In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove. And from this groove came the groove of all grooves. And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared, “Let there be HOUSE!” and house music was born.
Without a doubt house music remains the oldest and most respected genre of the dance and electronic world, without it we certainly wouldn’t be here and well, you probably wouldn’t be reading this!
Many countries around the world have rich histories with the genre and that’s reflected in the programming tastes throughout all mediums, be it in the clubs, in the shops, on TV and also, more often than not heavily represented on the radio.
Countries such as Germany, USA and the UK champion such sounds with a heavy dose of the four-four goodness constantly revolving and evolving on their air waves; but why doesn’t Australian radio share the same love of house music?
It’s not as if it doesn’t exist at all, with many community led radio stations such as FBi, BBR and 3RRR offering up a good slice of air-time to classic and newly foraged dance bits from local and international artists, but that’s really where the buck stops.
So why aren’t we hearing more house music on Australian radio?
Without beating around the bush, we just haven’t been exposed to dance and electronic music long enough. Although early adopters of nearly everything and champions at most Australia is a long way from the source and with only recent changes in consumption (Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube) it’s been a lot harder to get our dirty mits on the good stuff.
That is changing rapidly so with it, hopefully more love on the radio-waves!
When comparing the stats Australia hasn’t always had a large enough population to support a wider spread of sounds within dance and electronic, let alone the battle of more mainstream sounds. We’re constantly cycling through different phases of rap, indie and dance with each earning some time in the spotlight before being pushed into the next.
Hate to say it (and a generalisation all the same) but Australian’s just struggle to keep onto a specific sound for any length of time and always need something new to fill the space. While dance and electronic music offers this, you just won’t expect to hear a 7 minute monster cut from Seth Troxler on the radio and instead, stuck with 3-4 minute bite sizes bits of fizz.
The elephant in the room right? This is mainstream radio’s slip up in having trained their listeners to only ever want neatly packaged radio fuzz and fair enough, they have to keep people actively engaged to soak up the advert drenched programs and often cheesy presenters.
Probably the biggest crux of it all is licensing in Australia is EXPENSIVE. To broadcast nationally you’re looking at six figures annually which forces stations to jam their shows full of advertising to cover costs on-top of the bloated salaries for personalities to crack some whack jokes and ‘prank’ people. The flip to this is community radio who are limited in their range to broadcast, still pay hefty fees but can open up programming to different sounds!
So how do we see the future panning out to include more dance and electronic music?
A few things here, most covered above… cheaper licensing fees, stronger adoption of digital radio, introducing more house music to mainstream channels along with education (yo, your chainsmokers weren’t here if it wasn’t for Carl Cox).
While they all seem simple on paper it’d be a good five year slug to really start seeing some changes but the time is now with a fresh take on dance and electronic post-EDM and a generation more attentive to longer sets, vinyl only and a decent taste for it!