Sounds Like the Metaverse

6 minutes

A couple of years ago – October 2020 – I wrote about Early Access Artists. My first attempt to try and organise thoughts on the future of artistic practices alongside the affordances that a protocol based D-web (Web3 now I suppose) could provide.

I spent a long time talking about how music tracks in a digital format should be seen as a collection of Stems. The potential to be an ever evolving thing. This was months before Kaye released Donda in that format with that little music player.

I recently came across a tool called Track Club:

A subscription service / multisided market that connects Youtubes, Filmakers, Podcasters etc with with musicians and composers. The website also provides the infrastructure to sign/prove that the music is fully licensed.

Whats super cool about the service is that you don’t have to just pick a track, all the Stems are available in the web interface and you can mix and mute vocals, isolate bass-lines, fade out syth-parts etc and customise the track to fit exactly with the thing you are making.

This is 100% the future of not just Music, but Media distribution in general.

Now, i’m not sure about paying an ongoing licence. It would be better and more elegant if you could just select the stems, and clarify the mix/metadata and buy it as an NFT. Mixing and mastering tracks down to a single canonical MP3/FLAC file will be as significant artistic choice as choosing vinyl or cd as a medium.

I mean who’s to say how people are supposed to receive and consume music?

Over in the metaverse, millions of kids playing Roblox listen to pop songs though layers and layers of distortion – an aesthetic designed to defeat automated copyright enforcement – has bled over in to TikTok.

In late 2021 Roblox introduced new rules β€œUploading distorted audio files are not permitted. Please make sure your files can be easily and clearly heard.”. Now users have to avoid both automatic content ID scanning , and aesthetic choices being imposed by the platform.

So remix has been the recent go-to workaround. Mossbot is probably the biggest Musican on Roblox right now, defeating automated content scans.

For millions Taylor Swift sounds like this:

‘Music’ as bundles/collections of Stems is a far more rich and comprehensive vision of the future than streaming MP3s thats for sure.

Permanently Moved

What the Hell Is Going On?

Steady state capitalist realism and cultural fracking has got so bad they are rebooting the damn moon landings.

Photo 365


The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Finished up Nanowrimo
  • Lots of calls with folks
  • Worked on TWO essays that need to be finished up int he next 10 days
  • Had two sessions of the New Centre Course I’m teaching this week
  • Spent half a day tweaking all sorts of bits and bobs around, maintenance was needed
  • Received a text from someone I need to provide feedback on. First paid editing gig. wild.

Terminal Access

Terminal Access this week is concerned with Oklahoma writers collective Broken River Books.

Its cyberpunk season.

Birthday Boy, and buddy J David Osborne published Dying World. The first book in the Gods Fare No Better series: “blisteringly fast-paced cyberpunk novel in a ten-part series where magic and technology meet sex and violence”. It’s on my kindle. I started reading it last night. 10 parts! JDO what are you thinking!?

Not done with his mention last week, Edward Rathke has another book out: Howl is set in a desolate post-apocalyptic world where science and magic blend.

Lastly but not least, Kelby Losack has a new novel out Mercy. “A man trades his heart for a gun rumored to kill gods”

JD O and Kelby are the host of Japanese Anime/Cinema podcast ‘Agitator Pod’. All three authors above talk about their decision to shitpost cyberpunk novels together in this week episode. I should be clear – Agitator is not a film buff podcast.

Dipping the Stacks

House of a Thousand Knots – the Bentwood Architecture of the Orma Women Builders. – YouTube

This is a previously undiscovered African house, from east Kenya,. It is almost on the edge of extinction, with the tradition being preserved by one remarkable young woman, Ramadan.

Dirt: Drake’s deep fake / TikTok Hercules – Dirt

For a celebrity like Drake (and really, the scheme only works because of him), whose fame transcends the modern attention economy, the media circuit can be made into a mockery. The press needs Drake, not the other way around β€” or so he wishes for us to believe. Regardless, the crafted artifice of the spectacle affirms the rappers’ conceit. Self-promotion, real or fake, has to happen on their terms.

Tamagotchis are fashion’s hottest old-new accessory – From Game Boys to Pixel Chics, techcessories are everywhere.

Imagine a world in which your biggest worry is getting home from school on time to check up on your Tamagotchi. The words β€˜metaverse’ and β€˜blockchain’ don’t exist

The Rise and Fall of Cyberpunk – New Lines Magazine

Unlike cyberpunk protagonists, the typical post-cyberpunk protagonists are anchored adrift in the society in which they operate, leading lives much like your average everyday citizen.

Formats Unpacked – The Escape Room – by Hugh Garry

Each escape room usually has its own narrative world and players are fully immersed from the initial briefingβ€”often done by some form of eccentric gamesmasterβ€”up until they (hopefully) leave the room and return to the real world.


I’m still reading Non Violent Communication A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg. What a book. Honestly, one of the best books I’ve read in ages. Is should have read this years ago after taking part in the workshop.

I finished Courage and Honour by Graham McNeill. *maybe* I’m reaching the end of my 40k binge(?) if thats possible? 150+ books in one franchise/universe in less and 4 years is… a lot. That said i’ve just bought a bunch of models and play the game quite frequently so .. probably not.

Music Spotify Playlist

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – World Record

I bought Neil Youngs new album. Not because its *that good* but because buying it is basically the only way to hear it. Because – rightly, he’s not on Spotify.

xNot that I’ve listened to all 42 Neil Young albums, because nobody got time for all that. World Record is I think, at its heart a Rock and Roll album.

Break the Chain

Break the Chain‘ is heavy as hell , drenched with distortion, but rocks, hard. It has the forward momentum of a classic rock and roll, backing vocals, and blistering guitar slide work. Awesome.

Walkin’ On The Road (To The Future)

Walkin’ on the Road sounds like a song that has just, always existed? Pump organ and harmonic make up the chord pallet and Youngs Vocals just unspool inside the harmonic logic of the track. It sounds like it could have been a folk song downloaded from 1960s America. This track is *very* American thats for sure. More so even than the song Chevrolet which is about a guy and his car. lol

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