Writing about music

Typewriter

Back in my day as a young whipper snapper, writing about music was confined to a handful of incredibly lucky yet sometimes also pretty talented and amusing people (usually men, as it happens). 

The publications in question would ritually abuse each other in search of a distinct identity and some sense of exerting thought leadership over the audience. Admittedly a lot of this was unnecessarily unhealthy.

In the era of the web, the power of self-publishing tools (aka WordPress, Blogger et al) should have democratised all this rather too comfortable industry-A&R-meets-media-types-for-an-all-afternoon-boozeathon.

So how is it that I’m beginning to notice a select group of people writing reviews on more or less ALL of the handful of websites I look at in search of new music? What do these publications actually stand for when you have one person writing reviews across all of them, often reviews on very similar types and styles of music.

I applaud the select group for managing to sustain a life of audio luxury and promo MP3s. (Much like I applaud the lamentable band of “travel bloggers” getting free holidays to write puff articles. Genius.)

However, with the exception of the aforementioned Boiler Room, I worry that the web is not creating the brands around which those in search of genuinely new and exciting music gather.

When it comes to writing about music, are we still in the grip of the select few?

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