An Angry DJ: Enough With The Sub-Genres Of Sub-Genres

The Angry DJs have a lot to say about what is going on in dance music today and they are taking no prisoners
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DjShadow

DjShadow

Welcome to a new segment -- Angry DJs. We have asked well-established DJs to offer their thoughts on the scene today. Their opinions will be varied and probably not too happy. They are angry, brash, foul-mouthed and they are taking no prisoners. Enter the mind of the Angry DJs. 

Enough With The Sub-Genres Of Sub-Genres By An Angry DJ

Circa 1994, living in Manhattan's Lower East Side, one of my favorite things to do on a brisk fall afternoon was to smoke a huge joint and go RECORD SHOPPING; bouncing from store to store, chatting with the buyers, finding out what the latest hot new releases were. Unlike today's digital way of shopping while sitting naked on your kitchen floor with only a pair of headphones on, back then there was a community vibe between DJs you met at various record stores. Magic happened at those stores, you ran into the world's best DJs and producers on a regular basis, camaraderie of sorts was formed and those shops were sacred ground to many.

Special moments happened on the regular, like when you found a really dope new jam or found that classic you've been searching and searching for. Those moments would get stored in your memory bank, and be put on a shelf in your brain right up there with other momentous occasions like your child's birth or the first time you got a blowjob in the bathroom stall at CBGBs by a really hot tranny. But before we proceed, before we go any further, let's keep it 100.

I realize its not 1994 anymore, times change, industries change, people change, political correctness happens, basically everything changes and a lot of things suck– but if one thing stands out as the suckiest, it's the creation of new sub-genres. I'm not saying each genre sucks, but the continued systematic break down of dance tracks into smaller and ever smaller sub-genres is, in this DJs opinion, a huge waste of fucking time, and from my perspective the only purpose it serves seems to benefit the digital retailer.

I first took notice of this breakdown of beats when Satellite Records in NYC moved from a small store front to a massive space, only blocks away from their original location; faced with way more wall space to showcase the latest releases, new sub-genres seemed to pop up every week. What started as Progressive, Deep, Tribal, Vocal, Big Room, Techno, Garage and Soulful House, eventually became a cluster fuck of sub-genres and the buyers for each department didn't seem to know their ass from their elbow as they were all jockeying over hits no matter the genre. So in the end, the customer was the one losing out.

Which brings us to present day.

The ever so popular digital retailer, Beatport, boasts twenty-six dance music genres with FIFTY sub-genres. WTF? There is a direct correlation between this PARTICIPATION TROPHY generation and all these new genres. This is just a way to give out more prizes, so more and more producers can say "Looky looky here, LOOK AT ME EVERYONE, my new track is #3 in the Progressive Bluegrass Edits Top 100," when in actuality your new release doesn't even register on the Top 100 overall sales chart, which means you're still a failure. For Christ sake, I just want to hear some good tracks that I may or may not be interested in purchasing. Can you retailers make it any harder to flip through the digital swamp that you call a store? An hour spent looking online for new jams is like swimming neck-deep in dog shit with your mouth stretched wide open with brackets, much like Kubrick used in A Clockwork Orange to keep Malcolm McDowell's eyes focused on terrifying images. I think that analogy works perfectly.

This brings me to the topic of BASS HOUSE, which has been around for a few decades, but we'll let you millennials keep up the guise that you've actually created something. This list may come as a shock to many, probably more shocking to those who say they're the "leaders" of this genre, but try to see past yourself for a hot minute and just appreciate these songs for what they are, CERTIFIED HITS. I'll waste no time describing these jams other than to say this: these records transcend time. They can be played today and get the same MASSIVE crowd response as they did when they first became hit records. THAT my friends, is the true test of a track. Can it stand the test of time? Well here are, in no particular order, 5 BASS HOUSE tracks that will be played FOREVER.

1. Armand Van Helden - Witch Doktor   

2. Kill Frenzy Featuring DJ Funk - Make That Booty Clap (The Martin Brothers Remix)

3. Cajmere – Percolator   

4. Louie Vega & Jay Sinister Featuring Julie McKnight - Diamond LIfe (Kenny Summit Remix)

5. Hardrive - Deep Inside (Low Steppa Remix)

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