vrijdag 31 januari 2014

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Conspiracy

Scene Analysis | January 10th - January 31st 2014

Once upon a time, there were two individuals. These individuals were Purist and Conspiracy Theorist. On a very sudden-rainy day they decided to take shelter near a local Starbucks and before they knew it, they ended up having a chat about life. After half an hour or so of random chitchat they stumbled upon the topic of music: and guess what! They discovered they were both Trance Music fanatics though the Conspiracy theorist had long since given up on his once favorite genre. Here’s what they talked about that afternoon:
Purist: “So you saw that Solarstone petition the other day? The one about adding two new genres to BeatPort so that smaller name Progressive House and Trance artists & labels can have a shot at selling some tracks at the store too?”

Conspiracy Theorist: “Aaaaaaaaaah, the infamous ‘more genres on BeatPort’ petitions eh?” *grins* “Didn’t see it this time.” *sips of his coffee* “They are complete waste of time anyway! Whether a Solarstone or a Luke Chable starts them, it’s all pointless in the end.”

Purist: “Yeah I figured…” *sighs* “I don’t get why these artists don’t unite their fanbases to get those petitions through to the BeatPort management… You’d think that combined fanbases equal combined interest and attention. Surely one petition should make it through by then?”

Conspiracy Theorist: *chuckles* *shakes head* “Lack of allegiances aren’t the reason these petitions will never succeed. There is a whole different story behind it.”

Purist: *raises eyebrow* “Oh really? You sound like you know something the rest of us don’t?” *sips of his coffee*

Conspiracy Theorist: “Knowing is half the battle, my friend.”

Purist: “Spill the beans already man!”

Conspiracy Theorist: “Very well. Do you have a minute? This is a long story after all.”

Purist: *Looks outside* (still raining heavily) “This rain isn’t leaving anytime soon, so neither am I.”

Conspiracy Theorist: *sits up straight* “Alright then... Let me give you the whole pill first, then you tell me what you think, okay?”

Purist: “Sure.”

Conspiracy Theorist: “These petitions aimed at BeatPort try to achieve a world that is more fair for everyone. They aren’t aimed at eradicating the music they want to split themselves from. They just don’t want to share their stage (their respective charts) with music that has nothing to do with them. Ideal worlds are fantasies, built on easy and cheesy words uttered by those too weak to make change happen. But for optimists and the na├»ve, that is an unacceptable portrayal of ideals. So for their sake, let’s follow in the logic of these petitions, shall we?”

Purist: *leans forward* *puts hands underneath face* “Keep going.”

Conspiracy Theorist: *grins* “Let’s try to imagine this ideal world in which there is a Commercial Dance Top 100 chart and a Bigroom Top 100 chart too. In this world, the Beatport team has gone through the painstaking process of retagging all the mislabeled Trance and Progressive House releases of the past half decade or so into their respective newly introduced categories. This means that Trance and Progressive House will see their total amount of releases on BeatPort decrease drastically whilst the two newly added categories will explode in numbers… At first. As time progresses, the Trance Top 100 will be filled with actual Trance subgenres again, as will the Progressive House Top 100 slowly fill up with the artists and tracks that have long been missing on it despite belonging there. All the Bigroom, Trouse, Dubstep-inspired genre 2.0s will have their own stage too so it’s not like anybody is left out. In fact: everybody wins! Right?”

Purist: *Slowly shakes head* *smiles*

Conspiracy Theorist: *smiles* …Or could there be possible losers in this scenario?

Purist: *whispering:* “Here it comes…”

Conspiracy Theorist: “For some the scenario described above could turn into a downright catastrophic nightmare. Why you ask? Well…”

Conspiracy Theorist: *re-adjusts position in chair* *moves chair a little big back* *stretches legs*

Conspiracy Theorist: *looks straight at Purist with serious expression* “All these big name labels that gullibly claim to have had their “Trance” releases top the “Trance Top 100” time and time again, suddenly have all their releases retagged (since, let’s face it, at least half of the stuff they put out isn’t Trance by the farthest stretch of imagination). They suddenly find themselves competing within new playgrounds: the playgrounds called Bigroom and Commercial Dance. In these playgrounds, the competition is murderous. After all, the amount of music being released in these genres is insane. Quality control is nonexistent: every Dick or Harry is capable of putting out “A big drop Festival hit” and becoming the next big thing *cough* Martin Garrix *cough* in these turbulent days that Pop and Electronic Music have their marriage –may I add I PRAY their divorce happens sooner than later! *sighs* We can’t deny it man: Bigroom is about the hottest thing to sell within EDM and beyond in recent times. Those Trance Top 100 monopolist labels KNOW this.”

