Back in June, Ears To The House started reporting on a curious new phenomenon in dance music – called Beat Music Fund. Set up by Armada Music, it calls itself “dance music’s first investment company”, and it’s spent the past few months buying up various pieces of dance music history.
Amongst assets they own include King Street Sounds, the catalogue of Chocolate Puma – and the whole archive of KMS Records from Detroit. The label was set up by Kevin Maurice Saunderson in the 1980s, even naming it proudly after himself. Beat Music Fund bought the catalogue a few months ago, reportedly for a high five-figure sum.
Now, investment companies don’t spend money on things without wanting to make a profit out of it – and Beat Music Fund is no exception. Industry sources tell us that the company plans to make more acquisitions in the near future – but that right now, their focus is on publicising what they already own.
And they’ve certainly been doing that – but it’s causing some problems. The issue with doing business with Kevin Saunderson is that Derrick May is never far away. Although May never released anything through KMS to our knowledge, his role in the Belleville Three fairytale means the two will be forever linked.
The result of this? In most of the industry, Derrick May is now effectively blacklisted – but Beat Music Fund doesn’t seem to have got the memo. Hence why they’re currently promoting the KMS archive with this bizarre clip of Derrick May laughably insinuating that white journalists interviewing him over the years were motivated by racism…
What you won’t find May mentioning here, or anywhere else, is that the Belleville Three fairytale was concocted by a white, male British journalist called Neil Rushton. He came up with the story whilst trying to pitch an album of Detroit techno to Virgin Records in 1988 – in other words, the story which May and Saunderson have ridden for decades exists because a white man created it.
Now, Ears To The House has little time for journalists. With only a few exceptions, we find most of them to be mean-spirited, thin-skinned people who think they deserve some kind of status as information gatekeepers – and dance music press hacks are almost invariably the worst of the lot.
But the idea that they’re all racists who think black people just aren’t intelligent enough to create something new is incredibly insulting – and even May knows deep down that it isn’t true. Beat Music Fund demean themselves by having May parroting this nonsense – totally unchallenged – on their Instagram page.
The victim mentality is not usually a smart promotional strategy for a business…