The five-hour rave has wound down, the drugs have well worn off and the realization of your surroundings finally settled in. You’re in a moldy warehouse cellar with paint chips hanging off the walls. The best house DJ you’ve ever heard is finally revealed for what he really is, a soulless drum machine. The jig is most certainly up, your denial notwithstanding. You feel duped, raped, connived into a dark alley and mugged, but you’re not sure why. It eventually hits you that the music’s impressiveness was based largely on the quality of the ecstasy you popped around 1 am. The headliner, incapable of even a modicum of originality, played off your high, with smoke and mirror mixing gimmicks. and other musician’s tunes. The eye-candy on the massive video screen behind him made damn sure that you didn’t notice his acute inactivity most of his/her “performance.”
Countless teenage revelers eagerly line the pockets of Superstar Dj’s by supporting their hollow charade with feigned enthusiasm. The blissful veil of house music’s “Unity” pretense continues to fool those swallowed by its slick, Coca-Cola packaging. The verdict is in, and the jury is unanimous: HOUSE MUSIC IS A LIE! Cookie-cutter corporate house machines like “Ministry of Sound” are running naked in the streets, spastically closing in on chapter 11. Hoards of smaller labels and nightclubs have closed due to the exposure of this obvious charade. Bars and lounges are recapturing the lion’s share of business, eagerly supported by people fed up with screaming in each others ears and eager to get back to meaningful social conversation. The scene has seen a monumental shift towards “story” oriented music. R & B, acid jazz, dubstep, and downtempo, have never been more popular. The dumbing down of club culture has had an awesome backlash as audiences have matured.
House music requires very little thought, so its apathetic nature perfectly suits the expatriate ethos: Aren’t we hip, hanging with the locals and their wacky dance grooves. Let’s whine about the Czechs, talk shit about each other, create nothing, and drink in peace. Some particularly clever expats have even gone into the house promotion business, selling tired local talent back to you over and over again. They pack Mecca, Radost and Roxy week after week with this uninspired, unimaginative robotic drivel. Bring back the hybrid instrumental/Dj acts. Bring back the live vocals, the eight-piece, the vitality of dynamic, thought-provoking performance, the refined yet energy-soaked bazooka load of sonic joy. Sure, toss in a drum machine, samplers, whatever, but the audience is being blatantly robbed when Dj Bullshit claims authorship of his tunes and then jumps his jet to Lisbon after pocketing his million-crown guarantee. By shelling out for these hollow, music-less charlatans, you are selling out. Audiences are largely to blame for demanding so very little from local club promoters. The scene is slowly maturing, and the quality is slowly improving as consumers are requiring higher quality level from venues.
This rant is a point of departure for those more discerning about their clubland investments. Any monkey with a PC can fart out a 4/4 dance groove, but when 5000 other monkeys pay 500 crowns to hear and discuss the subtle nuances and validity of said fart, I have to yell, “STOP!” Tell your local venue programmer which acts are worthwhile and why they should book them. Ask those you know and care about, if sincerity and integrity have a place in the club scene. It’s all about not languishing in this pit of mediocrity that we call dance music.
Timmy’s Top 5 Albums of 2016 (so far)
Fragile State: The Facts & The Dreams (Bar De Lune)
Bent: The Everlasting Blink (Sport)
Rennie Pilgrem Perfecto Breaks Vol 2: (Perfecto)
Arom: J’ardin Eden (Wagram)
Ursula 1000: Kinda Kinky (18th St. Lounge Music)
You can hear Rare groove, Breaks and NO HOUSE MUSIC on the High-Fidelity broadcast every Friday from 20.00-22.00 on Radio One 91.9