Posts Tagged ‘B(e)ast’

Alinka

One half of Chicago’s Twirl, partner-in-crime to Shaun J Wright and celebrated DJ and producer in her own right, Alinka finally joins us here at Superstore for B(e)ast! Having just quit her day job to focus on making music alongside launching Twirl Records with Shaun, she took a moment out of her busy schedule to talk to us about dancefloors and DJ booths, the importance of her hometown, and of course, the Classic Music Company and Derrick Carter…

Who are your UNSUNG house heroes and why do they warrant more appreciation?

Well I’m very much obsessed with Hard Ton and Mamacita’s music right now. I wouldn’t say they’re so much unsung heroes because they’re doing amazing things and are definitely out there in the world, but I think they deserve all the attention and more because their sound is so unique. There’s so much music coming out these days and so much of it just sounds similar or fits a formula. I think what they’re doing is really creative and special, and I really want everyone in the world to hear it and appreciate it as much as I do!

My unsung DJ hero is definitely Michael Serafini who owns Gramaphone Records in Chicago, he’s by far one of my favorite DJ’s. I’ve known Michael for about 14 years now. I used to skip school to go hang out at the record shop when I was starting out. He would help me pick out tracks, and put away little side piles for me because back then you’d have to fight for all the new stuff and you know I was young and quite little haha. He’s finally getting the attention he deserves. I know he just played Panorama bar recently for the first time and has been traveling quite a bit. He’s just a great person and an amazing DJ that deserves the spotlight.   

Let’s have some positivity instead of eliciting a DJ rant… what makes you full of love?

Shaun J. Wright makes me full of love! Since we met and teamed up, the series of events that have transpired, the people I’ve met, the music we’ve made, all the experiences collectively have been the most amazing and significant in my life. I’m very grateful for that. It’s just been really positive all around and I know that energy and love flows into the music we’re making. I’ve definitely sat down and cried listening back to songs in the studio, and we’ve had many moments where it just feels really magical.  I don’t think I ever really quite fit in or found people I completely relate to musically and in life until the past few years because of meeting Shaun. Not to say I didn’t have great friends and mentors prior, but my newfound little music family around the world has really inspired me and made me feel complete.

We previously had your sister-in-Twirl, Shaun J Wright, playing at B(e)ast here at Superstore- how do you plan to turn it out even more than he did?

Ha! Shaun is an amazing DJ and performer! I don’t think I can honestly say anyone would turn it out more than Shaun, but I’ll do my thing and give you a little piece of Chicago!

What’s had the biggest impact on your sound- the city of Chicago or Shaun J Wright? Or are they inextricably linked?

They are definitely linked! I’ve lived in Chicago since I was eight years old. It’s tattooed on me in a few places, I would say it’s in my blood at this point. I learned from watching DJ’s like Derrick Carter, Heather, and Justin Long so I think my style of DJ’ing is very much influenced by Chicago. Chicago house is what made me fall in love with dance music and basically give up any chance of a basic life (thank god). Shaun has had the most impact on me as an artist. I had taken a break from dance music for a few years because I got really burnt out and I wasn’t feeling inspired by the music that was coming out at the time. I was really down and unsure of where I wanted to go musically and in life. I really didn’t feel like I fit in with what was happening around me. Hercules and Love Affair was pretty much the only electronic music I would listen to at the time, I thought it was so epic. It got me through some difficult times and made me feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I never actually thought I would meet any of those guys, it was never a goal or anything I just really loved their music and it was monumentally important to me.

Flash forward a few years… I was in this band when my manager at the time Scott Cramer said “Hey Shaun J. Wright just moved back to Chicago you guys should do something together”.  I looked at him like he was crazy for not thinking of this earlier and keeping this info from me haha! Three years later here we are. I was so nervous to work with him because I admired him so much as an artist, it really pushed me to become a better producer. He gave me the confidence to finally make the music I always wanted to create. He really brought it out of me. He’s constantly inspiring me to grow and evolve as an artist and a human. I would say meeting him has been the most impactful thing in my career and my life generally. As you can see there’s a lot of love there haha!

Can you talk us through the evolution of Twirl?

Twirl started out as a monthly party from Shaun, myself, and our good friend Mr. White, with the help of Scott Cramer and our host Sissy Spastik at Berlin Night Club. We started it because we wanted a fun space to DJ together and wanted to showcase some of our favorite DJ’s and friends that weren’t necessarily playing in Chicago as often as they should. We just wanted to do something unique that fit our style. Berlin Night Club and Scott allowed us to really be creative and do our thing. We were fortunate to be able to bring in Eli Escobar, Lauren Flax, Heather, Derrick Carter, JD Samson, The Carry Nation, and a long list of DJ’s we really love. It recently evolved into a record label because Shaun and I were making so much music we wanted to give it a home of its own. We love working with other labels, but nothing compares to having full creative control over your own tracks and really working on every part of the release from the ground up. It’s been really amazing curating remixers and just being involved with every bit of what goes into the process. Luckily we have a great team that works very hard and supports one another. It’s gotten a pretty amazing reception thus far so hopefully we’re doing something right!

You’re taking us out in your hometown… where are we going, what are we doing? What are your Chicago musts!

