Back in the 1980s, there was a female producer and remixer called Yvonne Turner. You might not have heard of her – I only discovered her existence around three years ago – but she played a crucial role in the development of house music dubs.
Were it not for her pioneering work in the formative days of house music, the likes of Masters At Work would have been laughed out of the room when they created that dubby mix of Debbie Gibson’s “One Step Ahead” in 1990. The result of MK cutting up vocals for his dubs would have been the scratching of heads. Polite reaction would have “that’s nice, but when does she start singing?”.
However, being a woman in what remains a giant men’s club is a thankless task. Her role in her own productions and remixes was frequently downplayed – infact, she was sometimes written out of the story altogether. And the appalling treatment of women in the music industry goes on – only a few weeks ago, I published a few short stories from an anonymous female DJ of many years.
So when James Blake released an album and his girlfriend Jameela Jamil was credited as a producer on it, many were quick to dismiss…
Depressing, but not the least bit surprising. Indeed, it’s only the very real threat of libel proceedings which deter me from publishing some of the horrendous stories of sexism and whitewashing which I get sent. If the extent of what one particular gentleman whose name keeps popping up was to emerge, his career would probably come crashing down.
So the whitewashing of women out of music continues. Unless they’re singing or dancing, no one seems to believe it happened – and even then, the armchair critics aren’t short of spite to spout…
I remember pretty much every episode from Channel 4’s legendary comedy series Father Ted. But one episode that I remember more than most is “Rock A Hula Ted”. In it, the main protagonist Father Ted Crilly is asked to be a judge for the Lovely Girls competition – anyone from Ireland will probably know this is a parody of the Rose of Tralee, another competition frequently accused of being outdated and sexist.
I’m guessing that one of the other judges, sadly never shown on camera, was Mike Weiss. He’s the man in charge of Nervous Records and recently, his label went back to the tacky, 1970s style advertising they flirted with heavily earlier this year. To the best of my knowledge, no other major dance music label advertised its products – be they music or merchandise – in this manner, and haven’t for many years. In dance music terms, he’s an outlier in this regard.
And we can now see with Nervous’s latest advertising campaign that these ghastly campaigns are well and truly back in vogue with the label’s management…
Classy indeed. Over the past few months, we’ve seen there are few depths Weiss and his label will not stoop to. Releases, T-shirts, face masks – anything they had to sell was advertised for months alongside a totally inappropriately dressed lady. And despite their own followers increasingly calling them out, Nervous flat out refuse to explain or defend themselves.
The extent which some people will go to in order to advertise their products never ceases to astonish me. Things have certainly changed since the first advert on British TV back in 1955 – for Gibbs SR toothpaste. But at least you knew what the product was.
Which is more than I did when Facebook’s algorithm decided to stick this advert in front of me this morning. When I saw this photo, I honestly had no idea what on earth was being promoted. Only with a quick Google search did I discover they were actually microphone isolators…
Even the captain of “Rec session” – it’s safe to write “recording”, by the way as Facebook doesn’t charge for ads per letter – doesn’t really tell you much. The lady in question is literally just standing there in a crop top and denim shorts. She’s not even singing into the microphone, for crying out loud.
Yet look at the number of shares and comments – over 100 of each. Whether Kaotica Eyeball are actually selling anything from this campaign is another question, but it’s certainly catching people’s attention. But I can’t help but think it’s rather depressing that in 2021, this is still how they advertise these kinds of products…
Things really should have advanced further in the plugin world than the likes of Perky Percussion Percolator by now. Released in 2005, this was a VST that showed a picture of cartoon breasts – and the further you dragged the hearts away from the nipples, the more delay you could add to your production.
I assure you that I am not making this up. And it gets worse. You’d imagine that in this more enlightened era, things would have changed now, right?
You’d be wrong. Meet the Nani Distortion Plugin by WX Audio. The purpose of the plugin is simple – to add distortion to instruments or entire songs. And from what I understood, it actually does this job extremely well.
Which makes the following gimmick all the more baffling. I don’t know whether lockdown is getting to the manufacturer’s heads, but the plugin includes an anime model on the right hand side of the window. As you might have guessed – in typical anime style, she has a rather generously proportioned chest.
As you turn up the drive knob on the drive and the distortion increases, the jumper of the anime model is torn off and her breasts start jiggling along to the music. Yes, it’s a little bit Eurotrash*, isn’t it?
I’m beginning to think that Michael Weiss, the man in charge at Nervous Records, is trolling me. I’ve been repeatedly pointing out over the past few months that the models being used by his label’s advertising department are wearing less and less each time.
The advertising department at Nervous Records must be an incredibly strange place for those who don’t still live in 1975. Whilst most labels have moved on from sexist adverts, Nervous continue to cling to this long gone era.
Here’s their latest effort at advertising their range of face masks. And this is actually more anodyne than usual – the models appear to have some clothes on, for starters…
Here’s one I somehow managed to miss during last week. Well, there’s only so many hours in the day, isn’t there? The dubiously named Gearslutz are changing their name. What to? We don’t know yet, but Gearslutz founder Julian Standen claims “that the new name will be inclusive, and will stand the test of time”.
Not surprisingly, this has the heads online convinced that political correctness is at work once again. I wish I could work myself into a frenzy over this, but I simply can’t. I’m personally surprised that it took this long for them to work out having a pejorative word for a woman “who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous” in their title is not actually a good idea.
The word “slut” is not even a new word. It’s been around since the 1400s, when it meant a woman who was considered to be dirty or slovenly. The only ones who were engaged in slovenly thought were Gearslutz for thinking this was a good name in the first place.
Let’s just hope that the Z doesn’t appear in the new name. They just make it sound like some rubbish kids toy.