Is that what all those plague rave DJs were doing? Belfast Telegraph publishes article which bizarrely promises to tell readers “how to avoid an accidental rave”…

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and start looking through the news – and I get even more convinced that during the night, the world went just that little bit further into the rabbit hole. This was precisely one of those mornings.

The Belfast Telegraph published an article yesterday trying to keep its readers informed about the Covid restrictions currently in place in Northern Ireland. It all starts innocuously enough by talking about social distancing in restaurants no longer being required in November. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.

But then you remember the headline promises to tell you “how to avoid an accidental rave” – a curious prospect in itself. Is that how the plague rave DJs ended up doing what they were doing – by accident? Sven Väth hasn’t appeared yet and said “I was out in India playing some vinyl by myself and within minutes, thousands of people showed up – I accidentally ended up doing a plague rave!” – so the jury remains out on that one.

It turns out what the Belfast Telegraph is referring to is a rather odd anomaly in the restrictions. Nightclubs will be allowed to open, but having an indoor rave of more than 30 people in your house isn’t permitted. And the definition of an indoor rave is terribly vague.

They define it as an event where “Amplified music is played during the night with or without intermission which is likely to cause serious distress to inhabitants of the locality by reason of its loudness, duration and the time at which it is played”.

This definition seems terribly vague to me. Following this theory, if an 80-year old woman in, for example, Omagh, was to invite 35 friends around for a dinner party and country music was played at a loud enough volume into the evening, the aforementioned 80-year old could be fined under Covid laws if someone were to feign “distress”.

Possible unintended consequence there…

The Six On Saturday column returns next week.

Something new for him to get upset about! As World Health Organisation approve a malaria vaccine for use in Africa, why isn’t anti-vaxxer Danny Rampling foaming at the mouth with indignant anger yet?

Believe it or not, but there was a time in history when the arrival of a vaccine against a terrible virus or illness was viewed as a positive development. Let’s take smallpox, for example.

All the way back in 1796, Edward Jenner demonstrated that being infected with cowpox gave you immunity against smallpox. Later on, a vaccine was developed in the 1950s. The result is no one has been infected with smallpox since 1977 and the virus is now effectively extinct.

No one cried nonsense then about how the vaccine was going to kill more people than the virus, or talked rot about how it hadn’t been tested. People accepted that, although vaccines do come with some risks, they’re more than outbalanced by the benefit of not dying from a horrendous illness. And anyone who did was dismissed as what they were – namely, a moron.

Over the past year or so, a lot of very stupid people have been getting very indignant over the Covid-19 vaccine, some of them before it even existed. But this week, they’ve all been terribly quiet over the news that a malaria vaccine has been approved for use in Africa by the World Health Organisation – the same body which they frequently accuse of being in China’s pocket.

In particular, I have to wonder exactly what’s keeping Danny Rampling away from this party. It can’t be the long-running sense of consistency in his views – it’s already been demonstrated beyond doubt that there isn’t any. Could it be the fact that malaria kills between 1 and 3 million people a year and the overwhelming majority of those deaths are in children under the age of 5?

Perhaps he could finally show some consistency to his views about “protecting children” by publicly stating, right now, that malaria vaccines are a good thing. Or are you only about protecting children when it suits your world view at that particular moment, Danny?

And to think it started so well! Annabel Ross loses the plot over EDC line-up numbers, even trying to drag the CEO into her mud – and a source gives me an insight you won’t find in her ongoing diatribe…

I’m not a journalist – I have no formal training in the field. Whilst I did consider becoming involved in this world many years ago, life took a different path. Mind you, when a professional journalist I actually respect – rest assured there aren’t many – got in touch recently to say he considered me a better one than many of his peers, it makes me wonder.

Anyway, back onto the subject of Annabel Ross. Yes, the utterly charmless lady who concocts allegations of misogyny towards blogs when they dare write something about her friend – and potential employer – she doesn’t like. And then tries to bully people when they won’t lie down and roll over at her nonsense.

Well, on Wednesday, she started having a go at the Electric Daisy Carnival for basically being a rich white men’s parade. Here’s where this gets interesting – Annabel is actually correct, and on the point that festivals must up their game in this area, I entirely agree. But now that she’s on day two of her diatribe, she’s started slipping up.

