The Dance Crasher website was started in late 1999, it was, and still is, produced in North London. There were two intentions when it was started, to illustrate reggae record labels in colour, something that had been very difficult and costly to do in print, and to promote Tighten Up sessions in London.
In the following 12 years alot has changed about the internet and the DanceCrasher site has changed too. The two aims mentioned above remain relevant though what the site tries to do and why has developed a lot over time:
- Promote Reggae Music
Though sometimes it’s own worst enemy reggae doesn’t always get the props it deserves. It also feels sometimes that there are far too many people in the business for what they can get out of it, never contributing unless they get a direct benefit from it.
DanceCrasher promotes the music when I feel it is worth while. If releases are put together with care and attention to quality I like them more. You don’t have to send a promo of a release to get a mention of what your doing – I’m not in this for freebies – though obviously the more I see of your product the more I can say about it. Beware, if I don’t like something I’ll say so, though positivity is always the way forward if something stinks I won’t say it doesn’t!
Though I love Jamaican music from all eras modern releases the focus of this site will always be on music from the 60’s to the 80’s. I will occasionally mention modern releases but that isn’t the main focus of the site.
- Features and articles
One thing you can’t easily do in print is present colour images and sound. It’s this kind of thing that the internet is perfect for. When DanceCrasher started there was a desire to illustrate many record labels, this hasn’t changed though now it’s expanded. Colour graphics and sound samples are the starting point for most of what is done on the site.
As bandwidth restrictions have reduced and most people have now got access to broadband it’s possible to use larger/higher quality images (as well as soundsamples). Though there are still alot of old smaller/low res images on Dancecrasher, most of these will be upgraded over time but the emphasis will always be on getting new stuff up so don’t hold your breath!
- Tighten Up Crew Promotions
Back in ’99 we were doing a night called Tighten Up. These nights are now gone but we still promote different Reggae nites as the Tighten Up Crew. These events will be promoted through DanceCrasher, I try to and mix this with audio downloads, pictures etc so it doesn’t seem like endless advertising (even if it is!).
- Selling Tunes
The sale of reggae vinyl was always a side line, I’m not a professional vinyl seller I just have tunes that are doubles or are surplus to requirements for one reason or another. These will be offered in the for sale section. This has developed alot over time but it’s still strictly amateur business so don’t get too pissed if your tune takes more than 24 hours to arrive or if the website is a bit clunky.
It’s interesting (but not surprising) that the sales pages get the second most traffic to the main blog page, unfortunately there aren’t as many sales as I do visits!
- Downloads/MP3 policy (an explanation not a lecture)
DanceCrasher has had a policy about Downloads/mp3’s since around 2007. This was done in response to a growing wave of blog sites that were offering downloads of reggae LP’s etc. Some claimed to do unreleased stuff only but others would upload anything regardless of it’s availability etc.
DanceCrasher has always been about promoting the music. I don’t believe that giving away stuff that doesn’t belong to you, an activity that deprives the rightful owners of the music of potential income, promotes anything – it harms the music.
I’m not saying that downloading is wrong on all occasions and in all circumstances but unrestricted giving away of artists work can’t be good for the industry. I don’t know what the answer is but we know what it isn’t and that’s internet piracy.
Originally DanceCrasher sound samples were only usually around 30 seconds long. In an age where you can go to youtube, Spotify or any number of other places to listen to a tune it seemed a little backward looking to stick to this rule when no one else does. For this reason sound samples are commonly around a minute long now and may sometimes be longer.
- Credit where it’s due
Though I’ve spoken in the first person above, DanceCrasher isn’t really a solo effort. Many many people have contributed with information, ideas, corrections and contributions over time. It would be impossible to mention every one who has helped in the past but it seems unfair not to mention Matty J, Joe Lawrence, Tommy Rock A Shacka, Paul Steward, Matt Dinsmore and Michael Villet. All of these gents have made major and significant contributions to DanceCrasher and to be frank it would be pretty crap if they hadn’t – so cheers to you all and anyone else who has ever helped out.
- Mek Money
No DanceCrasher isn’t about making money. If it it then I must be really rubbish at it, or I’m in completely the wrong business. DanceCrasher is a labour of love that tries to support the music that gives so many people pleasure. There is a donations button on the right hand side of the screen, please click on it if you love and support what is done here, it doens’t have to be lots of money, every single pound or dollar is massively appreciated.
Further to making money… I am open to paid advertising so if you’ve got something you’d like to promote/advertise then check the link.