Analog State of Mind: Reflections from an Analog Lady

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By Tasha Digital | Arts & Culture Enthusiast | Host of Conversations in Analog

Old soul records on vinyl gave my grandma the solace she needed on her journey to New York, leaving her beloved hometown behind. The record player stayed in circulation, as she recalled memories of her sisters back in New Orleans. I sat Indian-style in front of the record case, inquiring about album cover concepts and song credits. Al Green appeared in all-white attire to match the wicker furniture on the I’m Still in Love With You album cover. I had an affinity for seductive horns early on. Overlooking the less-intimidating instruments to choose from, my 7-year-old self opted for the alto saxophone to play in the school band, emulating Lisa Simpson.

When my aunt brought home our first CD player, we had to care for those discs just as well as we did for vinyl records. Back then, I noticed the intersection of genres when I took a closer look at production credits on Hip-Hop and R&B albums. “Contains a sample or interpolation of…” brought me right back to my grandma’s soul classics on vinyl. The ability to manipulate and recreate a sound using a beat machine, capturing the very essence of its original composition, is a form of art that came to be known as sampling. Arguably the most debated practice in music production, sampling not only faces scrutiny on whether it is indeed a true art form, but also the blurred lines of copyright laws.

Hip-Hop and R&B serve as my gateway drug to other genres before my time. If it wasn’t for the plethora of innovative masters of beat machines from my generation, how would I get my fix?

About the Author:

Tasha Digital is an arts and culture enthusiast and marketing specialist, known as Analog Lady. To showcase her appreciation for music, especially production, Tasha started a new video series, Conversations in Analog, where she interviews fellow music enthusiasts. For more of her musings: analoglady.com