Tag Archives: hard truths

The man was playing with his what?! Berghain use drawings of men doing, ahem, adult things to promote their forthcoming events – and it’s already got one music producer into trouble with Facebook…

This blog has no time whatsoever for homophobia. I deplore every possible form of it. I also strongly suspect that the biggest homophobes out there are the ones hiding a secret. As Nazï propagandist Joseph Goebbels once said “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”.

Which is why I wasn’t the least bit surprised to discover that musician DVS1 received a pile of homophobic comments after he posted about his forthcoming appearance at Klubnacht in Berghain. He included a, shall we say, provocative picture in his screenshot which contained… well, a number of drawings of men doing things with their penises.

I’ve actually had complaints recently from people who weren’t able to read this blog because their family filters at home were blocking it. Since I’ve only just got the problem fixed, I won’t be sharing the image – but as those of you who looked might have noticed, it’s quite explicit.

Yes, I’m well aware that nudity and sexual expression have a lot to do with some sections of the gay community. Not a problem – but on a family friendly platform like Facebook, it’s an issue. Their own rules state you cannot use images like this on their site. So aren’t you heavily restricting how much you can promote said events, particularly on image heavy platforms like Instagram by doing this?

Seems a strange strategy in this day and age. Then again, with the endless fixation of the dance music press on Berghain, maybe they don’t need to do too much promotion anyway…

What disease – and it’s not coronavirus! – threatens to bring the dance music world crashing down? Why the idolising needs to go

I remember the first time that I read a dance music magazine. It was all the way back in October 2001. I was at college at the time studying for my A Levels and I had some time to kill before I had to catch the bus home.

So I wandered into town and saw a newsagents. I’d never been in here before and I saw they had a huge selection of magazines and newspapers – many of which I’d never seen before.

Whilst browsing, I saw a copy of Ministry magazine. Believe it or not, but before the internet came along, you had to get dance music news through the press. There were few ways to get it directly. If you weren’t in the scene, you had to go through the gatekeepers in the media.

I enjoyed reading the magazine and I bought many more. But as an overly inquisitive 16 year old studying Sociology – oddly enough, one of the better decisions I made at that age – I noticed one thing. The coverage was very positive. Insanely positive.

There was little criticism of anyone in there. Certainly not in the way you’d expect to see in newspapers, for example. And this trend over the years has just got worse and worse. It’s gone from being positive to downright idolatry.

And I can’t help but think this is an incredibly dangerous development. It creates the conditions where DJs can put whatever the hell they like on their riders and if you dare criticise them even mildly, they come at you like someone who’s just been caught kicking a puppy.

Whilst there are plenty DJs at the top of this scene who are humble and haven’t forgotten their background, let’s be perfectly blunt here. There are many others who are a bunch of overpaid prima donnas with a truly staggering sense of self-entitlement.

And I believe one of the reasons for that is the sheer amount of idolatry they’re exposed to. They’re treated like kings, and some of them inevitably fall for the hype and think it’s the truth.

They’re not used to dissent. They’re not used to dealing with criticism. In social media, they have a friend. Their fans will unfailingly speak up for them, defending them. Most of the time, it means they don’t even have to answer it in any way. They can express their view by simply liking a tweet or even saying nothing.

They make threats. They threaten to stop you from progressing further in your career. They find out what you want and they threaten to stop you from getting it. This is why they’re absolutely terrified of outsiders – there’s nothing they have in the artillery to stop them.

Derrick May is the perfect example of this. For years, he was venerated and worshipped as some kind of god. This allowed him to behave in whatever way he liked – hence why he’s now accused of sexual mispropriety against at least 18 women and has made a career out of pretending he can play.

No one ever challenged him on it, and he’s still benefitting from idolatry now. His stooges, like Carl Craig and Patricia Altisent, are defending him whilst he somehow pretends that anyone who doesn’t like him must be a racist.

This is an utterly contemptuous and disingenuous line of defence which the dance music press should have torn him to shreds on. Instead, they reported it – even they couldn’t ignore this – but made no further comment. Were they seriously that terrified of his Mickey Mouse lawyer?!

It’s high time that this culture of deference and idolatry in dance music stopped. Otherwise, the egos are just going to destroy what’s left of the scene – and since the egos will be rich, they won’t suffer…

New coronavirus test, same old coronavirus problems

It appears that the Night Time Industries Association read my blog. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the numerous difficulties that clubs would encounter if they had to conduct Covid tests on guests before they’re allowed entry.

Their CEO has now mentioned there are talks going on where people would test themselves at home instead, before venturing out. They would record themselves with a phone doing the test and getting the result.

This proposal seems more plausible, but I can still see problems here. For starters, how are clubbers meant to obtain these tests? You can’t just turn up at your Covid testing centre – they only see people who are either symptomatic or have been sent there by the authorities.

The government says that you can order lateral flow tests from their website. The problem is this service is not universally available. In England, it’s only available in certain council areas. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different rules, which pose further problems for people who have travelled from further away.

So that means you have to order the test privately. They’ll cost you somewhere between £6 and £10 each, with discounts for buying them in bulk. This means that the idea of a spontaneous night out would be impossible unless you had a supply of tests purchased in advance.

And whilst we’re at it, here’s one other complication to add to the mix. At some point, someone somewhere is going to get an inconclusive result but try to gain entry anyway. How will security deal with this situation? Will they have to wear PPE at all times?

This isn’t clear at present, and it should be clearer by now. These things were first announced a few weeks ago.

