Given the tendency of some people to express themselves in a more visceral manner online, one of the surprising things in the dance music world is how rarely this happens. Every weekend, there are DJs playing excellent sets which deserve praise – in much the same way there are those who don’t do so well.
Yet this fact is almost never acknowledged on the likes of social media. When a DJ posts on Instagram about their set last night, the comments quickly fill up with praise about how great it was – even when it clearly wasn’t. No one ever seems to say “I paid a small fortune to hear you and your set was s***” – mostly due to the likelihood of being called a “hater”, a smear used to silence dissenters.
However, there comes a time and place where this wall of gushing remarks start to dry up. And this is when you target the classics nights market – by their nature, these are more likely to attract clubbers who don’t go out as often as they used to. In other words, those who have nothing to lose by stating exactly what they thought of the performance they’d witnessed.
This is a lesson which Judge Jules might have learnt – or possibly rediscovered – last week when he played a classics night at Amnesia in Ibiza. He proudly mentioned on Facebook it was “sure to be an annual pilgrimage”. Judging by the feedback in the comments, his place on that pilgrimage might not be so certain…
It tells you something about how times have changed when Jules’s own followers have nicer things to say about Seb Fontaine’s set. Back around the turn of the millennium, Jules was one of the most highly rated DJs in the world – and whilst Fontaine was well-regarded too, he had more than his fair share of detractors who considered him boring.
Curiously, most of the negative comments we saw have since been removed from the post – something we considered quite unusual. Many years ago, the dance music press – back in a time when this meant something – used to criticise Jules quite vigorously, and he was generally happy to dish out as much back as he received.
Perhaps Jules has become a little less tolerant of critical evaluation in his old age…