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Re: what is lo-fi?

what is lo-fi?
March 24, 2007 12:32PM
is it simple arrangemments and/or sparse accompaniment?

use of few instruments?

cheap equipment?

Re: what is lo-fi?
March 24, 2007 12:38PM
english degree, living with mom, and job in mall record store
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 24, 2007 01:35PM
To quote Jonathan Richman (the Uncle o' Lo-Fi): "The guitars are broken & it's raining outside"
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 24, 2007 02:44PM
It's something only a little more honest than Hi-fi.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 25, 2007 11:49PM
The nearest I've ever been able to get to a "definition" of lo-fi is that it designates a musical artist who records on the cheap, and sounds like it.

Personally, I don't have any problem with such an artist, if they've got the tunes and get them across well. But it's possible that the artist will cling to lo-fi as a perceived badge of authenticity or legitimacy.

Consider the Shoes classic (oooh, there's that word again) *Black Vinyl Shoes*. Recorded on four-track in a living room, yet it still sounds sharp. No one ever describes it as "lo-fi" ... because it doesn't sound cheap.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 25, 2007 11:55PM
I once let "Slanted & Enhanted" to a mainsream music fan who told me they liked it but the production sounded "weird".

I replied, "that's called "lo-fi", and this band invented it" (untrue I know, but that's what I said).

His reply was "they invented crappy sounding albums?"

I always got a laugh out of that.

Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 01:50AM
AM Radio.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 05:12AM
If the only measure of lo-fi was cheap sound, then a lot of the great '80s indie artists practically pioneered it. Hüsker Dü's *Zen Arcade* and *New Day Rising* (and, in fact, just about everything that Spot produced on SST), The Replacements' *Let It Be*, all the punk and hardcore records of that era ... All sounded pretty lo-fi, if you ask me.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 06:00AM
I first heard the term to describe Guided By Voice's mono, tape-hissy sound. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone are a good example - one guy witha Casio, you can hear him turning on and off the tape recorder.

I'll take Hi-Fi anyday: Esquivel! flying from channel to channel, Zoom Pow!
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 03:47PM
There are a lot of good to great records made in lo-fi. Elvis Presley's Sun recordings, old blues records, garage band records from the sixties are all pretty lo-fi but sound great. The first Rolling Stones album is lo-fi. The early Beatles are interesting, if you have the lo-fi stereo mixes with instruments on one channel and vocals in the other. Punk was lo-fi and exciting in the era of overproduced pop schlock in the 70's. Bleach, the first Nirvana album was cut on the cheap. Money ain't everything. Bring on the lo-fi.

Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 05:01PM
I think lo-fi also points to a rough, raw, or flawed aesthetic--where all of the rough edges and "flaws" help add to the atmosphere. Sun sessions were technically lo-fi, but Phillips was such a genius with microphone placement, room sound, engineering ingenuity--as well as prodding great takes out of artists and recognizing the great take--that few would use the term "lo-fi" in the hip way it began being used in the early '90s. Then, it became like buying clothing that was pre-stressed; the imperfections were part of the appeal. For me, there aren't too many imperfections on the sun sessions. Carl Perkins' "Matchbox"? Perfect. "Mystery Train"? Perfect. . . Etc., Ad Nauseum.

Post Edited (03-26-07 14:02)
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 06:00PM
Hi Fi is a pretty exact term that designates representation of a certain sonic range in a recording or playback device. LP and CD = Hi Fi. Cassette does not. Mind you, my knowledge of this stuff is 20 years old and subject to the usual memory degradation.

Lo Fi is not really its opposite, bringing connotations of low budget or rawness or a DIY approach rather than quality of reproduction.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 26, 2007 10:18PM
Until digital recording came into it's own I would have said, 'home recorded' but that doesn't so easily apply now. Some home recorded stuff might as well have been in a studio.
A recent one that comes to mind AND works would be Kelley Stoltz.
Ironically, the last Lo Fidelity Allstars album (I thought) suffered compared to it's predesesor from being overproduced.
Re: what is lo-fi?
March 31, 2007 08:49AM
a vibe
Re: what is lo-fi?
April 01, 2007 04:38PM
Just about anything from Supercharger, Rip-Offs, or Mummies.
See the first Guitar Wolf record to hear this taken to the extreme.
The Mummies
April 01, 2007 04:59PM
I loved the Mummies. They took it pretty far too: purposely cheap instruments, crappy equipment--but musically they were so cool, combining vintage surf/instro sounds with punk. I wish more of their stuff made it to CD, but being the mummies, they were pretty strict about vinyl releases for so long. That would be a good project for Sundazed records, to re-release their stuff. Larry Winther's guitar work was so raw and cool with the Mummies. Later, with the Orange Peels he almost came off like he was playing in Felt or the Field Mice. Interesting evolution. I wonder what he's up to now and what happened to Ruane.

Post Edited (04-01-07 14:00)
Re: The Mummies
April 01, 2007 07:03PM
No lasers for Mummies!
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