Tag Archives: Lighter News

And to think someone got paid to write this! Billboard publish a piece about pop singer Billie Eilish’s hair – so what inspiration could the dance music press take from this article?

As someone who runs a blog with an average of five posts per weekday – slightly less on weekends – I do understand the pressure that people are under to keep the fresh content coming in. And whilst most days aren’t a problem for me, I won’t deny I get the odd day where stories are a bit thin on the ground.

Billboard appear to have had a similar day last week, deciding to commission someone to run an article about pop singer Billie Eilish. I don’t know much about her, other than she seems popular in certain quarters at the moment – but the specific subject of the article was what raised eyebrows.

It was all to do with the different hairstyles Eilish has had over the years – as if somehow a woman changing the style of her hair is somehow considered unusual. To the best of my knowledge, Billboard haven’t done a similar article about any men in music – but this gave me an idea, if not the mostly gormless staff in the dance music press these days.

For instance, Mixmag are currently running a story about some dismal new song Pete Tong has put out. What a wasted opportunity. Perhaps a more interesting article would have consisted of showing his past haircuts – along with a few others that don’t exist thanks to the wonders of computer technology.

Or Resident Advisor could invite Carl Craig to do an interview. After asking him to confirm that he definitely isn’t dead contrary to hoax reports online, they could publish a photo album showing all the various do-rags he uses despite having as much hair as a potato.

In the meantime, DJ Mag could respond with a 500-image collection of all the hats Louie Vega has worn over the years. Chicago’s 5 Magazine could ask Sterling Void to show them all the places where he used to buy crack rock. Defected could even run social media pieces asking what happened to boss Simon Dunmore’s hair.

Well, given most of them are shameless fans of clickbait, they might as well up the effort in their offerings…

Notice how much happier you become when you stop caring what others think? Scott Diaz has – and explains more in his latest blog post…

Many years ago, something important dawned on me. It was the fact that the overwhelming majority of people’s opinions on personal matters are ultimately irrelevant. Aside from a small number of close friends and family, what most other people think is of no importance whatsoever.

For example, a younger version of myself would probably have been upset when Yousef blocked my Twitter account. But now? It’s a badge of honour to be effectively cancelled by an egotistical, thin-skinned wimp who responds to the death of an alleged rapist by posting a gushing, nauseating tribute.

Blog favourite Scott Diaz appears to have had this realisation too. For years, he’s done work with Loopmasters, sample packs and sound design. But he rarely mentioned it, because he was concerned people would somehow think less of him – this despite the fact many famous producers use sample packs themselves, though few would admit it.

Yet during the first lockdown of 2020, many of those same producers who’d previously criticised sample packs started making them. And as this blog has covered this week, online courses is the latest money-making wheeze – or adapting to the times, as it’s more politely known. I bet they’re glad Amateur’s House only came into existence last year…

Diaz recently launched Nitelife Audio, where he could sell his own sample packs – and there are some very good ones in there too. But crucially, he’s noticed one thing – part of the reason it’s going well for him is because he’s openly advertising that it’s his baby. In other words, Diaz is being proud of what he is and what he’s made.

Which is, bluntly, the most inspiring message of all in his post. Just one other point, though – Scott, if you’re reading this, try smiling a bit more in your press photos. We’ve all seen more than enough pictures of DJs doing their utmost to look depressed and bored with life…

As a new year begins, part two of this blog’s series glancing into a crystal ball to make some not entirely serious predictions about what 2022 might have in store…

Yesterday, this blog made its predictions for what was not especially likely to happen during 2022 from January to June. Today, the series concludes by going through the months from July until December…

As summer gets into full swing, July will see Maceo Plex staging a poll on his social media pages to see what he’ll throw at his audience next. The most popular entries will be a large bag full of tomatoes, a sofa and a collection of adult toys – with the cake entry being removed after a legal threat from Steve Aoki. In other news, David Guetta will be mocked for claiming in an interview he brought techno to Detroit.

