sound(E)scape #050

 
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Today marks quite a significant milestone for KLBRATED. We have managed to put out 50 episodes of sound(E)scape throughout four years. Pretty crazy to think that this amounts to more than 2.5 days filled with music.

And all that time there hasn’t been a moment when Kaur or I felt that okay, that’s it, I don’t want to do that anymore. During summers we have skipped some months, but all in all every month we have recorded an hour long mix.

Now the question is what has kept us going. Or more asked question why the heck do you do it?

I look at it from two sides.

One, the amount of singles, albums, podcasts and compilations that comes out every single day is enormous. Even to the biggest diggers out there it can be a bit dizzying sometimes. But since we’re so into the music, and we spend too much time looking for new sounds and albums. We figured we’d share some of our favorites with others.

Second is more personal. Friendship. Having a scheduled time for each month that we both are committed to with Kaur is a great place to get away from everyday problems, noise and focus on a thing we love – music. But at the same time talking about life or just shooting the shit about randomness while enjoying the music.

The Trillion Dollar Time Trial

Climate change or more so a clean energy transition is a topic that I have become more interested in recent times. Having experienced the hottest month ever recorded in Japan has given me a different perspective to look at this.

I picked up a book called The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles Mann which I started to read in Tokyo. Haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a thorough overview of how two different sides try to solve the same problem. The problem which is getting bigger and bigger.

More so, the last couple of months I have found fascinating reads from the Internet as well. One of my favorites is from the Future Crunch. It’s a very long read, but well worth it.

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Influence

Another pointless article  made me write the following lines.

Jeff Carvalho, managing director of the Highsnobiety, said “Brands and designers have the option to see what’s trending all around the world. We believe that consumers and influencers are driving what’s trending today.”

I think we have a reached a dangerous point in streetwear culture at the moment, where everybody is focussed on the influencer & influencers pushing the trend. But influencers who are just influencers don’t contribute to the culture. And culture is what has brought streetwear here for good. The influencers aren’t pushing the culture; they are pushing the numbers for the brands by becoming another medium for brands to sell their ads.

Don’t tell me I’m old and grumpy. I have nothing against people accepting the streetwear vibes and making it their own, but I don’t like it being misrepresented. Unauthentic. The streetwear will be here for good, either it has mainstream’s attention or not, it will remain.

Mikk's Letter – October 2018

Explaining your thought process to others while exploring the life-changing decision is quite difficult. In your mind, you have found the right answer and probably have already convinced yourself to make it.

But then the other's start asking awkward questions. Or even undermining your decision. They might not do it in bad faith, but you interpret it as an attack on yourself.

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Understanding your powers

Some time ago I wrote that at the moment money leads my life and I'm money-dependant. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now.

After mulling over this, I realized that I still have the power to influence the world for the better.

We are taught that we continuously have to consume to keep ourselves happy. Most of it is the result of plain old marketing.

We are brainwashed by companies. But most of them are public companies. So they are required to turn profits every year. Stock markets expect them to keep growing. Absorbing their propaganda, we feed the beast with our thoughtless consuming.

What if we stopped?

Think about it.

The same companies that take your money are the ones who are polluting Earth. The same companies who pay to lobbyists to get the laws fixated for their good. The same companies who pay all the billboards and airtime to make you buy even more.

What if we stopped paying them money?

They would start to lose their profits. The stock market wouldn't forgive them having losses. So they would have to look for a change. A good example would be the ever-growing fashion industry. 

H&M's March financial report stated that they had $4.6 billion of unsold clothing sitting on their shelves. Consumers are taking to heart the environmental effects of fast fashion. Uninspired by the throw-away attitude that the fast fashion model advertises. Brands like H&M are starting to sell clothing made with better materials at higher price points. An example being their ARKET line.

Although it can seem like your decision to shop elsewhere makes no difference to the fashion industry — it does.

If the companies have learned their lessons, we should reward them for their efforts. With our money. So the companies who are doing the most good for the Earth are also doing the best business wise.

That's our power. And I like having this power.

Mikk's Letter – August 2018

 
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The light of summer inspires a sort of nostalgia that winter can't. We rarely see the end of winter as a sad thing, but it's always a shame to see the end of summer appear on the horizon.

Probably because of those melancholy moods, it's a great time to reflect on one's life as well.

One of my fundamental beliefs is that if one doesn't enjoy himself at work than the work/workplace has failed him. So much time is spent at work, that it would be a pity not to love what you do. Of course, the pressures of adulthood trick us into forgetting to have fun at work. Forcing us to work more and change our priorities to amassing wealth and things. Opposed to collecting experiences and having fun.

The following quote from Douglas Coupland's interview is something that I always remind myself of when going through stressful periods at 9-to-5.

The nine to five is barbaric. I really believe that. I think one day we will look back at nine-to-five employment in a similar way to how we see child labour in the 19th century,” he says. “The future will not have the nine till five. Instead, the whole day will be interspersed with other parts of your life. Scheduling will become freeform.
— Douglas Coupland  

Remembering this quote assures me that it's a passing phase. And to keep looking for the fun.

The reason I keep myself busy with many different side projects and hobbies (this site included) is to avoid the feeling of being on autopilot. I mean being on a treadmill of going to work, going home, fixing a dinner, watching some series, and then going to sleep. Repeat. That’s a scary place to be. At least for me.

I’ve got other dreams. And things I want to try out while I can. So I take all the side projects as a self-learning process.

And self-learning doesn’t ever have to stop. Most of us finish education very early on in life, but we never ever should stop being a student, and the best part of it? Today we can teach ourselves anything we like.

The more you open yourself up to new things, the more you’ll crave. The things you do define who you are. Bringing those new interests into your life can take you into new directions. Spark a conversation with someone new, lead to a new side-project, or a new role or promotion.

It's been said that we get what we invest in. The time we spend comes back, with interest. If you practice five minutes of new banjo music every day, you'll become a better banjo player.

The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is due to how you've spent your time along the way.

 
Sucess is to be able to live a decent life, have fun and take pride in what you do.
— Robert Klanten