Be very aware of people who trumpet these phrases on a night out:
“Analogue always sounds better than digital”
Does it? Or do you think buying obscure techno vinyl and rambling on about how raw the 808 sounds makes you more cool and credible? We’re not particularly arsed if it’s made on a complicated hardware set up or a rusty tin can; if it sounds good, it sounds good and we’ll dance to it regardless.
“The soundsystem sounds terrible”
Sorry, we didn’t realise you were an expert in sonic frequencies and had ears more sensitive than a bat. Are you really just using poor sound quality as an excuse to stand about in the smoking area chatting breeze?
“Warehouses are always better than clubs”
There’s always a sense of adventure surrounding warehouse parties. Their awkward locations mean you have to trek out to random parts of the city in the depths of night, searching high and low for the entrance and confusing the hell out of your taxi driver, and it’s always, always fun to party in a new, often off-kilter location. But they can also be a massive ball ache. Promoters can and will skip corners when hiring non-conventional spaces for raves, meaning your fun night out could dissolve into an all-nighter of annoyance quicker than you can say “What’s the postcode again?” There’s all manner of things that can go wrong: overflowing toilets, sound complaints from local residents, horrendous overcrowding and dodgy ticketing systems that mean you have to queue for ages. We’ve had good times dancing in an ex-sweatshop on the wrong side of Hackney, but that’s not to mean we take proper clubs for granted. At least you know the music’s not going to be turned off halfway through the night at Fabric.
“Deadmau5 can’t actually mix”
With their massive lightshows, perfectly synced sets and gimmicky props, it’s pretty easy to write off superstar artists as lazy millionaires who just press play. Especially when they admit that they pre-programme performances so that all the big drops and explosions go off in time. But there’s a reason why they got to the top (well, apart from major label marketing schemes) and that’s because they do know their shit. Guetta played underground parties for years and Deadmau5 recently went back-to-back with Richie Hawtin, which ain’t no mean feat. So think twice before you slag off the big boys for the wrong reason.
“Electro is so 2007”
Okay, just because you were into a sound seven years ago but then moved on as soon as the next bandwagon rolled round, doesn’t mean that sound’s dead. Or buried. Or dormant. You just didn’t have the guts or the passion to stick with it through thick and thin. You weren’t brave enough to go out on your own to the nights that none of your friends fancied. Genres go in and out of fashion but that doesn’t mean you should give up on them. Take electro. Sure it blew up in 2007 thanks to Ed Banger and Justice et al, but you can’t relegate it to the past. This year the scene is booming, with pioneering records from Gesaffelstein, Brodinski, Jackson And His Computer Band and Erol Alkan. Don’t ignore a sound just because you’re well into other, more fashionable things now. Same goes for dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass. But not psy trance. Because that never should have existed at all.
“I’m really into that deep house”
We’ve been here before but it still cracks us up. This year, deep house has somehow become the term for house music that, well, isn’t actually that deep. Sure, beats by Bondax and George FitzGerald might feature big, bold basslines, but their vibe hardly dips below the surface in comparison to the output of producers like Sven Weisemann and Moomin and labels like Smallville and Dirt Crew. There’s a whole ocean of deepness to explore but it’s a world away from what many young, bass-minded producers are making.
“Ibiza was better back in the day”
We’ve heard it all before. The hippies, the open-air terraces, the never-ending parties, the incendiary sets from Luciano and Paul van Dyk before they got uber famous, the pure, uncut drugs and the free love. Sure, Ibiza back in the day probably wasn’t teeming with lager boys and intense, sleep-deprived flyer girls, but it’s still really fucking fun. This year saw quality new parties from tINI, Guy Gerber and Solomun and top clubs like Space bringing a mammoth range of DJs to the island. Plus, our resident Ibiza boy Callum assures us that villa parties, cave raves and beach-bound adventures are rife, despite what you might have read about the commercialisation of the island. Anyone who slates the White Isle is probably too boring to go on a rave holiday anyway.
“Berghain is the best club in Berlin”
Of course, feeling the energy in Panorama Bar at 7am on a Sunday morning is one of life’s great pleasures and getting lost in Berghain for hours on end is glorious, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of Berlin. Try hitting the weird and wonderful Homopatik party or exploring the murky depths of Stattbad. Then there are little venues like Loftus Hall the legendary Wax Treatment parties. You’ll look way more knowledgeable if you know Berlin as well as a lokalen.
“Croatia is the new party destination”
Yup. And it has been for a good few years now. If you’ve only just realised, you must have been getting your sunny party tips from the big newspapers, who seem to run a guide to Croatia every summer. There’s a plethora of festivals in the country, many of which are very good, but you can also spend your money travelling elsewhere, to less saturated places offering just as good events. Try Unsound in Krakow, Decibel in Seattle, Labrynth in Niigata, Donau in Krems. The list goes on. Get involved.
“America ruined dubstep”
That first wave of brostep was pretty atrocious, but since the initial explosion of flatulent mid-range riffage and tops-off moshing, things in the US have calmed down when it comes to dubstep and bass-heavy music. While the UK has moved on from low-end frequencies somewhat, America has become the new home of bass. UK producers like Swindle, Compa and Seven are getting more bookings in the States than their home country and the native scene is blossoming. Reconstrvct in New York is channeling the original vibe of dubstep (see: DMZ, FWD>>) and producers like Salva, Shlohmo and Eprom are pushing bass-heavy music in new directions. So, America’s actually killing it right now – in a good way.