© t thaemlitz/comatonse recordings
Please don't let this happen to you!
Did you know:
Populist social media engines that blast media 'globally' to as many people as possible may be appropriate for corporate pop music, but they function contrary to everything Terre believes about cultivating and protecting the hyper-specificities of 'underground' and minor situations. Indiscriminate file sharing, YouTube and SoundCloud grant too much exposure with too little precision.
Clearly, many of you disagree. However, please be sensitive to the fact that uploads into YouTube and SoundCloud enact an explicitly anti-social situation that prohibits open communication between you and non-registered users such as Terre - the very people you are likely trying to 'support' through your uploads!
Such uploads display no specific concept of audience, and take no responsibility for who has access to the content. It is no different than dumping a box of 100,000 CD-R copies of your favorite track at the largest shopping mall in town, and just walking away. You are placing (at times rather delicate) materials into the hands of homophobes, transphobes, religious zealots, anti-pacifists, anti-Marxists, anti-feminists, corporate anti-sampling lawyers and their legions of content scanning spider-bots.
The latter is also a major reason people should never list audio sample sources in website comment fields, or websites/apps like Discogs, WhoSampled, etc. Remember, many countries do not have the legal category of "fair use." This includes Japan - where Terre lives. While the average end-user who lists things on such sites is preoccupied with a false sense of freedom of expression rooted in fun, it is on the production level that one is always aware of the risks and liabilities of cultural content development - particularly with collage-based media.
As a result, Terre considers indiscriminate uploads and file sharing to be a risk to her cultural praxis on multiple levels. Although his views on uploading may be contrary to everything you have been taught to believe, please understand, in some instances NOT UPLOADING shows greater cultural support and understanding than uploading.
Your awareness and restraint are greatly appreciated.
The following is a complete list of releases by Terre Thaemlitz that are legally authorized for sale as MP3 downloads at major relailers such as iTunes, Beatport, etc. Releases not on this list should be considered unauthorized, and I urge you not to them from anyone, anywhere - no matter how reputable the company.
In general, the only way to ensure your financial support reaches me is by ordering full quality hi-fidelity original releases (vinyl, CD, etc.) directly from me through the Comatonse Recordings website. For those only interested in MP3's, please refer to the Dead Stock Archive: Complete Collected Works.
From April 23 to August 3, 2010, the Mille Plateaux back catalog - including many of my solo albums and compilation tracks - was uploaded without authorization into Beatport's system through a combination of human and computer error. The files have since been removed. However, since this mistake followed years of deliberate illegal sales through iTunes, Juno Download, e-Music and others, I remind you that all of the original Mille Plateaux back catalog is out of contract, exclusive rights have returned to the original artists, and any sale of such items online is unauthorized. Monies from the sale of those items does not reach the artists in any way.
For an official letter to the press on this subject, including a detailed summary of the Beatport problem's resolution, click here.
While my dislike of commerical download distribution is obvious, I wish to clarify that this is not simply the opinion of a person on the outside who is afraid to enter into the digital marketplace, but is the result of ongoing (albeit deliberately limited) business with that market. Apart from the entire Mille Plateaux debacle, over the years I have conducted many 'experiments' with MP3 distribution - licensing a limited amount of works to other labels who rely on download distribution in order to see how the tracks are managed. These include tracks such as "Get In and Drive" on the Innervisions compilation Muting the Noise 1 (allowed online for the first 6 months after release), and most notably the DJ Sprinkles Midtown 120 Blues materials released by Mule Musiq (authorized through the end of 2012). Whereas most people are preoccupied with the notion of making things commercially available, I am more interested in mapping the ability of artists and labels to freely extract data from commercial distribution. In these instances, the rights for digital distribution of my projects is granted to the labels for limited amounts of time, after which they should be removed from commercial online distribution. It is this removal process which I have little faith in, and which has consistently presented both myself and the labels with difficulties. Distributors and their subsidiaries are often unable to remove the items from all storefronts. There are also problems with label administration, such as a contractual deadline passed and they forgot to remove my track. These label errors are usually resolved within a few months at most. Distributor errors may take years. I am curious to see how smoothly the Mule releases will come down, since the amount of materials licensed represent a new scale in my 'experiments.'
However, because I work alone, and because such 'experiments' require additional administrative time for tracking and follow-up on my side, I have momentarily ceased all MP3 licensing after Mule, limiting my releases to physical products in the forms of CD, vinyl, cassette, and portable data devices. This, of course, has negatively affected my ability to release and license music. Still, I believe this to be a necessary response to the current workings of the download industry - a response I feel suits my catalog which is more interested in analyses of socio-economic process than in creativity, artistic expression or public appeal. And the more I learn about digital distribution, the more I feel compelled to try other ways of distributing digital information (such as the 'offline' data DVD-R MP3 collection Dead Stock Archive: Terre Thaemlitz Complete Collected Works, or the upcoming album Soulnessless to be released on MicroSD card). To be sure, it is not that I feel these other formats offer 'promise,' but rather that current online distribution is 1) not functioning as it should on a technical level, and 2) rooted in major-industry business models that are inappropriate for the types of media I produce.
While I generally display patience with random one-off compilation tracks lingering online, my ongoing uproar over the Mille Plateaux back catalog uploads gains it's intensity from the facts that 1) the releases were never authorized for digital distribution; 2) the releases were deliberately uploaded by people who knew the releases were not authorized for digital distribution; 3) the terms of the contracts had expired and exclusive rights for the materials had already returned to the artists; and 4) beyond including a large body of my own releaes, the back catalog represents a vast collection of materials that involves many artists. This places the Mille Plateaux materials in a category of abuse that goes far beyond standard bureaucratic mishaps I regularly experience with my little 'experiments.' This is not about my anger as an "author" (as many of you know, I am very critical of standard notions of authorship). This is about my anger at pointless corporate greed, piracy by the very companies spearheading anti-piracy campaigns, and the ways in which information is controlled and distributed under global capitalism. I'd rather have you steal my releases than pay those bastards a single penny. (Of course, I really prefer you get them direct from me, in glorious hi-fidelity sound you won't find online - not to mention packaging with complete texts and posters.)
Meanwhile, please enjoy the free MP3 downloads on this site.
Former Mille Plateaux artists can email me at info(at)comatonse.com for a list of direct email contacts regarding MP3 removal from the following companies: