For many years now one of the main ways I’ve been able to get releases by other artists is to share through trades, usually with my own releases. For the most part this is a great system not only because it helps me hear what others are doing, but also because it puts me in direct contact with the people I’m sharing with. I really appreciate others willingness to trade. There is also a practical reason for trading due to the fact that there are no shops near where I live. I could order from online shops or catalogues , but shipping and payment methods are costly.
Since I started this weblog earlier this year I’ve been thinking about writing “reviews” of some of the CDs I receive from other artists. I put the word “reviews” here in quotes because I’m not actually interested in writing reviews in the normal journalistic sense. Rather it is more using writing as a form for expressing my impressions of what I hear in the sound work I listen to. How is this different from a review? Well I don’t imagine that my audience is a magazine reader or is specifically a potential buyer. What I write can be anything from direct references to what I hear to stories about the artist (if I know them), or simply ideas or thoughts I had while listening. In general it does show “what I like”, but on the other hand I simply don’t have the time or energy for the things I’m not so interested in. Yes, this is very much a personal approach, but then again that usually what blogs are for. I don’t expect it will be interesting to all. Mainly it can be a curiosity for the artist and a possible point at which to start a dialogue related to the work (see my review of Seth Nehil’s ‘Amnemonic Site’). At best it can serve as some form of feedback, something I don’t feel there is enough of.
As a policy I’m not going to make any formal system for reviews, so don’t send me any CDs unless we arrange a fair trade first.