Tuesday, December 8, 2009
ok, so the RA top DJs for '09 list fucking blows. it is frankly embarrassing. and please dont start with the 'taste is subjective blah blah argument'. ok, i dont expect everyone to like what i like, but that doesn’t mean that if you call a piece of shit a bar of gold, it is suddenly gold. it is still shit. you are just an idiot for thinking it is gold. anyway, should we be surprised the list sucks so fucking hard? no. of course not. the warning signs have been there. every month the aggregated top 50 tracks for RA have been simply horrible, and getting worse. in november, the king of stink - johnny D - is at number 1. yep. if that ain’t a big fucking red light, i don’t know what is. and the thing is, i actually think charts like these are a good thing. there is a real danger that from reading places like mnml ssgs, some of the other blogs and a selection of the features and reviews on RA and FACT that you get a really distorted view on the current state of the techno/electronic music scene. at the end of the day, most of the stuff we pump here ain’t that popular, these arent the artists being booked every weekend and playing at massive festivals. there definitely are signs of hope, but the mainstream still sucks balls.
2009 has been a great year for electronic music, but not because of most of the people listed in the RA charts. most of them are part of the problem, not the solution. so we need to keep fighting against the constant acceptance of mediocrity, and instead keep pushing and supporting quality music and quality artists.... like these:
chris' top 5:
2. donato dozzy
3. silent servant
4. peter van hoesen
Well, it’s rare that any kind of EoY poll elicits a visceral reaction from me, carrying around, as I do, Dirty Harry’s famous maxim: ‘opinions are like assholes… everyone’s got one.’
What’s fascinating (and a bit frightening) about this poll is that it is not the amplified projection of a small number of geeks and tastemakers; it is, rather, an accurate representation of what the people who voted think is hot now when it comes to DJing.
And what’s striking about this list in particular is how many of the people in this top 20 are DJs whose best sets are at least 5+ years behind them. That’s the thing that jumps out at me: the people I voted for are people who I think are really hitting their straps right now.
So is this a reflection of the contemporary? At this point, I have to wonder about people’s methodology when choosing their faves… were these cautiously chosen? Whittled down? Remembered from a millennium nightclub? What else could explain Luciano arriving at number three… in 2009? Seriously, this is an artist who released an interesting but very flawed album and has been playing, well, boring dishwater. This is a talented guy who – in my deeply personal/subjective/prejudiced opinion – has had one of the least productive and interesting years of his recent career. His productions are the worst they’ve been in ages; Cadenza is a shadow of its former self; his DJing has lost almost all of its funk, daring, passion and historicity – in short, this is a dude who spent 2009 playing bongo dishwater for dollars.
Leaving aside this one egregious howler, a look up the list reveals a startlingly high percentage of legacy votes: has beens, sentimental favourites, unexamined choices (or are they?). Sasha… and Digweed? Steve Bug? The Wighnomy Brothers?? Derrick May??? It’s not that these people aren’t good DJs, the question is whether they merit inclusion in a ‘best of 2009’ list… I’m left with a number of possible provisional conclusions: 1) people’s choices are – statistically – sentimental favourites based on past experiences; 2) large numbers of people’s listening tastes are way behind the curve (ie people are still listening to, and digging, the same shit they were digging three, five, hell, even ten+ years back & so this IS a fair representation of who’s hitting their straps right now) ; 3) it is I who lives in a parallel universe; 4) opinions are like assholes…
All year in interviews, producers, musicians, DJs and the like have been grousing about the rot (just check recent interviews by Jeff Mills and DJ Bone that we linked here a week or two back). The thing about the rot is that it is very hard to put your finger on... yeah, of course, you can have a vague feeling that things suck when you go out, that there are a lot of lame, bland records around, but is that the rot? After looking at this, I wanna say that the rot is a lot; the rot is.... very popular indeed.
Oh, and these were my favourite DJs in 2009:
3. Donato Dozzy
4. Kevin Gorman
5. Sandwell District
...then check this out: http://www.djmag.com/top100
...yet another parallel universe, one which is bigger than ours by a factor of 10....