In the meantime, Sterling Void will announce his triumphant return to dance music in August after collaborating with some trendy name in the house music world. Both Void and his collaborator will wax lyrical about his past whilst downplaying allegations made on this blog as “something from the past”. Carl Cox will display a rare loss of temper after a whole order of merchandise says “oh no oh no” on it.

September will see Louie Vega announcing he’s now selling a range of Masters At Work branded hats – which will see production partner Kenny Gonzalez starting to wear them too. Someone in the dance music press will subsequently get the two mixed up when they show for an interview wearing the same hat. Defected will deny rumours Simon Dunmore threw the remainder of the Jesus Loves UK Garage shirts into the River Thames.

October is the month where the Blessed Madonna will change her name due to finding out she was never actually blessed. The farting DJ, noticing I’m never going to stop writing about him, will start sending me stories directly. Universal will confirm that Lucian Grainge’s pay for the year will be £150billion and David Guetta will claim he brought afro house to Africa.

In November, David Morales will announce his retirement after some 800 years in the music industry. The retirement will, of course, be cancelled a few days after he gets a new rush of artists begging to collaborate with him. DJ Sneak will also confirm he’s in talks to buy Traxsource, admitting he thinks this is the only way he’ll be able to keep to the vow to get his music off the site.

And to finish off the year in December, Danny J Lewis will create a garage house bootleg of Cliff Richard’s “Mistletoe And Wine” which somehow manages not to sound like a trainwreck. DJ Sneak will partake in various angry rants at Traxsource after they ignore his offer to buy them, culminating in him wishing their founders a rubbish Christmas. Oh, and Low Steppa will go into hiding for a few weeks after having a bungalow tattooed onto his forehead at the end of a night out…

Missed part one yesterday? It’s over here

As a new year begins, Amateur’s House takes a look into his crystal ball to make some not entirely serious predictions about what 2022 might have in store…

Welcome to a brand new year. Some things may change over the next 12 months and some might remain the same. Now, other sites are filled at this time of year with predictions of who will become big in 2022 and so on. But not here. Instead, here’s Part 1 of my more light-hearted (and altogether less likely) predictions for what the next 365 days have in store…

In January, rumours will start to eminate from Detroit that Derrick May has spent the last few years producing an album and is about to release it. The dance music press will fawn over it – ignoring the sex abuse claims, Erick Morillo style – until a reliable Detroit source informs me it’s nonsense. I then subsequently publish this news, whilst the press ignore it and refuse to correct their mistake.

February will start with a crunch meeting at Defected’s London HQ. Simon Dunmore will launch into an angry tirade about the Jesus Loves UK Garage shirts they’ve been unable to sell, with Sam Divine interjecting they’ve been giving her nightmares. Dunmore’s generals will put forward a theory they’re cursed, but Dunmore won’t have any of it. Elsewhere, I’ll get an email about the farting DJ and Terrence Parker will end up in front of someone who he owes money to.

In March, Carl Craig will mysteriously come across yet another batch of old DATs and floppy disks which will contain parts for some track he did in the early 90s. He’ll then announce another remix competition instead of paying a few people to do the job. This blog will also probably receive more news about the DJ who can’t stop farting and ponder whether readers are getting bored of hearing about him yet.

With April likely to be the first full month of the festival season, Yousef will be telling us how brilliant everything is, the thin-skinned duo CamelPhat will be complaining because someone said something about them that wasn’t very nice – and news will come out of another highly lucrative Saudi Arabian gig that nearly all of the usual business techno DJs will be on. And expect someone to have not learned from Jeff Mills what happens when you defend taking Arab money.

May will see Defected reducing the price of their Jesus Loves UK Garage shirts being cut to 50p and Sam Divine personally hand delivering them in an effort to finally get rid of them. Elsewhere, DJ Sneak will say something which gets him into yet another row about who is the biggest OG, and Danny Rampling will continue to insist he was right on the pandemic all along – even though he wasn’t.

