There were times in my online life where I felt the pressure to be constantly reviewing and critiquing ‘new’ music by ‘new’ bands. Certainly, this is helpful in bringing people’s attention to sounds they otherwise might not hear and gives an important ‘leg up’ to up-and-coming musicians that don’t benefit from music industry backing. And there’s a number of sites blazing that trail now.
But when I look at my recent DJ activity, I find that my natural audience isn’t in tune with this mindset. With the exception of a few recent breakthrough acts (She Past Away, Lebanon Hanover and Youth Code spring to mind), demand on request sheets is for the classics. Similarly, my bookings for specific-genre nights are usually retro of one description or another. The DJ slots where you can play the tastemaker are tied up by a fraternity I have no means of entering.
But neither do I take any joy in playing the same hits over and over. There’s a lot of bands with a lot of songs out there, and a newcomer to a particular band is going to struggle to find the best place to start with large backcatalogues. The albums might be on Spotify, iTunes, etc, but where to start? Often I’ve heard people dismiss an entire band due to having heard (unknowingly) one of their ‘difficult’ albums acquired for pennies in a second-hand dealer. So it’s time to unpick the backcatalogues of bands that have too much music to listen to in one go.
And I’ve started with a long-running favourite of mine – Project Pitchfork.