great piece. i would like to think that what we are seeing is the beginning of pruning back of unsustainable growth and focusing on the heartwood of what made scenes strong through recessions past. a strong scene will pivot towards its core, musicians make music to reflect the times, hard times eventually mean hard tunes, once the dead wood is burned off. this is a time where we’ll see who’s really a lifer and who’s a poser. and the ones that need the medicine, that need to dance, that have to be involved will stay involved. solve et coagula.
our music was built in dark rooms alone by people who were social outcasts from marginalized communities. this is the strength of these times. everyone needs to go to their room and think about what this music does for us. everyone gasping for funds and streaming lived a precarious lifestyle before this. its very common these days to promote that. starving artists get attention. artists who invest in their community are cared for by it, but only if that community can sustain.
if you were jetsettng, thats all over now. if you built a studio, you’re working hard. You get a basic job and put nights in. Working class music was once the root of what was called underground. Nobody was full time, my elders were humbled to play a room, then they started growing tons of ganja and rode that wave. Time to tighten the belt and see who saved something.
i dont think the festival circuits and big clubs will survive. But what frightens me is that the streaming internet dj plaform just got a huge injection of capital and looks. In some ways the days of investment electronic music are done, in the physical festival and megaclub form, but in the digital its just begun.
i for one have been thinking lots about my relationships to Instagram, Spotify, Youtube and Resident Advisor. i’ve been spending more time on Bandcamp and this space. 555-5555 is truly a resource right now and i’m more devoted than before to fostering discussion here. the most difficult part is turning off my phone, opening the laptop, and removing all of my other notifications.
The London, Berlin, New York Axis is a super interesting take. Its where the money is. Maybe streaming set servers controlled by artist collectives can change this. Labels work best when they are rooted in one city, in my opinion. They then serve as a reflection of a true scene. Not a feed. I hope that this can begin a lot of soul seeking and collectivization that results in the return of the 300-500 capacity basement club or loft. I really want that. It would be even better if it were phone free and not advertised online.
I’ll be working in the Pacific Northwest of America. 5 year plans…I’m curious what you all think we can do to support local scenes in the coming years. also what purchasing, listening, and collaborative decisions as fans we can make that will make the scene better than it was two weeks ago. I’ve felt very disillusioned with festivals, stopped going in 2016. But even club nights have felt hollow, something i simply attributed to the RA Pick effect or the distraction of phones. I really want things to change and for 2023 onwards to be a new era…