Examining the complex relationship between club culture and corporations.
Corporate involvement in dance music is nothing new, but it remains a prominent talking point around the communities in which it operates. This is partly to do with how marketing in the club scene has changed in recent years, with brands taking more active roles in influencing and financing the culture. This influence is reinforced by the general precarity of the 21st century musician, who increasingly turns to brands as benefactors following the collapse of the traditional record industry. And with the rise of data-hungry platforms, formerly niche subcultural interests have become attractive avenues for expansion, leaving the typical mainstream vs. underground dichotomy out of date.
These issues provide the basis for the latest edition of The Amplified Kitchen, ://about blank's series of talks supported by Musicboard Berlin. Artist and educator Mat Dryhurst, Boiler Room curator Michail Stangl and Yuko Asanuma, a journalist and booking agent, shared views on the pros, cons and potential futures of brands in dance music, with RA's Will Lynch moderating the discussion. The talk shows that the questions at hand are much larger than whether a given electronic artist should or should not associate with a brand. Rather, we hear how the death of authenticity and the harsh realities of platform capitalism compel us to look at the issue in a structural way.