A while ago now, I was talking to a friend of mine recalling his experiences from the early days of house music. He said “I first got into house in 1986. I used to work in a record shop and someone came in asking us to import some vinyl from the USA. He played this stuff to me in the shop and told me it was house music. From then on, we used to get as much house music as we could into the shop – it sold like hot cakes!”.
When I asked him how many new releases came out each week in 1986, he told me “Usually three or four”. Which is a million miles away from the house music world of today. Whereas previous generations possibly suffered from having no real choice, the current one suffers from having far too much of it.
A few weeks ago, I recall writing about Traxsource’s Weekend Weapons chart. That particular week had an edition with 275 records in it. And that was what Traxsource themselves thought were the highlights – I shudder to think how many releases actually happened in that 7-day period.
Last weekend’s edition managed to be even bigger, weighing in at 325 records. Which is utterly absurd when you think about it – even someone like me who runs a reviews column at the weekend wouldn’t go through 325 different records to find some worth writing about.
If each track preview was two minutes long, that’s 650 minutes you’d need to listen to the whole lot. If you added in a gap of a few seconds between each one, you’d need a minimum of 11 hours to hear the whole lot. Who on earth has the time to sift through all that?
I’d be absolutely intrigued to find out just how many of those 325 records got listened to on preview, let alone downloaded. I can’t help but suspect the number will be depressing for many a producer…