So a good while back, I had some things to say about a certain scene and a certain format. It did not take long for things to develop to where we are now.
As I write this, the first International MiniDisc Day is wrapping up nicely. Twenty-eight labels participated, issuing fifty-four releases and lowering the bank balances and available credit of a hundred or so people. In less than two years, 150 releases have been issued on MD at one time or another (and yes, my album was one of them). And I’m sure some Japanese merchants are both amused and bemused of random orders made on new MD stock to make these releases. Not bad at all for a format considered a “failure”.
I’ll admit I am pleased to be on the ground floor as both a witness and a participant of this endeavour. But at the same time, there is also something to be said about seeing a second life emerging. In fact, that was what I hoping for with the resurgence of the MD and it seems to be happening, little by little. Granted, there is a long way to go before you have some record shoppe having a dedicated MD section. And I wouldn’t hold my breath for Sony convincing the other Big Music avenues to issue suddenly the latest chart dweller onto that format. But if I haven’t said this before, I say it first here now: I like it when success is achieved on one’s own terms. So by that standard, it has already succeeded and then some.
I have not changed much in my initial thoughts concerning the format. As a format in of itself, it really does combine the best of both the physical and the digital. And in relation to vapour, it really does encapsulate the spirit of the scene with its combination of looking back at the past and looking elsewhere at other futures and possibilities. But I will say that it does do something else that has become apparent now but what I had hoped would occur. That is it demonstrates how one can actually achieve something instead of just longing for it or dreaming about it. This whole resurgence occurred because enough people wanted to see this happen and made it happen. No permission was asked (and it probably wouldn’t have been granted anyway). This is how art happens.