RA Exchange 537: Year In Review 2020


While I was sort of bummed that this wasn’t the ordinary “Critics Roundtable” format (it’s usually talking about releases, events, labels, etc, but this was a discussion about the “scene” in general) or guests (it’s typically RA staff, but this time it was Ash Lauryn and Turtle Bugg), and I miss Will Lynch leading this shit, it was still a great discussion.

And Tajh Morris spit straight FAX at the end, which i took far too long to transcribe by hand below:

Matt McDermott (RA): What do you think could be done to keep the momentum that’s been built this year going?

Tajh Morris (Turtle Bugg, Sublimate): I think that people should really take a step back and really just study what’s going on… What could happen, whats been happening. I’m a historical materialist so it’s a little different when i’m looking at things and when I compare to most people that are in the scene, i feel like.

and it’s just. it’s just like Federick Douglas said – power concedes nothing without a demand. Whatever, i’m paraphrasing that too.

But it’s like, people… I get where you’re coming from, and you know especially people who are just like “ah yeah, Fuck resident advisor” and all that stuff. And like, that’s cool, and it’s funny “haha” it’s whatever you know, who cares. But at the end of the day it’s like, I don’t know what people want instead. There’s a lot of talk and complaints, but i’m not sure what the alternatives are.

Because this is the way the world works. This shit doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I feel like there’s always this underlying idea that’s kinda been accepted that somehow because we’re in house and techno we’re better than the rest of society, almost? And that we’re operating outside of it. Like, no, we’re still operating – people gotta pay bills, corporations run the world, like you know.

I mean, people will probably get mad at me for this, but remember how people were mad about RA and i guess Fabric and other clubs getting grants from whatever European Institution that was? It was like, What are you guys mad about? Do you think they’re taking money from the homeless? Do you think that that money was just gonna go to like, giving kids computers and sneakers and shit? No, the money was there for corporate beauracratic purposes, and because these institutions are institutions and they have the means, the means of production to do such things: to hire lawyers, to fill out grant applications, to do all this stuff,. It’s not like me or you could have just gone up, and be like “oh yeah, i play stuff – grant money please”. That’s not how it works! Noones giving out free money. That’s not how it is. The only reason these things are getting money is because they are taxed. They pay taxes in some way, they’re major tax revenue makers in some form or fashion for whatever economy they’re attached to. It’s not, this isn’t in a bubble. It’s capitalism baby – this is what it is. you gotta pay bills, you gotta eat. Who do you think…what are you gonna do? Like OK, You’re mad at RA, you’re mad at…

First of all, nobody likes any publications apparently. They just want no publications. I don’t know what the, I guess everyone just wants to not have things, and just yell at each other on twitter and hope that Jack Dorsey doesn’t decide to just mute everybody. Because I don’t see what the alternative is. If you don’t have anything, if you don’t want DJ Mag, you don’t want any magazines. you don’t want any kinda websites. It’s like, are you guys… I don’t see anyone building no websites! All I see is a bunch of people just being mad. Just being mad, and being mad ain’t doin nothin. It’s put up or shut up – and if you don’t like how it is, let’s build something different! I’m down, I have people are trying to do whatever they can, but I haven’t heard anything too revolutionary yet. To just complain and be bitter and you know, and wanna go on the pile on. Noones helpin’-- you’re not helping the situation. Like, Clubs are closing, We need to talk about real things here. We need to talk about how we’re gonna rebuild this thing, Because it’s not gonna come from the government and we need to figure this – like i said earlier, [clubs are the] first ones to get cut, last ones to get put back on – so we need to figure this out ourselves and come together and stop with the divisiveness in alot of ways. It’s gotta start somewhere. If everyone’s just mad then ain’t nothing gonna get done.


I think this is a huge tendency for the twitter mob and i don’t know why. The tone has been very dismissive of RA on the interwebs the past year or two. Why is goal to eradicate any kind of centralized publication? I mean, at least DJ Mag, RA, etc are trying out here. I think creating a platform at the scale that RA does is probably pretty tough and I’m sure mistakes are to be expected. Let’s imagine for a second that the twitter mob does succeed in immolating RA, and indeed any sort of powerful/central media, what are we left with? the twitter Mob on twitter? a bunch of hot takes? a cancellation every 2-3 days? yikes. I’ll take RA even if they post some wack and/or problematic shit a few days a year. Mistakes are OK.


I remember recently seeing an Omar S. album that said Fuck Resident Advisor on it,

I guess the world is so complicated that maybe it isn’t fun, but I dig RA’s stream of information and also being an easy way to discover events when I travel. Its really easy to hate everything, maybe a little naive to be positive but after the past 4 years of amerikkka de-evolution, I feel grateful for every person and “institution” that I can resonate with and connect to the world of music at large through.

Libramix generally puts out more interesting mixes, but RA is like the VH1 of dance music idk.
It has a science fiction font, cool color palettes, long-ass interviews that always worth the read.

Looking for the meme I saw about all the major dance music outlets and it had RA on here,
it was pretty funny