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Paradox Lost
In This Twilight



Registered: Aug 2007
Location: San Francisco
RA kills annual top 100 poll

Full context of their reasoning here, nuts and bolts below:

quote:
If our goal was to reflect the past year in electronic music, our 2016 DJ and Live Act polls were the culmination of a growing feeling: that the homogeneity of the results didn't represent the diversity of the scene. Musically, they featured just a portion of the music we cover and that gets played in clubs. But that's a comparatively trivial point. More pressingly, the DJ and Live Act lists were overwhelmingly dominated by men, mostly from the US and Europe. They didn't represent the reality of electronic music in 2016, a scene in which countless incredibly talented women play to packed clubs each weekend. To continue running these features would be to diminish the vital contribution they make to electronic music.

It's also important to remember that dance music is an art form born in queer communities, shaped by people of colour and populated by artists of all genders. But, simply put, this isn't something you'd know by looking at the recent results of our polls. At best, the lists misrepresented the reality of the scene; at worst, they helped to reinforce some of its harmful power dynamics, which still favour white men above everyone else. This is reason enough to make a change.

On a more basic level, we decided that we don't want to rank artists in this way. On reflection, to put artists in a list in descending order of perceived quality does a disservice to them, even the ones at the top, and creates an atmosphere of self-interested competition. For this reason, we'll also be stopping the staff-voted, numerically-ordered polls—that is, top labels, top tracks, top albums and top mixes / compilations / podcasts.


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'He traded sand for skins, skins for gold, gold for life. In the end, he traded life for sand.' Afari, Tales

Old Post Nov-22-2017 23:42  Palestine
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DJ RANN
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: May 2001
Location: Hollywood....

While there is a fair amount of wank in their post, I actually appreciate the basis, not least to mention that this is a direct fuck you to DJ mag, which this year put out the single most cringe-inducing collection of lowest common denominators.

Old Post Nov-22-2017 23:49 
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Paradox Lost
In This Twilight



Registered: Aug 2007
Location: San Francisco

I don't think I will ever be sad to see a top 100 poll that has existed for more than five years disappear. No one denies that they're popularity contests, but the longer they exist, the more worthless they become.


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'He traded sand for skins, skins for gold, gold for life. In the end, he traded life for sand.' Afari, Tales

Old Post Nov-22-2017 23:53  Palestine
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Mr.Mystery
303 <3 808



Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Vantaa

Doesn't that basically say "we're killing it, because you didn't vote the way we wanted you to"?


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 07:54  Finland
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Woony
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Berlin

quote:
What began as a lighthearted way to praise our favourite artists and toast the year gone by had become something of more serious consequence: an industry index influencing many different parts of club culture, from event lineups to artist fees to the atmosphere of the scene in general (especially at this time of year).


This was the real issue and everyone behind the scene knows it. The poll had much more influence than a lot of people would like to admit, especially in relation to big festival lineups and artist fees.


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 09:26 
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SYSTEM-J
IDKFA.



Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds

No doubt the poll was very influential for lazy promoters, and most of the big parties in Leeds are particularly guilty of "RA Top 100 syndrome". However, I'd say the real reason is more likely to be this little nugget:

quote:
Musically, they featured just a portion of the music we cover...


It was running the risk of becoming an embarrassment. You could already feel the subtextual cringe as they were forced to write their Pitchfork-derived critical stylings about the rise of idiots like Patrick Topping and Solardo, who are the RA equivalent of Hardwell and Steve Aoki. And Dixon constantly winning was becoming a joke. If the Top 20 was full of the kind of "selectors" they push, I seriously doubt the poll would be axed. They would see it as vindication of their editorial policy.

The DJ Mag comparison is quite apt. Although DJ Mag are about as low-quality as paid dance music journalism gets without becoming click bait, even they became visibly embarrassed by the EDM take-over of their poll a few years back, given they never push any of the names that appear in it. RA was going in the same direction. Their biggest and most widely-read feature of the year was packed full of names that don't reflect the editorial policy.


