Do you even lo-fi, bro?

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In this zany internet-world we operate in, terms get thrown around like ‘aesthetic’, ‘mood’, and ‘lo-fi’, but the meanings have shifted a bit. They’ve adopted more slang qualities than literal definitions. Hey teens, I see your lo-fi beats to study to and wonder, are these even lo-fi? They just sound like the jazzy hip-hop I’ve always listened to for the most part; maybe with more Nujabes or Uyama Hiroto influences, but not that different. I dig that too, but chill music doesn’t exactly mean lo-fi. When I think of lo-fi - i hear those early Wu-Tang Clan projects. I hear Guided By Voices. I hear Tobacco. I hear distortion, muffled sounds, hiss, odd pops, technically wrong mixing choices, etc. I don’t hear that analog feel or the d.i.y. vibe in modern lo-fi. Lo-Fi is pretty much just a tag or a brand these days to lend authenticity or conjure an idea in the listeners mind at this point. Not hatin’, just sayin’. Maybe it’s that the technology has evolved to the point where making true lo-fi is more work than it’s worth or it’s become an Instagram filter that you can slap on at will? Well, I like the old lo-fi (because I’m old) and want to bring that feeling to my works more prominently. The track above is the new single that Yuki & I created as Caramel Ship, but I ran it through my new handy-dandy tape recorder before exporting it back to my PC. As a first attempt, it has all of those ‘bad’ qualities that I love, but I think it could be refined further. I’m planning to experiment with exporting each track to tape before bouncing everything back for a final mix. To my ears - digital sounds better with some analog texture. Otherwise, it can sound a bit cold and clinical. On top of that, I just like to play around with the sound and sometimes mess it up to see what comes out of it.