Someone will come up with the bright idea of holding an outdoor festival in London during June. Inevitably, it’ll rain through the whole three days and the organisers will feign surprise at the British weather. Sterling Void will announce his mother has died for the third time, Low Steppa will tour Birmingham with Mixmag to tell them about his favourite roads in the city, and the farting DJ will get in touch to offer me an interview in exchange for no longer writing about him.

Which I’ll obviously decline.

What does the second half of 2022 probably not have in store? Part two of this series is out tomorrow…

In Soviet Russia, the record plays you! How bootleggers used to get around a ban on Western music in the communist state by cutting records onto used X-ray scans – just don’t ask about the sound quality…

If there’s one thing which will always get my interest at Amateur’s House, it’s history. Because whilst people may disagree over stories currently in the news, they tend to disagree even more when interpreting historical events. Wonderful for a mischief maker like me!

Time was that I used to receive a large amount of Woolworths vouchers for Christmas. The majority of these were subsequently used for buying music – this, of course, was back in the days when obtaining music required time, effort and money. You needed time to go to the shops, the effort to get there and the money to spend when you arrived.

And compilations weren’t exactly cheap. Most albums at my local Woolies cost £15. That bought you somewhere between 35 and 45 songs, depending on what you listened to. It’s not like these days where you can just go to a streaming site and listen to whatever you want – you actually had to make an effort!

But at least there was no legal barrier to stop us buying them. The citizens of Soviet Russia enjoyed no such pleasures. The music they could listen to was controlled by the state – anything perceived as even remotely Western was banned. However, there was a way around this if you knew the right people.

It was actually possible to obtain music illegally thanks to X-ray scans. What used to happen was people would take old X-ray scans from hospitals and cut them into the shape of a 7 inch disc. For the hole in the middle, it was simply burned into the “disc” with a cigarette – which were never banned by the Soviet regime. A specialist machine could then press music onto the scan, creating grooves.

The sound quality of the resulting X-ray vinyl was terrible – but when it was a choice between listening to a poor quality version or no version at all, people soon knew which was their preference. They were also cheap and easy to dispose of, making it harder for the authorities to detect.

Each scan would play only a handful of times – a particularly good pressing might get you around 12 listens. And people complain these days if they have to do a Google search to find a song. They don’t know they’re born…

The Six On Saturday column returns in its regular slot next week.

It’s the sound of da police! About the time Judge Jules was ordered to shut up by none other than South Yorkshire’s boys in blue – read on to find out why…

This time last year, Christmas and New Year celebrations were somewhat more muted than now. Lockdown restrictions across many countries prevented most regular events at this time of year from going ahead. And although things are slightly different this year, we’re not exactly back to the heady days of the 1990s.

The big name DJs of the late 90s were a seriously greedy bunch – and nothing exemplified this more than New Year’s Eve 1999. And given it’s not every year you get to celebrate the start of a brand new millennium, New Year’s Eve was going to be a big one. It’s a subject which gets a number of DJs from that era quite embarrassed.

Carl Cox, for example, travelled to Sydney to welcome in the year 2000, then went to Hawaii, where it was still 1999 to welcome 2000 in again. He was reportedly paid a significant six-figure sum for the two shows. Sasha supposedly got £150k out of one night’s work. And Fatboy Slim got £140k – but to be fair to him, he did four gigs for that money.

Which is why this story by Judge Jules on his New Year’s Eve piqued my interest. For instance, he mentions “The Millennium NYE was marketed as being a once in a lifetime night, when in truth it was no different to any other New Year’s Eve. Ticket prices were inflated to five or ten times the normal NYE price, and as a result many shows failed to sell.”.

Curiously, he doesn’t mention one of the reasons why ticket prices for that night were so high. Namely, the greed of DJs like himself. How much money he made on NYE 1999 is something he omits to tell us, although a source who’s been in the scene far longer than he’d like to admit tells me it was £100,000.

