Just how bad DO you have to be for Judge Jules to call you out? Mild-mannered DJ has to cancel a number of appearances – and he isn’t holding back on the reasons why…

This blog absolutely loves it when someone finally comes along and decides to call something out for the nonsense it really is. And when you’re being called out by Judge Jules on social media – who is, by the many accounts I’ve had, one of the more polite and professional DJs in a scene full of egotistical types – you know you’ve really messed up.

This weekend, people who have had tickets booked for his shows in the north of England have found themselves having to redirect their satnavs to other venues, as both his Friday and Saturday shows were cancelled. After the Friday show was pulled, I got the impression something more was up – but Jules remained tight-lipped on details whilst also announcing a free party nearby.

But yesterday morning – after the second gig was called off and a number of people started getting emails saying a few other gigs were also off – Jules wasn’t in such a kind mood. And when a calling out starts with the “Where do I start with this?”, blisters are imminent.

On his Facebook – which he recently acquired back from hackers, by the way – and Instagram pages, he said “In over 30 years in the music industry, I can honestly say that I have never had the displeasure of dealing with so many negative issues and problems caused by the inept inability to organise and promote events as I have encountered this weekend with one promoter.”

He continued, saying “This weekend, promoting both of my live band shows, I have encountered an individual who is the worst example of such a “don’t care” attitude. I am extremely sorry to say that the Live Band show tonight in Stockton is cancelled.”

After announcing a second free party, Jules finished with one final parting shot, saying “As well as attending the DJ set, you can get a refund on your ticket for the live show. Please tell them you want a refund not a credit note and quote 7.3 of their Ts & Cs. Rest assured we will be coming back to do more Live Band shows in the near future, but with tour promoters who care and know what they are doing.”.

Ouch. Full credit goes to Judge Jules and his team for managing to stage two free parties in two days at incredibly short notice. As for the promoter in question? Jules doesn’t name him. And whilst Amateur’s House is familiar with their identity, I’ve decided not to publish it for now. I emailed them to give them a chance to comment on the claims.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, they haven’t replied to my emails at the time of publishing…

Glasgow Underground’s silence amidst allegations T Markakis hasn’t been paid for music he’s released on their label continues – but label boss Kevin McKay DID find the time to talk about one thing: pizza…

Yesterday, I started Monday morning by posting about the meltdown currently taking place at Glasgow Underground HQ. On Saturday, the label posted a rant making the utterly bizarre claim that Danny Tenaglia had started a “hate campaign” against them – which I covered here at the time. And then on Sunday, producer T. Markakis posted allegations saying he hasn’t been paid by Glasgow Underground for a previous release on the label.

You might imagine that with claims like this doing the rounds – oh, and the likes of this blog writing all about it – Glasgow Underground might want to respond to the claims being made. Such a response would be reported here in its entirety, they could be assured of this. But the old adage of “never apologise, never explain” seems to be at play.

Instead, label owner Kevin McKay chose to post yesterday about a subject close to his heart. Pizza!

Apparently, McKay spent his time during lockdown trying to come up with the perfect homemade pizza. And having discovered that yesterday was National Sausage Pizza Day in the USA – presumably being desperate for literally anything to distract from the PR disaster developing at Glasgow Underground – he decided to make a sausage pizza and post the (admittedly delicious looking) results on social media.

Perhaps McKay might now be best advised, having filled his belly, to provide the calm we all knead. It’s the yeast you could do, Kevin…

Update – since the publication of this article, Kevin McKay of Glasgow Underground has sent Amateur’s House the following statement, reproduced here in full…

“I have read all of Tasos Markakis allegations, and none of them is true. We have released two of his tracks. One of them was successful, the other less so. In his demo for the second track, he used an Acappella from Candi Staton. Unlike his label, Little Jack, we do not use other label recordings in our releases. Instead, we recreate any vocals that we use. The recreation cost £500. Tasos share of that cost was £250. Recording costs are a recoupable expense. We deducted those from his royalty statement along with mastering costs (a very reasonable £59 per track).

Tasos did not understand his recording contract and is angry that we took these deductions. He has claimed he has lawyers who back him up. I have asked to speak to them to have a reasonable discussion about this, but he has, so far, not put me in touch. I have just completed his latest statement run, and we owe him over £500 from his releases.

However, we are now taking advice about his libellous comments and the hate and mistrust in Glasgow Underground that they have generated.  I will happily share our communication with him so that everyone can see that we have operated correctly. We regularly send statements and pay our artists as hundreds of Glasgow Underground producers can testify.

I hope Tasos will get some help for his anger and some education in the music business. I hope he stops bootlegging other artists on his label. I urge the people who have supported him here to ask him for evidence of his claims or speak with me directly so they can retract their equally libellous statements.”

