ctrl + alt + del: a farewell to arms

After two and a half years of publishing DJBroadcast International – our English language platform- it is with a heavy heart to announce that we will be suspending further publication. Although well received and appreciated by those who followed us, we struggled to make the ends justify the means. For now, DJBroadcast will add its name to the list of excellent and critical publications that struggled to survive in the online world of music media.

Electronic music has always been about control. Due to the very nature of it being produced using machines, it is understandable that those who craft the beats and rhythms we listen to, are they themselves obsessed with this notion of control. And this is often reciprocated in the articles that are published about electronic music culture. What we read is often refined, cultivated and shaped by external forces. As we come to the end of our English expedition with DJBroadcast, it’s important to remember why we have music journalism in the first place. Without the impassioned diggers, inquisitors and fanatics that write about what happens in the studios, clubs and record stores, our understanding of electronic music culture would be bereft of context, integrity and wisdom. It is the function of good journalism to disseminate this control; to create a deeper understanding of what is not only a grafted and accepted form of art, but also the cultural glue for many of our jilted generation.

DJBroadcast began in the Netherlands way back in 2002 as an online and physical publication. At home, it soon established itself as the leading outlet for electronic dance music culture and in 2013 the decision was made to launch an international, English platform. The idea was to create a narrative that would distinguish itself from the other surrounding media channels by focusing on wider, cultural topics and how they in-turn impacted the music scene we were actively involved in. As such, DJBroadcast began to centre its concentration on politics and social issues as lenses to view modern club culture. We addressed present-day concerns and asked how they were impacting our community.

Over the past two-and-a-half years DJBroadcast addressed issues such as how mental health was impacting the lives of modern artists; the morality behind having personal record shoppers; how American immigration policy was negatively effecting the domestic club scenes; and what impact DJs were having on the environment. We interviewed scene figureheads, and those who were pioneering new ways to think about music. We reviewed great records (and some bad ones). We travelled to some thrilling locations, reported on up-and-coming scenes and went to Europe’s most groundbreaking events.

We produced a series of documentaries with Nick Höppner, Palms Trax, Henning Baer and Anja Schneider. We also started a new magazine series – The DJBroadcast Collection – a new print, format that brought together quality storytelling, in a bold new outlet.

We did all this because it was important to us. We did this because we believed that complacency should not exist in the contemporary, music media landscape and that it needed to be challenged with a new voice. Our aim was to dictate the clubbing-culture narrative with our own conjecture. But in the end, the numbers didn’t quite add up, and after two-and-a-half years we have decided to suspend our International publication until a new way to sustain our operations can be found. We can look back with great adulation as to what we have achieved, but knowing that for now, making any steps forward just aren’t feasible.

The decision to cease the publication of our English content will in no way effect the output of the Dutch team, who will continue to publish their stream of award-winning content. This is our biggest disappointment; that our English readers will never have the satisfaction of enjoying the top, quality articles written for our Dutch audience.

And what about you the reader? You’re probably here because you are a fan of electronic music journalism. And in order for great journalism to happen –of which there is a lot out there- you need to carry on supporting it. Share great articles, comment on excellent posts and buy the magazines you love. That way the scene will still be replete with great editorial that tells the real stories of artists, music, scenes and culture. Music editorial should not be a platform for promotion or public relations; it should be an avenue for discovery, news and great storytelling. This is something DJBroadcast has always abided by and always will. Until our paths cross again.

Dan Cole