THE DOTS PER INCH MAILER

EPHEMERA:

CD:
"CD" is the long-play release of three Jack Whitescarver singles put out in April and May of 2019. This CD-exclusive release features the A and B sides of each of said singles, along with three additional intercalary tracks. 

The project is meant for car listening, a spin-off medium for an outdated conception of portability, a conception that still has much relevance today but little use (there’s a difference). This is a kind of listening that Jack thinks of often, and came up many times in conversation while this release was being developed in the fall & winter of 2018. 

This record, being three traditional pop releases glued together with sounds far more experimental and open ended (referencing the likes of Smerz, Arca, and Angelo Badalamenti), is a record that ties some of Jack's early experimentalism with the drastically more polished sounds of his 2019 digital releases. It is a package meant to live on the floor of a car, grabbed blindly while another playlist or CD nearly runs out, and thereafter serve as a comforting wash of pop & ambient bliss through ever-aging car speakers. "CD" is meant to survive and complement one's surroundings in ways its digital cousins could never quite pull off. 

 

MASTER & COPY:

I’ve not one to nostalgize old media, but have always been intrigued by the mass appeal of Hi-Fi in the ‘70s & by the ability of “remastered” reissues to generate a commercial boom for recorded music in the era of the CD: bygone eras of demand for technical integrity. This is all so much more interesting today given that such a popular demand for quality recordings seems utterly alien to my contemporary, music-loving friends.

Last week, I was in Denver seeing a friend who grew up there while in town for a live music conference. At his mom’s house about 20 minutes outside of town, there exists a fabled Hi-Fi system I’ve been hearing about since my freshman year of college. I was never that excited by it and, frankly, thought the Hi-Fi fascination to be a little annoying. But finally, upon this visit to the mile-high city, I had the opportunity to listen to some great recordings (The White Album and Rumors) on this truly exceptional system.

I’ve experienced Hi-Fi before, but not in some time since moving to New York and rarely have I experienced a Hi-Fi setup with such masterfully preserved recorded tracks. It was surreal, to say the least—explaining the feeling would do it nothing close to justice. We sat there for an hour, in complete rapture at the depth and presence of these sounds, and it was nothing new to him but he was as captivated as I.

As it’s hard to avoid cliché when talking about great audio (I felt like I was in the room with them!) I’ll skip most of that for you here. But it really felt like my other, non-aural, senses shut down—or at least that they refused to interfere while my ears had their moment—and I was completely and inescapably consumed with—for lack of a better word—a vision. It was a moment where something I’ve loved all my life felt thrillingly new again. And you would not have to be a music-fan to understand.

~~~ & on that note:

This past week, a story broke about a fire that consumed the Universal Music Group’s masters vault at Building 6197 in Universal City in 2008. At the time of this fire, more than a decade ago, the situation was heavily played-down: ‘everything had been digitized,’ ‘little was actually harmed;’ it was primarily a “Video Vault;” &c. Really, though, the vault contained entire discographies of iconic artists & labels, some 150,000 titles (maybe 500,000 songs) dating back to the 1940s and as recent as the early aughts.

The destruction of these masters means an ever-degraded ability to reproduce the moments they captured, hereafter resigned to copying of copies of the moments that shook the air of 20th century America. This is all especially painful when remembering that recording technology has been decades ahead of playback technology since the ‘40s—meaning that many of these recordings were actually never heard in ways they could have, and should have, been (excepting those who made them, the artists). Those recordings, which could have transferred pristine moments of our heritage, almost unadulterated, are forever and irreversibly lost.

It’s not surprising that this means that the experience I had in Denver last week feels a little fortuitous. It makes music feel a little more precious—and me a little more grateful—which is itself a precious feeling for someone trying to make a living in this industry.

 

A new video for “Baby.” Click for sound and (more) vision.

 

FOR SALE:

CD - Jack Whitescarver


Composed of DPI 022-024, + 3 new tracks. Exclusively physical.
~Out Now

$9.00

Receive

2nd (Vinyl) - Grace Ives

10” record

$17.00

Collect

“Wrong Energy” b/w “Everyday” - Jack Whitescarver

Digital Single. Downloads in ALAC format (Apple Lossless). For more options, please visit Jack’s Bandcamp.

$1.23

Acquire

2nd - Grace Ives

Digital Album. Downloads in ALAC format (Apple Lossless). For more options, please visit Grace’s Bandcamp.

$7.00

Enjoy
 

“The West Coast Vault perished, in its entirety… …Lost in the fire was, undoubtedly, a huge musical heritage.”

-Internal UMG memo, March, 2009
Published by the NYT, 6/11/2019