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Look, generally speaking things are good. There’s a lot of reason for music fans to be pretty happy with 2013.

But there’s also always room for improvement. These are some of the things that we’d like to see music cut out of its diet by this time next year.

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Fake Laptop Live Sets
…and the fact that they cost more to book than DJ sets.

Speaking to FACT a while back, Werk Discs producer Lukid claimed that although he’s often billed as live, “essentially I DJ on a laptop and play a lot of my own tracks. It’s a very weird business, this ‘live’ thing. I think someone needs to clarify it, draw up a manifesto or something.” He’s right. There’s nothing wrong with DJing on Ableton and there’s plenty of people (Shackleton, for instance) who do stuff with the program – or another similar program – that they simply couldn’t do mixing records or CDs. But for every artist whose laptop live set is worth your time or money, it seems that there’s five or more who just use a computer to mix tracks together in a lifeless way – and if you’re lucky, sometimes they’ll drop an amen break or whatever underneath at the end just to shake things up. You know, to remind you it’s “live”. Whatever. We’d rather give our money to the DJs who use a bit of instinct, or – gasp – bothered bringing records.

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Eton Messy
…And similar YouTube channels-turned-smut hubs

As FACT’s Angus Finlayson once quipped, “like post-dubstep? You’ll love these tits.” These guys need to take their “lifestyle brand” and walk far, far away – and yes, we know that they’re not the only ones, but there’s something about their particular brand of American Apparel softcore that grates like few others.

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Drip-Feed Press Campaigns

Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories campaign, with its Coachella broadcasts and Creators Project interviews? Sure. Boards of Canada’s Easter Egg hunt? Kanye’s Yeezus projections? All good with us. Justin Timberlake and Ciara revealing album tracklists via Instagram, one track at a time? That’s when the world has to call bullshit. If you’re gonna drip-feed your album info, then at least be creative with it – it’s not like Timberlake doesn’t have the budget. Oh, and seriously, less of the trailers.

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Unnecessary Remixes 

Look, there’s three major labels in the world and they employ about 10 brains between them – that’s been public knowledge for a while. But why majors still think it’s necessary to accompany singles with eight or so remixes, with no intentions beyond pawning them off to blogs in the hope that Doomed Major Label Act #29836 might win an extra fan in the underground before inevitably getting shelved after their album flops is beyond us. Yes, it helps some money trickle down to the undergrowth, which is a good thing, but by God it feels cheap.

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Anonymous Producers
…Who Don’t Live the Gimmick.

If you’re gonna be anonymous and make music, that’s cool – maybe you have a genuine reason for it – but do us a favour, at least approach it with a little conviction. That means no sitting on Twitter all day talking shit, and no corny press shots like Rivet’s one above. Trust us – that DAF t-shirt kills the mystique more than just a little.

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Poor Quality Mixtapes 

Free music is great, it’s really great, but there comes a time when you take a closer look at that gift horse’s mouth and it’s full of rotten teeth. Each day, the internet becomes quickly cluttered with a seemingly endless stream of gratis rap mixtapes, and to be honest, the more we hear, the more it becomes harder to ignore the seeping welts. Young Scooter’s recent From The Cell Block To My Block is a prime example. On the surface it’s the follow-up to one of the year’s best freebies (the fantastic Street Lottery), but download it and you’ll be treated to a barely-listenable 80kbps-encoded collection of mostly already available tunes.

Asking for mixtapes to be properly mastered isn’t fair, we get that – it isn’t a proper album, and there probably isn’t the budget – but exporting all the tracks at such a low bitrate takes a concerted effort. Somebody sat there (we’re guessing not Scooter as he’s currently incarcerated) and made a decision to crush these tracks almost beyond recognition. This is an extreme case, but it’s certainly not an isolated incident. If you want people to give your music the time it deserves and actually listen at all, it might be worth making sure that it’s actually listenable.

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Future Everything

Let’s all agree that putting the word “future” before a genre is not only a really poor way of describing music, but it’s been seen as acceptable for far too long. We would be absolutely horrified if Peter Capaldi showed up at our doorstep, ushered us into his TARDIS and revealed that twenty years down the line ‘the kids’ are still listening to the same crusty old guff as they were in 2011. That’s what we’re effectively being told by purveyors of future-garage and now, apparently, Loading Video…

;feature=youtu.be” target=”_blank”>future-grime. Maybe we should just be thankful that nobody thought of future-indie or future-metal – then we would have been in real trouble.

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Artists Endlessly RTing Praise on Twitter

Stop it. Right now. Stop it. Think about how much of a tit it makes you look like when you do it more than once in the space of 10 seconds, or even 10 minutes. Why not thank people instead? It’s the online equivalent of stopping strangers in the street to tell them how your mate thinks you’re great.

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2 Chainz

Enough already.

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These T-Shirts.
…And the Dilla Changed my Life ones.

And these can go too, while we’re at it.

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