It’s time to stop ID’ing tracks in the rave

Another survey of 2017 across a series of features. Next up, the cult of the ID…

This year there has been one dance music question on everyone’s lips and at the tips of everyone’s fingers. It’s been mercilessly bashed out in the comment sections of online mixes and scratchy videos uploaded from the rave. Your ma and pa won’t know what the fuck you’re talking about but anyone else who saw Hunee and Antal’s closing set at Dekmantel will know exactly what’s up.

Track ID???

The phrase, inescapable in 2017, is barely even a question anymore. Instead rendered down to an expecting statement based on an unspoken implication that you are also a music lover of some repute wanting to add this golden track to your already expansive knowledge of good tunes. And, hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?

But for something that on the surface is such an innocent question, should ‘track ID’ be a question we’re asking at all? The explosion and normalisation of ID culture (for lack of a better term) has drawn the ire of DJs over the past year. One of the most direct outbursts came from Jackmaster who, in a now deleted Facebook post, called out “hugely overrated, basic DJs playing tracks that they have blatantly picked up from the Identification Of Music Group”.

The immensely popular and helpful Facebook group has seen an explosion in members and ID requests in 2017. When we wrote about it at the start of the year it had 36,000 members in it. That’s ballooned to nearly 77,000 at the time of writing, turning the group into a running commentary on dance music. A flurry of ‘bump’ comments can tell you what tracks hot and what tracks not. Although there is a particular bias towards Patrick Topping tracks and the group works itself into a frenzy over unreleased Bicep to the point of memedom. In our original feature we described the group as a ‘superstar’ and a ‘goliath’, which on the outset it is. But at the same time, Jackmaster has a point. A side effect of this noble populist cause has been the explosion of cookie cutter DJs (anyone that plays Daniel Bortz’s ‘Steady Note’ now can’t claim they got it from anywhere but that group). Playing out the flavour of the month always has a shelf life, but now entire sets can be made out of the ashes of other people’s mixes, right down to the blends.

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