Is it just the Detroit techno lot who spend their entire time squabbling? No, the garage house lot in London do as well – as an insider tells of “festering wounds” and dirty tactics “being used to undermine others”…

Back around 1996 or so, something called The Sunday Scene started in London. The idea was to essentially squeeze in one more party before Monday made its dreaded call once more. As the name suggests, these parties took place on a Sunday and the music initially consisted of lots of Masters At Work dubs played at around 130bpm.

Todd Edwards dubs were also especially popular as they could be speeded up and the chopped up vocal samples would still sound like, well, chopped up vocal samples. However, more music was needed – and amidst this backdrop, the UK’s own garage movement was born. Names such as 187 Lockdown, Tuff Jam and Dillon & Dickins dominated. As the next few years went on, the music left its more soulful roots and become more bass-heavy.

Eventually, the scene started to implode from around 2001 onwards due to an increased association with violence within the scene. People were going to parties where UK garage was being played in the likes of Birmingham and London and being shot. The infighting within the scene inevitably followed.

A few years ago, a new movement rose out of the UK called garage house. The movement suffered problems from day one – the music was never particularly clearly defined and there was a complete lack of any vocal songs. In addition to that, this scene was particularly cliquey. Despite my attempts to support the scene, I was categorically rebuffed by several record labels in the gene. They simply didn’t want to know – plus ça change, eh?

Last week, D3ep Radio Network favourite James Lee announced that he would not be playing at The Garage House again – when asked why by Grant Nelson, a man who’s done a few things in this genre over the years, he simply cited “politics”. And yesterday, DJ Lindsey Ward mentioned on Facebook that people have “been slandering me” and “I feel I might be calling out a few names on here”.

So, why on earth is the garage house scene tearing itself apart at the moment? I’ll be coming back to this issue once I’ve had time to look into it more thoroughly. But for now, I shall simply quote a source (with their permission, of course!) close to the movement who has a few thoughts on the matter.

He simply said “Yeah, I find all this a bit weird as well. I think it’s because of the weird situation we’ve all been in for the past year. A lot of wounds were appearing before the first lockdown happened, and they’ve kinda been left there to fester for a while. Now that clubs are open again, everyone’s fighting for every booking they can f***ing get. Lots of dirty tactics being used too, like trying to undermine other people’s sets. It’s really unedifying”.

Hard to disagree…

Was it something I said? Ash Lauryn blocks this blog’s Twitter account – but not before temper tantrum about me “spreading lies” without pointing out a single one…

It’s always a nice feeling to know when you’re getting under someone’s skin. When someone is being criticised and responds with hyperbole, aggression or insults, you know you’re onto something they’d rather you didn’t know.

This was something I remembered on Friday night, when Ash Lauryn made the decision to block this blog’s Twitter account. But not, of course, before sending two tweets in my direction at eight minutes apart. I only arrived at the party after I was blocked – but thanks to these wonder things called smartphones, both tweets were waiting for me in my notifications…

Notice she failed to point out a single lie published on the blog about her. Notice, also, that she felt the need to come back with something else eight minutes later before blocking the blog’s account – somehow harbouring the impression this would stop me from responding.

I stand by my reporting. If I’m wrong, Lauryn – like anyone else who I write about – is welcome to point out errors. The fact she reacted so badly suggests to me that I’ve hit a nerve…

So what do the majors think when their artists slag them off online? One of Parlophone’s A&R people gives us a rare insight – and says “half of artists don’t have a clue what’s going on”…

Finding out what’s going on inside record labels is notoriously difficult. This has always been the way, especially inside the majors. So when Raye recently went on a Twitter rampage against her former record label Polydor, it wasn’t surprising when the label initially responded with silence.

A few weeks later, she was told she was officially being allowed out of her contract – the terms being kept confidential, of course.  Hence Raye gets to tell everyone she’s an independent artist whilst praising Polydor, the label that was supposedly so bad to her, to the high heavens.

One can only wonder what the people inside Polydor and Universal more widely were thinking at the time. Well, we now have a clue. Sian Anderson, when she isn’t being a DJ at 1Xtra for three days a week, is part of both A&R and marketing at Parlophone Records. Oh, and she also runs her own label called Saint Music. Busy lady indeed.

She revealed in a series of tweets that things are not what they seem.

For example, one tweet reads “An artist will come online and scream their label isn’t giving them budget for their videos and miss out on the part where the label already spent £200k in their previous videos creative ideas that didn’t work”.

Or another reads “I blame poor management a lot of the time tbh, half the time the artists don’t have a clue what’s going on and are going by what their uninformed managers tell them”.

