So another accusation of ‘chart rigging’ is doing the rounds. I don’t give a flying f*** whether its true or not but I do know how rife it is general. Anyone with a decent working knowledge of this industry knows what it takes in terms of sales to chart on Beatport et al so when DJ X appears in the Top 10 after minimal previous exposure (gigs or otherwise) and no noticeable PR campaign it does raise questions.

Set this against the emails that we get on an almost daily basis asking us if we want to buy guaranteed chart positions, twitter followers, likes, views and whatever else, you know the temptation is there. I’d like to say something magnanimous like: “The modern day aspiring DJ / producer / label must be under so much pressure to succeed” etc etc, but I’m not going to.

Dance Music for me has always been about the underground. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s born out of two mates in a garage with a sampler and a load of records putting together a track, motivated by nothing more than wanting to see it played at a a rave whilst their mates get off their chops to it. Tracks like this then taking on the established order with their 5 figure marketing budgets and relentless PR. To me that is rebellion.

I know things change and that’s a bygone (golden) era of Dance Music. But the foundations of what we do and why we do it should be understood and respected. I’ve watched all of this being slowly eroded down the years. Whether its the annual wave of collective gut wrenchingly nauseating DJ Mag Top 100 vote for me bullsh*t and vote rigging (now thankfully falling out of favour in our scene), to buying views on YouTube (100,000 views in 24 hours – 14 comments (are people really that stupid!) 96,000 FB likes – 9 people talking about it. Surely I am not the only person who is wondering what the other 95,991 people are talking about.

We’ve lost artists because we have refused to support their DJ Mag top 100 campaigns. Some good ones too. I’m not proud of that, but I am proud that we have always remained true to our core principles. I doubt these practices will disappear now. Depressingly, the culture of fake and disposable is here to stay. Our acceptance of well known ‘manipulative’ industry working practices within the underground scene has grown and permeated further and further down. Not only is it rife, it is acceptable! How f**king sad is that!

All I can say is, it’s never going to be acceptable here and I work with enough cool labels and people to know that there is still integrity out there. If I thought there wasn’t, I’d probably throw in the towel…

– Chris Hampshire

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Chris Hampshire
SOURCE – The above opinion article is published with permission, and was first published by Chris on his Facebook page on 9th October 2014.