Some of us in the Jaxlore camp (and the Jax scene in general) had been huge Anjunabeats / Anjunadeep fans from about 2004 to 2011 or so (I’m talking to you too, Angie!) but let’s face it – with the rise of the bastardized definition of EDM, Anjunabeats had hit the toilets by 2012 and for a time, even with the highly anticipated Jody Wisternoff (one-half of Way Out West) solo album along with the debut Dusky album, Anjunadeep was starting to sound like a broke down Plastic City imitation.
I say that for two reasons (and then we’ll get to the new Dusky): one, Jody had three stunning 12″ singles under his belt (four, if you count a remix/re-release 12″ of ‘Starstrings’ on Hed Kandi) and they should all be checked out. Check Jody’s discography on Discogs and hear these minor classics. Simply slammin’ mid-00s progressive goodness. BUT, when the Jody album AND the Dusky album came out (and I had been religiously buying all Anjuna-family full-lengths and comps), they sounded half-baked. Weak, even. I passed.
Now, with the reborn advent of “deep house” (which is really what was people like Jody were putting out on those singles from ’05-’07 before the scourge of Deadmau5 and Afrojack), we are now on the “back-end” off the falsely-defined EDM craze of the last 5 years (it’s ALL Electronic Dance Music, btw). We have rediscovered Dusky through their new vinyl label 17 Steps and their fabulous double A-Side. Although some 12″s come out before digital downloads, they ALL should. The Anjuna family’s even starting to get their act back together.
…and by the way: catchphrase of the month (like it’s a new genre): “deeep houuse, bro!” I say, listen to Terry Lee Brown Jr’s ‘Bad House Music (Dub 98)’ and tell me then.
Now…here’s the agreement: Figured I’d check the Dusky single. It is phenomenal. Check the link at the bottom and listen for yourself. Much better than their Anjunadeep album. Got my 12″ on Monday and here it is: #1 in my record box and #1 on the Beatport Chart (for all genres).
And now, the message:
If the planets are aligned, maybe I can get the Ego Killer DJs off their duffs to do some new mix-CDs (the dedication is but a memory and if anyone reading thinks it’s a cheap shot – check yourself – we were always taught if you want it bad enough, it can be made to happen). I will work on one today for my SoundCloud, our ArtWalk and local distro endeavors. Of course, we’re no spring chickens but a literal handful are still living the dream. It’s a warped reality at best.
Some others scene-wide (they know who they are) ought to put up their stolen downloads and the laptop and hang it up. I know some of these part-timers don’t actively search for new music. Stolen music is file-shared from friends, pored through and downloaded with no info about the artist or remixer and how it fits into the grand scheme of EDM, which would comprise so much DJ banter up until around 2005.
But stealing tracks? So if an artist’s name’s on a release, he or she doesn’t have rent, or a mortgage note or a car note due on the 1st right? They deserve no money for their art? It makes the DJ a thief. Don’t sugarcoat it. I’m too fucking old to mince words with frankly, a lamer scene than a 720 sq. mi. city should have 26 years on.
Some of these people even get on FB to bitch about national and international injustice (some group or area is being disenfranchised so they’ll stop supporting whatever). Well, EDM artists are being stolen from but that’s cool, right? That doesn’t count? That’s not disenfranchisement, the right to be paid fairly? You’re a hypocrite, a human jukebox and the scene the world over would be better off without you. And so would the dance floor, for fuck’s sake.
Read those last 2 sentences again. When I play breakbeats (rarely, but follow me here) I play broken-beat-abstract-bass from 2014. Usually on wax, but trying to keep it current is the point. I hear the drum n’ bass and breaks parties (thrown by our beloved Byron Brown) had some of the same old themes and plots presented by dusty slabs of wax and stolen download laptops. And in Brooklyn, they do vinyl-only parties with the most cutting edge records of all styles from ALL OVER THE WORLD and a hip crowd. AND it packs out. In a city with many many venues.
We can’t do that? We have a lot of people here! The Ego Killer camp tried for a while and had some successes for sure but the cliquey scene perpetuated by some the jocks I’m referring to doesn’t care about a great party with great NEW (or classic) underground music. They only want to support their human-jukebox friends and like the DJ Mag 100, it’s just a popularity contest.
Before we hit you up with another post, please remember: this is your scene. This is our scene. People I have known for up to 24 years in this scene still throw unwarranted shade and act like they can’t make the time to contribute to the scene both, in the sense that they don’t show up to gigs unless they are playing (and 20 years ago, would have been publicly called out for that) and that I’m told DJs play tit-for-tat on FB with fellow-colleague DJs wanting help promoting their gigs on FB after one has helped the other. Is a simple, 5-minute call too difficult to squash it? They’re in the 35-54 demograph and still ‘follow’ EDM. Great. I say, stay involved 100% or get the fuck out with your tired dog-eared 12″s from 1997-2002 and your stolen downloads and the old-timers who are spearheading the underground revival will convert the new cats…
With 12″s like Dusky’s ‘Yoohoo’ / ‘Akebono’
(and maybe a little Nachtstrom Schallplatten)
It’s social media by default now but true face-to-face social interaction (what kept the scene so strong in NE Florida from 1989-2002) needs to brought back with the current technologies. Old timers gotta represent and we should all be bringing new blood to the underground side. Get out. Support. Those that do, I love you all.
Or (in my best La Sandwicherie voice): “bye-bye!” We won’t miss you.
TOTD: Dusky – Yoohooby