The Insider asks: why is dance music so boring these days?

Ever since Ears To The House made our overdue return a few weeks ago, one person who’s been a regular in the inbox is our notorious insider. His identity is, and will remain, a closely guarded secret – other than to say he’s been in the music industry since the 1980s and has seen just about everything during that time.

As much as we love dance music on this website, we do sometimes think there simply isn’t as much innovation in the genre as there used to be. As this site frequently points out, most of the big festivals just book the same acts – so it’s not too hard to work out some of the reason why.

And as we’ve found out this week, the Insider feels much the same. He says “In the past, they used to want to make music which sounded like it was from the future. They wanted to make things which could be played for decades to come, maybe even centuries. Nowadays, they want to make music which sounds like it’s from the past. Where’s the next variation of the genre coming from?”

“I remember talk at the start of the pandemic all about how this could be a period of innovation for music – but where is it? If it’s out there, I’m not seeing it yet. And God knows it needs to happen. If this scene is to evolve into the 2020s, the music needs to evolve too. Otherwise, everything starts to sound like a f***ing classics night.”.

On a wider note, he also spoke about how the scene seems to be in the same cycle it was in the late 90s. He says “I see parallels between what’s happening now and what happened at the end of the 90s. Around 94/95, superclubs started to appear and DJ fees started to rise substantially.”

“It all peaked around the millennium, when several of these superclubs lost money on New Year’s Eve 1999. They’d booked big, spent big, charged big for tickets – and then clubbers reminded them who’s the boss by going elsewhere. Carl Cox played three venues around the world that night, for f***’s sake. Sasha got £140,000 for one night’s work. It was ridiculous. The effects of that took years to work their way through the system.”

“Now we’re seeing the same thing again, only with festivals, a cost of living crisis and a two-year pandemic involved this time. I think the dance music world could soon be in trouble. Maybe that’s when the next wave of talent will rise up.”.

We certainly wonder…

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