So it’s finally happened. This afternoon I received my usual Beatport promotional email, to find that the company has got wise to the rising popularity of Leftfield House and Techno. After taking a look at the new section on the site, It’s an interesting move from the popular download site. As at first I thought that they had just seen Lo-Fi House and tried to rebrand it. But they have really understood that Lo-Fi House is just a small part of the overall make-up of this broad heading. They have included labels such as Frustrated Funk, American techno imprint The Bunker New York and Bristol’s experimental No Corner label. Les Points, Unknown to the Unknown, The Nothing Special, Trust and Dum Records are also featured.
In a statement, Beatport General Manager Terry Weerasinghe said; “70% of the tracks sold on Beatport fall squarely in our House and Techno genres so we wanted to do something to highlight the high-quality underground releases that people could miss amongst the 25,000 new tracks that appear each week. Beatport have worked directly with smaller, boutique labels to make an area on the site which will shine a light on off-kilter, lo-fi, avant-garde house and techno.”
Current Beatport Leftfield House and Techno Chart No.1
Taking a look at that statement there are some positives from this particular change in the Beatport make-up. Firstly as mentioned, it will bring some great labels out of the lowest underground and into the limelight, also pave the way for start-up labels to make it in this fledging industry. This will make it easier for enthusiasts (such as myself) to find new tracks more easily, which is never a bad thing. The same principle will apply for the artists related to those labels; it’s always great to see the DJs and Producers we love, becoming more successful. Also most importantly, this could spell the end for the awful commercialisation that Beatport has been experiencing over the past few years, what with the rise of Electro, Future, “Big Room” House (otherwise known as EDM…*Shudder*).
Now we must look at the possible negative of this change. I’m all for promotion of the underground and such, but sometimes it does get out of hand. I mean look what happened with Deep House; since a spark of re-popularity in 2012, it brought in a new era of House music, a renaissance of sorts. But then it went on to be buggered and warped by the mainstream over the last 4 years (I mean what the fuck is Tropical House really?). There was a point in the middle of this time that I genuinely thought that everybody and their Grandma was making Deep (derp) House. I certainly hope this doesn’t happen to Left field, as popularity is one thing but over-saturation in a genre/industry is a terrible thing.
I believe though that by the essence of its experimental and strange nature of the production styles under Leftfield, this seems unlikely. More likely is that 2017 is start of a weird new sound coming out of the dark and into the light. The future sounds good.