Interesting opinion from one of our forum readers this week. Eliah writes: “Back when I first DJed the popular music in the clubs was house and its variants (soulful, deep, tribal, French, etc.) as well as techno. The music was good and the clubs and bars were busy. People went out to find the “underground” clubs that played less commercial music. It was cool.
“Nowadays I see many DJs like myself who spin great music, mostly ‘underground’, who struggle for gigs and getting the club or bar even half full. Meanwhile those who just hop on EDM/progressive house/electro house bandwagon manage to get more gigs and play to a larger crowd. It’s all rather sad.
“You’d think with the popularity of EDM that all dance music genres would get more attention unilaterally, but fact is EDM, the most commercial dance music (might as well include dubstep) gets all the attention and the other genres get pushed off to the sidelines. At least where I live in Canada, I don’t think the youth of today even know what good music sounds like or have much in the way of independent tastes. They want to hear what they have been programmed to hear, what the media tells them is ‘hip’.
“Seriously, I’d kill to play to the crowds I did some 15 years or so ago. Someone tell me it’s different in Europe or somewhere on this planet. Hell, I’d almost move to Russia to spin dub techno!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Stop the world, I’m getting off! As a good DJ/producer-turned-online radio presenter friend of mine said to me recently: “When I realised it was all about tweeting from the dancefloor and pretty young things making heart signs with their hands, I knew I’d had enough. I had to get out and do something else…” He now presents a successful online radio show showcasing the early 80s electronic sounds that paved the way for much of our culture today – his first love – and has several thousand followers.
My point is, things move on, for good and for bad, and a 16-year-old getting into electronic dance music today is going to feel that this is his (or her) time, that now is year zero, that all things start in 2014. But at the same time, while “retro” events can be sad sad affairs, full of 40-somethings who can’t take it any more, in the UK there is a huge house revival – the Ministry of Sound is full weekend after weekend, for instance, with teenagers dancing to very cool deep house spun by the same DJs who were championing it is the 1990s, now often well into their 50s. What goes around, comes around. Have you got the patience to wait and see? (“Past performance does not guarantee future results”, etc…)
You obviously care about your music, and about DJing, and your scene over there in Canada, Eliah, and you argue reasonably and calmly, so I want to throw this open to our other readers, in the spirit of a constructive debate…
So, how do you feel about the scene where you are? Is it improving? Declining? Or are you so busy having the time of your life you don’t care too hoots what anyone else thinks? Do DJs have to move on, or play what they believe in, or find a middle ground? Please share your thoughts in the comments!