A Guide To Success In The Dance Music Scene: Part 1
The gutters of skid row are packed to the brim with talent and genius. It’s time to put a stop to that. From my sentry between fame and fandom, I see the difference of those actually taking steps to break through and the ones who aren’t. There’s common thread being re-spun between every success, and it’s not money or connections, if that’s that you think; it’s tactic. It’s time to put those tactics into the hands of every solid artist; every promising up and comer, before the lack of momentum has them making typical cries for attention like “Imma turn off my Facebook.”
Every week I’m presented with good music, sometimes everyday. I know that there’s a need to mitigate the real from everything else. So, for the next few editions of S.I.G.H., I am going to humbly present a very abbreviated, straight forward attempt at deciphering and depicting these applications through example, reinforcement and plain ole simple, stupid analogy. If you read these and don’t agree with the lessons of Abraham Lincoln and Julius Ceasar, then you just might just be playing D.J. If you’re not ready to progress, than you’re not meant to be anything else but a fluffer, instead of a star. If you say, well I’m about the music and it will speak for itself, your right. There’s that saying about telling lightning to strike when you command it to. It’s not going to listen to just anybody. How about, instead of waiting around, we positively charge the fuck of out of some Ions and flash Zeus our dicks and see if we don’t get a response. You’re still going to have continuously and consecutively make music, playing with modern movements and mentalities in mind. If your not going to innovate the art and be stuck in the same format, then get the fuck outta here right now.
Simply put; “Submodalites are the media through which our senses receive, remember, and process information”. For example; auditory submodalities include “volume, pitch, and tempo.” says Neil Strauss adhere of Neurolinguistic Programming and Author. Since the typical human mindset separates everything into two very simple piles of information; that which is beneficial and that which is poisonous. Unfortunately for us, everybody is being bombarded by advertisement all day long. This means we spend our days, making split second decisions of what is worth our time and what is simply waste. So it might take months, if not years for good music to reach the masses. This is why it can take a classic decades to reach that level of appreciation. Why? Because everybody else is trying to present something beneficial or cool, like a pool party or a wonderful night out; take it or leave it. So people will say ok, “I’ll go to this fucking lame ass pool party” because everybody says it’s going to be good. Instead of listening to this track by a person who doesn’t really give a fuck about what I think anyways. Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford, states that our brain limits our social circles to about 150 friends, regardless of your sociability and status. Farther more that the semantic of friend, is somebody you contact at least once a year, but stay up to date because of the social outposts of modern media. So it really doesn’t matter how many friends you have or support behind your projects, your reach will only ever go only so far. This means that the submodalities you present have to speak for you. They have to convey your message through the mountain of scrolling and trolling done everyday. They have to get people to listen to your music. What’s the easiest way to do so; Image.
You may be asking yourself, is why so many D.J.s wear masks nowadays? Maybe it’s to cover up some horrible neck tattoo they have, but let’s get real, it’s to stand apart. You might be browsing through your newsfeed and see some dude with a mask on and say look at this gimmick, but that’s only to the educated music listener. Some people look at that gimmick and say “Oh look at that Chucky mask”, or “that 80 year old grandma spinning”, or “that idiot is setting himself on fire,” and do what… click that link. When there is boldness; it makes a person ask themselves, “There has to be a reason why they’re willing to put themselves out on that level.” Making a person to ask a question, creating intrigue, you start the process of letting the person get to know you and ultimately your music. Take KISS for example; after the macabre theatrics of the rock progenitor, Alice Cooper, and the unworldly, a sexual talent and transcendence of Ziggy Stardust, how could a couple of dudes from New York compete with their party time rock music? Easy, they combined the two paths of pioneers, making an easily identifiable, easily marketable brand for themselves that said come see us live. We have a guy breathing fire, we got a couple of Aliens, oh, but what’s our music about, we’ll be partying and hooking up with women. It may not be a deep meaning, but it coincides with simple principles associated with biological freedom. Where everything ties into the signals to eat, quenching of thirst, even the desire to procreate. Further more, culture drives modalities of power through career, enjoyment through play, and purpose through spiritual practice. Symbolizing one, if not as many as possible, through your person makes you more relatable than the common canvas of an everyday man. Whether you look like a kabuki space clown or a gorilla boxing tranny, it’s about making a statement.
“The world wants to assign you a role in life. Once you accept that role, you’ve doomed yourself. Your power is limited to the tiny amount allotted to the role you have selected or have been forced to assume. Forge a new identity, one of your own making, one that has had no boundaries assigned to it by an envious and resentful world.” -Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power.)
The purpose of an image is to positively associate yourself with the values proposed by the style. Arriving at a music venue, looking a slob, doesn’t mean you’re there to have a good time. It gives the impression that your playlist is as disorganized as your unfitting clothes. I remember this joke about a gardener and a prostitute. The prostitute asks a gardener for his prices on backyards, he says that he has to see how bad the front yard is; which she then asks why. Well, because the backyard usually is worse and I’ll have to charge more. The prostitute says, “I do the same thing.” Being part of the snap back crew, will turn away the elegant and the fashionable. Dressing with your partner in matching “twincest” gear makes you look as corny as a space suit or a kimono. I also see plenty of artists unable to bring out support because they just seem like a mild mannered Joe Schmo. DJ Nobody doesn’t sound like a great idea; unless you’re Odysseus. Clark Kent got no attention. that’s the purpose of Superman’s disguise. He chose to be an unassuming regular dude. How would you feel if some Costanza sweat pants bum walked into an operating room and said he was going to perform surgery on you? Well you’re a Surgeon of Sound, suit up properly. Your tracks are unstoppable and it means you have present yourself in the manner that you want your music to be noticed.
