Our Top 10′s of the Decade
On Jan 1st 2000 the mother company of Nukleuz which I run was 8 years old and I had spent the night in a hotel room in the Savoy overlooking all the shenanigans on the Thames including an incredible firework display. The Millennium bug didn’t crash the world’s computers and planes didn’t drop out of the sky and electricity grids continued to work and yet another scare was laid to rest. The events of September the 11th 2001 were a long way off and we were all partying like it was 1999.
Nukleuz was exploding into the most amazingly successful label becoming the UK’s top vinyl label between 1999 and 2004. The success took huge amounts of work from the likes of Ed Real and BK in the UK (backed up by the amazing staff) and Mauro Picotto in Italy working like a man possessed. In the 10 years since that fun night much has changed in the world either in our minds or actual changes that have dramatically changed our lives. In other posts I will be doing a big 10 years of Nukleuz retrospective but here’s my personal top 10 important things of the noughties.
Think Airports, CCTV, No photos of buildings. In fact its all around us and for me we are much poorer for its intrusion into our lives. If the terrorists have won one war it is this aspect of our lives. I’m not sure who is really better off as a result of all this security but someone must be
In the year 2000 I had had a home computer for only 2 years ( I had periodically used Atari’s, PC’s and mac’s either in the studio or in the office). To think of that now just seems crazy. The impact on my business of the digital revolution in music is the overriding story of the nauties. It has changed everything and there is no going back. This was just a remote worry in 2000.
3. I got married.
It was a culmination of a lot of effort but when Frantic put on the first Hard House academy the euphoria was incredible because this was all our doing. This was about our creativity and hard work and to see 4,000 nutters in Brixton lapping it up was really a great sensation. Well done to Will and his people.
5. Cheap Air travel.
If any of you have taken advantage of this in the last 10 years you will look back at some time and be amazed at what was possible. Before Easyjet ALL air travel was relatively expensive apart from some discounted long haul routes. No travel around Europe was cheap. I have taken full advantage of it and my carbon footprint is probably Yeti sized but WTF? You don’t get these opportunities very often.
6. The end of Vinyl.
So what’s so shocking is we went from manufacturing half a million 12′s back in 2001 and now no longer make it. The change from a vinyl world to a digital world in Dance has been rapid and an incredible shock to many dance labels. Most have come through the shock and lots have embraced the new world. In many ways its great not to have to go through the administration issues that vinyl brought. It was a huge amount of effort, but fun while it lasted.
Most people had dial-up in 2000. Who can imagine their lives now with a dial-up internet connection? Certainly not us in our business the way it operates now. It enables producers to collaborate with other artists or labels world wide in a way that would have been sci fi fantasy in 1990. Unfortunately it also means that the value of music has tumbled as people can share their collections instantly. Just think of the impact of iTunes, Social Networking, messengers, Youtube etc. They really wouldn’t exist without broadband and even though they will have 100 or 500 meg broadband in 10 years time the increase will not effect us like the way it has in the last 10 years
Back in 2000 live music was in many ways on its arse and sales of recorded music were at an all time high. Even though as a label the undermining of the value of recorded music is difficult for us I’m really happy to see the rejuvenation of live music because I like to think this is what much of it is about even though electronic music is so much about the studio. In the end its about communicating your ideas to people and for me that’s done best in a live environment.
9. The Labour party.
To some of you it would appear like a lifetime of this lot in power but for me all my adult life had been governed by the Tories. You cant take away a governments impact upon your life and this decade will be remembered in history as the decade ruled by Labour. It’s ended in tears but for much of it it was a good time for many. For those of you who have built up big debts at uni or been unable to buy a home because of the soaring prices of houses I feel for you. I know a lot of people who feel poorer now than 10 years ago. I don’t know if they are or not.
Personally I think its been a really strange decade for music. Dance music has finished the second half of the decade entrenched itself in its camps trying to keep the tribes going with parties and releases aimed at keeping the followers happy and , erm, following. The younger generation rejected dance for a while probably seeing it as something their older brothers and sisters did or even their mums and dads!! Thankfully there are a lot of new and youthful ideas coming through which now sees dance music covering most ages from young teenagers with their dubstep and grime to Dad ( granddad?) house. In the USA dance music has never had such possibilities as it has now and for the most part there are clubs and parties all over the world that embrace dance and electronic music culture. To all you young uns: Get up and do stuff because I’m interested in what you can do.
As far as music is concerned I can rarely chose my favourite piece of music without changing my mind 24 hours later. So. I have to say iTunes and Spotify and downloading and cheap CDs has given me an amazing chance to rediscover music from the past that I may not have done in the 90s in quite the same way ( or indeed any time before that). As a lover of music this is nothing short of brilliant and must be the biggest gain that people who love music have achieved in the last 10 years. Can you possibly imagine what it must be like having to choose the one CD or cassette tape you are taking out with you? Even if you rarely listen to 10,000 tracks you still have the instant choice to do so. It is now also easier than ever to discover both new and old music in the comfort of your home. This has all been revolutionary and really was only imagined by a small group of people in the year 2000. Now we all take it all for granted.
My top 10 films of the noughties: ( no particular order)
City Of God
The Bourne Identity
No Country For Old Men
The Lives Of Others
In The Loop
Click on any of the images below to see explanations of some more of the Nukleuz team’s favourite memories from the decade.