Rebekah told us she’d have “more news soon” about the #ForTheMusic movement, but six WEEKS after promise to her 248,000 followers on Instagram, just one question – where is it?

Since Covid restrictions started being lifted across Europe, Rebekah has been keen to get back out there. Over the past couple of weeks, she’s done gigs in Dublin, Warsaw, Naples, Paris, numerous gigs in her native United Kingdom and some in her adopted home of Berlin.

The lifting of a travel ban between Europe and the USA will no doubt result in more bookings soon. Excellent news for the DJ, whose real name is Rebekah Teasdale – not such good news for the environment. But having thrown herself back into a busy touring schedule, the techno DJ appears to have forgotten about a project she started last year.

And that was the #ForTheMusic movement which she founded to campaign against the sexual assault of women. This campaign was launched in a blaze of publicity last autumn, but has never done much since. Given how large an audience Rebekah is capable of reaching, I find the movement’s lack of traction to be quite bizarre.

A few weeks ago, this blog published an article about Rebekah collaborating with Francesco Tristano, a man who helped conceal the fact Derrick May cannot play the piano from audiences who went to his orchestral shows. Rebekah responded in a long Instagram story – mostly avoiding my questions and instead talking about my criticism of the movement she spearheaded.

She said my criticism was “unfair”, that a “number of things are going on behind the scenes” and that she’d have “more news for you soon”. So, over six weeks after Rebekah said this, it seems only fair to ask – where is this news you promised your 248,000 followers on Instagram?

Infact, she has said nothing whatsoever about the beleaguered movement since, with the sole exception of an event in Berlin. An audience member on the day got in touch to tell me “Rebekah just sounded muddled on the subject. You got the sense this movement is bigger than she expected and she doesn’t quite know what to do next”.

This would be understandable if it was true. These are incredibly delicate and complicated issues on the table here. But Rebekah doesn’t run this movement alone – and those who are involved need to bang some heads together and get things moving. Because they’ve potentially got something very good going here.

The way women are treated in the music world generally is appalling. Just look at videos for songs in the charts – plenty of scantily clad ladies to be seen. Curious that the men don’t have to do such things, isn’t it? And this is surface level stuff, nowhere near the dark, depraved depths of some corners of the scene.

The critics are already circling. As much as I’d like to get behind this important movement, but when all everyone gets the equivalence of radio silence, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the naysayers…

As Mixmag gets a pat on the back from The Drum, managing director says they don’t “shy away from telling the truth” – but is that REALLY so?

I see that Mixmag won some awards last week. Good for them. It’s always nice to be told you’ve done something good, although I find it highly curious how media organisations seem to want to be given awards for doing their jobs.

The awards they’ve won are in two categories. One is for the work they’ve done, courtesy of Funk Butcher (real name Kwame Safo), who highlighted how the Black Lives Matter movement related to dance music and the wider industry.

There are no qualms from me on this one. The work from Safo on this was nothing short of exceptional. I believe the issues were approached in a sensitive manner aiming to raise understanding. I do, however, question whether Mixmag has the bottle for what could be a very long campaign.

The second award is for an article by Annabel Ross which basically exposed how Erick Morillo got away with his appalling behaviour for so many years. You can read it here. What I found most shocking was not the details, but how long this had been going on for.

Whilst not directly quoting Mixmag’s managing director, the Drum’s article says:

“Mixmag’s Managing Director Nick Stevenson said the Morillo investigation was very much in the public interest. While it may not have the same infrastructure or budget as mainstream media outlets, he believes it is an editorial platform that does not shy away from telling the truth.”

Really?

So why does Mixmag have nothing to say about plague raves? Why do they never ask any difficult questions in any of their interviews? Why do they have nothing to say about serial abusers like Derrick May?

No, the truth is that Mixmag, like most of the dance music press, are failing in their duty. Their job is to hold the dance music world to account. It is not simply to tell us about drugs or about the latest release from an artist. They have a duty to inform their audience on what is really going on.

Yet the matter is – and this is not a situation unique to Mixmag – they are too close to the industry in order to report on it with any real objectively. If they run an unflattering article about an artist, nightclub or whatever, they run the risk of losing access to them.

Scared of being put on a blacklist, they’re cowed. It’s the same with most of the dance music press – they rarely bother to practice journalism anymore. There should be distance between those making the music and those writing about it, and it’s time that fact was remembered.

Yes, the exposé from Annabel Ross is extremely powerful work. The same with Kwame Safo. But this should be the norm in dance music, not merely the exception to what is a very dull magazine playing it safe.

Derrick May – who else isn’t talking?

On Sunday, I wrote about one person who isn’t talking about Derrick May and the trouble he finds himself in. The fact the two are personal friends appears to have much to do with it. Clarke’s silence remains unbroken at the time of publishing.

