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Lo-fi is lower quality of sound recordings than the usual standard for music. The qualities of lo-fi are usually achieved by either degrading the quality of the recorded audio, or using certain equipment. Recent uses of the phrase have led to it becoming a genre, although it still remains as an aesthetic in music recording practice. Many lo-fi artists use inexpensive cassette tape recorders. The term was adopted by WFMU
WFMU
WFMU is a listener-supported, independent community radio station headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, broadcasting at 91.1 MHz FM, presenting a freeform radio format...

 DJ William Berger who dedicated a half hour segment of his program to home recorded music throughout the late '80s under the name Lo-fi.

Pre-1980s


Lo-fi's roots can be dated as far back as a set of live cylinder
Phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity , these cylinder shaped objects had an audio recording engraved on the outside surface which could be reproduced when the cylinder was...

 recordings created in 1900–04 by Lionel Mapleson from a catwalk 40 ft (12 m) above the stage of the Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

. The sound quality of these "Mapleson Cylinders
Mapleson Cylinders
The Mapleson Cylinders are a group of more than 100 phonograph cylinders recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera, primarily in the years 1901–1903, by the Met librarian Lionel Mapleson ....

" is very poor (more so since they are one-of-a-kind artifacts that have been further worn down by being played over the last century); the aesthetic quality, though, partakes in the electric, authentic feeling of an unedited event being captured in real time. In the same historical period, commercial field recordings of folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 had begun to be created in many nations of the world, recorded catch-as-catch-can by early record producers such as Fred Gaisberg
Fred Gaisberg
Frederick William Gaisberg was an American-born musician, recording engineer and one of the earliest classical music producers for the gramophone. He himself did not use the term 'producer' and was not an impresario like his protégé Walter Legge of EMI or an innovator like John Culshaw of Decca...

 of HMV
HMV
His Master's Voice is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone...

. The description of "lo-fi", however, would be slightly amiss, since the recordists used the best available equipment of the era in order to capture and reproduce the sound as faithfully as possible. With technology being what it was however, the resulting recordings would be considered quite crude, or "low-fidelity", by today's standards.

In a later era, Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

 recorded some songs in a converted garage. Some posthumous Hank Williams demos were also overdubbed for commercial release. However, it was not until Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 decided in 1975 to officially release a set of The Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes is a 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band. The songs featuring Dylan's vocals were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album's release, at houses in and around Woodstock, New York, where Dylan and the Band lived...

, first recorded as music publisher demos in 1967, that the first lo-fi pop music milestone was reached. The music was really not originally intended for general release, the recordings, made on a consumer-quality Ampex
Ampex
Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff. The name AMPEX is an acronym, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence...

 quarter-track machine with two microphones set up for "dual mono", made a virtue of their flaws; with their asides, laughter and unselfconscious looseness, they defined the authenticity of the lo-fi experience. As a historical matter, in the years between the production and the official release, the popularity of these particular recordings also created the first market for pop bootleg records
Bootleg recording
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging...

, which as a listening experience came to include seemingly every scrap of certain rock artists' off-the-cuff and unreleased work, including home recordings. Seminal early examples of this were the 1976 home-made debut album Phonography
Phonography (album)
Phonography was the 1976 debut 12" vinyl record album by outsider musician and one-man band R. Stevie Moore.The album was originally privately pressed in a limited edition of 100 copies on the artist's private Vital Records "label" in Nashville Tennessee. It contains Moore's earliest songs and...

 by pioneer DIY popster R. Stevie Moore
R. Stevie Moore
Robert Steven Moore is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. In addition to having numerous albums released on labels around the world, the prolific Moore has self-released over 400 cassette and CD-R albums since 1968, as well as dozens of home videos, mostly through the R. Stevie Moore...

 and the 1976 debut album Carcass by lo-fi pioneer Sean Terrington Wright
Sean Terrington Wright
Sean Terrington Wright is a British songwriter, singer, guitarist, record producer, artist, writer, and poet. He has collaborated with Kim Fowley, Najam Sheraz, Mark Linkous, Mark Tinley, Enrico Coniglio, Yvalian, Josh Woodward, & many indie artists...

. Also, famed songwriter Lou Reed produced a version of the self-titled 3rd album
The Velvet Underground (album)
The Velvet Underground is the third album by American rock group The Velvet Underground. It was their first record to feature Doug Yule, John Cale's replacement. It was recorded in 1968 at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California. This album's softer sound marks a radical shift in approach in style...

 by his band, The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited...

. Its lo-fi, cramped sound became known as the closet mix. It was highly influential to up-and-coming indie lo-fi groups.

