Damon Krukowski – The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World


The MIT Press, ISBN-13: 978-0262036917, English, 240 pages, 2017, USA

Living in the post-digital also means that we actually can’t exclude the digital altogether anymore. But it doesn’t mean we should abstain from comparing digital to analogue forms with their different pace, sensory and material engagement, to understand our world away from our beloved screens.
This book is a whole journey in recognising different implications to our analogue and digital listening. The author specifically outlines a course over the richness of analogue sound, through meaningful facts, technical notes and behind-the-scenes stories. Removing any fetishism and nostalgia from his writing, he re-evaluates noise, production attitudes, silence, and especially the understanding of elaborated and pleasurable ”ways of listening”. Here even the production and distribution of music are considered for how they affect the listening, which is changed through specific influential technologies, like the overlooked three iPhone microphones, serving the industrial software services more than our sophisticated ears. What the author induces is a conscious slow down of compulsive digital consumption, breaking its continuous loops which feed our famine of cheap immateriality. He explains, compares, and brings back points of reference, lost after, for example, wearing headphones everywhere (and so being “aurally disoriented”) or giving up the production details in digital music products. Krukowski is confronting us directly with the digitally touted “disruption with the past”, proving that it potentially ends up in a miserable “loss of expertise”.