The last time I wrote about this, my conclusion was:

“Why do I get the distinct feeling that, not for the first time, Boris Johnson is talking out of his defecatory orifice?”

I’m seeing nothing to change my mind here…

Would Pacman have been an anti-vaxxer too?

I have to laugh at the nescient lack of self-awareness that some people out there possess. I’m not sure what else you can do – you can’t ignore them, as that might even be dangerous, but you can’t take them seriously either.

There’s plenty of them around at the moment, and for many, their favourite subject is the coronavirus vaccine. They say they won’t have it, because they don’t know what’s in it.

Really? I’m a registered carer for a person considered vulnerable, so that means I’m now eligible to get the vaccination. I can’t actually get it because the nearest place that comes up is normally some 90 minutes away, but I digress.

The website asked me a few questions and one of which was – are you allergic to any of the ingredients in this vaccine? A full list of ingredients was duly presented so that I could examine its contents.

I wonder if they employ a similar thought process when they go to their local drug dealer? Somehow, I cannot imagine that Sterling Void gets a comprehensive list of everything that his crack rock has been cut with before handing over his $24 for the next hit, can you?

Happy to gobble more pills than Pacman which could easily kill them, yet won’t take a vaccine which could potentially keep them alive. Go figure…

Racism pays well in the music industry, doesn’t it?

On February 2nd, Morgan Wallen was removed in disgrace by Spotify from its coveted playlists due to a video where he’s clearly heard shouting a racial slur. Were Spotify trying to appear all woke, or were they genuinely outraged by what had happened?

You can be the judge of that. All I know is that on February 23rd, just three weeks later, he was reinstated on one of the biggest playlists they have. We all know that Daniel Ek and Spotify’s only love is money – even when they can’t turn a profit once in 15 years – but this is shameless even by their standards.

If you believe that the music industry will seriously punish Wallen for his actions, you’re deluding yourselves. It’s not going to happen. And given that he’s currently the most streamed artist of the year, the public aren’t in the mood to punish him either.

Remember what I said about this industry thinking it doesn’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else?

Festivals are back? Don’t stake your house on it!

There’s no one quite like newspapers to try and create a sense of optimism where little exists. Take a look at this front page today of the Metro. “FESTIVALS ARE BACK” screams the front page loudly. Hmm.

I wrote about this yesterday and also on Monday. I’m deeply sceptical that all restrictions will have been removed and that people can gather in big numbers once more. I would obviously love to see it happen, but there is an astronomical amount of work to do between now and then for it to.

Some of the festivals have made the judgement call that they’ll be right. I hope they’re going by their own intuition on this, and not the intuition of the Johnson administration. Johnston said a while ago that he thought we could turn a corner on coronavirus in 12 weeks time.

That was in March last year. Over 11 months later, and only now is palpable progress being made. So when Johnson says big gatherings can resume in 16 weeks, do not meekly take him at his word…

Is it an official remix? A quick guide

Further to my post on Friday about the extra enormous remix package and the revelation that Scott Diaz didn’t actually do a remix of this, I thought I should provide some insight into a certain question. Namely, when is a remix not an official remix?

First thing’s first. If a record label has given a proper release to a remix, it’s official at that point. It might not have started life that way – both of my remixes for Bassline Records started out life as bootlegs, for example – but the very act of a record label releasing it makes if official.

This is when things start to get a little murky. A lot of artists don’t actually have any say in when their records get remixed. It’s often in their contracts that the label owns the master – and ownership of the master means the right to commission remixes. Unless there’s a specific clause in a contract that says the artist must be consulted first, they don’t have to be. It’s as simple as that.

This means that the artist doesn’t always approve of remixes that appear. This is a hypothetical for me, as discussions have always taken place before anything has been commissioned. Maybe that’s just because I’m lucky to have good relationships with the labels I work with – or maybe because they know I’m a pain in the arse when I don’t like something. Who knows?

A sure-fire way to know an artist hasn’t approved a remix is to look at their social media. They won’t be talking about it. They’ll make no reference to it at all. It will be as if it doesn’t exist. This means one of three things;

  1. The artist was not involved in commissioning and therefore feels no need to say anything. It’s not unknown for producers to only find out about remixes when they appear on preorder.
  2. The artists does not actually like the remix commissioned.
  3. Both of the above.

I hope this guide has been helpful.

A positively glaring flaw in this plan!

I’ve been thinking about this one since Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned it on Monday. He claimed that the way to get nightclubs open again was to use lateral flow tests.

You can read about these elsewhere, but the gist of it would be that you arrive at the club and do a test. You would have your results in 15 minutes, and assuming your result is negative, you would then be granted entry. Sounds straightforward enough, no?

So what happens if the test comes back as positive? Obviously they would be denied entry, but how would you get them back home? The last time I checked, you can’t exactly bundle Covid positive people into the back of a taxi, can you? And what happens to anyone they arrived with – do they get refused entry and told to go home and self isolate for 10 days, as per government guidance?

Do people in the queue have to practice social distancing? Where are venues supposed to keep you during that 15 minute waiting time for your result? Who will actually carry out the test – the clubbers or the staff? Who has to pay for the tests and will clubbers have it added to the price of their ticket?

What happens if the result comes back as inconclusive? What happens if someone refuses to do the test – how will they be removed, knowing that they might be Covid positive?

And this is before you even get into questions about how accurate the lateral flow test actually is.

Why do I get the distinct feeling that, not for the first time, Boris Johnson is talking out of his defecatory orifice?