Early this morning, we took down a post made to our Facebook page that I had written the night before, which linked several Soundcloud accounts that had uploaded live rips and mix cuts from many of bass music’s most esteemed contributors. After receiving several messages from the associated artists and their teams, telling us that they didn’t want our reader base to hear these tracks, we quickly complied and removed it without any further complaints or backlash on our part. In this follow-up piece, I’d like to explain the situation as it happened from my own perspective, in order to hopefully quell some of the hatred and witch-hunting that I’ve experienced since it was posted.
Friday night, I had finished most of my writing for the day and was scrolling my Soundcloud feed in search of new music. I happened upon the accounts that were included in our later post, and scanned through them to find over 130 unreleased tracks from some of bass music’s best artists. With the exception of about six or seven tracks, which you can double-check by looking yourself, everything was either a LIVE RIP from a video or recording of a live set or a MIX CUT taken from some other compilation that was released to the public. My idea was that this account had simply organized and attributed a list of content that would have otherwise just been scattered around the Internet, albeit still available to the public.
I quickly wrote up the piece, using slightly flowery language like “heroic” and “magnificent” as subtle sarcasm to emphasize how good the tracks were that I heard. We posted the article on our Facebook page, it did poorly and very few people read it (it only received 1,268 page views in total), and we went to bed. When I woke up, I had received many messages from friends, people I work with, and complete strangers using words like “disgusting” and “despicable,” and putting into question my apparent lack of integrity or morals. After speaking with a manager of one of the artists whose work was uploaded, he told me that at first, even he thought that we had somehow acquired and illegally posted work that we didn’t have permission to use. After checking the Soundcloud account though, he said he realized that all of the material was taken from mixes and live shows that had already been made available to the public. “People have been doing that for years,” he said, referencing the Soundcloud user who took mix cuts and posted them on his page as being [Unreleased]. Other artists even commented on a track themselves to confirm its identity, and sometimes give more information.
The material that was uploaded to this account was not leaked by us. We did not gain anything from posting the content, nor did we secretly hope for the demise of our relationships with the involved artists and labels. On our part was a simple discovery of a Soundcloud account with some cool tracks on it that someone had taken from mixes and live shows that we thought readers would find interesting. Not for a moment was there any ill intent from our side, nor the idea that sharing someone else’s live rips would suddenly be considered as “illegal” or disgusting. In our mind, if a track is debuted in a public mix or played out to a live audience, the artist understands that the Internet community will now have access to whatever the recording consists of. I’ve never seen Skrillex demand that the entire audience at a festival turn off their cellphones before he leads into the next drop of an unreleased tune, in case someone happens to take a video and spoil his later release. That’s just not the world we live in. These tracks were made available to the public in these forms by the artists and their teams. We happened upon an organized collection of them, and some of them were so good that we thought the rest of the community would enjoy taking a listen, too.
We would never condone the theft or illegal handling of truly private material, as it is something that we at Your EDM are involved with every single day. Speak to any of our writers, and you’ll understand the kind of attention and care we put towards private material that is sent to us in confidence in advance of a formal release. The live rips and mix cuts that we found on this Soundcloud account were not a part of this private material.
To be treated as a villain, or someone with no respect for the artists involved or their management, is something that I care about, and am affected by. Most of the artists featured on the Soundcloud accounts are ones that I look up to, listen to frequently, support through writing, and skip other festival sets to witness perform live. To be portrayed as an individual or representative of an organization that would ever attempt to slight or undermine such creators is upsetting and untrue. I hope this message helps those who have vilified myself and Your EDM to understand the thought process and intentions behind the removed post.