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A Quick Correction
a.k.a. Apparently I can't read a calendar.
In the most recent edition of First Floor, I mentioned that I would be taking a little vacation this week, along with a short break from the newsletter. All of that information was correct, save for one thing: the original mailout said that First Floor would return on Thursday, May 4.
Long story short, I misread the calendar. What I meant to write was Thursday, May 11. (The online version of last week’s newsletter has been corrected to reflect that.)
Given that I’m still very much on vacation and have been taking something resembling a break from my laptop (and the day-to-day happenings of electronic music), cranking out a full edition of the newsletter for today isn’t possible.
My apologies for that, but I will definitely be back next Thursday.
In the meantime though, here are a few things that I’ve enjoyed reading in recent days:
Jayson Greene put together a fascinating / illuminating / depressing feature for Pitchfork that examines how publishing catalogs—which have been gobbled up in recent years by firms like Primary Wave and Hipgnosis, often for tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars—are now being leveraged in new ways by these same companies in an effort to maximize their return on investment. One of those ways involves curating new songs that purposely recycle old pop hits, a nostalgia-mining technique that’s been around for decades but has now been turbocharged in the TikTok era.
Writer / filmmaker Ed Gillett has a book called Party Lines coming out in August. A social and political history of UK dance music, it spans multiple decades, tracing the genre (and its associated culture) “from blues parties in Bristol in the early 1970s through to lucrative deals between dance music promoters and property developers in the 2020s, via techno terrorists, free festival hippies, grime ASBOs, illegal Covid lockdown raving and Kevin & Perry Go Large.” In the run-up to the book’s release, he’s also doing a Party Lines newsletter with assorted extras and bits that won’t make it into the book, and his most recent piece lays out the history of something that ravers of all ages will likely recognize: the iconic image of the yellow smiley face.
Speaking of books, First Floor readers may remember that I interviewed Matt Anniss earlier this year about Join the Future, in which he chronicled the history of bleep music in the UK. This week that history was re-told (albeit in a much more compact form) in a new article that Daniel Dylan Wray put together for the Guardian.
Alright, that’s probably more than enough to keep you all busy. Sorry again about the schedule mix-up, but I’ll be back next week with all the usual First Floor goodies.
Have a great week,
Shawn Reynaldo is a freelance writer, editor, presenter and project manager. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter, or you can just drop him an email to get in touch about projects, collaborations or potential work opportunities.