September 3rd, 2007

Labor Day Special: End His Career!

The NYT published a long profile on Rick Rubin yesterday. It’s a innaresting piece and Rubin’s a helluva producer, executive producer, A&R man, and new-age exec — but he’s not gonna save the music industry.

DJ Nate (via s/fj), on the other hand, provides a good glimpse at the new non music industry. On his MySpace, he shows himself to be an expert uploader-promoter, stacking YouTube videos w/ feet wurkin’ to his beats and embedding an auto-play imeem playlist of his own hopped-up, bass-propelled, fruityloopy productions —

— deese are HEAVY jams, making my laptop speakers vicariously feel woofish, as if the tiny speakers hope to emulate bass with the way they shake, all pathetic plastic tryna vibrate along at lower frequencies than their polymers permit.

DJ Nate’s music is deeply entwined with, engaged with, and inspired by the local scene. It could care less, it would seem, about anything beyond Chi-town & the suburbs. imeem and YouTube are visible from space, sure, but these tracks and vids are for the kids on the block. They’re about burning the nextman footwurker nem, ending his career, and no doubt, if more implicitly, launching one’s own.

This is not the music industry. It’s music industry. It’s how music works, the cultural work that music does, how we work it. We don’t need executives for that. In the words of the wise Rick Rubin, “too many people make and love music for it to ever die.” Even capitalism can’t kill it. Cue ominous outro —


  • 1. chris  |  September 4th, 2007 at 7:01 am

    I’m really blown away by the Nate stuff.

    Rubin has set up a ‘word of mouth’ department at Columbia. I find this absolutely terrifying – who is the replicant?

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  September 4th, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Obv me and my speakers are blown away, too!

    As for the replicants, they seem to be Ivy League college students, accding to the article. Definitely a little weird, if savvy.

  • 3. rupture  |  September 4th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Rubin is *late* on the word-of-mouth marketing tip. various labels & PR firms have been doing it for years: hire intern, send em to the message boards, uproot all notion of ‘ground-up’ success.

    i love music industry, and that distinction you make w/ it, Wayne!

  • 4. » J&hellip  |  October 29th, 2007 at 9:53 am

    […] The advent of digital technologies for producing and circulating music, ideas, and software has created profound new possibilities for real music industry to take the place of a corrupt, teetering music industry (i.e., the kind of hogs who stifle the oinks of the world). Let’s network, y’all. […]

  • 5. KGV (Kuduro Avec Grande V&hellip  |  April 5th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    […] that kuduro in France is all in the hands of the music industry — there’s plenty of music industry too.  In their one year reflecton on kuduro, le Masala mentioned that it was kicking in France at […]

  • 6. » S&hellip  |  June 30th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    […] (social) fact of music industry — i.e., the work that music does, the social and cultural activity it animates — has […]


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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