A lesson that a journalist friend of mine gave me lately was that silence does count as a response. On the face of it, this sounds bizarre. How is saying nothing a reply?
It’s simple. Keeping quiet about something is a choice. If I ask you a question, you can choose whether to answer it or not. You can also choose your own words and your own content for your reply. Either way, silence is still a response – and often a very telling one.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Terrence Parker sharing a fundraiser for his favourite French club, Djoon. This got on my nerves, because I know that Parker owes money to people for gigs that he’s been booked for, but not turned up to do. So I decided to ask a question – has he paid back his debtors yet?
He was contacted ahead of publication, like many of the people written about on this blog are. He didn’t reply. I note, however, that he chose to block the Amateur At Play’s House Twitter account. And all this counts as Parker’s response.
Instead of denying the allegations or confirming them, he’s chosen to ignore them. That makes him a pretty unworthy person, in my opinion – and makes it more likely he’ll get written about again in the future.
His response competes unfavourably with Sugababes member Mutya Buena, who complained about a post s few weeks ago. Did her response answer my criticism in any way? Nope. But we had a discussion about it. She had the courage to approach me on the subject. Parker ducked the chance.
But as society reopens again as this pandemic starts to recede, these questions will only get louder and louder if he tries the same tricks again. And I’ll be there watching…
I have to start this post by making a confession. I’ve gone somewhat easy on Juan Atkins over the past few months, mostly because I understand he is in very poor health. You see, I’m not completely heartless, despite the impression I give. Just mostly so.
However, he’s recently started telling everyone that the past is not important or relevant. This is quite the 360⁰ turn from someone who’s spent most of the past 30 years talking about what has gone before, and his role within it. And now Michael James – who was present when all this stuff was going on – has decided to write it all up for everyone to see.
You can read the whole thing here, but I’m just going to concentrate on a few things. Because the many things that Derrick May has done have been documented and continue to be – trust me, I’m nowhere near finished yet – but Atkins hasn’t received anywhere near the same level of scrutiny.
Juan Atkins, in the words of Michael James, stole “almost the complete identity, philosophy and creativity” of his mentor Rik Davis. It is Davis who should be in the history books. Atkins is barely worthy, in comparison, of being a footnote.
This detailed testimonial of the early days of Detroit techno raises the question of what Juan Atkins can actually do. Can he play? It’s been established now well beyond doubt that Derrick May cannot. Is the same true of Atkins? Is he also a fraud taking credit for things that he didn’t do?
It also leaves Kevin Saunderson facing questions. James does not mention him much in his Facebook post – and on the rare occasions he has, he’s been pretty kind – so what was his role in the middle of this? Was he the Dr Jekyll trying to balance the two Mr Hydes?
We all know now that Derrick May and Juan Atkins did next to nothing worthy of note – so what did the final member of the so-called Belleville Three do all this time? He’s had by far the longest career of the three and also the most stable private life. I can’t help but think I should read something into that…
This one has been running for a while now. I’m not stopping.
I was going through my blog archive recently and I discovered that one story from the Sterling Void archive was missing. Fraudulent signatures, forthcoming book releases that never happen, scamming producers for the curious sum of $24 a time – but weirdly, this one never got written.
So here goes. It’s recommended that you read this post whilst sober. Even by the standards of Sterling Void, this is confusing. I’ll try to keep it simple.
I’ve been able to establish that Sterling Void thinks his mother has died at least three times. Her real death was in October 2019, but she was declared dead at least twice previously on Void’s social media pages. And this gets even more bizarre.
On the occasion of her second tragic “death”, Void decided that afternoon – certainly not in the mourning – to organise a fundraiser. He said he needed some money to help pay for her funeral. Heaven forbid that Void should urn some money himself, eh?
Eyebrows were raised, however, by anyone who checked how much money he was looking to raise – especially given that the average funeral in Chicago costs roughly $3000.
His target was $152. Was something up? It’s a bit of a dead giveaway…
Were you starting to think that I’d forgotten to keep an eye on Sterling Void? Not a bit of it. Sterling Covid, as I call him around here, is sadly on his second wave after it took 32 years to bring the first one crashing down.
An anonymous friend sent me this the other day. It’s a song out on Bandcamp, the very fashionable place for putting music out these days. It’s called “We Got Da Bass” by Santonio Echols and Mike Anderson. Decent enough tune too, as it happens.
So, the question has to be asked – who actually produced this? It’s a nice enough record, with its fun percussion and nice chord progression on the piano. This renders the possibility that a man who couldn’t tell the difference between a keyboard and a kettle made it.
