Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Computer Manipulated Reggae Music

You remember those days when artists would go into the studio and separately record all the guitars, drum beat, vocals and all the attendant instrumentation without having to programme it using a computer and lose out on human artistic display.

There are a group of music lovers that are now making choices to stick to the old kind of music production and are therefore shunning the heavily computer manipulated music.

Reggae music is considered organic music and this is the reason it has a sub-genre called roots rock which purely created using human innovation and somehow sticking to the one drop concept where the foot drum is evenly spaced for effect.

While you would expect the old guys to be interested in the same, there is a youthful and unsung talented reggae star in the making Chipiriro Kuntenjera, a banker by profession who has started a project to record an album that will be recorded using the old ways.

His challenge is that because there is too much dependence on the computers when it comes to music and sound production we are losing out on having talented studio session artists not to mention studios that can have that kind of patience and skill to put up with such a challenge.

What is disheartening is that these days many so called musicians plunge into the world of music without any appreciation that music is an art and that they ought not only be at their artistic best when producing it but they also must realise that they have those musical juices flowing into their veins.

Ever wondered why Bob Marley or Peter Tosh music is still competing shoulder to shoulder with the latest reggae productions on world scale?

These days because most of the bassline, the drumbeat, the lead and rhythm guitars are just robotically programmed in the computers and then its several variations picked and recorded as a form of an instrumental background that is fused with the vocals it becomes laughable when an artist is called to perform their music with a live band.

If the production won’t be perpetually off key the whole live performance time then just realise that they are in fact not performing at all but just lip-synching pre-recorded music that is playing in the background.

It’s like a magician performing his trickery by setting a large screen before the audience and let some video recordings of his supposed frolics play. People are robbed in such instances.

Now if we have artists like Chipiriro who is currently practising hard at one local studio in Chirimba in preparation for the live recording, they need to be encouraged because this is the preservation of skills and art, not only of playing musical instruments but recording music using the less deceitful means.

You rarely find the later day Eric Paliani, Collen Ali, Peter Likhomo and even the youthful Faith Mussa or Patience Namadingos who will courageously grab a guitar and perform live without disappointing.

What is even reassuring is that even when foreign musical artists come to perform in the country they love to associate or use the skills and talents of those that will give us their raw displays and delivery when it comes to playing the musical instruments.

I await the day when even the urban artists in the country who are now bulging the music industry seams take up the challenge and start giving the consumers the raw talent and skill which matters more in the world of art.        


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