Recently I've been experimenting with tape.
I've bought a couple of reel-to-reels and walkmans (walkmen?) and have been splicing tape loops, removing erase heads, feeding tape through multiple tape players, speeding up and slowing dow, etc.

But it makes me feel a bit rubbish, because I keep feeling that it's all been done before - William Burroughs, Nam Juin Paik, Delia Derbyshire - how do you compare?

Does anyone else ever get the feeling that everything you do has been done better already? It's not going to make me stop or anything, it's just a frustrating, niggling pessimism I can't shake off...

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accept that everything has been done already and just make some music without thinking too hard about it...

why do you need to feel you are doing something 'new' or 'original' for it to have value?
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agree with KidQ but i surely know the feeling you describe go forth!
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whatever you do isnt going to be exactly like something thats already been done so theres always progress
new context=new art
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are you having fun?

my new year's resolution was to only make music this year that i enjoyed. as soon as it stops becoming fun, then i stop making that particular track. suffering for your art, i think, is a load of old rubbish. let the tape machines suffer and enjoy it!
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somewhere sometime someone has already posted this exact comment.

baked potato.
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I am having fun, as a matter of fact.
It just annoys me a bit that i want to 'experiment' with what I'm doing, but every time I discover something it seems a bit moot cos someone's already found it. Plus, the fact that I did a lot of the stuff I'm doing now when I was like, 15. It was a lot more fun then, and I want it to be fun now.

The best thing so far has been finding a top10 chart count down taped off the radio from 1963. I'm planning on looping the whole 10-1 countdown to make a track with.
Guess who's number one? Jerry and the pacemakers.
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just because the technique has been done before doesn't mean the sound has been created before. its mostly now about the construction of the music, as opposed to the trailblazing. but within the construction and the sound there is trailblazing to be done... so make some tape loop stuff, and forget if someone else did it before.. make it the way you want to heaar it and it will be orriginal.
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Analog said: " Jerry and the pacemakers."

Just remember that most people will ask "How do you do it?" and then they'll say "I like it.".
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recorded music has been done before... don't bother.
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Zanf said: " I dislike it when people put names up as some sort of marker or pioneer whilst completely removing them from the context of their times, from which they were a product. They didnt magically come out of nowhere."

Although i might be guilty of this myself from time to time....this is SPOT ON!
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Analog said: " Plus, the fact that I did a lot of the stuff I'm doing now when I was like, 15. It was a lot more fun then, and I want it to be fun now."

+1. That says it all. If you find a way to do that, please share. (p.s. absolutely serious, 100%-sarcasm-free comment. Really, it's my dilemma with art and work and life right now.)
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Music became fun for me again when I realized that I wasn't special.

You just have to realize that there is a realm of unknown possibilities out there...for you. And that there is always always room to stretch yourself and try unknown things.
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From your point of view, everything appears stationary. You have your history, influences, peers, hopes, desires, etc. all pushing you in this particular direction. Don't worry about if it's been done before. All anyone has ever done is to take baby steps. The whole moves forward, and you with it.
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Are you making music as a career? Is this purely experimental at this point?

This inferiority thing used to bother me alot, mostly because I am talentless and lazy, and therefore hopeless at making music. My "How do you do it?" blog says it all. Once I realized the only way to produce anything of some significance requires more commitment than a marriage, and more time niggling with software than an enterprise developer, I decided I don't give a flying shit about making anything anyone other than myself would listen to. If people were to suddenly decide what I was doing had any significance, I'd ask them at what point in the recent past did the two-by-four make impact with the back of their noggin', and are they still able to spell words greater than 5 letters. But as I say, maybe you do this for a living.

Now more to the topic: the biggest difference between the tape-loop pioneers and what you are doing today, from a studio resource point of view, is that you can combine the tape techniques with any given number of digital ones. So in that sense, the more creative you can use all of these tools, the more you will begin to approach unexplored territory, should that be your goal. In any case, I'd love to hear what you are doing, because I dig this kind of stuff, new, old, tired, fresh, whatever.
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it was probably fun then, because it was intuitive.
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