Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by Mania, Mar 29, 2015.
Isnt it true now that some DJs wont go to small clubs unless its billed as a "RAM x *whoever*" night. Like DJ Hype wont play in Reading unless its a "Playaz" night and you book other playaz artists?
Think there's a lot of extra money for labels when they brand a night, from what I've been told. Not sure every label does it but some of the figures I've heard a shocking. Litterelly just for booking/branding a night at your club/promoter/promotion "Label Night", it's not wonder a lot of indie promotors are disapearing.
What got me into this scene was variety and the showcase of the widest range of styles which encompass DNB. Going to a club and seeing the likes of Andy C, Fabio, Fierce, Hazard, dBridge & Mampi Swift on a line up in one room is something you'd never get now. Which is a shame. It grew my love of this genre because every set was different and it pushed me on to find out more about the styles they were playing and find my own way.
Feel like sometimes these days people are just into Hospital, or Shogun or whatever a lot of the time. Might be wrong, but it's just the way it comes across to me. I don't think I'd have the passion for this music I do now if I was just getting into the scene. That might stem from the way dubplate culutre and the industry has changed generally but that's another can of worms in itself.
TL;DR- THINGS AIN'T LIKE THEY USED TO BE BOY.
Just goes to show how money influences everything. Take codebreakers departure from the scene for example - he said he didn't want to be tied to an artist or label. He left because he couldn't afford to continue as an mc this way (i hope people can see the comparison). At the end of the day I would much rather there were still nights to go to and the scene still existing.
I remember Ant Tc1 saying on facebook recently that it's a good thing that people can go to a night now and enjoy it from start to finish because people know what to expect, but you do have to compromise the variety of tunes played. However seeing dBridge play 2-3:30 at fabric room 1 on a playaz night will always be memorable for me...
Personally I feel that fragmentation just ends up pushing camps further away from each other and isolating a particular sound to a point where it becomes saturated.
Thats manageable in places like london as there are so many label nights around catering for a specific sound and a lot of people receptive to that sound. It destroys smaller communities though as theres barely enough people coming in to cover the artists pay cheque. But such is life.
I do like a good changeup in music on a floor though, its amazing how much energy a new sound can give a room. A good liquid set at 2am can re-invogorate people and when the filth comes back round everyones ready to go bananas again.
With such a diverse canvas under the dnb umbrella you'd be a fool not to experiment.
From my personal POV the prices some labels charge for an event to be a label night are ridiculous. Any extra charge for that is a joke to be precise. Yeah, I get it, I like those labels as much as the person next to me, but I try to support them by buying their music, actively promoting it through social networks in many ways not to mention taking interest in booking their artists. To get charged half the booking fee of a pretty solid headling act to be able to promote my event as a "label night" is just too much. It simply isn't worth it. Another thing - to have a night, where there's just one super specific kind of music being played the whole night, even more so if that applies to more (or all) rooms is boring for anyone who's not completely obsessed about it. There are like three or four labels who can throw a label night and keep it varied at least a bit, but most of them are more or less redundant bar the special occasions (album launch parties or anniversaries).
tbh @Riisu nailed it on the head...not been around as long as some but even my first years going out in the dnb scene you could go to just a self titled fabiclive night and see Andy C along with a whole host of people that played different styles to him, that particular night had High Contrast and BSE if memory serves me right. Just used to break up the night from the monotony.
And as said, it would give you more reason to explore different parts of the scene hearing artists play different records to each other in their set...
Some of you are missing the point tbh. But that's understandable because you don't run labels. If artists don't play on label events then why would they write music?
It has to be done this way, where if you sign music you book them so they get paid. By holding events, labels are growing through signing artists,
strengthening their label and bringing through lots of quality producers who will enrich the scene. All labels have to do is book a few guest DJs and there is no problem.
If a label like Ingredients didn't do this, then the very issues you've raised will increase because only a handful of labels would survive, thus shortening the variety you lot say it already lacks!
I'm not saying there shouldn't be neutral promoters, of course there should and i'm all for it, but you need to understand why labels are doing this in 2015.
It's a win win & it's strengthening (widening) the scene we all love.
ps. I don't charge a brand fee & i only take £100 from the budget to cover petrol.
That's hardly a problem in a global scale then? I wouldn't know a place anywhere outside the UK to be able to push a lineup like Riisu posted, which were without any doubt the biggest d&b dj's at that time, nobody could afford.. As well some of these names are just not as relevant anymore as they used to be.
I see where people are coming from with all the label nights popping up in plan b but come on, that's not all. When I was over in London at the fizzy party in brixton in 2014 they had doc scott, pennygiles, storm & klute on the same lineup. That is varied IMO
I think LSB has a firm point, only because this seems to be the main direction rather than the exception these days.