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 13:23  England
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Woony
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Berlin

I'm not sure if the poll has ever been that in line with their editorial policy but the split has definitely increased over the past few years with the explosion of ibiza-innervisions-bro-tech-house and them pushing all this PC music and queer experimental shit (that few people on the site actually care about..) super hard.

Speaking of that, DJ mag has been pushing the Black Madonna (mediocre DJ that perpetually cans overplayed crowd pleasing hits) so hard in some kind of attempt to appear underground and progressive it's hilarious.


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 16:59 
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Sand Leaper
Kein Fan davon



Registered: Jul 2001
Location: Oslo, Norway
Re: RA kills annual top 100 poll

quote:
Originally posted by Paradox Lost
More pressingly, the DJ and Live Act lists were overwhelmingly dominated by men, mostly from the US and Europe. They didn't represent the reality of electronic music in 2016, a scene in which countless incredibly talented women play to packed clubs each weekend.


In other words: Stop voting wrong, cis white male scum!


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 20:37  Norway
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Sykonee
Supreme EMCritic



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada

I do give RA props for nipping their monster before it grew too big for them to handle with any sort of credibility (oh hi, DJMag). It'll create a significant dent in their year-end ad revenue without having such easy click-bait articles available. Only Real Heads will likely want to read extended 'Year In Review' write-ups. Takes some balls to forego the cash for the sake of the 'underground'.


Still, it does ultimately feel as J' said: wresting back their editorial control from the 'clubbing commoners' that were hyping acts the staff didn't want to cover. Guess we'll see if they can sustain their website doing so, or whether the lack of Year-End Polls will tank their fortunes.


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Old Post Nov-23-2017 23:55  Canada
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Paradox Lost
In This Twilight



Registered: Aug 2007
Location: San Francisco

I do think there's credibility to their stated (and seemingly primary) reason that the top 100 didn't reflect the level of diversity that was pushing the scene beyond the obvious and most popular faces. It's too polarizing of a basis to simply use as a convenient excuse for something else (which wouldn't make it very convenient at all).


___________________
'He traded sand for skins, skins for gold, gold for life. In the end, he traded life for sand.' Afari, Tales

Old Post Nov-24-2017 01:09  Palestine
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Woony
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Berlin

quote:
Originally posted by Sykonee
Still, it does ultimately feel as J' said: wresting back their editorial control from the 'clubbing commoners' that were hyping acts the staff didn't want to cover. Guess we'll see if they can sustain their website doing so, or whether the lack of Year-End Polls will tank their fortunes.


RA were smart and got into the ticket game at the right time. I don't know what kind of cut they take, but still, I bet they make most of their revenue with ticks now. It gives them the freedom to (unlike a lot of other websites struggling for ad revenue) to keep some dignity and do stuff like this.

Berlin isn't huge on pre-sale tickets for various reasons but I just took a look at the London listings: RA tickets for every big event! https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/uk/london


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Old Post Nov-24-2017 07:39 
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Sykonee
Supreme EMCritic



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada

quote:
Originally posted by Woony
RA were smart and got into the ticket game at the right time. I don't know what kind of cut they take, but still, I bet they make most of their revenue with ticks now. It gives them the freedom to (unlike a lot of other websites struggling for ad revenue) to keep some dignity and do stuff like this.

Berlin isn't huge on pre-sale tickets for various reasons but I just took a look at the London listings: RA tickets for every big event! https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/uk/london

Ah, wasn't aware their Events promotion went beyond ad space. Yeah, ticket sales should give them a solid financial base in keeping the lights on.


___________________
Everyone has an opinion. Mine just happens to be a little more informed than most.
Electronic Music Critic: Near-Daily Ruminations Of Music I Own, In Alphabetical Order!

(~)

Old Post Nov-24-2017 12:15  Canada
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