Lo-fi recordings became more commonly heard in the late seventies to early eighties with many electronic acts. In Monte A. Melnick's biographical book, On The Road with the Ramones, Thomas Erdelyi considers the band's first record to be a "great lo-fi album." Suicide
Suicide (band)
Suicide is an American electronic protopunk musical duo, intermittently active since 1970 and composed of vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines. They are an early synthesizer/vocal musical duo....

's debut album is a large collection of Lo-fi classics, which Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

 took inspiration from on his 1982 lo-fi album "Nebraska
Nebraska (album)
-Themes:The album begins with "Nebraska", a first-person narrative based on the true story of 19-year-old spree killer Charles Starkweather and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, and ends with "Reason to Believe", a complex narrative that renders its title phrase into contemptuous sarcasm...

". Other classic lo-fi's to appear around this time include Throbbing Gristle
Throbbing Gristle
Throbbing Gristle were an English industrial, avant-garde music and visual arts group that evolved from the performance art group COUM Transmissions...

's "United
United/Zyklon B Zombie
United/Zyklon B Zombie is a 7" vinyl single by industrial group Throbbing Gristle. The original pressing by Industrial Records had cream centre labels with very blurred Death Factory Logo and picture sleeve...

", Thomas Leer
Thomas Leer
Thomas Leer is a British musician who as well as releasing a number of albums and singles in his own right, was also one half of the 1980s electropop band Act...

's "Private Plane", The Normal
The Normal
The Normal is the recording artist name used by English music producer Daniel Miller, a film editor at the time, who is best known as the founder of the record label Mute Records.-Background:...

's "TVOD/Warm Leatherette
Warm Leatherette
"Warm Leatherette" is a song by Daniel Miller.-Overview:"Warm Leatherette" was released as the B-side to "T.V.O.D.", the only single by Miller's musical project The Normal. It was the very first release on his Mute Records label, and an early example of the then-burgeoning industrial music genre....

" single, and The Human League
The Human League
The Human League are an English electronic New Wave band formed in Sheffield in 1977. They achieved popularity after a key change in line-up in the early 1980s and have continued recording and performing with moderate commercial success throughout the 1980s up to the present day.The only constant...

's "Being Boiled
Being Boiled
"Being Boiled" is a song composed by Sheffield musicians Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, with lyrics by Philip Oakey, and recorded by them as The Human League...

". Another UK classic Lo-fi band is the Young Marble Giants
Young Marble Giants
Young Marble Giants were a post-punk band formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1978. A trio, their music was constructed around the powerful and minimal instrumentation of brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham along with the vocals of Alison Statton.-History:...

.

1980s onwards


As a term to describe a musical genre, lo-fi is mainly associated with recordings from the 1980s onwards, when cassette technology such as Tascam
TASCAM
TASCAM is the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation, headquartered in Montebello, California. Tascam is credited as the inventor of the Portastudio, the first cassette-based multi-track home studio recorders. Tascam also introduced the first low-cost mass produced multitrack recorders...

's four-track Portastudio
Portastudio
The TASCAM Portastudio was the world's first four track recorder based on a standard compact audio cassette tape.When the original Portastudio 144 made its debut in 1979 it was a revolutionary creative tool...

 became widely available. Prime early exponents included Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston
Daniel Dale Johnston is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and artist. Johnston was the subject of the 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. He currently lives in Waller, Texas....

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 band the Tall Dwarfs
Tall Dwarfs
Tall Dwarfs are a New Zealand rock band formed in 1981 by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate who, through their do-it-yourself ethic, helped pioneer the lo-fi style of rock music. The duo formed out of the ashes of Toy Love....

 who recorded on Chris Knox
Chris Knox
Chris Knox is a New Zealand rock and roll musician, cartoonist, and DVD reviewer who emerged during the punk rock era with his bands The Enemy and Toy Love. After Toy Love disbanded in the early 1980s, he formed the group Tall Dwarfs with guitarist Alec Bathgate, much loved for their honest,...

's 4-track and released on Flying Nun Records
Flying Nun Records
Flying Nun Records is an independent record label formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1981 by music-store proprietor Roger Shepherd.-History:The label was formed in the flurry of new punk rock-inspired labels forming in the early 1980s...

, The Bilders
The Bilders
The Bilders is the name for lineups of musicians led by a New Zealand singer-songwriter. The first Bilders sprang from the group Vacuum and is known under other names such as Kazaportico, Above Ground, Bilderbergers, Builders, Soluble Fish and Bilders Paris Sessions...