However, an incident on the night threatened to scupper the whole thing. Jules was playing at the Don Valley athletics stadium in Sheffield to 25,000 people. And all was going well “until mid-way through the night, when somebody decided to climb to the top of the 20 metre main vertical pillar that was keeping up the tent.”

“What was meant to be a great night suddenly turned into a bit of a nightmare. The safety of an inebriated reveller at the top of this pole was obviously a big concern for all involved, and particularly South Yorkshire Police who shut the music down. Not unsurprisingly, the crowd began to boo, and rather than welcoming in the New Year we were facing the possibility of finishing early.”

“I made my way from the DJ booth to one of the sound pits at the other side of the venue, found a radio mic and began geeing up the crowd and encouraging them to persuade this person down from the pole. A responsible act, or so I thought. It was then that I heard a second mic over the PA, this time directed at me. ‘JUDGE JULES, CAN YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING. THIS IS SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE!’.”

And he did. Police soon persuaded the man to climb back down and the party resumed. Although apparently “one of the other DJs punched him for ruining such a significant gig”.

Probably best left to the authorities…

Where’s Kerri Chandler when you need him? After Northern Ireland’s police disclose they had eight reports of UFO sightings in 2021, perhaps METI’s next trip should be to the Giant’s Causeway…

In days gone by, newspapers went through something that in Britain was called the silly season. Traditionally, this referenced a period in late summer when there was very little news to report. This meant newspapers had to fill their pages with more frivolous stories in order to keep their sales and advertising revenue up.

With the advent of the internet, silly season is now a permanent event – but it gets especially daft around Christmas time. Hence why the Press Association sent out a story to numerous media outlets on Boxing Day reporting the Police Service of Northern Ireland had received eight reports of UFO sightings during 2021.

Which led me to think of Kerri Chandler. As I disclosed a few months ago, Chandler is a member of METI International, a non-profit organisation who spend their days trying to talk to aliens. So in light of this news, perhaps METI should pay a visit to Belfast in the neat future?

Obviously, a visit to Stormont is out of the question – some of the politicians there almost certainly come from outer space. But maybe they could set up camp at the Giant’s Causeway and attempt to reach out to the extra terrestrials. Chandler might finally be able to carry out his plan to broadcast his music into space.

Sadly, the one thing he won’t be able to do is grace a nightclub with his presence – Northern Ireland, along with Scotland and Wales, ordered their nightclubs to close a few days ago…

Wearing your fart on your sleeve? Resident Advisor get wind of a toot of a mix by a DJ with a very whiffy name – and fail to let rip with even a single pun!

One thing you’ll never find on Resident Advisor is any sense of fun. They take themselves very, very seriously indeed – when you’ve hyped yourselves up as some kind of guardians of dance music for the past 20 years, you start to believe your own nonsense.

And this didn’t change with the appointment of a new editor this year in the form of Whitney Wei. The best editors stamp their personality all over their publication – Wei, like all the editors of the dance music press, fails abysmally in this task. Hence why Resident Advisor is, despite its best efforts, incredibly dull.

Mind you, the dance music scene is known for having lots of acts in it who take themselves dreadfully seriously too. Hence why they have absolutely no idea how to handle someone like me – someone who calls people out and doesn’t take them seriously. Resident Advisor is a product of its environment, in a way.

And for the perfect example of how they take themselves seriously, let’s take a look at their coverage of a mix done for them by someone who calls themselves DJ Fart in a Club. You think I’ve made that up, don’t you? Nope!

The article I linked to fails to drop even a single pun into it. No, if you’re expecting them to let rip with a comment on the somewhat malodorous name, prepare to be disappointed. And it’s not like they normally have a good nose for this kind of thing, either.

Of course, this blog has no hesitation with writing something which leaves its mark on your brain. And having listened to the mix, I must say I appreciate the way the DJ proudly drops each track into the set – to borrow an old phrase from Dave Pearce and modify it slightly, roll another fart one.

Lesson of the day – I have a slightly strange scent of humour…