Do they have a toddler bashing buttons on a keyboard at random, or do you have to be friends with the boss? The mystery of how you get onto Traxsource’s highly coveted Weekend Weapons list explored

During my time as a music producer, I felt there were a number of topics which I couldn’t discuss – mostly because I’d be stepping on too many toes, some of them quite unfairly. Now that’s no longer the case, I’m free to write what the hell I like – and the mysterious ways which Traxsource operate are something I’ve always fancied talking about. So here goes!

Every single Friday, Traxsource releases its own curated list called Weekend Weapons. The list has been in existence for some years, but gained more importance on the website over 2020. Traxsource know that the majority of users on their site check the recommendations of others, hence why they provide these lists – and they know that inclusion can help make or break a record.

The only thing that’s still a mystery to me is how the hell you actually get onto Weekend Weapons. Speaking from my own experience making music, I can honestly say Traxsource did absolutely nothing to help push or promote what I was doing. A few of my releases appeared on the pre-order charts, yet they never gave them a nudge using Weekend Weapons or any of their other curated lists.

And quite a few producers contacted me to complain about such matters whenever I started talking in a very limited way about the site. I wasn’t able to give them a voice, something which irritated me no end – indeed, it was one thing that led me to launch Amateur’s House. There are a lot of people out there in dance music whose voices simply aren’t being heard.

Traxsource are notoriously secretive about how they put these lists together. Guides from the site which I saw whilst making music mention a few things about how it’s a good idea to tell them about releases a few weeks before they happen – but this doesn’t seem entirely a good indicator of decent music to me. If I’m interpreting that correctly, a label could therefore pitch mediocre music but end up on the list anyway because they were well organised.

Another question is just why the lists are so long. This weekend’s list contains 275 records, which is frankly ridiculous. Who’s going to buy that many records in the space of one week? Who’s going to trawl through a list that size to find records? I know some DJs are very dedicated to their craft, but sifting through 275 releases and possible remixes too? Seems a bit much to me.

Allegations of friends scratching each other’s backs were sent to me more than once as well. I don’t know how much of this is true, but I do know Traxsource were of no help whatsoever in helping promote my music. The site frequently talks about how they like to back new music, yet their banners are forever filled with names such as Low Steppa, David Penn and whoever is perceived to be in vogue at that moment. They certainly don’t make it easy for new music to shine.

It’s just as well I run my own reviews column, isn’t it? I only feature stuff that I really like. Unlike Traxsource who just seem to bring an animal or a toddler high on sugar to bash buttons on a keyboard at random – I don’t honestly know how else they compile such a random chart as Weekend Weapons…