we can do all that here. just create a thread for the track, mix, or event the morning after.
uh-oh, there are still comments to see:
last chance, folks
haha of course truthtoof talkin mad shit
I broadly think it’s bad, I like hearing what ppl think about things even if they are pricks. For example I was in two minds about the PC Music thing that happened a couple of years ago (imo some of the music was great, some terrible). And the constant media attention to it did get annoying. But I kind of liked them partially because they would send RA techno gatekeepers into hilarious meltdowns. The reaction to it was part of the fun (and my guess is that a big part of the rationale of it from the creators was to be provocative and get some ppl angry). And it was interesting anyway - it sometimes gives you an insight into people’s fears and frustrations, what they think is missing in the dance music scene broadly.
But it’s RAs choice. I’ve not followed it very closely, particularly the woke techno stuff which seems to have got ppls backs up; so I don’t rly know whether the characterisation of it as a pit of degenerates is accurate, or how bad it might have got near the end. I used to think the Guardian comments were the best bit of the site (not that hard given how much dross they publish) but there was a huge migration of deranged Telegraph readers that piled in when Telegraph closed their comments and it just became a waste of time - the upvoted comments were normally sleep-inducing Tory party lines or worse. So for a smaller operation who are doing something that they want to be positive I can see why something like that would be draining.
I agreed with the scrapping of their voted-for lists of Best DJ of the Year. If DJs were doing well enough to chart highly they didn’t need the exposure anyway. But it is interesting that the comments thing seems to be on the same trajectory - moving away from an interactive space towards a top-down, “we tell you what to be interested in” approach out of a sense of social responsibility. Which is their right. But I think something will be lost. (FWIW I think encouraging people to stay on social media (and by extension off your site) is a bad move commercially).
It is obvious to everyone who follows any journalists on twitter that as a rule they have paper-thin skin and hate having criticism of their work visible (no offence any journos reading). Maybe the motive (subconscious or otherwise) of moving discussion onto social media is to try and preserve the distinction between “credentialed” articles which live archived on the site, and the views of normal non-credentialed ppl whose contributions will fade away into the social media blur and won’t be visible for ppl revisiting old articles. And of course one effect of discussion being shifted onto social media is that it is often dominated by ppl who are already big, and everything gets framed around what they are saying which may be to RAs benefit vs the conversation being dominated by normal ppl who may be grumpy “ain’t what it used to be” commenters.
Either way I think big media institutions need to be scrutinised and I think comments closing will probably mean they won’t pay much attention to what ppl think of them other than what they can figure out from commercial metrics and what big participants in the scene say, which I think will probably have bad consequences if it has much consequence at all.
As an example of where they could use feedback here’s my final moan about RA (who generally I think provide a good site and service, even if I’m not that interested in a lot of the “tasteful” music they champion). Their “Label of the Month” this month is… BASIC CHANNEL. On their 25 year anniversary. I want to hear about new labels ffs. If they want to do yet more dissection of Basic Channel why not do a retrospective article or something? Baffling.
I actually came here on a recommendation from @max-renn via RA after feeling damn orphaned after a few days. Thanks Max and Howdy 555
The fact is for me that that RA comments were what gave that site life. Generally I find all of the writers, writing, mixes, and podcasts at RA to be honestly next-level. But for every good article there was an even BETTER discussion in the comments below the article. REAL SHIT that was more of a barometer of the scene of the tastes of those within it than a writer could ever hope to summarise in a review or editorial.
I learned basically everything I know about this music, clubs, and the opinions of actual people within it by cross referencing RA content with the community around it. To me, you could not have one without the other, the comments elevated the content to something more dynamic and multi-dimensional, and certainly something way less Red Bull/agency/PR approved. And on the flipside, the content anchored and guided the comment sections.
With the comments gone there is no community at all around that website. To me it is humourous that they had a “please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org” line in their “Why we’re turning off comments” article. What community is there now? A bunch of retweets? holy shit.
No “this party/club sucks” comments which can make or break your night
no “this track is giant ripoff of this other track from 1997”
no “everyone hates this release but I actually like it because x”
no giant genre bitchfights which occasionally come to define the conversation for the entire scene (PC Music)
no crazy era collisions thanks to RA’s huge and historical user base, ie 90’s Global Underground dads picking fights with boiler room era about the “good old days”
no more “ibiza is dead and irrelevant” discussions
no more legendary cultural commentators like proangelwings
If you can’t tell I regarded this whole dynamic pretty highly. The above types of interactions on that single website were pretty foundational to how I came to get a grasp on this culture-- I’m still really, really sad that they tossed this whole thriving pocket of the culture out with the bathwater.
This is my impression and opinion as well. Where does this expectation come from that everyone should be a fan of everything and should be obligated to comment as such? To some degree I think that expectation comes from artists, agents, labels, and promoters (to quote the site tagline) who are S E L L I N G shit that is largely based in part on image. I can see how, in that position, you’d like to just collect your 3.4 rating and not have to run the risk of a PR disaster in the comments. To me the most plausible explanation is that RA is simply bending to this pressure because they are just so ingrained in those communities (writers with homies that run labels back home, writers that also dj or write music, staff that frequent popular clubs and parties, on and on and on).
I also think this issue is very connected to the discussion on why music sites are not giving bad ratings or negative reviews any more as well (EDIT just noticed @nickecks already nailed this above) . The same reason RA might be hesitant burn bridges in the industry with a 1.5/5 rating would be the same reason that a critical or even unpredictable comment section is undesirable.
To me they’ve taken the easy way out here… NO discourse as opposed to 80% good/20% non-corpo-approved. I can’t blame them from a business perspective but from a cultural perspective it is just a major loss and a major bummer.
yeah the site was the best around not just for its content but its comments too. now the site is like an empty sock. i can’t browse now without feeling contempt for the snowflake/s who made the decision. they had opinion pieces on brexit damaging artists and i imagine this is also a blow to those artists in a way. i’d more than wager most underground artists would take a peek at the reviews of their work and especially the comments underneath; feeling the support from the community who had something positive to say even when the review was a 2.9 or a 3.3 for whatever reason.
It’s interesting that there are ppl with a deep understanding of what the comments / community brought to the table and that this is the only place I go to where I can find it.
Certainly not easily findable on Twitter where it’s journos and social-media-clout-house-and-techno-DJs saying “Good” often with that as their only reflection.
(implications of that contextless “good” - 1) if you have any questions or doubts abt whether closing comments down is gd then you’re not part of the gang (shock horror), 2) the RA ppl are slack for not having done it earlier!)
Maybe ppl just want coolly glib bullshit and an ability to “pick a side” now.
Honestly the closing of the RA comment section might be the best thing to ever happen to the 555-5555 forum, shit’s getting robust…cheers
I am also struck by how much less certain articles on RA now mean to me without comments…thinking particularly of gear reviews and site specific events and journo pieces where members of the community could add their extra info and really add a fullness to what RA folks wrote…honestly i hope some people begin posting RA things here in this forum to create comments sections / opinions for them.
And by all means keep recruiting legit new comrades through other socials yall