DJ Mag, a U.K.-based electronic music magazine that describes itself as the "global voice of dance music," has just unveiled its 25th anniversary cover on social media. The special issue celebrates "25 pioneers" of dance music, in order to mark 25 years. Unfortunately, the cover—which includes the likes of Daft Punk, Jeff Mills, Aphex Twin, Goldie, and more—suggests that all of these pioneers are male.
DJ Mag has had a pretty bad track record on the gender representation front: their annual Top 100 DJs list is typically imbalanced, with last year's list featuring women in three slots. Even so, it's tough to believe than an editorial oversight like this could take place at a major U.K. publication after the backlash faced by Music Week over its recent, very white cover on "The Future of the Music Biz."
In a post announcing the special issue, DJ Mag editor Carl Loben writes: "You may notice just from glancing at the cover that there are no women in the 25—a fact we’re all too aware of at DJ Mag. Is there anyone we should have included? And if so in place of who?"
DJ Mag's editorial team issued the following statement on the matter to The FADER:
To celebrate 25 Years of DJ Mag we chose the 25 most pioneering dance figures of the past 25 years and ran editorial on each referencing what exactly it was they pioneered. Like all subjective lists, it caused much debate in the office. The main issue we came across was the inclusion (or lack of inclusion) of any women (something mentioned in the editor’s letter). Eventually, after a painstaking process, we concluded that of the 25 we have chosen none can be refuted and made a conscious decision to avoid tokenism.
We’re wholly aware that — sadly — the dance music industry is — even today — male-dominated and we’ve continually sought to address this balance in the pages of our magazine and via our online channels. In February, we ran a Women In Dance Music special to spur debate around the issue. We never have and will not shy away from supporting female DJs in our pages. Dance music as a scene, after all, is built on equality and there is a wealth of talent in the industry from all genders and races from all walks of society. As a publication we encourage debate around the issue and will continue to act as a forum for it.