Four Months of Music: A Retrospective

As the school years comes to an end and finals begin to ramp up, it’s natural to think about everything other than academic responsibilities at hand. Naturally, it’s a time to dwell on memories, friendships, and, of course, our time here at WRVU. For me, this last blog post has got me thinking. While it’s incredibly sad I’ll be missing all my WRVU goings on for the next eight months, I’m beyond amazed at all the new stuff that’s been released in 2015.

As an ode to WRVU and this semester, I’ll be highlighting my ten favorite tunes of the semester, starting from the bottom (because Drake). If you happen to like electronica, check out some of the dopest of beats from early 2015 below.

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Tidal Opens for Business

“TIDAL for all.” That’s the slogan for Jay Z’s new high-fidelity music streaming service, Tidal. But with a $19.99 a month service fee, it probably isn’t for everyone, especially those already paying for Spotify or torrenting most of their music.

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

So what’s the deal? Well first off, Tidal is geared towards supporting artists, something that many claim Spotify doesn’t do. Jay Z is not the only one whose face is slapped on this thing. Host company, Aspiro, has also convinced other huge music celebrities including Jack White, Deadmau5, and Nikki Minaj to endorse Tidal as stakeholders. On top of just audio playlists (streaming in FLAC format for those familiar), Tidal is also currently streaming music videos. The service is available in-browser (on their website) and also in app form, like iTunes or Spotify. Currently it is unclear whether or not Tidal will offer exclusive streaming for particular artists, the way iTunes has exclusivity over The Beatles, but it seems a definite possibility.

In regards to competing with companies like Spotify, in his interview with The Fader Jay Z says “…we’re really not here to compete with anyone, we’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of Tidal causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way…We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to Tidal for a specific sound, a specific experience…After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”

Should You Torrent That?

Since the dawn of the digital age, the music industry has succumb to a new form of shoplifting – online piracy. While pirating music is not a new concept along with the Internet, downloading music without paying for it is occurring at a much greater magnitude than the pre-internet days. As an Economics major, I wonder how much this phenomenon affects the music industry. So I ask the question: Should you really be torrenting?

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Remixes and Refixes and Extended Mixes, Oh My!

Even though I like to pretend I’m a music aficionado, let’s face it: I seriously have no idea what’s going on when it comes to titling remixes. Sure, I have every song in my iTunes library labeled to a tee. I take care to list who’s featured on a track, who produced it, what label it’s on (if any), and most importantly, what the artist labeled the track. As a result of this OCD tendency combined with my love for all things electronica, my music catalog is brimming with words like “refix,” “original mix,” and “flip.” Despite this need for classifying these songs with various descriptors, I have no clue what most of these words actually mean. I’m sure many of you guys are in the same boat. So, after a few days of digging on Reddit and a few Google searches, let’s see if it’s possible to clear up some of this jargon.

One of the primary differences between tracks is length. Each different length has a different name. In a sense, every song in its purest form is an original mix, but some songs come in multiple versions. Although it seems intuitive, it’s still helpful to clarify that original mix denotes the first complete mix by the original artist. Simply put, it’s a song by an artist with no other changes; it can be of any length. If an artist prefers the track to be longer, he or she will produce an extended mix. In the extended mix, the track usually includes a longer intro and outro and is longer than the original mix. This type of mix is how the original artist imagines a song without time constraints — usually too long for radio. The last type of mix in this temporal category is the radio edit. In the radio edit, expletives are taken out and the length of the track is cut between 3 and 5 minutes in length (but usually closest to the three minute mark). Intros and outros that may bore radio listeners and take up valuable advertisement time are cut down.

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