I have a problem with big business meddling with underground culture. And have for years. And as I was clearing out my inbox late last night, I noticed a message from Beatport selling records from “Genres On The Rise.” And a few of these just made me laugh. Perhaps they don’t check Generation Bass, because UMB has been pushing Moombahcore (and Moombahsoul) for quite some time. As far as we’re concerned, post-dubstep isn’t a genre. We have no clue what “glo-fi,” “neo new wave,” and “slow/fast” are. We have no clue what the fuck a “dubtronica” is. And if these were the only genres on this list, I would shrug and keep it moving. But the addition of juke / footwork and street bass are just spitting in our faces.
As we’re posting articles on the footwork scene (the word “scene” implies that it’s been there for a while), I can’t help but be furious that anyone would claim that this genre is on the rise. Footwork has its own culture embedded in the Midwest, popped heavily with the release of Dude ‘n Nem’s “Watch My Feet,” and has been brewing since. We’re listening to tunes from Juke Ellington, Om Unit, Falcons, Dear Lola, Nadus, Ital Tek, and DJ Rashad. RAW Records has been one of those labels outside of Chicago and Detroit to push the sound heavily. It’s worldwide at this point, and has been a legitimate genre in electronic music for more than half a decade.
And the street bass tag is one that stings me personally. Dev79 and the Seclusiasis team have been pushing this genre for years. I actually have a refix of a Hyjax track with Big Cas vocals on the first Street Bass Anthems compilation on Seclusasis. This came out in 2006:
How anyone can claim that two genres that have had relevance to the scene for more than 10 combined years are “on the rise” is beyond me. But this isn’t to say “we’ve been here.” It’s true, but that’s not the important factor. What gets under my skin is that the people that are profiting from our culture, and have very few people from WITHIN our culture to cultivate records, speak on why they are relevant, and give them the proper representation. But somehow they are allowed to speak on the scenes that we were there to witness the progression of.
This is one of several recent indicators that our music is in the wrong hands, and the fix is easy. All we need is those bloggers, DJs, and producers that we respect as advocates to start getting hired to run platforms, record labels, and radio stations. I don’t know everything, but I know more about bass music as a part-time DJ and writer than these people do that work 40+ hours a week within the industry. And that’s a shame. If people don’t know their history, what’s relevant now, or have any idea where this is all going, they shouldn’t be getting a paycheck on the backs of those that set the pace and shaped the scenes that we love. Hands down.