The story behind this obscure mid ’90s musician is almost as good as the music. Brian Shimkowitz, a blogger at the time, found Ata Kak’s cassette at a flea market in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2002. “You may never hear anything like this elsewhere,” he declared in his very first blog post. “No one I know in Ghana listens to this frenetic left-field rap madness.”
My writing method isn’t so much about technology as it is about coming up with a process that works for me. We’re living in a climate of immediacy, which can often yield great results, but it isn’t particularly conducive to a rigorous vetting of concepts or ideas. That being said, I have absolutely zero attention span. Writing on manuscript paper with a pen is all about slowing the process down, focusing in, and running through the same ideas over, over and over — essentially beating my head against the wall to get the ideas out.
You’re probably well aware of SoundCloud by now, but its widget feature is worth mentioning. Because SoundCloud is completely free and typically reliable, it’s the perfect place to host music over your site. Yes, you’ll lose some royalty money by not linking up to your Spotify or Apple Music account, but going with SoundCloud is the best option because it doesn’t force those visiting your site to sign up with yet another service. Plus, it’s essentially social media for track releases.
Let’s say that you’re mixing a project and it’s arrived to you with phase issues built-in. You have a natural snare recording, but when you turn up the accompanying trigger track, it sounds awful. Usually it’s the above comb-filtering and/or a disturbing lack of low end. You can start by flipping the phase button, and see if that gets you where you need to be. Alternatively, you can zoom in on the waveforms and see what’s up.
In the long run, the subtle ways you develop your brand, your image, and your story have a huge effect on the success you can achieve in your career. The way you tell your story as an artist will allow you to relate to fans on a deeper level. And on top of that, it serves as a differentiator. Undoubtedly there are a lot of musicians and bands out there who create music similar to yours, but a story or narrative allows you to go beyond the music and stand out.
As expected, this album has almost everybody up in arms, siding one way or the other. There is no label. There are no distributors and no digital copies. To the Wu-Tang Clan, it’s not even an album but a singular work of art on par with an original Van Gogh or one of Shakespeare’s manuscripts. And at the price it will eventually be purchased for, who’s to argue with that?