Because having correctly diagnosed the problem, she now seems to think that it’s somehow other people’s problem to fix…

Now this is a very curious line indeed from this blog’s favourite charmless journalist. Her own website states she has written for numerous music publications and non-music ones, including Billboard – who she cites above – need to “cover it critically” and “ask the hard questions of Pasquale [Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac, the company which runs EDC]”.

Not only that, but she’s now trying to drag Rotella into the row by tagging his Twitter profile. There’s been no response at the time of publishing this post from him – and I suspect it’s best he doesn’t. Because Ross is doing the same as she often does whenever she goes after someone – she tries to make it about her. Her bout of attention seeking is best ignored, if not mocked first.

Funnily enough though, I received an email yesterday from someone who shall remain anonymous – but who has links with Insomniac. This person simply said “Whilst festivals need to do more to bring in more women and minorities, a lot of things are beyond our control. For example, many of these are bookings from before Covid which haven’t happened yet. But the idea Pasquale is some kind of sexist is just bull**** – and I’ll be dammed if I’m taking that from some chicken**** journalist.”.


Are clubbers killing our fish with drugs? High amounts of MDMA and cocaine in water is (apparently) the latest challenge to the environment…

Fear not. You haven’t walked into an episode of 90s TV show Brass Eye here. There really is method to my purposefully histrionic headline. Recently, I’ve seen a few stories about large amounts of drugs being detected in water sources near where festivals have taken place.

Researchers last week revealed that the amounts of MDMA and cocaine in water sources near Glastonbury were so high after the festival that it posed a threat to the animals living in the rivers, such as rare eels. Which makes you wonder about what got into the water elsewhere, doesn’t it?

Imagine what Tulum must have been like after all those plague raves descended there. It wasn’t just Covid being spread at those events, let’s face it. Or what about the numerous raves which took place in India before the country experienced a massive wave of the virus? Making sure there are enough toilets available was never the priority for those running such events.

But on the other hand, such additions to the water might have no effect in some areas. A source joked that “In some American cities, there’s so much s*** already in the water from dumping chemicals that I doubt the fish would honestly notice anything else”.

A spokesperson for Glastonbury replied to all this, saying “Peeing on the land is something we will continue to strongly discourage at future festivals”. Someone is actually receiving a salary to say that…

Right Said Fred and Danny Rampling 24 hours a day? The ghastly prospect facing Freedom Radio listeners as station bans anyone who “whips up hatred or division” against Covid denying moonbeams…

Over the weekend, music producer Posthuman disclosed that he’d been contacted by a radio station called Freedom Radio and asked if he’d like to do a guest mix for them. After quickly discovering they were rabid anti-vaxxers, he declined in his, ahem, customary manner.

But who are Freedom Radio? Sadly, it isn’t like the 1941 film of the same name, about a resistance group which risk their lives in order to set up a radio station broadcasting things which the regime of Nazï Germany wouldn’t approve. Although they possess a level of secrecy that wouldn’t be out of place in such a movie.

Next to nothing is known about them, other than they have a Twitter page, a website, a dedicated app for listening and they bang on a lot about “freedom fighters” and other such variations of this incredibly loaded phrase. Their website does not name a single presenter, and even searching the website on ICANN brings up no details about who’s behind the site.

But one look at their website and it’s very clear who they represent. Covid-denying morons who seem to think the virus doesn’t exist and the vaccine is an exercise in mass genocide. No other type of “freedom” is referenced on their website – nothing about protests on any other type of subject, and goodness knows they’d be ripe for picking in these mad times.

The station does, however, hold a very high opinion of itself. On the Vacancies page, they say they’re looking for someone to present the weekday afternoon show. Applicants “will be expected to involve your audience by attending Freedom movements locally such as ‘stand in the park’, protests and events”.

They also state, rather bizarrely, that “Previous experience presenting in commercial or student radio on commercial broadcasting equipment is essential since this is the ideal show if you are looking to move your presenting career to the next level”.

Given that Freedom Radio appears to have no profile outside of Twitter or its own website, I’m not sure how broadcasting on a station no one’s ever heard of to an audience of moonbeams and crackpots is somehow going to help anyone at anything. But most amusing of all was this tweet…

Which basically reduces the station’s output to mostly Right Said Fred and Danny Rampling’s three or four original tracks. Sounds just riveting…

Now who’d have thought you couldn’t take a piddle on the Peelers? Idiot given 16-week suspended sentence after trying to urinate on a police officer at a plague rave…

This week, the dance music press have tried once again to downplay the effects of plague raves, with this article making an appearance in DJ Mag during the week. As I’ve explained before, the reason the dance music press rarely talks about this subject is because many who advertise with them would prefer it wasn’t discussed.