Since then, I’ve been contacted by a few people who have noticed a ring of steel has been thrown around May, largely by his own friends. Techno stalwarts are determined to make sure nothing negative is said about their favourite person in the world, even when numerous allegations of sexual assault swirl around Mr May.

Some of the aforementioned stalwarts run their own Facebook groups and so on where their fans can congregate and talk about the matters of the day – so long as that matter doesn’t involve Derrick May, of course. Anything on that subject quickly gets removed, and the person who raised the issue is usually shouted down by a hate mob who the stalwarts do nothing to dissuade.

Why are so many of those in dance music’s higher echelons so willing to remain silent on these matters? Is it because they think it would damage their own position by speaking out? Or is it that they really are a bunch of misogynistic, opportunistic pricks who’ll say and do anything to get ahead in the world?

I’m really starting to wonder.

Kristen Knight and a shot in the foot?

This post might get a bit of a backlash, but I feel there are some things that need to be said here. Firstly, here’s what Kristen Knight posted on her Instagram page on Tuesday.

Who’s Kristen Knight, you might ask? A pretty talented DJ, as it happens. She’s the girlfriend of Roger Sanchez and has been for quite some time. She is also the woman who alleged that Erick Morillo raped her in December 2019 – and before anyone points out there are laws against identifying the victims of rape, she identified herself as the person in question a while ago.

Incidentally, given what I’ve learnt from looking quite extensively into Erick Morillo after his death, I happen to be in absolutely no doubt that her allegations are true. I just feel sad that she won’t get to see him squirm in court.

She posted on Instagram that “I was just removed from a line up because I’m the survivor of sexual assault by a famous person”.

The lack of information here is a problem. She could well be telling the truth here – but how can anyone verify this? I want to believe her, but this kind of post doesn’t help anyone. If you’re going to “put someone on blast”, to use the modern expression, you’ve got to be prepared to go all out, all guns blazing.

This vagueness is no good. Not only do we not know who it actually is, but the eye of suspicion will be on all the clubs that have booked here for future appearances – and given that Covid-19 had made drastically restricted clubbing for the foreseeable future, there won’t be much to narrow down.

As much as I sympathise with the terrible crime that Knight was a victim of, I can’t help but worry that this will just make things worse. Clubbing is slowly becoming less male dominated, but this is a process of evolution rather than revolution. That’s not necessarily right, but that’s how humanity tends to proceed.

This just looks like a shot in the foot. And unless details are forthcoming soon, that blood splatter is going to get bigger.

Derrick May and when to know you’re beaten

On the Amateur At Play Facebook page last year and now on here, I wrote many posts about the increasingly pathetic, desperate attempts by Derrick May to salvage something from the ruins his career is in following the allegations of sexual impropriety that surround him.

I was hoping that he’d eventually crawl under a rock in shame. So was Michael James, the brilliant journalist who has exposed many of the claims against him. No such luck. Derrick May and Kyle J Dupuy, Detroit’s answer to Lionel Hutz, are pursuing a defamation case against James, and are not giving it up.

At least not until May’s money starts to run out, eh? Rumours are that could be sooner than the man himself thinks.

Anyway, if you fancy a laugh, take a look at his legal defence. Apparently, this man who has spent over 30 years making heaps of money as an international DJ, who has conducted endless numbers of interviews across newspapers, radio, TV and online, is now a private person.

You couldn’t make this up if you tried, could you?

Derrick May – victim or colossal bellend?

Up until now, I decided not to bother giving Derrick May’s utterly pathetic response to the allegations surrounding him any more air. But one or two things have changed since then.

Firstly, here’s his frankly ridiculous statement…

“As a black man working in a white-dominated and openly biased industry, am I expected to have learned the painful lesson that there is no such thing as truth, fairness, or due process.

When will the long, storied history of weaponizing the sexuality of African American men end? Must I collaborate under duress with my own victimization at the hands of an openly hostile press that amplifies the so-called fears of privileged, anonymous women in an internet-mediated lynching?

I have no interest in legitimizing these distortions. Women are the conduit of life, and as such, are to be protected, and not exploited.

I live by those words.”

My thoughts? I think it’s extremely telling that he’s replying to these allegations himself. Normally with these kinds of matters, the person accused says nothing and lets a legal firm handle it. Then again, when you’re using a Mickey Mouse solicitor who costs buttons because you’re broke, I don’t suppose you have a choice in these matters.

I’m leaving the last word on this post to a black producer and friend who I’m quoting here with his permission, albeit anonymously.

“Do you know what, I think his defense is f*****g disgusting. No two ways about it. I mean, weaponizing the sexuality of African American men? I’ve got African American blood, it’s in my history. It looks to me like he’s saying because he’s black, he can do what the f**k he likes. The guy is a total f*****g c***.”

Hard to disagree…