Abstract: Post-Produced Music – New Sound Aesthetics by Mastering and Vinylcut

Since the last few years one can listen to a new sound on vinyl records, especially with bass related club music. Records from genres like (Dirty) Grime, (Post) Dubstep, Trap, Juke, BlipHop, Future Bass and Drum & Bass but as well in Sound Art show a new kind of deepness, spatiality and presence in sound, never heard before.

This phenomenon has to do with achievements in mastering and vinyl cut, created by mastering engineers, which rather tend to be mastering artists, developing signature sounds and emphasizing the creative part of mastering. These sounds, often perceived like kinetic soundscapes or sonic sculptures, show the new relevance of post-production in music, parallel to the new relevance of post-production in film, where more and more filmic elements are pushed to post-production.

Three signature mastering engineers and their aesthetic will be considered: Rashad Becker, Taylor Dupree, and Matt Colton. Along with the new role of post-production a new aesthetic is rising, an aesthetic of “fucked up”, as mastering engineer Matt Colton puts it: “maybe it sounding wrong is better than it sounding right”.

The paper will give insight into new developments in the field of high end music production, relating them to cultural developments (extinction of club culture), economic developments (the music market and its rules and restrictions) and questioning if these vinyl productions are a new kind of “museum of (club) sound”.


Text (in German) for download: Post-produktive Musik_Lund
Design: Arne Teubel, die kommune
Published: June 29, 2018


The text was developed for the Research Symposium “The Future Sound of Pop Music”, University of the Arts, Bern, November 30 – December 02, 2017, and subsequently further developed for Mirella Brandi x Muepetmo, Set Up To Fail, “Post-Produced Music-Recent Developments in Mastering and Vinylcut”, Centro da Terra, Sao Paulo, March 25, 2018, and for the “Play Session – Lecture. Let’s do it in the post – Developments in post-production using the example of post-produced music (mastering and vinylcut)“, DHBW Ravensburg, May 08, 2018.