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I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.

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Wednesday, September 8   >>

ONE OBVIOUS FACET OF NEO-SOUL MUSIC THAT I CONSISTENTLY FAIL TO MENTION WHENEVER I TALK ABOUT IT IS THE GENRE'S DEVOTION TO LIVE MUSIC



(Apologies for the advertisement.)

Kem. Buy his discography (or torrent it if you must). His writing style is really elegant. Sophisticated, but not over-the-top in maniacal arrangements (re: Maxwell, who is on the edge of being a genius, albeit really exhausting, even on a music nerd level).

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It sounds crazy, but neo-soul music--or most soul music, rather--is still recorded live. It's sad that simultaneously recording a group is now a novel idea, but this is one of the few genres/communities that still cares deeply for manifesting energy as much as it does for solid writing. It's a style of music that demands a sonic sex of sorts between players who look at each other, as opposed to a common form of tracking that's on-schedule.

I don't get on-schedule tracking. A band could realistically record an entire album without ever seeing each other once throughout the entire process. Drums and bass, first week, aux, second week, vox, third, etc.

It's, like, if music about collectivity, then why treat it like art appointments? What's the point, then?

Live tracking separates the men from the boys. With exception of dance-pop music, it seems that the artists who last the longest are always have some degree of live recording (Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, My Morning Jacket, Wilco...)