Kalvos & Damian is both historical and new. Get the RSS feed for new content info on
Noizepunk & Das Krooner, interview transcripts, and K&D: In the House! More info.
Kalvos & Damian Logo

Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #148
Analogue v. Digitalle
David Gunn
For those of you who consider yourselves appreciators of status quo radiophonics, I have bad news. A great war is coming, a war that will forever shape the course of acoustic events. It will pit two antithetical forces that have been around for countless millennia, but which have, until recently, coexisted with only the occasional antagonistic flare-up. You probably know the combatants well. The party of the first part is analog; the party of the second part is digital.

For centuries, Earth and a few neighboring rogue civilizations that inhabited the outer western backwaters of the galaxy were ruled by the analogists, who believed that data were represented by variable measurable physical quantities, like volume and podietry. Sonic incidents, reconstituted through sentient channelers, were manifest in media which sometimes took on extraordinary forms, such as giant dipilatory asteroids and 8-track tape players. Music, once the purview of panpipe molesters and arcanologists, gradually became de rigueur for the hoi polloi. They studied it, they embraced it, they begat the macarena.

Most other sentient races throughout the universe were ruled by the digitals, who believed quantities were represented as digits -- usually binary or trinary in numerical configuration -- and who processed their calculations and logical operations according to great abstruse algorithms. Sonic occurrences were reduced to on or off, plus or minus, X or O, left or wrong. Music fell into the hands and similar appendages of the abstractionists, who haughtily kept it to themselves, leaking it to the public only at tightly controlled seminars with names that proved mnemonically daunting. (Note: one such gathering in which Kalvos & Damian hope to have a radiophonic appendage will take place next month. Details, which are another story, follow in analog format.)

A few societies remained non-aligned, choosing neither alkaline nor lithium. They soon died out, and good riddance.

At any rate, the digitals gradually gained an earhold in Earth society, and all of the analogian weapons -- the wax cylinder, the reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorder, the long playing vinyl record, the wind-up GI Joe doll -- eventually were superseded by laser guided gimcrackery: the compact disk, the DAT machine, the Algonquin hole. (Note #2: although the Algonquin hole exists as a misunderstanding of the time-space continuum, and patently has no business in the latter camp, it did accept a generous contribution from a digital action committee, and therefore agreed to be counted among its spokespersons.)

But the analogites, inspired by fond recollections by Earth musicians of scratchy run-out grooves and quarter-inch tape splicing blocks, are mustering their forces for a no holds barred fight to the finish. The digitals, firmly entrenched, are ready to defend their audio territory. The great skirmish which in 1900 forever divided the alto and soprano tonal ranges known as le flambeau oriange may seem utterly insignificant in comparison.

But wait! A voice of reason beckons prudently from the balcony. It is the voice, the unmistakably garbled voice, of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, this 148th episode of which would like the two opposing forces to take a five minute time-out before doing something which they -- and certainly we -- may later regret. And sooner or later, all of our regrets are amply articulated through the analog-digital-virtual persona of Kalvos.