Tag Archives: ranting

What IS going on at Glasgow Underground? Rattled record label posts rant about Danny Tenaglia’s “hate campaign” – and then a producer claims he hasn’t been paid for his releases

Update (14/12/2021) – Kevin McKay points out that T Markakis was in fact paid shortly after he went public with his allegations. Happy to correct the record.

As I write on this Monday morning, it hasn’t been a good weekend over at Glasgow Underground. Some weeks ago, Danny Tenaglia launched a highly selective attack on the record label after discovering they’d released a cover version of his 1998 release of “Music Is The Answer”.

His comments were made on August 18th and nothing else was mentioned by anyone since – until Saturday, when Glasgow Underground posted a rant on their Facebook page after “getting a bit of stick recently for being a ‘covers label’… this is for anyone who thought about joining Danny Tenaglia in his hate campaign against us – choose love instead!”.

Quite why it took them 52 days to respond is unknown. And yesterday, T. Markakis – who has released music via the label before – posted this…

At the time of publishing, no reply has been received by Markakis or Amateur’s House about the above comments. Either way, I get the feeling this isn’t how label owner Kevin McKay wants to start the new week…

Update – since this article was published, Kevin McKay of Glasgow Underground have sent Amateur’s House the following statement, reproduced here in full.

“I have read all of Tasos Markakis allegations, and none of them is true. We have released two of his tracks. One of them was successful, the other less so. In his demo for the second track, he used an Acappella from Candi Staton. Unlike his label, Little Jack, we do not use other label recordings in our releases. Instead, we recreate any vocals that we use. The recreation cost £500. Tasos share of that cost was £250. Recording costs are a recoupable expense. We deducted those from his royalty statement along with mastering costs (a very reasonable £59 per track).

Tasos did not understand his recording contract and is angry that we took these deductions. He has claimed he has lawyers who back him up. I have asked to speak to them to have a reasonable discussion about this, but he has, so far, not put me in touch. I have just completed his latest statement run, and we owe him over £500 from his releases.

However, we are now taking advice about his libellous comments and the hate and mistrust in Glasgow Underground that they have generated.  I will happily share our communication with him so that everyone can see that we have operated correctly. We regularly send statements and pay our artists as hundreds of Glasgow Underground producers can testify.

I hope Tasos will get some help for his anger and some education in the music business. I hope he stops bootlegging other artists on his label. I urge the people who have supported him here to ask him for evidence of his claims or speak with me directly so they can retract their equally libellous statements.”

Derrick May is complaining to his friends that someone is leaking information about him – and guess what? Even THAT conversation got leaked to this very blog!

Back in 2004, a film was released called Der Untergang. This German movie was about the final days of Adolf Hitler’s maniacal Nazi regime. It’s particularly well known for a scene where Hitler is in his bunker, and he gets very angry when he learns his order for an SS commander to initiate an attack never happened.

Derrick May is now essentially Adolf Hitler in that scene. He has a small number of generals in the Fuhrerbunker with him – Carl Craig, Juan Atkins and a couple of others – and right now, they’re at the stage in the scene where May has just said something ridiculous and the room is in silence. Who has the guts to tell May that it’s game over?

Two sources have told me that Derrick May is getting increasingly angry with what’s being written about him online. Odd that the fact that the likes of me, Michael James, Annabel Ross and the rest couldn’t write about it if it hadn’t happened hasn’t crossed his mind.

News reaches me of an angry tirade that May is said to have made at a recent gathering with a number of his friends. And I now have official confirmation for the first time that May is one of my readers – and he briefly shared his thoughts on yours truly to the group…

“That British asshole who keeps writing about me – how the f**k is he getting all this information? Look at all this s**t he’s putting on his site. Who’s giving it all to him? Can’t rely on any motherf***er these days.”

It’s always nice to know when I’m getting under someone’s skin…

I was told I’d have 5G and a phone call from Bill Gates by now, but I’m still waiting – so having had my second Covid jab this weekend, how DID the anti-vaxxers get it so wrong?

The anti-vaxxers have been telling us for months now that you shouldn’t get the Covid vaccine. It’s part of an evil plot so that Bill Gates can take over the world by sending drones running on Microsoft Windows round to your house to spy on you with the microchip. Or something equally loopy – the story changes every now and then.

Well, I decided that I was going to get my Covid jabs anyway. Not solely because it dramatically reduces my chances of catching Covid-19 – I have a wife and three children to think of, you know – but because of the benefits it provides. They said the 5G coverage around me would improve – it’d be like having my own personal super fast wifi.

