This blog is sometimes accused of not being very kind to the dance music press. And by and large, this charge is correct. I think many of them are largely staffed by middle-class types who failed their lifestyle magazine exam. Many of them also fail to cover the real issues which affect the dance music world – mostly because being out of touch means they don’t know what they are.
Easily the worst of the lot has to be Resident Advisor. This is essentially a ticketing company which masquerades as an online dance music magazine. Most articles on the website are designed to basically get you to buy something, usually from themselves – yet they somehow have the barefaced cheek to call themselves the voice of dance music culture.
And as I reported only recently, they’re absolutely shameless about helping out their own – editor Whitney Wei failing to declare that Caroline Whiteley was a colleague at previous employer Electronic Beats and is also a friend of hers was just the latest case in a long list. Make no mistake – Resident Advisor cares only about Resident Advisor.
In October 2020, they persuaded Arts Council England to spend £750,000 of British taxpayers money bailing out the company. A quick look at the accounts of the company – as this blog did recently – confirms Resident Advisor would almost certainly have gone bankrupt without this money.
So what’s happened at the company since then? The most noticeable changes include writing more things about Berlin than they used to – despite the company’s head office being based in London. The time stamps on their stories also suggest they’ve recruited a few writers from the USA to fill up their so-called news section. Oh, and they hired Whitney Wei from Electronic Beats to be their new editor-in-chief.
A source who worked at Electronic Beats when she was editor says of Wei that “Whitney is good at what she does, but she cares about some things more than others. The way she does things used to inspire the aspirational types like her, but irritated a lot of other people. She has a pretty high opinion of herself”.
Another person was, shall we say, less polite, saying “She’s a spoilt rich kid type. Look at her on Instagram, always posting about what clothes she’s bought today or what country she’s in this week. Good editors understand what their audiences want – and to be honest, Whitney doesn’t. Unless Resident Advisor’s audience is now largely socialite types in New York, of course.”.
Which brings me on to Resident Advisor’s latest wheeze. They’ve decided to spend January concentrating on the subject of wellness. As part of this, Wei herself has written another overly long article on the subject which again could do with some serious editing – as well as a piece talking about what clubbers should eat.
In the middle of a difficult period of the pandemic – with nightclubs shut across much of Europe, questions over DJs accepting gigs from events funded by highly dubious regimes, and questions over what the future holds for dance music – it speaks volumes that Resident Advisor has decided to concentrate on a campaign about keeping well.
A former Resident Advisor staffer despairs, telling me “This is complete b*****ks. If we’d have even mentioned this idea to the editors in the past, they’d have laughed at us. This is the sort of crap you’d expect to find in a lifestyle magazine. It just looks to me like jumping on a bandwagon.”.
No further comment…