Floppy Totaal: Magnetic Flux

Speed Floppy Data Workshop - Talk by Adam of Pionerska Records / Floppy Not New(s)

Focus on design: how design of the floppy diy industry looks like
Work on floppy for Pionerska Records started in 2018
Tapedeck was broken
Nice, small and comfortable
Limitation means fun

"The History of Music on Floppy Disk"
Music Industry doesn't like floppies; they don't even have a chance to become a proper music format because of cd's
However, 1986 - Alpha -> pre-music floppy release
1988 - Stanislav Bunin (won Chopin competition) // Chopin on a floppy, midi files
1993 - Billy Idol's Cyberpunk - First album on floppy + interface to navigate music, lyrics and other extra material
1996 - Brian Eno's Generative Music 1 (good resolution bc it is generated on the fly) / not even a cd release, you need floppy to play the music
Radiohead's Ok Computer promo on a floppy (screensavers, etc)
Modern audio floppy disk history - Demoscene, underground punks, vaporwave, chiptune, drone, ambient, noise, lobit and sound art
Distribution of demoscene audio floppies (amiga, etc) - friends send friends who send their friends etc - Sneakernet
Module files - instruction to play samples
Floppy Diskette Reviews - Yeah I Know It Sucks

Why is Adam focused on floppies?
All free time is spent with discovering artists, floppies, designing, releasing
Do not take part in the quality competition
small things travel faster, limitations increase creativity
floppies can change or stop the game
element of surprise
almost out of use, after billions produced floppies became obsolete and there was no time to investigate what to do with it
not retromania, reintrepertation, exploration of all the potential
the object is an important part of it
floppies helped enable pc revolution, independent software etc

Swop label

ogg vorbis container - good for compressing music and working with low bitrate; very little compression artifacts
Adam asks for the artists "why do you want to release on the floppy disk?" and write something about it to the audience (question for later: what was the best response?)

Using the object for design purposes only
Floppy covers
Tinder on a floppy disk
Business cards
Advertising purposes

Talk by Remute

Limited - Hybrid release 3.5' 
mod files, no compression on .wav files - date back to amiga, roots on the demoscene

cruise missile only 64 kb (Limited)
the floppy holds 6 of the tracks
most of floppy releases are not rhythmic, but denis wanted it so he used the mod file
active since 2002, released plenty and the usual way
2017 - fed up with the business model, pushing things to the max, also production wise
200GB sample libraries, getting lost in possibilities
how to focus on ideas again? floppy disk! forces you to focus on very essential and important ideas that can fix
rid of all the sample libraries, keep only the essential
necessary minimalism, saved from maximalism and too many possibilities
small creative room, creative power to focus on important ideas - floppy disk
special thing with composing mod files - programmed, instructions, not recording -> new way for Denis to record
forced to throw away all the knowledge, and get back to pro(?)tracker for Amiga - very small and efficient files
without protracker Limited would not be possible
beginning of the love affair with small file sizes - how to push things to the minimum?
what is the next step in making music small and effective. what other format? SEGA MEGADRIVE CARTRIDGE (4MB) - Technoptimist - 900 KB (14 tracks?) + video is also generated in real time, only just a set of instructions 
technoptimistic uses no samples at all, only a set of instructions that generates the music once the console loads the cartridge
compressing music to the absolute minimum
working with 2 other famous demosceners (Titan) - very good to cram out very good performance from old computers
single release of the album on a floppy disk, different versions of the track red eyes (e.g.: amiga mix), bonus tracks
metal plate release - contains a qr code on the back (always trying new formats)
later on dj set using rpi running simulators, PT1210 (dj software for the amiga)
interesting creative playground, saving denis from becoming totally out of ideas and lost in possibilities. Floppy is indeed like jesus, dying to become the icon of saving
used it for archiving and games, always there - rediscovered it for his album
Greatest demoscene party in Europe is in Germany, in April - name is Revision

Talk by Sascha Muller aka Dr Condor

Talking about performance tonight
Using a program, ReBirth (1997), for the pc - at that time, Sascha only used Atari ST or Amiga
usign rebirth, Sascha released his floppy disks
Sascha found an old box of floppies with music that he made in the early 90s. 50 tracks. How to release it?
You need ReBirth to play Sascha's floppies
ReBirth RB-338
20/50 Kb file size
Floppy + ReBirth = 50 tracks on one release! This was the start of Sascha's floppy releases
Release - floppy, poster and pin
Why on ReBirth? Because there is a great scene of users of this program, target audience
Nowadays you can't buy this program, but you can download its files (original maker of hardware emulator on this software is Roland, legal trouble)
How can it be so small in filesize? The complete sound will be emulated by the program, only the instructions to play are stored on the disk and interpreted by the sounc card (?), similar to a midi file
tonight, it will also be loaded from the floppy disk
Premiere tonight
Still some people working with ReBirth
You can modify the floppy disk content, a remix of sorts
Small file size, but hi-fi sound, doesn't have any sort of compression
Hack floppies, Sascha doesn't only release on floppy, but also mods them
"You killed the big floppy!" was heard from the audience
Release floppy with the floppy drive to circumvent the problem that people might not be able to play it anymore
Part of the art is the effort you go through to be able to play and hear the releases
Remute: In common, all three have the adventure needed to be able to play their music
Sascha learned about the ogg-vobis compression from Adam, will try it