It can be hard for some artists to feel like they're getting noticed unless they're attached to a particular camp which i think is a big shame.
Personally i see it from both sides but if im honest, in regards to events, I prefer a mixed bag regardless of branding. The onus should be on promoting a good night for the punters to have a memorable night and dance their socks off, but it can be very difficult to anticipate what does that and it takes a lot of work and experience to learn how.
The pressure to strengthen brands I feel is taking the focus away from the music and more into a concept that looks good on paper rather than one that makes sense in the end. Were being dragged into a rabbit hole where we are slowly becoming defined by what we consume rather than being defined by our own personalities.
Branded nights certainly can work. Hospital have succeeded massively with Hospitality, not only with their music but because they put an unbelievable amount of effort into putting on a special event. It might not be to everyones taste but its worked for them. One downside to it is the pressure its put on everyone else to try and do the same thing but without the workforce, finance and know how.
I was a big fan of Bunch Of Cuts, ironically a branded night for a brand that didnt actually exist but ended up being a grouping of like minded individuals and great music and most of the time a fantastic atmosphere. I think the fact that there wasnt an active brand behind it may have led to its demise which is a great shame because it feels like if there isnt an angle to exploit these days then its a waste of time.
Why did ABOC stop btw?
It didnt stop, there just hasn't been another.
^ that is an answer worthy of Sir Humphrey, applause..
Case in point thoguh surely.... It's an independant night and can still offer variety.
It's useful this thread has appeared as I can elaborate on what I was saying as it's kind of got lost. First of all I was making a general point, others have assumed it to be about events but let me elaborate.
I totally get what Clive and klute are saying and I've enjoyed many label nights and I expect and hope they continue to prosper in London and beyond. I do hope there might be a bit of balance where more independent promoters start to appear and succeed in the scene. I got into music through a regional independent Dnb night and they are without question becoming rarer.
It goes beyond events that we need to keep a balance, it's The general weight in the scene that is directed towards branding and content and the shift away from music. I suppose the onus isn't just on labels but on producers and Djs as well to think about the music as a whole.
Sometimes it does appear the answer to falling sales is to release more music. say sales have dropped by a half, so let's release twice as many tracks to keep revenues the same. Quality will inevitably drop.
It's the same for DJ producer, gigs are drying up. Too often the answer appears to be more content, more tunes out = more sets.
Well both of those tactics might work In the short term but they both lead to dropping lo terms standards which puts people off. Protecting short term interests at the expense of the bigger picture. Add that into the mix of a general declining music market I think it is part of the reason sales are so low. I mean top selling releases are selling a tenth of the copies as ten year ago in some cases.
I think I'm probably being unrealistic, but it's a collective responsibility for a scene more than 20 years old. Less focus on brand (personal or label etc) less focus on quantity of content and more focus on good music. For me it even makes business sense. A higher quality of output will attract more people to the music. Having to. Flick through 150 new tunes a week is not helping me buy records. If we all did moved forward and looked for quality over quantity everything would feel better.
As I say I understand that people have to do what they feel is best to survive in a really tough industry. I just hope we don't lose a sense of how we can work together to keep pushing forward
To a degree but the amount of indi nights is London is small in reality. Fair play to inner soul, fizzy etc
Very good point, many known and lesser known labels flood the market with samey sounding stuff + the self released crap every week. Never noticed it as bad as this year. Some labels literarily have a release out every week or two. It got to a point where I feel the big labels are searching for the new thing and then milk it as long as they can.
That surely is down to internet / pirating & vinyl sales. As well streaming platforms devalue music even more. Hence more label nights arise.
Does anybody really still do that? It's mostly about featuring's. Once again I can only agree with the points about quality / quantity.
I gotta admit it almost came to a point I gave up on checking out every release from Juno newsletter every week (which I've been doing for almost 2 years already) and now I only listen to tunes from people or on labels I know and trust their output to be quality (at least most of the time). There's an awful lot of great music to be found from both newcomer/unknown producers and labels, but it takes literally hours or even days of time to get to that stuff through loads of bollocks (or at least music not up to my personal taste). There are only a few producers in drum & bass who can get away with releasing loads of stuff (Break and Calibre for sure), most of those who try to follow their example fall off pretty quickly (either they realize they can't produce so quickly or their music starts to become washed down by repeating). I think you, Luke, alongside with Phil Tangent and a bunch of others are doing it right by only putting out an odd release every now and then as you can always come up with something that stands out, that has a proper shelf-life.
Just saw this new event in London, they've got dBridge, Jubei, Audio, Loxy & Ink, Silent Witness, Philth, Chris Inperspective
Pretty diverse line up from an indie promoter. Shame I'm away for the weekend
Separate names with a comma.