And because several of the dance magazines are far closer to bankruptcy than any of them will admit, they have little choice but listen to the people with the buying power – whose finances remain largely undisturbed by the pandemic. So on the rare occasion the subject is covered, it’s done so on dodgy grounds.

Like this case. A seemingly charmless 26-year old man attended a plague rave in July last year. When police arrived to close the illegal gathering down, he climbed on top of the van with the sound system in it and started urging the roughly 200 people present to ignore them. And having then apparently decided he needed a pee, he proceeded to urinate at one of the officers. Thankfully for the officer, he missed.

When the matter was in front of Lynn Magistrates’ Court in Norfolk, Dean Kirk pleaded guilty to five counts of assault of an emergency worker, threatening behaviour, criminal damage and failure to leave land being used for a rave. He got a 16-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

There’s a jibe to be made here about the justice system taking the p*** with that derisory sentence…

Hat tip to the Eastern Daily Press for this story.

They’ve totally lost the plot! Dreadbox’s pathetic response to their claims their Nymphes polysynth “soothes the pain” of abused women away is… it’s only white men whinging about it!

Time for a quick follow-up to a story which I published yesterday morning – ahead of several of the dance music press, including Resident Advisor. As you might have noticed, I wasn’t terribly nice about the way the Dreadbox Nymphes was being marketed, saying its claim to soothe the pain of abused women with each note played was “moronic”.

As with many other posts on this blog, I approached Dreadbox with a request for comment. I happen to believe if someone is going to write about you, especially in unflattering terms, you have a right to respond. There has still been no response at the time of publishing this morning – but I did notice Resident Advisor got a reply…

Dimitra Manthou, cofounder at Dreadbox, told them only cis white men were annoyed – my inbox on this tells me otherwise – and also said “We did not want to use the abused women to boost sales. That’s why we did not say that a percentage of the proceeds will go to charity. We will make a donation, as we always do. And we do not want to advertise this.” – having literally just advertised it five seconds earlier.

They don’t get it, do they? This is a PR disaster they’ve stumbled into. It seems to be a bit of a theme this week – Mark Knight failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room after a sickening post in which he called Erick Morillo “my friend”.

Instead of accepting they’ve communicated appallingly badly and explaining how they support abused women, Manthou has simply whinged it’s only white men giving them a hard time about this. Dreadbox can’t see the wood from the trees on this one…

Is April Fools Day coming around quicker these days? Dreadbox release Nymphes polysynth on which they say “each time you play a note, imagine that you soothe the pain of abused women away”…

When this arrived in my inbox yesterday, I was surprised – not something which happens frequently when checking my emails. Infact, on reading the email, I strongly suspected it to be some kind of joke. Surely no one would actually be stupid enough to try and dedicate a polysynth to “all abused and oppressed women”, right?

Er, I’m afraid you’d be wrong. Dreadbox have decided to do precisely that – but it’s very much a case of blink and you’ll miss it! Looking at their website, you’ll either be reminded of that weird pink custard they used to serve in schools years ago, or you’ll be reaching for the paracetamol to get rid of a headache.

There’s a fair bit of technical info here about the polysynth, called the Nymphes after a goddess. And to be fair, the YouTube demo provided does sound pretty good – although it’s rare for the demo to sound crap. But once again, I keep coming back to this thing about abused women.

If you scroll all the way down to the end of the page, you’ll notice a graphic which states “each time you play a note on this synthesiser, imagine that you soothe their pain away”. Feel free to read that bit again. Your eyes really aren’t deceiving you.

Of all the things I’ve read over the years about synthesisers, the idea that women which have suffered abuse in their lives will feel better each time you play a chord on this thing is easily the most moronic and stupid by a country mile. And the notion anyone will be imagining anything of the kind when playing with this thing is beyond laughable.

And as for their claim of “support charities for abused women, we always do” – I cannot find one mention on their website or anywhere else about a previous donation to any charity helping female victims of abuse of any kind. Dreadbox have been contacted to elaborate on this statement, but have not responded at the time of publishing.

This synthesiser might well be absolutely brilliant. We don’t know because no one’s had a chance to review it yet. The trouble is you only get one chance at a first impression – and this polysynth’s first impression is one of utter contempt for women whom have suffered abuse in their lifetimes and the opinion they think their audience are totally stupid…