While music professionals reel from the economic impact of COVID-19, one respected personality in techno remains optimistic. Dave Clarke has said that he is “quite hopeful” that fallout from the pandemic might bring with it a return the electronic music community’s core values.
In a recent Facebook post, Clarke hedged his outlook for the future with a healthy measure of sympathy for his contemporaries. “Many of you are having really hard times, of course Italy is a country that is close to my heart and you got hit hard and fast, Spain too…” he wrote. “…I hope you all get through as best as possible.”
He nevertheless went on to predict that the absence of festivals and international travel might remove commercial influences that have steered the techno world off course. “I am quite hopeful for this reset regarding the music scene,” he wrote. “Each year I was feeling more and more suffocated by the corporate takeover of our music and history (but also many other originally creative arts).”
Clarke’s post wasn’t the first time he’s shared such sentiments in regards to COVID-19. In an interview for Serato‘s “Keeping Busy” series, he remarked that Resident Advisor’s “Save Our Scene” initiative should have been called “Save the Hierarchy.” “They presented an utterly childish understanding of how the economy works,” he said.
The Baron of Techno
Brighton-born and Amsterdam-based, Dave Clarke has remained a fixture of electronic music since his debut 1990 release under the alias Hardcore. The venerated R&S Records championed his music shortly thereafter, and in 1992 he launched his own artist imprint, Magnetic North. The late BBC Radio DJ and journalist John Peel dubbed him “the baron of techno” before his rising star was but a twinkle in the eye of most of the genre’s enthusiasts.
By most discerning fans’ measure, Clarke’s integrity has remained intact over the years – but he’s also managed to remain relevant. TWTMEGP banter aside, his commentary has long served as a barometer of the goings on in techno.
As with many musicians, Clarke has no tour dates until late summer, 2020. Until further notice, he will resume gigging with a performance at Bunktek Festival in Glabbeek, Belgium on August 7th.
Image credit: Marilyn Clark