Indie Electronica: The Future or Just the Beginning?

In one of my most recent articles, I wrote about the mainstream-alternative struggle and the tension that emerges when people want original, authentic music that becomes popular. And to some extent, music has always been a money game – the costs of traditional album production make it very difficult to become, say, a studio rock band without submitting to external pressures. For decades, our music market has been dominated by mass-produced profitability. But what if we lived it a world where anyone with a laptop and music software could use their talents to become successful?

Sure, there are plenty of dubstep remixes out there – most of which receive little attention, let alone popular acclaim. Anyone can autotune their own voice into “music,” but many find that sound irritating, not to mention lazy. There’s definitely a fine line between true originality and sloppy “individuality.” At the same time, musicians are straining to break free of studios, labels, and other constraints that keep such a narrow selection of music in popular circulation. As it happens, the solution may be found in the fount of modern pop culture itself – the Internet. I submit for your consideration the indie electronica genre (indietronica) as the answer we’ve been looking for.

Imogen Heap

An offshoot of the indie rock movement, indietronica artists use the tech-heavy methods of electronic music to enhance their sounds and exponentially expand their options when it comes to new tones and musical profiles. An indie electronica group combines technical expertise, innovative savvy, and the open-book themes of rock. What’s especially powerful about this movement is that no expensive studio bookings or producers are necessary – much of the work can be done on a computer, something almost everyone today owns. To make matters even better, these artists are able to utilize all the tools of the decade to spread their work for little to no cost. Whether by crowdsourcing and pay-what-you-want models with sites like Bandcamp or via free distribution, artists today have an unprecedented capability to expose the world to their work.

Imogen Heap and Ghost Loft are just a couple of the artists piloting this genre, but they aren’t the only ones. And they didn’t have to impress the record label man to become successful, either. Just by pioneering their style of music forward, musicians like these are paving the way for an entire revolutionary wave of artists for generations to come. Indietronica isn’t just a futuristic new sound – it’s the beginning of a brand-new model of distribution and production.

Richard Lyne

Richard is an ACU graduate who was graduated summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University's honors college with a major in English and a minor in business administration. He hopes to return to school for an MA degree at some point, but is currently managing a coffee kiosk at the local grocery store in Denton, Texas. He has written for the Appetizer since spring 2015.

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