The Dax J incident shows just how insensitive dance music can be - Comment - Mixmag

The Dax J incident shows just how insensitive dance music can be

It's another easily-avoided mistake from a scene that should know better by now

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Illustration: Patch Keyes
  • 20 April 2017
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If you enter another country then you are agreeing to abide by its laws and should be respectful of that. There are some occasions where you could excuse this: countries where institutional racial, sexist or homophobic persecution takes place and a person is breaking the law simply by existing, for example. But the Dax J incident was an example of sacrilege that could have been totally avoided if he’d spared a minute to think about the possible consequences. He’s also not the only person affected by his action. The arrested officials and temporary closure of the El Guitone club means there’s been direct personal consequences for multiple other people and for the reputation of a business, so painting Dax J as the victim doesn’t really hold true. Regardless of conflicting personal feelings, something to take away from this controversy that everyone should agree on is that it would have been best if it had never happened. A greater level of consciousness around sensitive issues is all that’s needed to prevent such situations.

Further examples of cultural insensitivity are rife among the dance music community. There’s been labels using dangerous fascist imagery as an aesthetic choice, a DJ telling immigrant service workers to "fuck off" because their English language skills were lacking, a website publishing racist comments made by an artist as part of a festival review, clubs accused of racist door policies, fans referring to any music that strays from conventional Western arrangements with othering terms such as “tribal” or “world music”. The list goes on.

This kind of conduct is causing rifts in the scene beyond, and having upsetting repercussions for the people and groups it wrongs, and it needs to be extinguished. Everyone taking a little more care is not much to ask, especially with the overall benefit it will bring. And if a controversial incident occurs, think carefully before rising to defend it just because you don’t personally find it offensive. There’s a bigger picture to consider and a greater degree of empathy needed so we can all get along in unity. And that’s what dance music is all about, right?

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter

Patch Keyes is a freelance illustrator and regular contributor to Mixmag. Check his portfolio here

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