Can’t any journalist get it right when writing about house music?

If you believe certain people in the media, there was a time when journalism had a truly golden age. There was a journalist specialising in almost everything at every newspaper and magazine, they’d have you believe. They’re, of course, talking complete rubbish – but when they say journalism is in a dire state today, that’s one thing they have got right.

Trendy magazines writing about house music in recent months are just one example of how this profession seems to fail over and over again. Myths, misunderstandings and downright rubbish is absolutely rife on the subject – if you believe the mainstream American press, house music was brought to the USA by David Guetta, and Beyoncé and Drake have now somehow saved it.

As anyone with half a brain knows, this is nonsense. House music was born in the USA – Chicago, Detroit and New York are probably the three big cities where it all started. David Guetta is a man who started out making naff French hip-hop in the 90s and makes naff EDM today – and Beyoncé and Drake haven’t saved anything.

Here’s another example. In recent weeks, it’s been claimed that “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé Knowles samples “Show Me Love” by Robin S. This claim is completely wrong – it does nothing of the sort. The 1993 StoneBridge remix of “Show Me Love” uses a Korg M1 patch called Organ 2 for the bassline – “Break My Soul” does the same and utilises similar chords, but they are not the same.

This is what in the music world is called an interpolation. But wait, we hear you say – the writers of “Show Me Love” have been credited on the song, right? True – but this is not because they were sampled in any way. It’s more to do with the litigious culture in music at the moment – it’s seen as far easier to pre-empt these things by simply giving the writers credit from the off, even if they’re not necessarily entitled to it.

Curiously, the remixer who made “Show Me Love” a hit gets no credit at all. The song first came out in 1990 and was quickly forgotten. This remix came about when StoneBridge – real name Sten Hallstrom – asked Champion Records whether they had anything lying around he could remix. They offered him this, which was accepted on the second go – the first version he submitted had a different patch for the bassline.

And yet he gets nothing out of it. Sound weird? Possibly, but it’s the deal many a remixer has had to sign before this – take a big cash advance now and nothing else, or take a small advance and hold out. Hence why MK doesn’t make money out of “Push The Feeling On” by Nightcrawlers, or Armand Van Helden’s remix of “Professional Widow” by Tori Amos only paid him £250.

In the meantime, the dance music press – who really should know the world of dance music better than the rest, by definition – made no effort whatsoever to correct these errors. In most cases, they were making exactly the same sloppy mistakes themselves.

Is it really too much to ask journalists who are writing about subjects to at least know a little about them? Ears To The House really doesn’t think we have to answer that…

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