Unless, of course, he did? I know that Mr Duane Pelt reads this blog. He once threatened to sue me for slander, an action which he dismally failed to follow through with.
So, here’s a direct message for you, Duane. Prove me wrong. Prove that you did make this. Send me a video showing me the project files, showing what VSTs and synths you used in the project and explanations for particular decisions you made with the remix.
I’ll publish it on the blog, entirely unedited and without comment from me. I’m even prepared to forego having a dig at you in the headline. Can’t say fairer than that!
The eternal problem of using a sample in a record is that someone else can come along and do the same thing. That’s why I tend to avoid sample packs as much as possible – and the same thing applies when it comes to sampling someone else’s copyrighted recording.
And this is sadly something that Mike Delgado – he of The Murder Track, Byrdman’s Revenge and heaps of other stuff – has just found out. He’s not remotely happy that someone has had the temerity to use the same sample he did. Cast your mind back to this 2003 release…
Delgado produced this alongside Nicky P for Henry Street Music. It samples the 1979 song “Body Heat” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. A crowd pleaser, but you’d probably be hard pressed to find anyone who’d describe a disco loop with nice new drums on top as a musical masterpiece.
Not that this has stopped Mr Delgado from getting all indignant. An Italian producer called Alex M (real name Alessandro Mugnaini and pictured below) has apparently had the same idea – loop the exact same bits of “Body Heat” that Johnick did, and put different drums on it.
Too Many Rules, the label responsible for the release, have promised to take it down from the digital stores after a complaint from Delgado – at the time of going to press, (6pm UK time) the track remains online. Mugnaini shall have to rely on the other poorly sampled records he’s made…
Mr Delgado also pointed out what used to happen when disputes like this arose in the past. In a Facebook Live video on the subject, he said:
“You’re fucking lucky that there isn’t a music conference anymore. Whenever there was a conference down in Miami, everybody from the business would go down there. Whenever there was a discrepancy between anything – producers, DJs, artists – it gets settled there. You could sit down at a table and talk about it like gentlemen, or you could do it another way. I’ve done it both ways.”
Lesson of the day – if you absolutely must sample something, do something interesting with it. And if you absolutely must sample something that someone has already done well, you’d better bring your best game to it or get called out!
It’s been a while since this blog had anything up about Sterling Covid. His depressing second wave is underway, the first having taken 32 years to quell. And sadly, no vaccine currently exists against the Sterling Void virus.
The last time I wrote about Mr Void was back on March 27th, when I enquired when his book will be coming out. Sadly, I have yet to hear if my offer of $24 for the rights to print an extract from this mythical tomb has been accepted. Hopefully, rumoured publishers Crack & Rock will get back to me soon.
Anyway, what’s Duane up to these days? Not a lot, from what I can tell. My sources tell me he isn’t particularly active on social media at the moment. However, I have been able to find out that he now runs an online shop.
Yes, you can now buy clothing with the Sterling Void brand on it. A selection of hats, T-shirts, hoodies and many more hoodies is available, and all at hugely inflated prices even with the marked discounts.
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, he is most certainly not. One wonders what the Frankie Knuckles Foundation would make of Void selling this for nearly $35…
And as for this…
He charges $67 for that.
Seriously, just how much crack has this guy smoked? You couldn’t pay me enough money to take it from him, let alone wear it.
Today, it’s not Derrick May who’s being an arsehole. Well, he no doubt is, just as he has been every day for at least the past 35 years. But today, it’s one of his friends who’s going to sit in the ducking stool on his behalf.
Meet Patricia Altisent. She is currently Derrick May’s manager. She is also his former girlfriend. The two were in a relationship for some six years, so it’s safe to say she’s got to know May.
Last week, she got her Zurich based solicitors to send another threatening email over to Michael James, the journalist who originally got the ball going on the allegations that still enwreathe May now.
Head over to his page if you fancy reading the “confidential” email. He covers this in great detail. There is one matter, however, that I’d like to pick up on.
Altisent’s solicitor is most indignant about the fact that “on his Facebook page, [James] has even published the email address of our client”. In which case, they might want to get in touch with the bailout receiving, plague rave profiteering Resident Advisor.
They have a page for an artist called Iva, whom Altisent represents. What do you see at the bottom of the picture? Click it and zoom right in…
Yep, it’s Patricia Altisent’s email address. Get your solicitors on the phone, Patricia!