Purist: *frowning* Tell me about! They’ve been clinging to the genres that brought them fame to begin with but refuse to let them go now that they’ve been giving ‘more profitable’ genres a stage.” *shakes head*

Conspiracy Theorist: “That’s the thing! Most of them had a vibrant history as ‘Trance’ labels, Once Upon A Time that is. It’s an image they’ve thankfully abused in modern times, like you more or less said, selling their cheesiest Bigroom/Trouse/Trance 2.0 as ‘the newest Trance’ available. Switching their label images from Trance to Bigroom overnight would be a major mistake though! Today’s blind Twitter/Facebook anchored fanbase sheep, that have swallowed their illusions like sweet cake all this time, could suddenly wake up! ‘Betraying’ them could lead to a loss of profit. What would these sheep say or think the moment they can’t find their ‘favorite Trance artists’ in the Trance chart but increasingly start running into them on the Bigroom or Commercial Dance charts? My, wouldn’t that be a world-shattering revelation??”

Purist: “Hahaha, you make it sound so dramatic!”

Conspiracy Theorist: *surprised expression* “Well, ISN’T IT dramatic then? How would you feel if someone came up to you telling, you that the tea you thought to have been drinking up till now was really milk all along??
Purist: “Hahaha well then the optimist would probably say ‘it’s all just liquid anyway’ or something equally toe-cringingly deviant…”
 Conspiracy Theorist: “Deceit is still deceit though! But more importantly, to get back at those labels: those that were guaranteed to claim the #1 spot on the Trance Top 100 over and over as if it was some sort of ‘unwritten rule’, SUDDENLY lose their precious guarantee! All of a sudden, they are no longer the monopolists they once were when they could sell their tripe as ‘Trance’ and get away with it. Instead, they are put together within a bounded realm of 100 best selling tracks in which they are directly faced with the likes of Avicii, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Showtek, Hardwell and other artists that sell extremely well within Electronic music AND beyond. Indeed, suddenly, these Goliaths are faced with the Behemoths of mainstream Electronic Music, a dreadful scenario in which there is no happy end for them anymore. This would directly impact some of these fake-Trance labels’ artist rosters. As ‘Trance artists’, their Bigroom-styled beats sell extremely well, thanks to #Trancefamily’s *shudders* unwavering support. But the moment they are supposed to sell as ‘Bigroom artists’, they don’t sound half as cool as ‘the new Hardwell’. The Trance scene might not be as profitable as the Bigroom scene might be to a label, but the latter doesn’t have such a nice ‘good ol’ ring to it. Oh, and it doesn’t have ‘#Trancefamily’ either… Who wouldn’t want a collection of gullible sheep fans that buy all your deceitful and mislabeled tripe??” *takes one big last gulp of his coffee*

Purist: “Well, considering how ‘money talks and b*llsh*t walks’ in this scene it wouldn’t surprise me if you are right about all this… Though I maintain my position: you sound overly dramatic, dude.”

Conspiracy Theorist: *grins* *leans back in chair* “Ah… Who am I? I’m just a flesh-and-blood being like the rest of us. I just like to use my grey mass every now and then and SEE through the lies, hehehe. What I told you MIGHT might just be one of the many reasons why BeatPort refuses to launch new genre tags. It might very well upset the balance of which labels tops which charts and therefor disrupt the status quo within Electronic Dance Music.”

Purist: *Takes out phone* *starts fiddling with it* “I’m not really into conspiracies and stuff but you might have a point there I guess. Wish I could repay your story with something though!” *heads to youtube* *searches for track*

Conspiracy Theorist: *grins* “I thought we were just having a conversation as musical fanatics? I didn’t realize we were in the middle of a capitalistic transition with obligatory reciprocity?”

Purist: “No, we aren’t but…”  *lights up* “Found it!” *smiles*

Conspiracy Theorist: “?”

Purist: *Hands over phone* “For all your trouble, I can only offer you this other Conspiracy which is lacking in words but rich with [cheesy -according to those bloody elitists] Trance at least!”

Conspiracy Theorist: *takes phone* *listens to music video* “Hahaha! Well played, my friend.”
Welp, I hope that little story entertained you all! I hope you’ve made it safely into 2014 and didn’t have too much trouble moving through its first month. It seems like we will be having another vibrant year in EDM with plenty of things to discuss, criticize, enjoy, analyze and ridicule. Looking forward to verbally smash my way through all of it and bore you in the process. *Raises glass* Ready? Go!

See you next time!

- Papa Razor

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