I think that most music today tends to move too fast. And I think a lot of people like that, Feeling a bit more bitter when a minor song plays, Then immediately moving to a place that’s more positive if things become major. But I also think that, for a lot of us, sometimes we don’t want to be moved so much. And that’s when lo-fi music comes into play. The world in many ways moves too fast. Go anywhere, online, and information is constantly flowing towards us, I mean a lot of it happens to be bullshit, But we are ok with that. As long as there’s tweets coming at us, comments on our videos, responses in our discord, We’re secure and being socially surrounded, and there’s no difference on the Billboard Hot 100. All the music is surrounded jam-packed with changes in tone, changes in style, changes which evoke changes in feeling and everyone who’s listening. Clearly it’s what people want. It wouldn’t be so popular if it wasn’t, but as I said people don’t want this all the time. I think it’s necessary in any situation for people to have contrast, it’s the only way that we’re going to find a balanced medium, So in a world that’s hot with movement, I think a lot of people seek out a contrast that’s chill with stillness, something that’s not so moody and changing, something that’s grounded and kind of repetitive. And I think they find that in lo-fi hip-hop. And yeah I know that’s because it’s really easy to make, and that most soundcloud rappers just loop the sample over and over, so it’s just repetitive out of laziness, But the repetition generates a certain aesthetic. When that coats the ears and surrounds them, a lot of that comes from the type of artist that lo-fi producers sample, Like the song that’s playing right now, J Dilla’s look of love. It samples jazz guitarist Barney Kissel’s song of the same name, But Dilla in producing his own version of the songs, Selected only one of the smoothest samples from it. What jazz artist Herbie Hancock misquoting Miles Davis would call “butter notes” Butter might mean fat and fat Might mean obvious Where there’s no tension. No noise. Just smooth butter And I think people would be really quick to say that these producers sampled songs like this because they sound good and, No shit, of course they do. Nobody’s sampling screaming. Well, some people are but their music’s not really good *RIP headphone users* But I don’t think that’s the only reason why. There’s been a bit of a tradition in lo-fi
precursor jazz-rap, Where the rapper’s producer would usually sample from american or cuban jazz artists. And one of the first people to break with that tradition was the Japanese producer Nujabes. Who sampled japanese pianists like Noriko Cosette. And in doing so, he tilted jazz rap towards what lo-fi today sounds like, Because Japanese jazz is a lot smoother than Western jazz. Compare John Coltrane’s version of the song “I want to talk to you”, with the version from Ryo Fokui. And guess which version was sampled by the lo-fi artist Knxwledge in 2014. It really is in the moment sort of sampling of an in the moment sort of sound. Because jazz isn’t bound to strict rules of classical composition and, is typically improvised on by each artist on a moment-to-moment basis. The resulting buttery and graceful set of notes is transformed in lo-fi to repeat and drown out everything around you as it, Caresses and consoles to listen. Other ambient music doesn’t do this, which is why when people compare a lo-fi to ambient, I don’t think it’s quite a fair comparison though, admittedly, the other reason lo-fi can keep you in the moment so well Is because of the ambient sounds it uses. In a sense it almost makes the music a bit of a parody of itself because it’s aware that it’s using decades-old samples and putting them on a beat, Adding a bit of vinyl scratch or Walkman hum just ties it all together. It makes the music… Tactile in a way, because it’s almost as though in a sense you’re listening to that old buttery, recording not someone’s sample of it. You’re listening to the best part of it, on repeat, on an old cassette player. You’re not trying to feel anything, but this moment in which you’re listening to it, This repeating moment, that might remind you of the past but, that’s static right now in the present. Some people like to make lo-fi even more meta than that, Especially when they put that little piece of dialogue from the film in the front of the song. You know that stuff that kind of goes like,>It’s not even music, just people talking to each other. But it’s a staple of lo-fi today, and part of the reason is because It’s comfy. It’s almost like you’re there with these people in that moment. Which is now so you’re actually in this moment and they’re with you. It should make sense that this ambient piece of lo-fi came from hip hop’s ambient brother trip hop. As far as I can tell one of the earliest people to do this combined with a chill hip hop was the artist DJ Shadow, And in a way, his music doesn’t sound too much different from lo-fi that you could hear today. Even though he wasn’t a lo-fi producer. It’s that combination of buttery tactility that gives lo-fi such a strong emotional appeal. Even though it’s a fucking meme now but, that’s beside the point. That’s part of the reason why it works so well with anime. I mean, The real reason is because Nujabes helped produce the OST for “Samurai Champloo”, And also because the composer Yoko Kanno created “Cowboy Bebop” OST with a major jazz influence and if you want a reason why all those streams have anime girls in them, That would be why. But stepping back from the meme of this, It’s a girl studying. And one of the most commonly used animes for edits that people make of these songs is the “Garden of Words” An anime in which nothing happens, but people just trying to go about their daily business and happen to fall in love. They’re living moment-to-moment, and some of those happen to intersect. It’s exactly what lo-fi stands for, and if you notice – the title scheme that this video parodies Also deals with the moment. And yeah I know a lot of them are intentionally pretentious but some aren’t. And they’re still going after the same aesthetic. ｔｈｅ ｍｏｍｅｎｔ． And that’s why I like lo-fi, because sometimes, I don’t want to think about the world, or the things I have to do, or even the videos I have to make Or how I’m gonna edit them, or what I’m gonna do with them, I just want to listen to a jazzy tune close my eyes and, take inwardly this moment. This is misteramazing. Thanks for watching.