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Following the news that Judge Jules will no longer present a show on Radio 1 I’m thinking of announcing the death of dance music – and particularly trance – on UK national radio.
There are still some presenters playing dance music, a few shows tucked away, some digital stations and plenty of internet ones but if you are a fan of dance – and particularly trance – don’t listen to national UK radio.
Except dance music is alive and well and bursting with creativity. Dutch dj and producer Tiësto (who plays a range of dance music) presents a hugely popular radio show and this year has played to massive sell out audiences inAmerica. Armin van Buuren reaches 15m with his radio show and receives well over 250,000 downloads a week for his podcast and UK dance festivals are consistently sold out.
So why isn’t dance music played on UK radio stations and particularly our licence fee funded national stations?
There are excellent UK based artists creating amazing dance music which rarely gets played or playlisted. The legend that is Boy George working with Marc Vedo wrote a fantastic track this year. Gareth Wyn created some amazing dance remixes of the likes of Emeli Sande, Britney Spears and Beyonce.
On the trance scene, there are so many excellent artists with stunning tracks I dare not try and list them for fear of leaving so many out. Above & Beyond, Gareth Emery, Lange, Daz Bailey, Paul Morell, Loverush UK, Headstrong, Lost Witness, Jon O’Bir, Chris Cockerill, Jamie Harrison and Matt Davey have all written numerous notable tracks which deserve to be heard by a UK audience.
And those are just artists working in the UK. What about Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Kyau & Albert, Super8 & Tab, Dash Berlin, Alex M.O.R.P.H, Arnej, TyDi? I could go on and on and on.
And yet, their work is hardly, if ever, played on publicly funded UK national radio stations.
Why is that? Well, I’m going to say something which might be contentious.
It is because the people in charge of these stations don’t want us to hear dance music and particularly trance.
These days national radio doesn’t seem to be about reflecting what we – the audience – want to hear. It is about reflecting the interests of those who run the stations and create the shows. They don’t like dance music – particularly trance – so we can’t hear it.
There are presenters, radio producers, artists and dance music labels who try so hard to get their music to an audience via national radio who are denied the opportunity, not because it isn’t good enough, but because staff at the radio stations aren’t into that kind of music so they won’t play it.
I think that is a huge shame and a missed opportunity to share some truly great music. It also utterly fails to reflect the wide diversity of the UK radio audience. Surely, national and publicly funded stations should reflect the wide ranging musical interests of the many not the narrow minded concerns of the few?
I’m sorry Judge Jules is being forced out of his show. I’m sorry that wonderful talented artists can’t get their music on UK national radio. I’m sorry that dance music labels can’t survive because people don’t get to hear their music. I’m sorry that we – the passionate dance music audience – are being utterly, comprehensively and disgracefully failed.