In Pursuit of Imperfection
: The Affordances of Lo-Fi Production Techniques & How They Are Applied in Contemporary Electronic Music

  • Peter Gleadall

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Decades after advancements in music technology delivered affordable, high quality production tools to the masses, lo-fi production techniques and aesthetics retain an enduring appeal for electronic musicians; this study seeks to better understand why, defining a framework of five key areas through which the topic can be explored.

In the context which it appears in this document, the term “lo-fi production techniques and aesthetics” refers to those artefacts and approaches which were once very difficult to avoid when producing music but which now, being no longer unavoidable, are deliberately introduced for artistic purposes.

Although important research into this field exists, this specific area of study remains underexplored and provides serious potential for additional investigation. The work of theorists such as Brøvig–Hanssen and Danielsen (2016), Théberge (2001), and Harkins (2019), reveals much about the complex relationship between music technology and those who use it. This study explores the work of creators through their own words, focusing not on the effect the interaction between musicians and music technology has upon society as a whole (the way in which it has affected distribution, consumption and attitudes towards music, for example), but upon the fertile ground relating to the actual aesthetic appeal of music technology and what motivates artists to gravitate to specific tools of the past, particularly when so many more modern, theoretically
superior alternatives are so readily available..
Date of Award27 Mar 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAndrew Bourbon (Main Supervisor) & Austin Moore (Co-Supervisor)

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