2021 was a year which started out with so much promise. After months and months of lockdown during 2020 – and more of the same as the new year dawned – there was much talk of a great reset within the dance music scene. There was an acceptance that things could not continue as they were.
Things had to change. The money in dance music had to be spread more evenly. The underground had to be supported. New music had to be promoted and rewarded better. We could not go back to the days of top name DJs earning six figure sums for a night’s work whilst those at lower levels got almost nothing.
This blog has repeatedly pointed out during this year that this would never happen. Those DJs in the higher echelons never consented to taking less of the pie for themselves – indeed, they are now getting even more than before the pandemic. And many of these same DJs took no heed of Covid-19, willingly playing plague raves at great risk to the public.
Their careers have not suffered at all, partly thanks to a cowardly, craven dance music press which refuses to call them out over their behaviour. There’s too much advertising revenue and exclusive interviews to be lost if they do so. Indeed, the dance music press spent much of 2021 trying to prove they are the last fart out of a corpse.
There are few better examples of this than the coverage over Derrick May. Since the mainstream press ran allegations of sexual abuse in September 2020, they have remained silent since. It’s only thanks to blogs like Amateur’s House and journalists like Michael James that May’s actions remain under any kind of scrutiny.
Elsewhere in 2021, clubs have been under pressure like never before. My insider has revealed exclusively to this blog what’s been going on – far more clubs than anyone would ever think are currently teetering on bankruptcy. Many excellent clubs which contributed more to the scene than business techno ever will haven’t survived the pandemic, and are potentially lost forever.
But what has rightly come under considerable scrutiny in 2021 was the way women are treated in dance music. It’s with this in mind which techno DJ Rebekah Teasdale founded the #ForTheMusic movement to fight sexual harassment of women in dance music. A laudable move and Teasdale ironically could be just the leader they need.
She’s strong minded, passionate and determined – yet none of these qualities are sadly on show when it comes to leading the movement which she started. Her own leadership – strong when the campaign started – has descended into farce. Teasdale must get to grips with her faltering campaign, which deserves to succeed, early in 2022.
This has also been a year of loss. Chicago house legend Paul Johnson lost his battle with Covid-19 over the summer. The underrated Lisa Moody passed away a few months ago. Other names which have sadly passed on include Ian Carey and Jason Brooks – both members of Soul Providers, and both dead within weeks of each other.
So what does 2022 hold? This blog expects some things to continue as they are now – because it always serves certain interests for them to do so – and some things to change. The seismic changes dance music is undergoing due to the pandemic aren’t complete, and I expect some more rough waves before smoother seas.
But what I do know is how Amateur’s House will cover things. With honesty and integrity. I will call a spade a spade, but I will always try to show fairness. I will speak when I believe something is right, and I will speak when I believe it’s wrong. It will, as usual, be for my readers to decide…