Joint roundtable conversation

Adam: You must build your audience; travel, talk to the people, gather and form networks, make friends. Community, scene.
Niek: Could you do something similar with a different medium? Physical medium. Floppy as a reactionary thing. Historically, floppy was not necessarily a medium of music distribution. Lately, slow rise of labels popping up. Community aspect. Most times, the music comes second to the medium. Denis, however, uses the medium for creative challenge.
Remute: Tries not to limit his audience, doesn't force the people, everything available on Spotify. But I recommend the full journey.
Sascha: I force my audience. I want to enforce the point that dance music is not only to be gotten on cassette, vynil. Dance music is also recommended for the floppy. It can sound really good. Or worst. Getting people on a journey, on a challenge. In Texas there's a shop which only sells cassettes.
Adam: People said: "You like the fetishism!" Yes, I do.
Sascha: When you buy a physical copy, you always know where to buy it. Feeling. The reason why I still do physical releases.
Adam: Collectionism. Sharing collections and reactivating them. Small floppy community, needed to build a bigger one, like a virus. Spreading and sharing collections. Good to experiment with this art. Super to work with the formats. No drivers or objects to play most of these obsolete objects anymore.
Niek: What do you feel about the existing standards? For example, streaming services.
Adam: I never tried this.
Remute: Spotify is too easy. Listening to music on formats that you need to work for is rewarding, a satisfying journey. People listen to music differently now that streaming services exist. There is no rewarding feeling anymore. Everything is too easy.
Sascha: Spotify is the grave of the music. Only there to consume, not to listen to music. No anticipation anymore (e.g.: Rolling Stones releases). Consume it everydaym whenever and wherever you want. People don't take the time to really listen to an album. They listen to it on their way to work, not appreciating it, but just consuming it. No depth.
Audience member: Music has become like information. You can overload. You just sample stuff, you just quickly scan it.
Sascha: You cannot dive or feel the music. Too much. 
Audience member: You don't engage emotionally with it.
Niek: Difficult to create a community around streaming services.
Adam: If you compare it with Netflix: filter bubble, creating completely different Netflixes. Streaming works similarly. Deeper and deeper into sci-fi.
Sascha: The algorithm is choosing for you what you should listen, creating echo chambers.
Adam: Human aspect allows you to discover more.
Sascha: Physical format allows you to discover new things and be more adventurous.
Niek: What could be the next thing for the floppy scene?
Remute: Special player for floppies. It could hit the mainstream if there would be such a thing. Too much effort, for some people, to get a floppy drive. This could be the next thing for the floppy scene.
Adam: It would have to be 2x faster than normal floppy scene
Remute: If you could have a very fast drive which could load the music instantly.
Adam: It could be done with a Rpi.
Niek: Would you want such a device, then?
Remute: It would probably decrease the adventure, but it would be more convenient! It would be a nice thing to invent!
Niek: It shoulnd't become too easy, right?
Sascha: No. When you copy my music (...) A floppy walkman would be a nice idea.
Thomas: It could bring new people to the floppy scene who would never play anything from a computer. Getting the FloppyMan would also require some effort, big stores wouldn't be able to get it.
Niek: It could happen that the iconic value of the floppy would create a huge, over-inflated market. How much working with the floppy is fetishizing a false history of this format. What other format?
Remute: The floppy has a very big, strong history. Connection with the floppy disk. Emotional bond with this format. Another emotional object is the cartridge. I don't think there is another format, right now, who has such an emotional value.
Audience member: Can your floppies be played with an android phone?
Remute: Yes, mine can.
Adam: I started making them, floppy players. It can play every format. Not yours *points at Sascha* But still the speed needs to be faster, it is not ideal. Some are working well, but some are not.
Mathijs: Some drives are really shitty, some are better. 
Niek: Floppies are not unlimited. They are breaking down, they are not being produced anymore.
Remute: I wish someone would produce them, I got so many broken ones.
Adam: it is a huge market in China, they are still using there.
Sascha: I think they will rebuild a company for making floppies. The same thing happened with vynil and polaroid. In Austria they are now inventing a vynil to be used with lasers. 60 minutes per side. When the market realises that people are buying more floppy disks, then they will produce them.
Adam: On Discogs they say the sales are increasing for disks. However, still a big difference from vynil sales.
Lídia: Wouldn't a new floppy market kill the whole fun thing of scavenging for floppies? Does any of you have a point about recycling?
Remute: It kills the adventure, but more reliable The recycling aspect doesn't apply too much on the floppy, because it is not such a reliable format. It breaks down very easily.