The Secret DJ lifts the lid on the madness of major labels – Mixmag

After a bruising week in Ibiza I’d arrived back in London for an important event. At this point in rave history the major labels were desperate to get a large piece of the pie. Venal, hungry and paranoid, they were lost for a while, not knowing where raving came from. Naturally they had to own it: lock and stock. Part of this was the need for them to have ‘dance hits’. Major labels call themselves a business, but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant. They simply hang around waiting for something to happen and then pounce on it like a bushwhacking spider, pump it full of poison and then leave it hanging to get nice and ripe so they can gorge on it at their leisure.


I was a chubby, happy little fly.

Sign. Record. Deal. It was actually a dream of my youth but part of being ripe for a good plucking is your innate delusion that it’s all there just for you. An inevitability. Justice. Your payoff for being born awesome. I know: what a dick. That’s what the labels think too.

My reckless desire for a record deal was compounded by other factors. My way of dealing with always being tired and in the wrong country at the wrong time was to be perpetually out of my mind. Honestly, you don’t even really have to be hardcore. Most travellers constantly self-medicate with alcohol, pills and caffeine to deal with the shocking effects of sleeplessness and time-zone dilation. You can be a mess just using occupational amounts of legal helpers. Of course, the real solution is exercise and endorphins, but that wisdom comes much later… if you survive the learning process.

At the time I was in a collective of sorts. A commercial venture, slightly prankster in tone. Dare I even say ‘Situationist’ without punching myself in the face? Basically it was to try and keep us all afloat financially. You couldn’t do it today. Everyone in the media had their senses of humour removed a decade ago in a compulsory pogrom.

Anyway, it was a relief to get away from the freakish isolation of the solo DJ thing and be among friends again. Be they ever so oddball, there’s no place like homeboys. So there we all were at the great expense of a record company, being treated to a stay at London’s Metropolitan Hotel on Park Lane.

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