To recap: as part of their Between The Beats series, fellow dance music site Resident Advisor posted a video interview with Moscow producer Nina Kraviz back in mid-March. The clip featured an infamous scene in which Kraviz was interviewed in a bubble bath, attracting the predictable swarm of messageboard ire and comment box lewdness. The story really took on a life of its own, however, when Crosstown Rebels’ Maceo Plex gave a less-than-glowing public verdict on the video, writing “I’m so happy blatant uses of sexuality and superficiality can take the place of hustling vinyl and spending countless hours in the studio”. Comment also arrived from Greg Wilson and, latterly, Kraviz herself, who wrote in a statement that “Sexism and all similar bullshit must die”.
Speaking to The Independent, Maceo Plex (aka Eric Estornel) has now clarified his thoughts regarding the situation. The DJ stresses he is a Kraviz enthusiast, and apologises for inadvertently “causing such a s**tstorm”. He also emphasises that he’s neither sexist nor a “”macho” guy”.
Considering how much chatter, accusation and counter-accusation surrounded last week’s controversy, we’ve republished Estornel’s comments on the topic below in full:
You wrote a post on Facebook about ‘that’ RA video, which caused a storm, were you expecting such a huge reaction?
I guess I should have expected it, but I definitely wasn’t expecting the speed at which it would spread. I think it’s because I tapped into something that was already bubbling under, with Resident Advisor users, Greg Wilson’s review (which went out a day before I said anything) – there was already some controversy, I just tapped into it from a different perspective where, perhaps friends of mine or people who agreed with my opinion now had more of a voice to go ahead and speak out as well. In hindsight, now it’s been nearly a week… I’d like to clarify one thing, which is; I never attacked – or meant to attack – Nina’s music, nor her DJing because I’m actually a fan. I listen to her music and her DJing is very cool. I didn’t have any scene in particular that I was pointing at in the video, my whole feeling was about the overall marketing strategy, the overall feeling of the video. But, in hindsight, we all have strong opinions, everybody’s got something to say about everything that’s going on in the scene – just because I’m entitled to my own opinion, and we’re all entitled to our own opinions, it doesn’t mean I should put them up on Facebook for everyone to see. I’m in a unique position where my voice can be heard by many and I used it for the wrong reasons this one time – I never have done that before, I’m usually a very positive person, I don’t hate on anybody, I don’t like people hating on me, so it was just not right to put it up. I’m entitled to my opinion, but it’s not right to throw another artist under the bus. With that said, this is a perfect time to apologise to Nina and her crew for causing such a s**tstorm, or at least boosting what was already a controversial video – for that I am definitely regretful.
As you say though, there was already underlying frustration and a lot of people who shared your opinion may have kept it to themselves until you opened up the gates.
And you know what, sometimes that can be a good thing – to use my position, politically, to not be politically correct and to get my opinion out there but, at the end of the day it was wrong in this case. People think I’m sitting here enjoying the attention but I feel pretty awful about it. It’s a life’s lesson learned. Now I have such a huge following, which is pretty new to me – I’ve been making music for 15 years. It’s only been the last two years or so that I’ve had such a powerful voice and I shouldn’t use it for that.
How do you feel about being labelled as macho and sexist?
I understand that, but the post wasn’t written correctly, I didn’t calculate it or think about how people might react to it or the assumptions people might have made about me once they’d read it. But it’s definitely not true because I also did a shout out to the ladies in the business that I’m friends with, but I should have been a little more respectful with the way I worded it. It’s okay if people think that, but I hope they’ll eventually realise that I’m not this ‘macho’ guy.
It’s an argument that doesn’t really have a definitive conclusion.
It doesn’t. People are always going to come up with their own conclusions and their own judgements and I can’t change that. It’s in the past and they’re going to judge me the way they want, my goal now is to move forward and show them that I’m not. I do make all kinds of music, not just house and techno, and to be open-minded musically you have to be open-minded as a person, as a DJ and I’m not sexist at all, that’s the crazy part.
So, when you eventually cross paths, how will you approach Nina?
I don’t want to search her out, I want us to cross paths as you said – If we have a moment to speak, in a civil way without any kind of arguing, I just want to express to her that I drew up my opinion of the video and other images of her and I made that opinion public, which is wrong. I’ll tell her the same thing when I apologise in person.
Lauren Martin’s piece on the controversy is available to read here