One of the reasons campaigns in the dance music world get nowhere is lack of scrutiny. The dance music press mention it once at launch and then inevitably don’t follow it up. They never ask any further questions about how things went – everything exists in its own vaccum.
This blog doesn’t work like that. I ask hard questions about what’s going on and keep asking those questions until I get answers. Which is why I find myself coming back for a second day to the subject of the 23×23 campaign. One detail I forgot to mention yesterday was that one of the ways soon to be used to increase female participation in dance music will be remix contests.
Frankly, my insides went cold the moment I noticed this. Why? Because I’ve done endless numbers of remix competitions in the past and I can tell you right now that the vast majority of these are utterly pointless. For instance, if you don’t win the remix contest, you often can’t do anything with your remix at all.
Thinking of releasing the song in its own right without the acapella because you made everything on it from scratch? Think again. In a lot of remix competitions, there are rules in place which prevent you from doing this. Which means that all of that work you did is effectively wasted. You can’t use any of it elsewhere, you can’t give it away, and strictly speaking, you can’t even play it in your sets.
All I would say to anyone thinking of doing a remix contest is be under no illusions. Chances are you almost certainly won’t win. And even if you do, you might get some nice gear or maybe even a cash prize. But the record label ultimately own the copyright over the recording – and they don’t have to release your remix, even if you’re the winner.
Read the terms and conditions carefully, and if your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. For 23×23 to be promoting this as one method to increase the number of women making music is irresponsible – it’s the equivalent of entering a lottery, with absolutely no guarantee of anything even for the winner.
I understand that the first remix contests will be appearing on Metapop on the weekend of December 11th and 12th. Rest assured this blog will be studying the terms and conditions very carefully indeed…