Of course, there’s a wrong way of doing this and it’s simple, being negative. It’s very easy to see how much negativity you’ll get back if all you put out is downtalk. People won’t even give you attention, just to spite your face. The simplest example I can give is Tupac. He idolized Nicholii Machiavelli, using his tactics of self-transformation every chance he got. You see, Tupac wasn’t some hardened thug, raised by wolves. His mother may have been a functioning crack addict, but at least she had the foresight to send her son to a school specialized in the Theatre Arts. While people were being gunned down, Tupac was learning the keys to drama and showmanship needed for his future. He started using Machivelli’s tactics immediately after he made it into the warmth of the spotlight. First, he danced for Shock Dee, aka Humpty Hump, then turned his back on him. He spoke out about their vaudevillian rhymes and antics. When Tupac was accused and found guilty of rape, multiple times, he started making songs about being a player, about how he got around, so he wouldn’t look like a rapist, and ruin is career. When he wanted to make a more serious turn on is acting, he started making songs about his Mom, which was able to show his depth for Poetic Justice. The problem is that Tupac bought into his image. Becoming more brazen, more arrogant. Making enemies out of his old friends, just for more attention. It’s sad to say that he didn’t learn the ultimate tactic that “The Prince” had to offer: to be humble, because you’ll lose sight of yourself in the long run. The image will shallow you, if you aren’t true to yourself in the beginning. Simply put, if you want people to pay attention to you, you have to have your shit together on all levels. If not you become a clown dancing and acting out for attention. Whether you want to be a serious musician or just a party starter, you need to consider what you’re going to receive in the long run. Is your image going to become stale with a passing cycle of trends? If you want to be a snob, then only snobs will come to your shows. Every image gets old, but your first impression will last forever. What do you want people to remember you as? That should be your submodality.
This Week In Music:
I got so many free tracks that I couldn’t wait to put them out. SEVEN FREE DOWNLOADS THIS WEEK.
Hot Since 82 – Womb (Knee Deep In Sound)
Totally disappointed I didn’t get to see them this year, but I think it’s for the better. I have such high hopes, from every set I hear, to the numerous tracks in the collection. This song really presents their quality production and I’m happy to finally be able to bring you a free track. Grinding Techno, with symbolist House undertows. The flux is fine and typical for a HS82 track. Really, it feels like a teaser for a bigger EP, which I believe comes out in November. Usually that’s the trait of a good song anyways.
Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have (Rolando Hodar 6 A.M. Relapse)
Saw Rolondo about a year ago. I can’t say that I remember too much of the night, except that I kept wondering which songs he played. That’s always the start of me following the discography of a DJ. Song selection is important. When I found out that he made this remix, I was very impressed. Deep, secretive echoing Techno, with Dark, progression is always a favorite of mine. Then it collapses in the middle and you realize that the song feels like it’s only been on for a two minutes when it’s actually been on for five. Keeping the lyrics mandating, yet giving room for effect and loops at into the precise unison is applauded. It reminds me of that truer Techno sound, before we had to be compressing into five and a half minutes. Had this song stuck in my head for a while, I’m glad I found it to share with you all.
Modus – There’s No Limit
Here’s another focus stealing track with high marks for respect to a style. That driving beat doesn’t cloud the frame work. It allows the apex to come in smoothly. There’s enough on the third and fourth scales to entertain the beat counters and the people waiting for transition. Looking forward to hearing more in the future.
Odysseus – Hypnosis
Herve’s “Cheap Thrills” has been popping up on radars. House may be the current fashion, but this track is steeped in the classic qualities of rhythm and beat. With a harmonious ellipse and addictive percussion, it allows the track to gain back its dancefloor presence. A respectable song to add to you collection and to any future set.
Jessie Ware – Say You Love Me (Gorgon City Remix)
There has been a lot of talk about Gorgon City, especially after that impressive Boiler Room. My colleague; Kassie Mitchell even has an article focused on Gorgon City which came out on this blog last week. Here’s a free track to come up with your own opinion. I think Deep House is getting a bad rap, but I can understand why people don’t want it to get pushed out farther into the mainstream. Maybe there’s too much playing up to Trancey Pants vocal. We just don’t want to see another genre in the meat grinder of the radio friendliness. But It’s too late for that. Gorgon City always had a back and forth quality that I liked about their tracks and this is no different. It wants you to dance in the car as well as the dancefloor; and that’s all that matters. If you haven’t made up your mind about them, I hope this free song shows you the better side of them, compared to the childish musings of rush hour DJs. Check them out with Jools Holland on “Later” (BBC2), one of the best live music shows currently going.
The Benelux – Liar (Rain City Riot Remix)
Infectious, groovy, funky. I knew nothing about Rain City Riot, except that he has some releases on Toolroom. This remix is playful and organized. It never lets the vocal elements go on too long, or the drumbeat. It’s almost careful to stay true to the original but become an even more danceable track. I’m looking forward to going through the rest of his tracks.
Raury – God’s Whisper (Flosstradamus & Aryay Remix)
At first, I didn’t believe this was Flosstradamus. Or maybe that he was playing around with big festival works. After the second shift, I enjoyed the cheerfulness. It was a welcome change to Big Room. Instead of forcing sounds, smashed altogether, relentlessly throwing together as a many genres as possible, this remix had all the qualities I appreciate in Flosstradamus. The lead in is fantastic and positive. The vocal is kept clean and punctuating. Not only does it make me want to find out more about the band, but it’s upbeat nature make it infectious. Those two qualities always make me tune into any remix Flosstradamus has to offer.
Next Week: Fans, Fanbase, Fanaticism, how to bring it to fruition. Part Two to my guide in success in the Dance Music scene.
Raul Chacon is a self-aware douchebag, who only listens to bands you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week(instead of class). Eventually, he became a touring security guard and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been to; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.
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