I had my first one back in March. Without going into details, I was in one of the groups that allowed me to receive the vaccine earlier. I wrote about it at the time – I was quite disappointed, but perhaps I was being unrealistic also. The vaccine is administered in two doses, after all…

At the start of last week, I received a letter telling me that I would be getting my second jab on Saturday. That was yesterday – so I went down to the leisure centre turned vaccination clinic and got one. I was told to keep the card, saying I might need it in the future.

So, do I have immunity to the coronavirus now? Not exactly. In three weeks time, I’ll have about 90% immunity – this is how the majority of vaccines work. But we all know what the REAL central question is here.

What about the 5G?

To test this, I went to stand in my garden – well away from any wifi points that might interfere with the experiment. Traditionally, my garden is a mobile phone blackspot. You’d be lucky to get one or two bars on Vodafone UK, let alone anything else. So, what happened? Was my brain emitting a glorious 5G signal so that I could make phone calls and watch Netflix wherever I was?

No. Not even one bar.

It’s just as well the Covid jab provides protection against coronavirus. Because the side benefits as promoted by the anti-vaxxers don’t seem to work…

Sneak’s a freak! House gangster DJ Sneak uses rude puns on his website stream – but what’s he packing that’s 12 inches in size?

A friend of mine mentioned yesterday that I haven’t written about DJ Sneak recently. Well, I’ll be giving an update on when Traxsource Freedom Day is for Sneak sometime next week.

In the meantime, I thought I’d have a look around to see what he’s been doing lately. Posting all over Instagram, ignoring Facebook and deleting his Twitter account appear to be the main things.

He’s also heavily promoting his own website. When you visit, you’re presented with just two options – shop and livestream. His shop is filled with hats and other items of clothing. But it’s the livestream I’m interested in.

When I visited last night, there was no livestream going on. Shame – as much as this blog knocks DJ Sneak, he is actually a great DJ. But I was, however, presented with this screen.

I wasn’t aware that DJ Sneak was into the Carry On films. What else could explain the very smutty reference to the “big boss and his 12 inches being ready for a party”? And as for the “Select Package” bubble – that’s just cringe, to use the modern expression.

He charges a $5 admission fee to get into his stream. The Livestream website that he uses takes 10% off that, but what I cannot establish is whether they have licensing agreements in place for the use of copyrighted content such as music.

Then again, unless Sneak can categorically prove that everything he’s ever sampled in his career has been cleared, I’m going to assume that this vagueness is unlikely to bother him.

As for the “Like What You See” speech bubble? Pass the mind bleach…

Now, about the homophobia: what you won’t be reading in the press as the veneration of Saint DMX goes on

New York State has decided it will be renaming December 18th “Earl Simmons Day” in honour of DMX, a rapper who died three weeks ago. We know this because Mixmag told us – the same Mixmag who couldn’t care less who he was until they realised they could make money from writing about him.

Look online elsewhere, and it’s the same story. Don’t speak ill of the dead is very much the motto of the press, who are too scared to be seen as taking sides. You’d be half forgiven for thinking DMX was a Christian missionary who went around healing the sick.

If Adolf Hitler died today, you’d probably have articles explaining he had a difficult childhood – as if that fact alone somehow gives you a licence to be an arsehole for the rest of your life. Well, here’s news for you – it doesn’t.

Why, for example, has no one thought to publish the fact he was a notorious homophobe, and transphobic to boot? Look at the lyrics to his 2003 single, “Where The Hood At”. He has never rescinded those words or expressed any kind of regret for it either.

The song goes “Last I heard, y’all niggas was havin sex with the same sex, I show no love, to homo thugs, Empty out reloaded and throw more slugs, How you gonna explain fucking a man?”.

And later in the same song, he says “I don’t fuck with niggas that think they broads, Only know how to be one way, that’s the dog”.

He’s basically saying he thinks men who have gay sex should be shot, and that trans people are no better than dogs. What a nice bloke, eh?

I saw much the same trend when Erick Morillo died last year. Let’s not mention the fact the guy had been charged with rape. Let’s not mention the fact his DNA was found on a rape kit taken as part of the police investigation. Let’s not mention the other allegations made by numerous women over the years that this guy was a complete creep.

No, let’s just mention that he made some decent tunes and was a good DJ and that Pete Tong, Simon Dunmore and several other people are going to miss him. And if anyone claims otherwise, they must be a “hater”.

