December 20, 2012 Share


Here we are again, Winter Music Conference and the IDMAs. As March 2013 roars in, all of us in the Dance Music Industry are bracing ourselves for the days of party from Dawn til… well, dawn.

As all of the potential nominees jockey for position, including us here at, an epiphany came across my desk. The organizers of the IDMAs split the categories of Best Dance Music website and Best Music publication into two categories. THANK YOU!

AT WMC 2012, the International Dance Music Awards were held as they have been for the 26 years prior. However, I was greatly disappointed with a move that changed the final nominee’s ballot. In 2011’s Nominee Ballot, in Line 26 the category was listed as Best Dance Music Website. However, when the actual ballot was revealed in early 2012, this category mysteriously disappeared and was replaced by Best Music Media Resource (Online or Print). In all fairness: up to the 22nd annual IDMA’s there was, in fact, a category titled “Best Publication”. However, this was changed with the 23rd annual awards to what it is known as today, or was until the unveiling of the 2012 ballot.

It is easy for one to see why back in 2006/7 the category was changed to “Best Dance Website”, since the Internet had become such a disruptive force and magazines were all in fear of disappearing. Looking back, when that change was made was there any notification to those who it affected? Did the change occur after magazines had begun campaigning for votes? I can’t speak for back then, but to change the category in 2012 so abruptly, mid-stream, without any official statement kind of put the integrity of the entire award in question, or, at least raised a good many questions. To the credit of the organizers of the IDMAs (and the panel) it appears that they are working to remedy that miscarriage of Dance Music injustice. Be aware: We noticed. We are watching and we count on the ethical members and panel of the IDMAs to keep things transparent and consistent.

THAT being said, something about it still nags in the back of my head: What exactly makes a dance website a dance website? Is it a website dedicated solely to dance music or can it be any website as long as dance music appears in it in some capacity? This is a matter of concern because some of the websites that have been nominated over the course of this specific category strike me as odd.

For instance, how can Soundcloud be considered a Dance music website or even publication? Soundcloud serves up all types of music and they don’t even have a blog – at least not about music, it’s about the site itself. If Soundcloud is a legitimate contender then can we vote for Discogs, Wikipedia, AOL Music, Yahoo Music, even Facebook and MySpace? Plenty of DJs and producers, not to mention dance music fans, share and/or listen to dance music via these services.

Another example is Yes, it’s true, you can get a lot of information from this site, but, again, it’s not really dedicated to dance music. On this site, the dance music section is a subcategory within a larger category. On you can also get plenty of information about cookware, auto repair, couponing, and obsessive-compulsive disorder – which I’m sure some would say I’m probably suffering from right now since I’m writing this. (Deep cleansing breath) Point is, I’m sure the American Psychiatric Association hasn’t awarded the best OCD website award. Using this same criteria, we can also nominate Rolling Stone or even the New York Times cultural section as best publications since they cover plenty of dance music news. And I’m sure most dance music fans would never do that.

Finally, some of the websites that have been nominated over the last few years don’t even create original content. They basically copy in their entirety pieces from other sites, such as Rolling Stone, MixMag and various blogs, and paste them to their sites. I just want to know if originality matters at all or is this based on hits, influence, or connections?

I would love to know the answers to these queries, and I’m sure those reading this would like to get a clearer understanding of what the guidelines are for the category.

That being said, here’s to a successful IDMA in 2013. I’ll be in the front row, yeah, the guy breathing into the paper bag while taking notes.