Friday, December 01, 2006

The last fifteen months have seen me write an awful lot of material, the vast majority for Stylus, about the nature of consumption of music, starting with an article called Soulseeking about excessive downloading, and then following on about six months later with Imperfect Sound Forever, a long piece about modern mainstream mixing and mastering techniques and how they severely compromise sound quality. Imperfect Sound Forever has become one of the most read and linked articles we’ve ever run at Stylus, of which I am very proud. I’ve received an awful lot of positive feedback from people – music writers, producers, engineers, people who run independent record companies, and just plain old music fans like myself – about Imperfect Sound Forever, and the article has been written about and (I am lead to believe) inspired similar pieces in a number of online and print publications. Even Bob Dylan got in on the action with his near-infamous “modern records are dreadful, there’s sound all over them” outburst just before the release of his new album. I’ve even been asked by more than one person if I’d cast my ear over working mixes and masters of their music and give my “considered opinion”, which is most flattering.

After the initial article, Soulseeking become a (semi)regular column in its own right, written largely by myself and other Stylus writers, but also with occasional contributions from other writers such as Marcello Carlin. I’ve written twenty editions of Soulseeking myself in the past year or so, and probably less record reviews. I have little time for record reviews these days, and little inclination to take major part in the big, whole-staff-written articles we run at Stylus every so often. I have, as ever, little interest in music writing per se – I write about music because I love music and I love writing, not because I love music writing.

Although actually I’m not sure I love writing, I just kind of have to do it.

Soulseeking is part of the reason why I haven’t really run a regular blog for the last year and a half, despite having had this new one set-up for most of 2006 (with a fantastic bespoke template by Mr Colin Ramsay), as well as general messageboard participation in various locations, work commitments, and various other things. Soulseeking is probably also a big part of the reason why I was approached by The Guardian to contribute to their Brief Encounters column in Friday’s Film & Music section. It’s nice having something that my mum and my gran can read published in a national newspaper. The editor has also been very helpful.

I’m not sure where this is going, which I guess is the nature of blogging. Uergh. It’s so 2003, darling. I think I had intended to link up all the pertinent pieces from Stylus over the last year or so that link together, to place them in order and try and form some kind of narrative. So that’s what I’ll do…

Perfect One
Perfect Two
No Music

I’m not sure where I go next.


Friday, December 01, 2006


Post a Comment

<< Home

Recent Articles / Reviews



Nothing Here Is True
Unless You Want It To Be

Nick Southall was born in southwest England at the tail end of the 70s, and is the youngest of three brothers. He has a degree in popular culture and philosophy and has written about music for Stylus Magazine, The Guardian and Drowned In Sound, amongst others. He likes red wine, expensive headphones, spicy food, and the Hungarian national football team of the 1950s. His favourite record is the last one he listened to. You can contact him by email via sickmouthy @ gmail dot com should you so wish.

All material copyright Nick Southall 2006/2007/2008

Powered by Blogger