Okay, I admit it. This one would be the perfect Wednesday Whisper – but the column’s full up for the next six weeks. So it was either post this in September, or today. So here it is!
As you no doubt know by now, the Euro 2020 final took place last night. The game was Italy vs England, and ot ended after extra time at a 1-1 stalemate. England then went on to lose 3-2 at penalties. It was a sad moment for many, but also awkward for one person…
An American DJ – who shall remain nameless in keeping with the Wednesday column – has been looking for gigs recently, and has noticed that nightclubs across England are due to reopen soon. So he’s been putting the word about and thinks the best way to endear himself to British promoters – not all promoters in England are English, after all – is to tell everyone he’s a big fan of the England football team.
His volte-face has not gone unnoticed by one promoter who emailed me saying that in the pre-internet days, the aforementioned DJ had a very different view on matters. For a time, he frequently used to speak about his view that the British Empire was “inherently evil”. And whilst referencing the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, he used to say “England should get out of Ireland”.
Funny how people’s views change when money’s on the table, isn’t it?
UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, Traxsource have since responded to my request for comment, saying that the lists are based entirely on sales.
It was Carl Cox who said many years ago that the reason house music continues to survive and thrive is because it evolves each year. No year sounds quite the same as the last, giving the music longevity and depth.
If we follow this theory to judge the latest Traxsource feature – the Best of 2021 So Far – house music is well and truly in serious trouble. Even for a genre in which the remix has been held in high regard, house music is now cannibalising itself to an extent never seen before.
The number one is a remix by Full Intention of The Fog’s “Been A Long Time” – a song originally released in 1993.
Number four is a Michael Gray remix, one half of the aforementioned Full Intention, of “In And Out Of My Life” by Adeva. This song first appeared in 1988.
Number 12 on the list is a cookie cutter M1 piano cover of “Respect” by Michelle Ayers, originally out in 1992.
Number 26 is a remix of “Shined On Me” by Andrea Love and E-Smoove under his Praise Cats moniker. The original came out in 2002 on Subliminal, the label of the disgraced Erick Morillo.
And that’s just a few small examples from the main charts. Look into the others and you will find more. It certainly gives away the lie that house music is a meritocracy – unless you’re backed up by the Defected monolith or a label that is in favour with Traxsource A&R, you stand virtually no chance at having a shot at the top.
There also seems to be no explanation anywhere as to how this chart was compiled. Was it through sales alone, recommendations by their staff, a combination of both or something else entirely? Traxsource have not yet replied to my request for comment at the time of publication…
Allow me to start this post with a disclaimer. I have a lot of time for Victor Simonelli. Three years ago, I emailed him a remix that I’d done for fun of “We’ve Got To Believe” by Ebony Soul. He got behind the remix and even released it on the official remix pack.
His legacy alone is worthy of respect and the support he gives to newcomers like myself is rare in an industry full of arse lickers who only play stuff by their mates.
That said, this particular release really raised my eyebrow at the time. It still does. Over 130 mixes are included of a song which originally came out in 1993. I knew straight away something was odd – for example, the Kerri Chandler “remix” is actually a tune in its own right. It came out in 1994 and just happened to sample “Why Can’t We See”.
Its inclusion on this package suggests the sample might not be exactly what you call legit. And now comes this. After Chicago’s 5 Magazine posted a review of the Scott Diaz remix, he posted this on Twitter.
I originally wrote the following in July 2020 on my Facebook page. I’m currently in the process of moving a huge amount of content over to this website, and I thought this one was still relevant today. So, here it is in its entirety…
It was inevitable that the Defected Records cash cow was eventually going to start looking at afro house in the way Bernard Matthews used to look at turkeys. They’ve launched a brand new record label, called Sondela.
The African sounding name is, of course, nothing more than a marketing gimmick. The label will be based in London, just like the rest of Defected’s empire – and the collaborative effort with Bridges For Music is merely an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. This is about money, pure and simple.
Oh, and who is the A&R at Sondela? It’s not Sef Kombo, despite the claims in the propaganda. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a quote from the real A&R at the label – one Louie Dunmore, a son of Defected head honcho Simon Dunmore.
Charity certainly starts at home in the Dunmore household, doesn’t it?
Dave Clarke has had something of a good pandemic. His views about plague raves and the importance of not spreading this awful virus have resonated with a lot of people. I happen to agree with him thoroughly on the matter.
But there is one thing that I am rather uneasy about regards the self-styled “Baron of Techno”. And that is his silence on one particular subject. Reading interviews he gives and his frequent social media output, he is pretty open about his views on a wide variety of subjects. He seems happy to share his opinions.
I have noticed, however, that there is one thing that Clarke has not commented on, even though the matter first arose early in 2020. That would be the ongoing legal troubles and sexual assault allegations against Derrick May.
On this, he has yet to say a single word. Being as high up in the world of techno as Clarke is, it’s inconceivable that he would not be aware of the claims that May is facing. The two of them have been on the same lineups numerous times.
Indeed, I’m led to believe the two are friends. Clarke has a sideline in the world of photography – as it happens, he’s rather good at it. And sure enough, who do you see photographed around halfway down the article from March 2020, some two months after the allegations started swirling and mounting up?
Step forward, Derrick May.
It appears the Baron of Techno has plenty to say – so long as you’re not his personal friend…