You Have to Be Futuristic

People are unconscious and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up. Some people are too far gone. They’ll just keep asking, ‘Is it real? Is it real?’ That’s dwanky. That’s a word we have in South Africa, ‘dwanky’. It’s like lame. ‘Is it real?’ Dwanky. You have to be futuristic and carry on. You gotta be a good guide to help people get away from dull experience.

Ninja, Die Antwoord’s Totally Insane Words of Wisdom, 2012

Everything on This Planet

Everything on this planet has something to do with music. Music functions in the realm of sculptured air. Polluted as our atmosphere might be, air is the thing that makes music work. Since all other things that occur in the sound domain are transmitted to the ear through that swirling mass, depending on how wide you want to make your definition, you could perceive quite a bit of human experience in terms of music.

Frank Zappa, Oui, 1979

Summer’s Coming Soon

Summer’s coming soon. And as we’re moving through the hallways of existence I am constantly being reminded about impending reality…

Koxbox, Doppelgänger, 1999

A Consensual Hallucination

Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…

William Gibson, Neuromancer, 1982

Your Thoughts Construct Patterns

Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.

What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns. At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values. As you are growing and changing, the more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you that it thinks you are, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to go, ‘Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.

Steve Jobs, Playboy Interview, 1985

Not a Sensible Person

I’m just some irritating, lying, ginger kid from Cornwall who should have been locked up in some youth detention centre. I just managed to escape and blag it into music. [If I hadn’t] I’d have gone to jail for computer hacking. I’m a really good hacker, but I’m not a sensible person.

Richard D. James

Everyday White Noise

Industrial is white-hot funky dance music, squeezed out of everyday white noise. The sound fragments and fluffed up news of our lives provide the back beat, over which are added lyrics of domination, control, and disaffection, usually sung by a demonic-sounding narrator singing from a distance. Post-Industrial dance (like early Industrial) is built around the sounds our culture makes as it comes unglued.

Gareth Branwyn, Factories of Deliberate Decay, 1998

Eliminating Atoms

The ultimate cost reduction is eliminating atoms entirely and dealing only in bits. Pure digital aggregators store their inventory on hard drives and deliver it via broadband pipes. The marginal cost of manufacturing, shelving, and distribution is close to zero, and royalties are paid only when the goods are sold. It’s the ultimate on-demand market: Because the goods are digital, they can be cloned and delivered as many times as needed, from zero to billions. A best-seller and a never-seller are just two entries in a database; equal in the eyes of technology and the economics of storage.

Chris Anderson, The Long Tail, 2006

This Is the World of Peer Production

This is the world of ‘peer production,’ the extraordinary Internet-enabled phenomenon of mass volunteerism and amateurism. We are at the dawn of an age where most producers in any domain are unpaid, and the main difference between them and their professional counterparts is simply the (shrinking) gap in the resources available to them to extend the ambition of their work. When the tools of production are available to everyone, everyone becomes a producer.

Chris Anderson, The Long Tail, 2006

Records Were Just a Little Bubble Through Time

I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn’t last, and now it’s running out. I don’t particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate—history’s moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.

Brian Eno, On Gospel, Abba and the Death of the Record, 2010