I speak frequently on this blog about how a fair few people in dance music are unable to see the wood for the trees. They’re so deeply immersed in their own little worlds that they have almost no concept at all of how anyone from the outside looking in might perceive things.
This is something true of several generations of producers. Those who are doing it now have to immerse themselves – you’re now a DJ, music producer, engineer, social media content creator, promoter and more in one. And too many of those who were doing it decades ago are convinced they’re worthy of “respect” because they had a hit record decades ago.
Several record labels also seem to have a complete inability to see how their actions look to the world. The latest example of this comes from Trax Records. No stranger to rinsing their own archives – mostly because next to nothing of what they put out today compares to it – they re-released a huge quantity of their early releases back on January 1st.
Was this date deliberately chosen because next to no one would be online buying music on that day? The question has to be asked – and my email putting it to Trax Records remains unanswered at the time of publication. But whilst labels reissuing past releases isn’t unusual, one aspect of this seems questionable.
The big batch of releases contained early songs from Robert Owens – such as “Bring Down The Walls” from 1986 – or numerous Larry Heard productions, including numerous mixes of “Can You Feel It” under his Mr Fingers alias. Trax Records are currently embroiled in a long-running legal case against Robert Owens and Larry Heard.
This blog posted an update on August 18th last year on the case, and I’m not aware of any other developments. So exactly why these were included remains unknown…