DIVISION BEFORE THE DJ BOOTH
Partisanship - prejudice in favour of a particular cause; bias.
Just thought I would start with a definition so we are all clear on what the fuck I am talking about. Yes, partisanship, and what I mean by this is the realisation that we are living in increasingly divided times. For those who don’t know much about me, other than a flurry of cheeky snares, I get a real kick out of politics, I won’t bore you with my endless views (save that for spoons) but what I will say about it all is that our era politically, has a real reflection in almost every aspect of life.
By this, I mean that in modern politics, the middle ground has been completely eroded to leave a vast wharf across which each polarized side tosses insults across at the other. You are either pro-Brexit or pro-remain, you are either Israel or Palestine, you are either totally in favour of open borders or a total ethnocentrist. This lack of agreement and grey area has also since politics is a reflection of our culture, spilt out into other walks of life too. Equally, you either believe in eating a totally plant-based diet, or you believe that all vegans are wankers and they should be culled, or you are embroiled in another pointless debate over whether the dress was white and gold or blue and black or something….so what of music then?
Sadly it seems to me that with modern electronic music, we are slipping into this fever too, hemming ourselves off, digging our trenches and creating a cultural bunker (take it down to the bunker indeed) from which we don’t ever want to emerge. Music has always been fiercely political, from the Rolling Stones singing about the Vietnam war, to more recently, Kanye West losing his fucking mind, but do we really want to be where we are now? Techno vs Tech House, more or less every sub-genre of Drum and Bass vs Jump Up, Dubstep vs Medi vs Brostep, Baseline vs listeners over the age of 22, the list goes on.
Look at Rampage for fuck sake! The biggest DnB and Dubstep event in the world and the months leading up to it are spent with the ether of Facebook playing host to a no holds barred catfight between the two supposedly different sets of fans complaining about the quality of the lineup when their only point of reference is how much Drum and Bass, or indeed Dubstep, is on it. Wipe away the line in the sand guys, you all love the pretty lights and getting smashed off your face and that should be enough for you to break bread over!
I suppose the point that I am trying to make is simple, don’t close yourself off, spread your web and create a musical network that can benefit all scenes. I lived in the South of Holland for a year and at first, I had to come to terms with the crushing reality of having my Friday night soundtrack be a toss-up between Techno...and heavier Techno, but I styled it out, bought myself a brandless black jumper and got stuck in! People say that Fabric getting shut down was a tragedy, and it was. But it wasn't just about kids doing drugs, it was also a shocking reminder of how fragile our nightlife is, and how it can be snatched away from us at a moments notice. Even now whilst I write this, clubs are struggling to make ends meet and on a slippery slope toward closure.
Back in the early 90s, there were no DnB fans, no Tech heads no Dubstep skankers and no Gabber mashers. Nobody knew who the Bassline crew were, and the Junglist movement was just something Micky Finn talked about when making excuses to skip out on tax (that is an entirely made up joke, Micky Finn in all likelihood is a proud taxpayer, though if he genuinely had a religion based around Jungle, he could apply for tax-exempt status). Back then people were just ravers...and isn't that what we all are? Ravers?
Let's indulge in every scene that we can reach and as a result, maybe underground music will thrive. Give everything a go, at least on the grounds of appreciation…..except Marshmellow….fuck that guy.