May 28, 2014

Veteran Trance DJ Discusses the Pending Implosion

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Written by: Keith Wozniak

Trance veteran John 00 Fleming took to Facebook on Wednesday with a lengthy and interesting discussion piece. It’s not a rant, it’s an honest look at the current scene that we all live in and the problems at which a lot of people approach the way things are.

Who is John 00 Fleming? He’s been active in the scene for over 20 years having seen the early days of the rave scene to it’s explosion in the late 90s to where we are today.

There’s underground DJs complaining about the mainstream DJs.

There’s the mainstream DJs using their power to put the underground DJs out of business.

There’s the mainstream DJs using their power to pressure promoters.

There’s one group of people calling out another for their choice in music. etc etc. etc.

We’re in the middle of 2014 and there’s a healthy and massive mainstream electronic music scene with successful festivals all over the place. Clubs are packed every weekend in many big cities. There’s also a healthy underground scene in a lot of cities as well whether it’s warehouse parties, lounge nights, club nights or even as simple as house parties. Do it yourself and make changes!

Take the time to read what he has to say. It has a point and the last paragraph nails it.

Here’s what he had to say:

Things are going to implode

I have that uneasy feeling something huge is going to happen in this industry, not a month goes by without a public spat of two cultures clashing. Yes this makes great viewing for the public on the sidelines, but it feels like they’re poking a beehive that causes periodic chaos, then things calm down until it all happens again. For how long can this go on until there’s some big explosion?

There’s two completely different worlds colliding here; one thwart upon power, domination and fame, the other based on passion, art and comradeship. Many of today’s well known DJs and producers have laid the foundation of the electronic scene that we’re all enjoying today. Some of these guys spent years fighting against the tide of commercialism to introduce underground dance music working in unity with likewise music lovers creating community’s that grew into nationwide scenes, something that took years of hard work, only to watch the aforementioned commercial corporate machines come bulldozing in along with manufactured superstars that use all their marketing power to cash in and manipulate that very scene they were opposed too.

With their underhand tricks they’d fast-track the next superstars, creating virtual fans, clicks & likes, musical fads and annual battles to win various accolades. Naturally something won’t sit right with many when a guy that makes a couple tracks suddenly becomes one of the Worlds top 20 DJ’s who’s never actually spun two tracks in his life, especially from veterans of the scene that have dedicated their careers to that very art and have become top of their game.

Yes we can live with that, especially in today’s X-Factor society it’s become the norm to see this way of working in the music business. Things start to get uncomfortable when those manufactured accolades get used to their own advantage, headline billing, pressurizing promoters to move their once perfectly programmed set times so they play the headline slot, promoters forced to take other DJ’s they didn’t want, localized bidding wars that have put many clubs and promoters out of business… the list goes on. That’s the pain that goes on in the background that the general public don’t see, and why I think there’s an explosion waiting to happen.

There’s absolutely no respect between the two groups. One built the foundation that the others have monopolized on, but the others must understand that its pure entertainment that’s taken to the masses, something that the underground would never achieve. Yes it’s a caricature of it’s former self, but as history shows, this has always been part of the electronic eco system. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with ‘EDM’ and what these guys get up too, focus on the job in hand and start creating the next underground scene that they will eventually jump on. Keep one step ahead of the game.

Yes I personally went through this confusion a few years back not understanding what was happening to my beautiful underground scene, but became in a much happier place once I understood. Now I totally respect both sides. Some of the EDM stars are outstanding entertainers and manage to keep a sea of people locked into their show with not one person leaving the dance floor. That’s a mean feat to achieve. We’re all human beings and have varied musical pallets. If you’re in the mood to have fun, then go to one of these wild EDM festivals. If you fancy getting your head down and want to be stimulated musically, go find a dark underground club. After all both sides have a bunch of smiling people that are being made happy by music and entertainment, that’s what its all about at the end of the day?

To me its quite simple, if you don’t like it don’t go, that applies to both sides.

With some mutual respect we can all work in harmony. The new marketing machines have manufactured a clear line in the sand, it’s called EDM. Again history shows we always needed some form of dividing line to separate the two cultures, in the past we simply called them commercial Top 40 clubs. As things stand we’re all uncomfortably sitting in the same pot and it’s a mass of confusion trying to share the same; music shops, genre tags, magazines, forums, clubs etc. Again it creates more tension and battles.

So next time you find yourself turning to your keyboard to vent anger, take a moment, then redirect that energy to where you could personally make change, you’re a much bigger person for doing this and gain more respect for actually physically doing something, rather than ranting from the sideline.

Share what you love, not what you hate!

John 00 Fleming hosts a monthly mix called Global Trance Grooves on Digitally Imported. Listen to the most recent show here with a guest mix by Gai Barone:

Direct Soundcloud link.

About the Author

Keith Wozniak
Founder of this web site, I have also has been involved with raves since 1999 as a raver, flyer guy, owned a promotion company throwing small and large events and also ran one of the first Dancesafe chapters. I've done it all and have never thought the scene was dead. Also writes for



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