AK aka Aljosha Konstanty, born 1998 in The Netherlands, is an underaged, German, somewhat British and selfproclaimed Drum & Bass musician and online radio DJ with roots in Kassel. He started making beats and gradually diving into the world of fine music production at the early age of 14, inspired by the works of Armin van Buren. Three years later he has already gained a considerable fanbase and sports releases on labels such as 3886, Se7enth Fury Grammaton, Enchanted and Lungfiller Records.
He started with 4/4 oriented styles and had a succesful early career with excursions in more than one EDM genre. However for a couple of months now his focus has been circling over melodic Drum & Bass. And aside from stereotypical features of the modern young EDM producer/DJ (such as digital DJ-performances and multi-genre-capabilities) he displays some rather unusual characteristics… Being interested in vocals and musicality, he has done a huge load of Drum & Bass remixes of pop music tunes (partaking in numerous remix competitions and getting experience). He also managed to bring his production skills up to par over a really short period of time. What’s more, he makes proper musical tunes on his own devices. And he keeps refusing to put his tunes into DJ-compatible structures, explicitly striving to make songs rather than formulaic tracks and keeping them short and sweet with the opposite of repetition overkills.
Approaching the end of 2014, Aljosha Konstanty began to sign tunes to the netlabel
Surreal Recordings, and also with one of its business partners, edm.com and drumnbass.net in order to further his career. Both these websites deliver huge numbers of tunes categorized in almost two dozen genres without applying sub-generic distinctions within these genres anymore. Both websites are also outlets of artistintelligence.agency, which again is a data collection node of a Denver, Colorado based company named “The EDM Network, LLC” that is in the process of swallowing bunches of EDM-relevant domain names in its mission to expand its “reach and influence” to basically enact its “philosophy and vision for the future of EDM” via infiltrating users’ machines by gaining access to their social network accounts. They are basically the antithesis to both artists marketing themselves.
In other words, there are companies today that play a role somewhat similar to that of the major labels in the old music industry – that is, they openly attempt to actually shape and dominate the market for particular styles of music in complete disregard of their respective history, traditionally relevant labels, figureheads and developments in the scene at grassroots level. They collect artists like assets, operate on the sole basis of numbers and project the usual artificial image of customer friendliness. In the end it is no different from what happens to ALL fields of productivity and industry on this planet when they fall prey to industrialisation and mass monetarisation – monopolies take over, and the inevitable outcome is merciless mechanisation and standardisation of content production.
With the music industry in particular, the Internet had set the major label’s monopolisation attempts back for roughly a decade and had even started to gradually bring them down – only to give way to a worse kind of monopolisation now. And the strategies applied by these companies include (among giving free tunes out, like many traditional labels have taken to) gaining access to user’s scial media accounts. They use the users’ uncritical indifference towards the actual sources of the (musical) products they consume, similarly to other industrial branches and markets. This may have an (un)foreseeable impact on electronic dance music itself (across many genres) and consecutively on rave culture.
Presently, EDM.com and assorted affiliates are one of the new big industrial players on the EDM market that emerged from the impact of the Xth wave seminal, true post-neurostep mainstream playaz (such as Skrillex, Deadmau5, Feed Me and Noisia). Those companies are currently in the process of finally establishing a “new” business model to this market (former scene) – a global commercial multigenre music outlet chain for producers and their tunes that is neither a label nor even trying to appeal to the traditional scenes of the respective music genres (not to their fanbase and not to their established players). As a matter of fact, this business model is entirely not new. Some 8 years ago, Digital-Tunes.net emerged as a promising startup and challenged Beatport’s dominating position on the digital (DJ-)music sales market with various details of business conduct, one of them being the releasening of exclusive material (which is how Materia’s epic tune “React” finally became accessible to the general public), and there are doubtless many more examples on a smaller and probably also bigger scale.
Perhaps these new companies today will end up breeding a new community which may be practically removed from the circles that once defined music scenes; but hopefully not completely governed by market law (the law of money) either. Fans/producers surrounding companies rather than older DJs/producers could well give rise to an entirely “new” form of counter culture (in fact many works science fiction went into this) that might be the best caricature of marxist logic in the music industry yet. Just as death provides ground for new life (one of the oldest “secrets” among traditional cults and wisdom schools – death and antagonism expressing into the literal bearers of new material life, whereas oneness rather tends to transcend timespace and cyclic materialisation habits towards Jacob’s ladder, according to a long dominant european school). Either way, in this musical new world the Internet is as finished or not finished as all netlabels within the Drum & Bass scene, whatever that is. So all that’s really left is to continue business as usual while hailing the better choices among the stars of tomorrow – and AK aka Aljosha Konstanty certainly should be one of them. His milestone “Philosophy” is ample proof of that, but you should check out his other tunes on his Soundcloud profile as well, many of them being free downloads. This release here is just two of them.