I’m not saying for one moment that DMX was a totally bad guy. I’m sure he did some good in his life – but don’t insult everyone’s intelligence by pretending he was some sort of modern day Mother Theresa.

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…

Here’s something you won’t see often on this blog – a defence of Spotify raising their prices!

I note that Spotify has finally decided to do something that nearly every other company on the planet does – and that is actually raise its prices by a little bit. Shocker!

Last year, they were ridiculed – largely by me, it has to be said – for “experimenting” with the idea of raising their prices by trialing it with some of their customers. They appeared to be convinced it would lead to an exodus from the service.

Sky doesn’t lose heaps of customers when they announce their subscriptions are going up in price. Nor does BT, Netflix or any other number of services. And it won’t happen for Spotify either.

Perhaps the move is part of a plan to get enough money in Daniel “Mr Burns” Ek’s war chest to buy his beloved Arsenal football club? Only time will tell. Whatever his motivation, well done for finally doing something normal.

Now if you could sort out decent payments for artists next, that would be lovely…

The fall and fall of Danny Rampling: his journey from okay-ish DJ to full-on Covid denying conspiracist

Those of you of a certain age will probably know Danny Rampling as that DJ who used to have a show on Radio 1 called “The Love Groove Dance Party” – a name that was considered naff even by the meretricious standards of the 1990s.

But I think it’s awfully unfair to criticise him as being a naff DJ purely from the naff show he used to do on the radio. So let’s have a look back at his life and see where that naffness came from. Michael Aspel, this one is for you.

Daniel Rampling was born on 15th July 1961 in Streatham, south London. He started out his career in the early 1980s, playing funk and soul music wherever in London he could.

Chances are he probably learnt a fair bit about naffness here. I present this claim with no evidence to back it up – much in the same way that he presents dubious claims about the coronavirus and “freedom” today. But I digress.

The infamous story goes that in 1987, he went on holiday to Ibiza with Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker, attended Amnesia and heard Alfredo playing house tracks from the USA alongside other styles of music. They also supposedly discovered that the MDNA drug also reduced inhibitions on the dancefloor whilst on this holiday.

When I started digging into the origins of the Belleville Three, I soon learnt that the story of how they got together was nonsense. I’m pretty willing to wager that most of this story is bollocks too. I present this claim without evidence – you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Danny Boy?

Anyway, Rampling enjoyed his holiday and decided to set up his own club in London. He called it Shoom, which moved to three different venues during its existence. Legend would have you believe the club was fantastic. Not according to a friend of mine who frequented the club a number of times…

“To be honest, the main thing I remember Shoom for is for being shit. The music was good, but most of the mixing was considered shit, even at the time. Why they pretend it was this amazing place, I’ll never know.”

Rampling then went on to have a pretty decent decade in the 1990s for being naff. After working at Kiss FM in the days before it went legal, Rampling stuck it to the man in 1994 – by joining the establishment at BBC Radio 1 on a much increased salary. That showed them how much of a rebel you were, didn’t it, Dan?

At the same time, he formed a band called The Millionaire Hippies. Quite what he was trying to tell us about himself remains a mystery, but one thing which was more understandable was the apparent desire of the band’s members to remain anonymous. Three records were released by this band, each more excreable than the last.

Only a decent Fire Island dub from his mates Terry Farley and Pete Heller saved “I Am The Music, Hear Me” from being slated even at the time. Later in life, Rampling would proceed to make more rubbish records, such as “Strobelight” with MYNC Project. And in a rare fail for the then EMI-backed Positiva Records, they somehow ended up signing it.

Rampling also mixed a number of compilations over the years. Mostly badly. In 2005, he announced that he’d had enough of being a naff DJ and decided instead, in a much hyped announcement at the time, he was going to run a restaurant.

This never happened. Quite why was never explained. Instead, Rampling decided to continue his life of rebellion by focusing on his property business – namely by making carbon neutral houses before they were fashionable and flogging them for maximum profit. And having promised never to return to DJing, he did so only two years later.

These days, his passions – aside from DJing – include the environment and campaigning. One involves an almost fanatical obsession with carbon negativity, the other appears to involve emitting considerable amounts of hot air via his social media feeds.

What will his next move be as lockdowns start to lift and life starts to return to something more normal? Whatever the answer, you can be assured it’ll have all the irredeemable naffness that Rampling is infamous for.