I’m not a fan of the very modern practice of playing a song once and then just leaving it on your hard drive for the rest of eternity. I think it’s a waste of everyone’s time, frankly, and it just feeds into this idea that music isn’t the same as it used to be.
Think of the facts. An MP3 these days costs somewhere between £1 and £2 on average. In the vinyl days, the same would have cost you at least £6, and more if it was a rarer pressing or an import. Due to the expense of vinyl, you would have had to spend more time curating your collection, only buying what was worth the money – and you’d play it for a long time. This is how tracks used to become well known.
If Spiller released “Groovejet” today, it’d probably be forgotten about in a few weeks. Instead of labels fighting it out to sign it – Ministry of Sound and Positiva both wanted it, and it was Positiva’s parent company EMI’s ability to get the sample cleared that sealed the deal. It launched Sophie Ellis Bextor’s career and annoyed Victoria Beckham. It would now sell a few copies on the stores and be abandoned after two to three weeks.
And it’s mostly because of this culture that seems to think anything released more than 3 weeks ago is old. There’s nothing wrong with playing upfront material – DJs have always done this – but mix it in with recent releases too.
This is what I shall be trying to do later this month. I’m doing a guest mix for Scott Walker’s Weekend Afterparty – date and time will be announced nearer the day – and there’s a whole summer of tunes that haven’t got the attention they deserve. When I record that set, I’ll be playing tunes from the last few months – alongside a couple of more upfront tunes, dished up with a few of my own tunes.
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.