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30 August 2019 | Columns

So I recently posted on my WhatsApp story the difference between an extended play (EP), long play (LP) and an album.

On that specific WhatsApp story I said “An EP has a five- to 18-minute running time (of the collective body), usually three to five songs, and an LP is above that but below 31 minutes. An album is anything above 31 minutes.” I also added that artists should know the difference and stop confusing kids by classifying their 14-track projects as EPs. That story was met with responses and comments like: 'I didn't know this', 'Thanks for schooling us, I always wondered what the difference is', 'you had to say it' and more, similar responses from people in the industry.

So I decided I would expand on that matter in this edition's column. The Namibian music scene is flooded with music projects that consist of seven songs and more, about 45 minutes long, and these compilations are called EPs. The term EP is used loosely in the Namibian music fraternity; there is too much confusion going on here.

I understand that sometimes because of the lack of resources, artists resort to releasing a body of work but not in the form of an album, as an album requires a big roll-out budget. They rather refer to such compilations as mixtapes not EPs. The culture of reading among young Namibians is not impressive so if we are not careful the next generation of music lovers are going to grow up thinking an EP is just a compilation of songs without knowing what really constitutes it.

According to Wikipedia, a mixtape is a compilation of music, typically from multiple sources, recorded onto a medium. With origins in the 1980s, the term normally describes a homemade compilation of music onto a cassette tape, CD, or digital playlist. A mixtape can also be described as a self-produced or independently released album issued free of charge to gain publicity or avoid possible copyright infringement, which is why I suggested that these compilations in our industry, usually made available for free on digital platforms, should just be referred to as mixtapes.

Other terms that are used loosely in the Namibian entertainment scene are 'music festival' and 'bash'. With the industry recording steady growth and people supporting Namibian arts more than ever before, event organisers have resorted to hosting a lot of events, which is fine as it is good for the growth of the industry. However, certain Namibian events with the suffix 'festival' do not meet the requirements to be referred to as festivals. A music festival is an organised event, typically lasting several days, featuring performances by various musicians, singers, and groups while a bash is basically a party.

Enough of these terms, I hope you go and read up on them. In this edition we exclusively bring you a piece on DJ Dreas who was invited to record at the Red Bull Music Studios in Cape Town. It is quite a big deal if you ask me. Singer Lize Ehlers released her latest album last week and tjil got an opportunity to catch up with her as well. This and more in this edition.

[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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