 (period 1978-81), Trixie' Big Red Motobike, who recorded in a bedroom, Beat Happening
Beat Happening
Beat Happening is an American punk band formed in Olympia, Washington in 1982. Calvin Johnson, Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford have been the band's continual members...

 and the Olympia, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Olympia is the capital city of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859. The population was 46,478 at the 2010 census...

 label K Records
K Records
K Records is an independent record label in Olympia, Washington, co-founded, owned, and operated by Calvin Johnson, formerly of the bands Cool Rays, Beat Happening, The Go Team, The Halo Benders and presently in the bands Dub Narcotic Sound System and The Hive Dwellers...

. In the early-mid 1990s (1991–1998), Lo-fi found a wider audience with the success of such acts as Beck
Beck
Beck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known by the stage name Beck...

, Blur
Blur (band)
Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...

, Sebadoh
Sebadoh
Sebadoh is an American indie rock band, formed in 1986 in Westfield, Massachusetts by Eric Gaffney and Dinosaur Jr bass player Lou Barlow. Along with such bands as Pavement and Guided by Voices, Sebadoh helped pioneer lo-fi music, a style of indie rock characterized by low-fidelity recording...

, Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. Beginning with the band's formation in 1983, it made frequent personnel changes but always maintained the presence of principal songwriter Robert Pollard...

, Smog, Mercury Rev
Mercury Rev
Mercury Rev is an American alternative rock group, that formed in the late 1980s in Buffalo, New York. Original personnel were David Baker , Jonathan Donahue , Sean Mackowiak, a.k.a...

, Pavement
Pavement (band)
Pavement is an American alternative rock band that formed in Stockton, California in 1989. In their career, they achieved a significant cult following, and they were called the best band of the 1990s by prominent music critics Robert Christgau and Stephen Thomas Erlewine...

, Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

, Operation Ivy
Operation Ivy
Operation Ivy was the eighth series of American nuclear tests, coming after Tumbler-Snapper and before Upshot-Knothole. Its purpose was to help upgrade the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons in response to the Soviet nuclear weapons program...

, Liz Phair
Liz Phair
Phair's entry into the music industry began when she met guitarist Chris Brokaw, a member of the band Come. Brokaw and Phair moved to San Francisco together, and Phair tried to become an artist there...

, Will Oldham
Will Oldham
Will Oldham , better known by the stage name Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, is an American singer-songwriter and actor. From 1993 to 1997, he performed and recorded under variations of the Palace name, including the Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and Palace Music...

, Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo, sometimes abbreviated as YLT, is an American alternative rock band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan , Georgia Hubley , and James McNew .Despite achieving limited mainstream success, Yo La Tengo has been called "the quintessential...

, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are an American alternative rock trio, formed in 1991 and based out of New York City, New York. The band consists of Judah Bauer on guitar, backing vocals, harmonica and occasional lead vocals, Russell Simins on drums and Jon Spencer on vocals, guitar and theremin...

, Ween
Ween
Ween is an American alternative rock group. They formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania when central members Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo met in an eighth grade typing class. Ween has a large cult underground fanbase despite being generally unknown in American pop music...

, David Kilgour
David Kilgour (musician)
David Kilgour is a musician from Dunedin, a city in the South Island of New Zealand. He first started playing guitar as a teenager in the late 1970s...

 and (later) (1999–2003) Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith
Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and resided for a significant portion of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity...

, Neutral Milk Hotel
Neutral Milk Hotel
Neutral Milk Hotel was an American indie rock band formed by singer, guitarist and songwriter Jeff Mangum in the early 1990s. The band was noted for its experimental sound, obscure lyrics and eclectic instrumentation....

, The Apples in Stereo
The Apples in Stereo
The Apples in Stereo, styled The Apples in stereo, is an American indie rock band associated with The Elephant Six Collective, a group of bands also including Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control. The band is largely a product of lead vocalist/guitarist Robert Schneider, who writes the...

, Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog is a psychedelic rock band from West Grove, Pennsylvania. Its lineup currently consists of Toby Leaman , Scott McMicken , Frank McElroy , Zach Miller , and Eric Slick . Lead vocal duties are shared between Leaman and McMicken, with all members contributing harmonies...

, The Olivia Tremor Control
The Olivia Tremor Control
The Olivia Tremor Control is an indie rock band prominent in the mid to late 1990s which, along with The Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel, was one of the three original Elephant 6 projects...

, Elf Power
Elf Power
Elf Power is an indie rock band that originated in Athens, Georgia. Currently, the line-up consists of guitarist/vocalist Andrew Rieger, keyboardist Laura Carter, guitarist Jimmy Hughes, bassist Derek Almstead, and drummer Eric Harris...

, Beulah
Beulah (band)
Beulah was an indie rock band from San Francisco, California, often associated with The Elephant 6 Recording Company.-Early Years: 1996-1998:...

, Of Montreal
Of Montreal
Of Montreal is an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. It was founded by frontman Kevin Barnes in 1996, named after a failed romance with a woman "of Montreal." The band is one of the bands of the Elephant 6 collective...

, Mike Rifone
Phil Elvrum
Phil Elverum is the sole permanent member of the Anacortes, Washington-based indie rock bands The Microphones and Mount Eerie.Phil Elverum manipulates analog recording devices in his work...

, Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came...

, Iron & Wine
Iron & Wine
Samuel Beam , better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album...

, and The Shins
The Shins
The Shins are an American indie rock band comprising singer, songwriter, and guitarist James Mercer, guitarist/bassist Dave Hernandez, Eric Johnson of Fruit Bats, drummer Joe Plummer and bassist Ron Lewis. Their sound draws on several musical genres, including pop, alternative rock, indie rock,...

.

Often lo-fi artists will record on old or poor recording equipment, ostensibly out of financial necessity but also due to the unique aural association such technologies have with "authenticity", an association created in listeners by exposure to years of demo, bootleg, and field recordings, as well as to older pop studio recordings produced more simply. The growth in lo-fi coincided with the growth of extreme slickness and polish associated with the multitrack pop recording techniques of the 1980s. Lo-fi can therefore been seen as a counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 movement, though exponents rarely identify themselves with any political persuasion.

Many artists associated with the lo-fi movement, such as Bill Callahan, or Bob Log III
Bob Log III
Bob Log III is an American slide guitar one-man band. During performances, he plays old Silvertone archtop guitars, wears a full body human cannonball suit, and a pilot's helmet wired to a telephone receiver, which allows him to devote his hands and feet to guitar and drums. The spectacle has been...

, have frequently rejected the use of finer recording equipment, trying to keep their sound raw instead, whereas others such as Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. Beginning with the band's formation in 1983, it made frequent personnel changes but always maintained the presence of principal songwriter Robert Pollard...

 and The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats is an American indie rock band formed in Claremont, CA by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle himself, despite the plural moniker....

 slowly moved to using professional studios.

The black metal
Black metal
Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw recording, and unconventional song structure....

 genre embraced the lo-fi idea during the late 1980s and early 1990s as it strived to distance itself from pop music. Most bands recorded their albums on extremely low budgets, using four-track recorders and any other equipment they could use. The greatest example is the Darkthrone
Darkthrone
Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band. They formed in 1987 as a death metal band, but after embracing the black metal style in 1991, they became a driving force in the Norwegian black metal scene. For most of this period Darkthrone has consisted of just two musicians, Nocturno Culto and...

 album Transilvanian Hunger
Transilvanian Hunger
Transilvanian Hunger is the fourth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Darkthrone, released in 1994 through Peaceville Records. It was the band's first album to be recorded with just two members, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz, following the departure of Zephyrous...

, though almost all of their albums have an intentionally "lo-fi" sound quality. The band started as a clean , well produced technical death metal
Death metal
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

 band before evolving their style and almost singlehandedly producing the low quality production style that would become common place in the black metal scene. Varg Vikernes
Varg Vikernes
Varg Vikernes is a Norwegian black metal musician, writer, philosopher, religious and political activist, arsonist and convicted murderer.Vikernes was born near Bergen, Norway. In 1991, he founded the one-man music project Burzum, which quickly became popular within the early Norwegian black metal...

 of Black Metal band Burzum
Burzum
Burzum is a musical project by Varg Vikernes . It began during 1991 in Bergen, Norway and quickly became prominent within the early Norwegian black metal scene...

 was also known to purposely use extremely lo-fi recording techniques on his albums. On the album Filosofem
Filosofem
Filosofem is the fifth release by the Norwegian black metal artist Burzum. It was recorded in March 1993 and was the last recording before Varg Vikernes' imprisonment. However, the album was not released until January 1996....

, Varg was said to have intentionally asked a local store for the cheapest microphone they had, and they sold him a headset
Headset (telephone/computer)
A headset is headphones combined with a microphone, or one headphone with a microphone. Headsets provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset with hands-free operation. Headsets typically have only one speaker like a telephone, but also come with speakers for both ears...

, which he used to record vocals on the album. For guitar he was said to have used a distortion pedal to drive a stereo receiver, which made the extremely fuzzy, buzzing guitar tone found on the album. The term "raw" is generally preferred to "lo-fi" in black metal circles.

