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April 21st, 2008

Supporting all things indie

Lately, while not working on TAGAP and TAGAP 2, I've been more and more into indie music. I've always been into indie artists, sure. Lately I just have woken up to appreciate more personal efforts of individuals more than ever before.

What kick-started this indie shopping spree was the downfall of my favorite, local record store Levy ja Kasetti (that's 'record and cassette'). After about two decades of best customer service I've ever experienced – and great patience for bizarre orders like mine – the store is closing doors because the brand new shopping mall has vacuumed the city center dry from customers. It wasn't the only store that suffered the fate, the whole downtown area is filled with empty shop spaces like Swiss cheese, but it was the most personal loss for me. I liked the owners, I loved the store and in past fourteen years or so I've put more money into their selections than to anywhere else in this town.

Then it hit me; Now that I had to buy all the music of my non-mainstream taste online, why didn't I accept this as an excuse to get all those indie-albums I've been dying to hear for quite some time? And so it began, across the Internet from NIN store, CD Baby and eBay to C64Audio.com. Several working days and about hundred Euros later, I've made myself more familiar with exciting and original sounds of artists like Celldweller, The Noisettes and Jonathan Coulton. I've also revisited my old favorites E.S. Posthumus and Nine Inch Nails, the latter now completely free from all record label burden.

This doesn't mean I have forgotten artists under bigger labels, oh no, on a contrary. If I like the music, I'll buy the albums, simple as that – and if the particular artist has a good deal with some major record label and they have okay relations, good for them. This just happens to be a perfect time to support all things independent, all the bigger releases looming in the future.

If you wonder what the heck this mumbling had to do with TAGAP; Everything I do, as a designer and as an artist, I'm always inspired by the music I listen to. If you've read the per-song liner notes in TAGAP jukebox you'll already know that, in some cases, right song can be the inspiration for even an entire level. While you may not hear the influence, you just might experience it some other way.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin