Sunday, December 04, 2011

Fakery and bass

Today's Sunday magazine (in the Sunday Star Times) has a story on dubstep, written by Grant Smithies (not online yet). "The dubstep divide" talks to a variety of folk, like producer Jay 'Bulletproof' Monds (who appears to have changed his surname to Roland, if Sunday mag is to be believed), Jeffrey Stothers of Southbound Distribution who has sold 5000 copies of Ministry of Sounds latest dubstep compilation, and a few folk from GeorgeFM, including radio DJ Thane Kirby. The latter expresses his deep dislike for dubstep in no uncertain terms.

"When the Maui gas pipeline blew out a while back, I said that was the reason there'd be no dubstep on air that day. Another time, I invited people to bring dubstep CDs to the station and we set fire to them in a big metal bin on the deck. People were overjoyed to have an opportunity to torch the stuff".

That reminded me of another radio DJ by the name of Steve Dahl. He had a huge hatred of disco (perhaps because he got fired when his previous employer switched to a disco format), and in 1979, organised a disco demolition rally. in Chicago.

It took place at half time at a baseball game and resulted in a riot, which led to the game being forfeited  The stadium had a capacity of 52,000 and apparently 90,000 people turned up, for a weekday game.

Nile Rodgers of Chic told the Independent in 2004 that the disco demolition rally "...felt to us like Nazi book-burning. This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word 'disco'. I remember thinking - we're not even a disco group."

That  article also notes that "By the turn of 1979, the disco industry was estimated to be worth US$4bn, more, according to Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton's book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life..."

Read Panic at the anti-disco rally, written on the 30th anniversary of the riot, which says "Did you know that Nik Cohn's 1976 New York article "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" -- the basis for Saturday Night Fever, and thus probably for everything you think you know about disco - was a fabrication? Instead of investigating the discotheques of America, the Brit writer conjured up a story inspired by his homeland's Mod subculture. So Saturday Night Fever is really Quadrophenia."


Peter Darlington said...

I remember punks mutant offspring "Oi" went through a Smash the Discos stage as well which always seemed a little uncomfortably anti gay and a bit racist.

One Louder said...

Thane Kirby (at what, 30+ years of age?) seems remarkably in tune with 'the Kids', so much so that he appears to be able to read their minds, thus saving him the inconvenience of actually having to ask their opinion of the music they appear not to enjoy dancing awkwardly to and therefore allowing him to do what he does best: make crass generalisations that masquerade as 'informed opinion'.