Currently, there is a growing scene of lo-fi bands in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. This recent wave of artists has been given the name shitgaze, due to the notable shoegaze influence as well as the extremely low-budget recording techniques. Notable bands and solo artists include Two Gallants
Two Gallants (band)
Two Gallants is a folk rock duo from San Francisco, California. The name comes from the title of a story by James Joyce in Dubliners.-History:Two Gallants are made up of Adam Stephens on guitar, harmonica and vocals and Tyson Vogel Two Gallants is a folk rock duo from San Francisco, California....

, Wavves
Wavves
Wavves is an American surf pop/noise punk band based out of San Diego, California.-History:Wavves started in 2008 as the recording project of Nathan Williams. Wavves released several 7"s as well as a cassette leading up to the first two releases 'Wavves' and 'Wavvves'...

, No Age
No Age
No Age is a two-person American indie rock group consisting of guitarist Randy Randall and drummer/vocalist Dean Allen Spunt. The band is based in Los Angeles and is currently signed to Sub Pop records...

, Times New Viking
Times New Viking
Times New Viking is a lo-fi indie rock band from Columbus, Ohio. The lineup consists of guitarist Jared Phillips, drummer Adam Elliott, and Beth Murphy on keyboards. Murphy and Elliott share vocal duties....

, Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave (band)
Rogue Wave is an indie rock band from Oakland, California, , and headed by Zach Schwartz who created the band after losing his job in the dot-com bust. Their first album was Out of the Shadow which was released privately in 2003 and re-released in 2004...

, Best Coast
Best Coast
Best Coast is an American indie rock band based in Los Angeles, California, and is often categorized under the subgenres of garage rock, surf pop, and lo-fi. The band currently consists of Bethany Cosentino, who writes all of the band's songs and fronts the group, multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, ...

, Gonjasufi
Gonjasufi
Gonjasufi is a rapper, singer, disc jockey and yoga teacher from San Diego, California and currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ecks was born to a Mexican mother and an American-Ethiopian father. He has been releasing music since the early 1990s among the San Diego Hip Hop scene, notably with...

, Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls are an American band from Brooklyn, New York.- History :Vivian Girls, named after the magnum opus of outsider author Henry Darger, started in Brooklyn, NY in March 2007 as the trio of Cassie Ramone ; Katy "Kickball Katy" Goodman; and Frankie Rose...

, Former Ghosts
Former Ghosts
Former Ghosts consists of former This Song Is a Mess But So Am I member Freddy Ruppert with collaborations from Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart, Zola Jesus originator Nika Roza Danilova, and Yasmine Kittles of TEARIST. Ruppert is the lead songwriter on this brutally gloomy, Joy Division-esque project...

, Zola Jesus
Zola jesus
Zola Jesus is the stage name of Russian American singer/songwriter Nika Roza Danilova . Having released three EPs and two full-length albums, combining industrial, classical, electronic, goth and experimental rock influences, she received generally good reviews and was regarded as one of the names...

 and Glass Graves.

There is also an even newer trend of Lo-fi Goth bands, which incorporate influence from noise music
Noise music
Noise music is a term used to describe varieties of avant-garde music and sound art that may use elements such as cacophony, dissonance, atonality, noise, indeterminacy, and repetition in their realization. Noise music can feature distortion, various types of acoustically or electronically...

, deathrock
Deathrock
Deathrock is a term used to identify a sub-genre of punk rock incorporating horror elements and spooky atmospherics, that emerged on the West Coast of the United States in 1979.-Characteristics:...

, new wave
New Wave music
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...

, and hardcore punk
Hardcore punk
Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

. This scene grew out of an influx of ex-deathrock revivalists into the indie music scene.

Digital Lo-fi


Lo-fi music can also refer to low fidelity music created with low end synths, 8-bit computers, and circuit bending
Circuit bending
Circuit bending is the creative customization of the circuits within electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and small digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators....

.

See also

  • Cassette culture
    Cassette culture
    Cassette culture, or the cassette underground , refers to the practices surrounding amateur production and distribution of recorded music that emerged in the late 1970s via home-made audio cassettes...

  • Indie rock
    Indie rock
    Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

  • List of Lo-fi bands
  • High fidelity
    High fidelity
    High fidelity—or hi-fi—reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners and home audio enthusiasts to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound or images, to distinguish it from the poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment...

  • No Fi
    No-fi
    No-Fi is a term used to describe music or media created outside conventional technical standards.-The name:Where "Hi-fi" and "Lo-fi" are short for "High Fidelity" and "Low Fidelity", respectively, "No-fi" is a play-on-words intended to be interpreted as meaning "No Fidelity".-The sound:No-Fi is an...

  • Shitgaze
  • DIY culture

External links