it's harder to have a conversation of the kind that my early internet generation loves. Twitter/X is a dump. Bluesky is nerdy and stalling. Mastodon is disinterested in being anything more than an idiosyncratic mess. Threads is .. kinda special, as in terrible. Instagram is for reheated second-hand memes. Twitch is for hot tubs. Discord is too private. Facebook is for old (or dead) people. And all seem to be optimised for shit-posting.
And here is for cobwebs at this time. 🕸️