Red Bull Music Academy – London 2010

I’ve not had a chance to write about the Red Bull Music Academy events, or their daily newspaper which is an omission on my part.

I was too knackered to make the now legendary 4 way soundclash between DMZ, Trojan, Soul To Soul and Metalheadz at the Roundhouse last week, but is sounded wicked. Check Laurent’s write up and the only-to-be-expected disagreements in the comments.

You can listen to the four rounds of the clash here (no downloads tho).

The most recent Daily Note includes a nice piece on fanzines which mentions Woofah and says it has: “consistently proved that informed, considered and informative journalism continues to exist outside the internet and mainstream monthly music titles”

Which is the sort of thing which makes it all worthwhile! One for the Woofah Love page I think!

Previous issues of the Daily Note have included a two part piece by Melissa Bradshaw on the history of UK Soundsystem,  Dan Hancox on the cops and grime, a cool Weatherall interview and a series of pieces on different areas of London, including Hackney. It’s all available for download as pdfs on the RBMA site.


  1. I got a +1 down to the clash thing, and yeah, it was a lot of fun. However I’ve been wanting to get something of my chest (glad you brought it up!):

    Firstly, the whole Red Bull Music Academy thing sticks in my throat – I hate advertising at the best of time, and the acts did well over the night to shake off the corporate gig atmosphere that red bull’s association brought with it. It wasn’t easy to shake mind. All these young media types trying to film everyone for their promo material (it was swarming with them), a huge camera swinging around on a massive crane throughout – f that. I dont want to be in a red bull commercial thanks.

    Yeah, the daily note things are good etc. but I cant bare to look at them, same way i dont watch ads on tv(turn the volume down/change the channel). Im puritanical I guess, but for me the motivation for a night to be put on is a big part of it, same is true for a piece of writing. Its just the next step of companies trying to disguise their advertising as social engagement. Personally it makes me queasy.

    Second off: the clash was fun, the banter was fun, the selection was great, but ultimately competition and music just don’t mix in my book. Andy C for metalheadz absolutely smashed it – super fast technical djing, soundclash winning business. But so what? For me music is about depth and journey – in fact it’s the whole This Tune Is the Biggest Tune culture that’s left DnB in a state where there’s no depth or subtlety left. I think dubstep is in danger of going the same way. Your only as Big as your last Big tune.. yawn.

    One-off clashes like this are entertaining, but personally i’d rather see less competition and more risk taking amongst djs, and less emphasis on winners and losers.

    Okay, I feel better now! Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi Mikus – to take your last point first I think competition can be OK, it can certainly inspire people to out-do themselves if done in a comradely fashion. I just don’t think competition is a good way to organise an entire society.

    And to be fair, the event was promoted as being a competition so you can’t say you were warned. 😉

    The corporotisation of music is also interesting. For me RBMA is a rare intervention by companies into the music I like. Perhaps that means I am swinging back into fashion again, I dunno. Not having been there I don’t know if the trade off is worth it. For my part I have never bought any red bull product, but I have enjoyed their website.

    As there is less and less money to be made out of music, we may well see more and more patronisation of our scenes by companies I suppose. But there will always be non- or anti- corporate alternatives as well.

  3. Good points made above, most of which I agree with, especially regarding the marketing/ corporate thing.

    Also, had to make a small point — one of the MC’s on the youtube clip says words to the effect of ‘without Trojan, there’d be no dubstep, so know your history and show respect etc etc’.

    Well, what the hell is he on about?Did a Trojan promotions manager ask him to say that? Agreed, without *reggae/dub* there’d certainly be no dubstep….but Trojan, as those of us who were buying rare reggae in the 70’s know, was not a feature at all on the esoteric acoclyte deep reggae scene.

    Truth is, Trojan records usually sold to the poppier end of the reggae market,( strings, poppy lovers songs) or else they sold very cheap in the bargain bins in the reggae stores, whilst everyone saved their cash for the rare Jamaican imports; the real tunes that held Gnostic secrets.

    That’s the total truth of the matter, however Trojan may want to rewrite history after their vast voracious project to buy up every reggae song that ever moved, and repackage them as box sets from the late 90’s onwards.

  4. I guess these guys are paid by Trojan to say that stuff. Trojan seem to see reggae as no more than units to be shifted, much like selling boxes of soap.

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