‘To push into other audiences.’
Know your enemy
In the final part of the Enough Records Manifesto series I’m pushing into what, to some, is the most contentious point of them all – ‘to push into other audiences’. As a general rule this one should garner fairly obvious approval – no one, no matter how in love with the intricacies and eccentricities of tiny hobbyist corners would deny at least some desire to spread the word of good music to ever more people and on that level this part of the manifesto doesn’t bear up to much scrutiny. That said though there are arguments brewing around it, not because more people listening can ever be considered a bad thing but because the source of those new listeners can always draw a line between two major schools of thought within the free music movement.
‘To push into other models.’
There are half a dozen different ways to look at today’s point from the Enough Records Manifesto, whether you head in the direction of expanding netaudio into other structures and models of distribution, sharing and community; to create new sound structures under the aegis of absolute freedom offered by the basic concepts of what we do or, as I myself am probably most enthusiastic about, taking the free model that we’ve created and extending it beyond the boundaries of music and into, well, anything and everything.
Pondering the present and the future are always, for obvious reasons, obvious facets of analysing and following the free music movement. With the chaotic freedom offered to those artists involved this corner of the musical world more than any gives way to experimentalism or even simply messing around with sound.
‘To promote free culture.’ – With this third installment we’re heading towards the trickier end of things. On a practical level this is a fairly easy point to deal with, we all have our immediate impressions of what free culture does and does not entail and with a bit of imagination it’s easy to come to conclusions as to how we can promote it both as individuals and collectively.
‘To explain music genres’ – Probably the biggest lure of free music to both fans and artists is the near absolute creative freedom it grants. There are good reasons for the imbalance towards experimentalism and niche genres within our scene, most notably that the commercial world is usually unready or unwilling to accept the truly different into their own fold whereas the nature of online distribution and low-level community organisation means that the free model allows pretty much anything, no matter how jagged and indigestible, to carve out its own corner and its own success.