Last Night a DJ saved my life
by DJ Medison - posted 10:00 am, August 6, 2014
( Autobahn / Ministry of Sound )
It was just a little over two years ago that I was approached by Cory to curate a mixtape exclusively for Artvoice. I was the first one to do so and I felt that I was a part of setting a new standard for Buffalo, like I was standing on the edge of something new, something untapped. ‘Finally!’ I said, ‘an outlet for the area’s electronic community to showcase their talents.’ It was such a necessary move.
So months came and went and many of Buffalo’s most talented faces graced the cyber pages of Artvoice.com giving a platform for the artist to efficiently reach their fans. But there wasn’t much follow up, there wasn’t an investment into the musical scene like we had hoped. Curation lagged, then trickled, and then something happened; it wasn’t a prize anymore. The combination of changing sonic landscapes and available technology had over-simplified the process of being a DJ, and the scene was flooded. But it wasn’t always this way.
For those of you just tuning in, seeing an electronic artist win multiple Grammy Awards and getting Ralph Lauren deals all the while standing there looking pretty seemed like the norm. It’s very big business now. It’s an industry that is worth upwards of $6 Billion and it’s something many free market capitalists have already embraced.
Back in 2006, I came into the Buffalo electronic scene and it was very different. Computer DJs were just starting to gain a foothold in clubs and to the naked eye it was the future. For us, Soundlab was THE spot to hear the unconventional. Chippewa and University Heights were where you went if you were attending a local college or trying to attract someone who did. Allentown was where you went on a Tuesday to listen to whatever tunes the jukebox decided, which was undoubtedly rock and roll based. (I’ll save my story for when we get there, so in the meantime catch up with an awesome, awesome write-up from 2009 by Craig Reynolds titled ‘Dance to the Underground’.)
I plan to make this column contain equal parts remembering, searching, learning and building. I want to go back and showcase those that shaped this city and this culture into their own—a hyper-local electronic music family tree. I would like to use this platform to educate the individual reader/viewer, curate the city’s content, and inspire others to make music, no matter what form. We will be concentrating on the electronic and sample-based forms of music and how they have evolved and grown over the years, since it first became viable in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I will engage local artists through on-camera interviews that will include an exclusive mixtape from each performer.
Now if you want to delve deeper, I invite you to use this as an open channel for dialogue. If you know some history and you want to fill in some blanks, please e-mail me here at email@example.com.
AND REMEMBER, this is for education and curation only, so keep the drama in your diaries.
NEXT UP on LAST NIGHT with DJ Medison: DJ Xotec explains why you could never be his record bitch.