I strongly suspect that very soon, majors are going to get sick and tired of artists who try and pull these kinds of stunts – and decide to respond to their temper tantrums with their own robust defences. It’s going to be fun when one of them does – not just for mischievous bloggers like me, but by the looks of it, for the majors themselves too…

Mike Vale is officially choosing (for now) to stay silent after Danny Tenaglia called him out – but a friend gets in touch and reveals some behind the scenes stuff

Danny Tenaglia appears to have been getting lessons on social media usage from DJ Sneak. Recently, the self-proclaimed house gangster claimed Mixmasters was “a scam”. After they called him out and pointed out he did an interview for them two years ago, did he apologise and withdraw his damaging allegation?

Of course he didn’t. The post remains on his Facebook page now, with no admission that he got it entirely wrong. And Danny Tenaglia appears to be following a similar strategy against Mike Vale and Glasgow Underground – omitting the fact he receives publishing for the cover and refusing to engage with any of the comments.

Mike Vale has not responded to the post in any manner – and although his cover of “Music Is The Answer” is indeed hideous, I don’t blame him for not getting into a public spat. But I received an email from a friend of his yesterday, complaining about my coverage of the story.

As is policy on these matters, unless your complaint is about facts in the article, don’t waste your time writing in. Although he did give me a little insight into what Vale is thinking at the moment – and to quote from the email, “you can put all this on your f***ing blog, I don’t care – just don’t put my name on it”.

Fair enough. He said “Miha [his real name is Miha Vale Deticek] thinks it’s degrading that a legend like Danny Tenaglia has started throwing s*** around like this. If he’s got a problem, he should have talked to the label instead of attacking Miha on a public place like Facebook. The messages he’s getting are pretty disgusting. It’s pathetic, really”.

And he’s not entirely wrong, is he?

Danny Tenaglia isn’t happy at “scam artist of the year” Mike Vale covering his 1998 track “Music Is The Answer” – but is there something the New York DJ has forgotten?

Right now, Danny Tenaglia is not a happy bunny. He’s just discovered – some two years after it happened – that someone called Mike Vale did a version of his song with Celada “Music Is The Answer (Dancin’ & Prancin’)”.

And he’s horrified by how appallingly poor it really is. He even calls Mike Vale the “scam artist of the year”. And to be fair, it really is that bad

The original song, released in 1998, came with remixes from Fire Island, Futureshock, Cevin Fisher, Brother Brown and Deep Dish – alongside a couple of versions from Tenaglia himself. They were released over the course of 1998 and 1999, and included vocal mixes, dubs and one or two DJ tools too. But why use any of those when you can do your own lazy remake, eh?

A quick look on this Mike Vale’s page on Traxsource soon provides a list of similarly nondescript, sleep inducing records. Yet he’s somehow appeared on labels such as Armada, Roger Sanchez’s own Undr The Radr and Glasgow Underground – which was once a highly credible label in the vinyl days but now releases tat in order to remain relevant.

Tenaglia’s own case is somewhat undermined, however, by a comment Glasgow Underground themselves left on this video. They say “This is not Celeda, this is a cover. No samples from the original, everything recreated, hence it is Mike’s record, not theirs.”.

They also went on to say “Obviously we did this with the greatest respect to Danny & Celeda. We love the original and were sad that Twisted wouldn’t allow us to license the original. At least Danny & Celeda get all the publishing from this one”.

I’m not sure exactly how Tenaglia would explain that one. Mike Vale has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Say what you really think! About the time Paul Johnson called out a record label for re-releasing his tracks when he called in his masters…

Yesterday evening, I had a chat online with one of my sources in Chicago. Not surprisingly, the subject of Paul Johnson’s death at the hands of Covid-19 was soon brought up – and they became quite animated when this happened.

They noted that a number of the big name DJs, and this sadly includes a number from Chicago itself, have been quite muted on his death, saying “A lot of them aren’t mentioning what killed him, a lot of them have got jack s*** to say. And some of them say he was their inspiration, or his friend or some other bull****. Him dying doesn’t fit in with their opinions on Covid, so they’re saying as little as they can”.

They also mentioned that “I didn’t know Paul that well, but I reckon he’d be pretty p***ed off at what’s going on. He wasn’t afraid to call people out for their bull****”. Which reminds me of a story from last year…

In the 1990s, Johnson released a number of records via London based label Peacefrog. Early in 2020, he contacted them to ask for the rights to his masters back. According to Johnson, Peacefrog said this was fine – my understanding is he wanted to release them digitally for himself.

During the first wave of the pandemic last year, he made an unpleasant discovery. Without his knowledge, Peacefrog had released all his music again before he had an opportunity to do it himself. As you can see here, he wasn’t exactly pleased…

Never be afraid to say what you really think…