Widespread distribution of recorded music via digital networks affects more than just business models and marketing strategies; it also alters the way we understand recordings, scenes and histories of popular music culture. This Is Not a Remix uncovers the analog roots of digital practices and brings the long history of copies and piracy into contact with contemporary controversies about the reproduction, use and circulation of recordings on the internet.
Borschke examines the innovations that have sprung from the use of recording formats in grassroots music scenes, from the vinyl, tape and acetate that early disco DJs used to create remixes to the mp3 blogs and vinyl revivalists of the 21st century. This is Not A Remix challenges claims that ‘remix culture’ is a substantially new set of innovations and highlights the continuities and contradictions of the Internet era.
Through an historical focus on copy as a property and practice, This Is Not a Remix focuses on questions about the materiality of media, its use and the aesthetic dimensions of reproduction and circulation in digital networks. Through a close look at sometimes illicit forms of composition—including remixes, edits, mashup, bootlegs and playlists—Borschke ponders how and why ideals of authenticity persist in networked cultures where copies and copying are ubiquitous and seemingly at odds with romantic constructions of authorship. By teasing out unspoken assumptions about media and culture, this book offers fresh perspectives on the cultural politics of intellectual property in the digital era and poses questions about the promises, possibilities and challenges of network visibility and mobility.