Simon Shackleton
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The Blind are leading the Blind

The music industry would be so much better if it wasn't an 'industry' at all - if it valued uniqueness over commerce, over seasonal treadmills, over haircuts & handshakes, backhanders & bores. It feels like the world of electronic music is stuck in a rut of it's own making, with franchises and corporate management draining any 'art' from the art. The blind leading the blind.

I have a producer friend who clawed his way to the top a few years ago, and by that I mean Essential Mixes, Magazine Covers etc.... Here's what he told me about how he achieved it.

It’s not rocket science. I just choose labels that I want to appear on, download their last 3 EPs which give me a good idea of what they’re into, and then I just use a combination of those exact sounds on tracks of my own ... then sell them back to the labels. It obviously works because I’ve been signed for EPs by all the labels I’ve targeted. It’s just business.

I understand why someone would do that from a clinical, scientific and calculating perspective... but where is the art? Where is the soul? How genuine is that music to you, knowing that it's been made with such cynical motives at heart?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of a treadmill of predictability that electronic music and the multi-billion dollar industry surrounding it has become. From the franchise-festivals replicating their relentless march across the globe towards world domination, to the ruthless songwriting 'teams' that xerox and recycle the previous month's earworm in a race to the creative gutter, things have become far worse over time as the 'industry' has coagulated & suffocated its own creative muse. 

As end-users, we cannot complain about the state of affairs if we continue to buy into this 'industry', and allow ourselves to blindly follow the blind towards new bling & bluster benchmark lows. What I have noticed over the past few years, is how little people are now invested in music as a 'thing', and how non-committal we have become towards it. I believe it's because we feel disenfranchised, disconnected ... we feel that we are being sold a corporate line, that we feel musicians are outrageously compensated and live in ivory towers doing jobs we could only dream of... or that they should be grateful for doing something they love, and do it for free.

My plea for the day is that you take an interest. Spend a little time listening and understanding that without supporting the authentic voices who strive to create art with meaning and passion, all you will be left with is the hollow shell of creative bankruptcy. A musical universe governed by corporate cake-throwers, super-sized spectacle and lowest common denominator speak & spell house, is no universe at all.