2008 sucked in almost everyway. You needn't look any further than down your street or row of desk cubicles at work to see how bad things really are and in age soaked in outward desire and apperance I'd say this year was either a hard, stinging slap to the face or a desperately urgent wake-up call to get real depending on how you look at things. The music from the "toppermost of the poppermost" to the most underground of electronic music reflected this years stasis and tension as if we as a species were collectively waiting to see the change we desired in the world but at the same time expecting something even worse. There was nothing new or ground breaking this year in any way and in fact my contribution to this year's Resident Advisor poll had me rethinking my association with the mag especially after being in the middle of all of some shady, underhanded turbulence earlier this year that caused the two editors to resign. Not to mention the precipitous nosedive in quality of their once legendary podcast series. The international tastemakers and their writers have collectively decided to play it safe and predictable this year which, after glancing at the once mighty XLR8R's even worse year picks, seems to be more of a ploy to keep the last four advertisers left on the books happy and thus prop up yet another dying media industry. To me theres is nothing more sad and disgusting that twits like Ricardo Villalobos are STILL held in such high regards and yet to me and many other US music fans he and the mikrohaus revolution are simply synthetic paper tiger relics standing in the way of something real and true. I'll even go a little further out on a limb with my pal Evan and say that he is as loathesome to me as Bruce Springsteen or Eddie Vedder-two other guys who ruined pop music forever and left us with g'damn mess.
Here are the first of the six RA polls. Let me know your thoughts:
Top 20 Labels
(Labels as brands? I think the editor only hesitantly touchs on what some of us oldtimers already know after saying that-the industy is dead as we know it and who in the hell needs brands in 2008? That kind of thinking was always for the weakminded anyway. Honestly, I was kinda surprised this year at how many of my peers finally broke out of that herd mindset and joined those of us having fun outside the box adventures with a variety of sounds new and old. Maybe someone should memo the other so-called tastemakers about brands?
Top 10 Live Acts
(I didn't see enough live acts this year mainly because they are always so ridiculously boring...)
Top 15 Remixes
(Sadly this one was so lamely predictable that I just about had it called before I even filled out my survey. I think even the guy who mistook his wife for a hat could have picked this one perfectly. That's almost as bad as the Grammys, RA.)
Top 20 Compilations
(Getting closer.... This one was fairly predictable with oodles of Fabric mixes as it seems they are the only folks making enough money to have a real A&R department but surprising too at how much dubstep has infiltrated the public conciousness. It's like drum & bass deja vu all over again...hell even R&S finally made a comeback this year after ignorantly predicting that D&B would become the new Detroit techno by the end of the 90s. Whoops, guess that gamble didn't pay off so well! For me the inclusion of the Ame CD in the top twenty was the benchmark of fatality in this poll as that mix, to me, was the worst offender this year of that insidious crappy eurotrance vibe again starting to choke out the good techno and house music. Guess we'll have to wait another 15 years til the boys work that out of their system before music gets good again.)