A Cause For Concern

Before I ceased blogging two years ago some people might remember I had quite the axe to grind with a few artists on twitter (ones I actually kind of liked at one point or another) and the whole culture of EDM. This manifested as piss-taking because the medium limits you to any ‘proper’ form of constructive criticism. I honestly believe that making fun of something which you believe to be stupid, is the best course of action, it can hurt feelings, which I acknowledge… but simply saying nothing when you believe everybody is heading down a dark-road just doesn’t sit well with me.

At the time people I liked were quite literally trying to sell me beef jerky through their twitter feeds, talk up the ‘dank’ amount of plays they were getting seemingly out of nowhere on their soundcloud accounts (complete with generic comments from accounts commenting the exact the same thing on other accounts) and I called bullshit on it, when an artists remix parts have more plays than the latest Radiohead song does… kanyew

I was going to get to this… however, what I was writing above was ‘kinda dry’. So, here is what is expected of you now as an ‘artiste’ on social media.

Facebook –
Facebook suggests image based ‘content’ that is ‘snappy’ and ‘catches the eye’.
Translation: Kermit Memes! (Minion Memes also acceptable)

Twitter –
Topical events. Politics your fans feel comfortable with. Artistes and Brands you wish to associate with.
Translation: Pandering.

capture(Complete opposite of this basically, lots of people seem to have misunderstood this as him saying he’s shite. He’s saying the system is shite. Amazing if I’ve got this wrong though)

Instagram –
Aspiration content. Desirable lifestyle. Purchases that Trend (Apple products). Palm trees & Sunsets.
Translation: You are poor and suck. I will let you experience being awesome through me… ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Snapchat –
Pictures of yourself with Bambi ears.
Translation: Sorry, it’s fucking creepy seeing bros I know do this shit. I mean, you look like the guys kids are warned about in school when “staying safe online“. It took some resisting to not post some of the catch-a-predator photos that go up on this thing.

This isn’t exactly the type of environment that creativity is gonna thrive in, is it? Instead of being in the studio making tracks, artists are having to constantly keep us entertained with pointless shit. The levels of aggression some artists take this to is insane and downright cynical.
DONT LISTEN TO OTHER MUSIC PLEASE, SQUIRREL!
(Unless we share the same management, are on tour, I just remixed them etc etc etc).

kanyew2

FFS! As if this post wasn’t turning into enough of a cluster-fuck already… I guess it is worth mentioning the amount of weird crap artists are sent by their managements these days.

14556033_10206984457276497_2041675639_nThe obsession with following a “successful” formula is fucking ace and all, if you want to listen to the same exact thing every time. I’d like to believe not everybody does though and this type of thing, which is peddled at people just starting out, is incredibly detrimental to the growth of an artist. Part of the fun and getting good at anything is all about making horrible mistakes and finding what works for you. I can only really speak for electronic/dance music things but similar guides exist for bands and the type of music you should make to go ‘viral’.

Harold returns. Also. hypocrisy on 'pandering' :V
Harold returns. Also. hypocrisy on ‘pandering’ :V

What was I saying again? Oh yeah…. I was a bitch to some people I once liked on twitter and all that. When I returned to do a blog I noticed that some responses from artists agreeing with some of my statements had been deleted, precious <3’s gone from my tweets, which was curious…. Maybe they changed their minds, but, I couldn’t help but think they had been neutered or something. Everybody had a twitter feed like the successful EDM guys had which is a bit weird as they don’t really make music that audience would like and copying a system aimed at a certain audience you don’t quite cater for is kinda derp.

I also noticed an attitude change to way music blogs were being treated. I’m trying to do this post without ‘calling people out’ for once, but, this is probably easy to track down… one particular artist was being ‘ironic’ about ‘blogrolls’, the idea of people with similar ideas/interests having the audacity to send each other visitors. The irony, that he himself, was once was a blog, seemed lost on him. The type of sites he was being featured on now…. the spin-off sites of #2edgy4me magazines (very late to the game considering how ‘future’ they are) that could have not given less of a shit about his early work until blogs like myself were writing about him, also, that irony… whooooosh.

I also found lots of music blogs I stole took inspiration from had basically given up. When getting in contact with them, reasons ranged from not having time, to feeling under-valued and with things like faceless youtube channels/soundcloud accounts replacing them, I couldn’t blame them. You write about an artist for years, posting stuff that is promising but still, has it’s flaws. The second they achieve some small success… “Move over m8, I’m getting posted on some faceless youtube channel, “Deluxe Casual Jams”, sick plays… kthanksbye“. I’ve never been overly concerned with such things, but, I see people who were really good at writing and passionate about giving new music a chance have their enthusiasm slowly eroded away to the point they just stop, that’s messed up and nobody is exactly replacing them.

harold2

If you aren’t getting the gist of this post (sorry, it’s awfully long now) it’s about how the current system and the way certain artists are behaving is stifling creativity. If what we have existed five years ago we wouldn’t have half the music we do now. Not everything needs to be amazing from the start and not everything needs to have a business plan for it to be worthy of creation. Yes, lots of people didn’t really make money during this period and artists that I liked simply stopped, one of the reasons I returned was to archive the material those artists made. I just think instead of finding a middle-ground we’ve gone to the other extreme, obsessed with money/image and judging things on plays is no indication of quality in age of where you won’t be able to resist clicking the following link – “Daft Punk – One More Time (Justice Remix)” (good song in all honesty). We need to stop being dicks.

fwiw. This is one of the genuine pleasures I get from blogging… (very handy this came in today)

capture(He’s now releasing electro-funk belters on a trendy compilation)

4 Comments

  1. We, readers, are also guilty of the blog decline. At some points, it was much more easier to browse through all the “download link” of Soundcloud instead of reading blog articles. Now there’re less and less downloadable tracks, maybe we will go back to use blogs to discover music (or maybe not, I’m not sure).

    • Music blogs are also to blame, I look back at the archive and the sense of community is pretty nice. Even though we are ‘rivals’ we could appreciate each other finding a good song and most of the time could give credit to one another for doing so. There was a mini-phase of us (maybe even me) getting a bit big for our boots at times, calling ourselves curators and whatnot. I was never truly comfortable for that ‘tag’ a tastemaker/curator… you are only that if people appreciate what you do and go off and spread that themselves. If anything, I just really thought of myself of somebody who did ‘ok’ out of other blogs/sites just copying me a bit too much.

      Artists are also a bit weary of blogs now unless they know they are guaranteed a good write-up or blind support. I’m not gonna be that guy tbh. I get why they act like that… but they should be careful of people who do offer that, they are more brutal than I could ever be. If you aren’t making the latest trend, you simply get ignored and I at least give most things a shot. 😉

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