UPDATE: Music, Ethics, and the Real Life Beta Mix

UPDATE: Sadly, this mix has been removed due to complex ethical and legal issues surrounding the sharing of dj mixes online.  Here are a couple of my own initial reactions to taking it down.

It is not theft of music, it is a dj mix.  The tracks are not posted as individual songs, but blended, transposed, and recontextualized into a single mix.  Mixes like these do not detract from sales, they enhance sales by exposing people to new artists they are likely unfamiliar with by juxtaposing them with ones that they are.  Dj mixes do not replace people's music collections, they grow them.  If i am in the mood to listen to the Beatles, i will throw on Abbey Road, not the Beatles/Eminem mashup on my demo. And if i like a song that is 20 minutes into a dj mix, i will just go buy the song, not fast forward through an entire mix just to hear one song.

There was once a time when dj's were the backbone of music promotion, before Clear Channel moved in an stripped dj's of this role of cultural propagation.  Now culture is barely being propagated; it is being manufactured.

I know that the music industry in the midst of the greatest legitimacy crisis in its history, its own Grand Inquisition, and that makes this a somewhat touchy issue--but all the more reason to actually engage in an Integral discussion of exactly these sorts of issues.  It is another one of those red-hot cultural buttons we should all have our finger on, simply because only a 4-quadrant Integral approach can make sense of this mess.

So the mix has been removed, and i am really kind of disheartened, for both idealistic and personal reasons.  It is an art i am extremely passionate about, and i don't get many opportunities to share it with people.  If i were trying to make money off this it would be an entirely different argument, though it would still not be as black-and-white as most people consider it to be.  But i'm not.  I am simply trying to create a node of cultural integration, allowing the past to flow freely into the future, while adding a new layer of novelty.

At times like these, i am reminded of the t-shirt i designed but have still not submitted to Cafe Press:


What do you guys think about all this?

If any of you are curious about the mix, send me a personal message and i will be happy to share my inspirations.


PS - check out these two blogs by Kevin Kelly.  Interesting stuff.

Why People Pirate Stuff
People Want to Pay