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Their now-classic debut, Music Has the Right to Children, contrasted starkly with the clinical, busy, and hyped sounds of 1990s techno. In retrospect, whole genres such as chillwave and lo-fi rap would sound vastly different without having been able to walk the trails laid down by Music Has the Right to Children and Boards of Canada’s other releases.
It’s time to say no. Not only have audiophile tech innovations like Pono and Tidal been hilarious failures, they are priced out of reach of the average music consumer and self-consciously pitched towards those with disposable income. In contrast, low-bitrate MP3 is the Occupy to vinyl’s Wall Street. No matter how crappy your internet connection is, how basic your device is, or how little money you can spend, anyone can pirate low-quality, lightweight audio files or rip them off YouTube. Now, what a beautiful thing that is.
Music Television, or MTV, came out with a bang (a rocket ship taking off and the words, “This is rock and roll”). Never before was there a 24-hour music channel, and the music that has shaped us may not have so severely affected popular culture at large if it weren’t for the invention of such a thing.