We don’t normally click on Insomniac articles or advise others to do so, but we usually listen when Richard West speaks. Known by the music community as Mr. C, his history is immense and roles in the industry diverse, making for a valid vantage point. In his interview with the site, he really pulls back the veil, placing the blame on the pervasion of producers, DJs, promoters, labels, distributors, and media who are lazily conglomerating into a downward spiraling relationship regarding quality and, in the process, not reflecting merit with any kind of honesty. This is making the landscape a lot tougher for those cut from a truer cloth, the ones keeping what’s great about dance music alive.
The preaching of hyperpositivty by dance music fans and artists alike sometimes doesn’t allow for much serious reflection, but we need not conflate being critical with negativity. One comes from love and the other more so from hate. Often a source of contention, Insomniac surprisingly got it right with the headline: “Acid House Icon Mr. C on the Realities of Dance Music,” realities being key. Richard West’s observations are spot on and we will always respect him for his upfront honesty in tackling issues.
Below we’ve pulled together some of the criticisms from the piece that we’ve noticed to be true in our own experiences. We must make note that West did put a positive slant on it all, repeatedly referring back to his belief that the larger flood gates also allow for more good to exist and seep through. Check out his preface, which raises issue with another problem with media entirely, in his Facebook post first.
“But there is a lot of music coming out right now that is being made by numbers… And with the software so cheap and easy to use now, pretty much anybody can start making music for virtually nothing. I feel that’s really taken down the quality of music in the last few years.
Also, it’s so easy to digitally release a record now and get someone to distribute it. That’s leading DJs to be lazy with their shopping and their selection. That’s taking down the quality of what the end-user is listening to on the dancefloor.
I know a few DJs out there who don’t produce, who are incredible, who should be out there touring the world, but don’t get the opportunity because they don’t kiss the right buttholes.
Unless you’re spending a lot of money on marketing and publicists, people aren’t going to have a look-in—which is a shame. It’s another catch-22 situation. Publicists are being paid by labels and DJs, who feed lazy journalists, who run with it. That then gets new, fresh ravers (and ragers, as they call themselves today). It’s the same cycle, the hype machine. It’s the labels paying the publicists who schmooze the journalists who trick the punters into following something that started with money.
If I think back 10 years ago, there were a lot more DJs who were doing well without a lot of hype. Nowadays, not only do you have to be a great DJ and make great music and run a great label, you have to pay to get it all out there. It’s all fucked.”
— Mr. C
Mr. C plays in Tampa this weekend at The Castle for Serious Soul.
You can find out more details about the event on Facebook.