Ok so I’m a huge foodie and there’s so many amazing restaurants in Chicago, but there’s one I bring every (non-vegetarian) guest to when they’re in town. It’s called Au Cheval and it’s my absolute favorite! Best burger in the universe, though really everything there is amazing. Now that we’re not hungry, we’d have to go to Gramaphone Records and pick up some classics. I hardly play vinyl out of the house these days but I’m still a collector and anyone visiting me likely is as well. It’s just a part of Chicago history you can’t avoid if you’re a music fan. After we’ve gotten that fix we’re off for drinks at Wang’s. Wang’s is my favorite bar, it’s our spot. We have a song called Wang’s On Broadway coming out on Classic Music Company next year, so obviously Wang’s has been an inspiration! It’s just epic. Our friends Banjee Report and Men’s Room have thrown some great parties there. Wang’s is a must. If you can still walk after this there’s obviously some great clubs in Chicago. Smart Bar, Primary, and Spy Bar are all doing great things on the regular so if you’d like to go for a dance then I’d head to one of those. Outside of that I spend most of my time at home in the studio so you’re more than welcome to hang out at my apartment with Shaun and I plus ‘The Ratners’. I have two cats and a dog currently, which I refer to as ‘The Ratners’ or the children. Anyway, you’re all invited! 

How did you come to be part of the amazing Classic family?

I met Derrick Carter when I was 19 through my friend DJ Dayhota who was dragging me around town to lots of amazing places I couldn’t get into on my own. Being illegal and very curious wasn’t always easy, but with the help of great friends anything is possible. Her and Derrick were good friends and I was still very fresh to the scene and learning about house music and life in general. I remember I had drinks with her and Derrick one night and then I went to Gramaphone Records a few days later and that record 10 had just come out on Classic with his picture out it. Whoever was working at the time rushed over and told me I had to get this record, and in my head I was like whatever I just had drinks with that guy no big deal, because I was actually that clueless at the time. Then I listened to it and basically bought every record on the label I could get my hands on, and he became my favorite DJ. The label has a massive section in my record collection dedicated to them and Music For Freaks. I’m a huge fan of Luke and Derrick and the artists they’ve had on the label. Classic and Cajual really changed my life.

Anyway, when we finished our first EP we sent it off to Derrick who then passed it onto Luke. We didn’t really know if they’d even listen to it but we like to aim high and luckily they picked it up! It was a dream come true for me honestly, and it was really encouraging that our first project was going to them. It meant a lot. It’s just been an amazing experience working with them, and I’m really looking forward to our second EP on the label and hopefully others to come. 

We managed to secure you a time machine and you can visit any dancefloor for any point in time! Where/when are we setting the dials for?

Oh wow my own time machine! First I’d go back and buy all the Air Jordans I can no longer afford, then we can go dancing!  To me the best decades were the ’80s and ’90s and I’d have to get to Chicago, NYC, Detroit, and definitely tour the clubs in the UK. I got to go to The Loft last year thanks to my friend Will Automagic, and that was an amazing experience! Honestly my time machine would probably be flying in circles trying to figure it out with a mild hangover like we were trying to decide on brunch. Life is hard sometimes. Thankfully we’ve had some amazing dance music come out throughout the years to make this decision nearly impossible. 

Speaking of dancefloors, who has been your most musically out there guest ever at Twirl?

This is a difficult one. They’ve all been pretty out there that’s why they’re our friends.  Musically I’d have to say Tiffany Roth of Midnight Magic. She’s really incredible and her track selection is brilliant and very versatile. 

What is your ultimate DJ booth horror story?

Ooh I have a good one! This happened recently actually. I’ve never been one to understand the ‘request’ thing but I try to be as polite as possible about it when it does happen. Like if I’m playing at your house or your brother’s birthday party then fine I could see a reason for asking me to play your favorite song which you just heard 10 times in your car on the way to the party. But luckily we’ve moved past that point in my career when you show up at the crowded club. Anyway, I was opening for Roy Davis Jr to a packed room. About half way through my set I could see this group of girls in front of the booth staring at me like they wanted to have a chat. I knew where this was going so I continued mixing and didn’t pay any attention to them. A minute later I could see long dark hair to the side of me in the DJ booth and of course I thought it was my friend because who else would force their way into a tiny DJ booth at a packed club when they don’t know the DJ. Please visualize a tiny space where there is definitely not enough room for two people to stand unless one is being pressed back into the wall.

All of the sudden the long hair started getting closer and I turned my head to notice not only is this not my friend but she’s now pushing me off to the side and leaning over the CDJ’s reaching out to her friends while laughing and trying to have a conversation with them like reality has just left the building. As I’m in shock and staring at this person with a look of confusion while also in the middle of a blend, she elbows the CDJ stops all the music and then continues her conversation as well as hovering and bumping into me and the gear at which point I have to restart the track and everyone is staring at both of us. I asked her if she knew that she was in the DJ booth and why she was there. Instead of having any kind of remorse she turned to me and said “I’m here to make a request” with a very eager look on her face, to which I responded “Absolutely not.” This did not register and left her in shock and unwilling to leave at which point I knew we would never be on the same page. So it ended in her getting escorted back to her circle followed by her making evil eyes at me while all my friends and I shook our heads in disbelief while mouthing “Unbelievable.” She still didn’t understand why anything was wrong with any of this and thought I’d done her a great injustice by not letting her back in or playing her song. I’m not sorry.  

Join Alinka for B(e)ast at Dalston Superstore on Saturday 6th December from 9pm – 3am.

DJ Of The Week: Aérea Negrot

By Cliff Joannou

Republished with kind permission from QX Magazine

Tell our readers who don’t know you: where are you from, where have you been and where are you going?

I’m originally Venezuelan but have been living in Berlin for around ten years…  I always loved travelling and did it calmly for a few years but once you start touring, you tend to forget where you are, what day it is. So I’m glad there are lovely people out there who become your memory of a city. I’m going wherever there is music playing… Hopefully Brazil, Japan or South Africa?

You’ve worked on some new material with Billie Ray Martin. Tell us more…

The upcoming EP is called Off the Rails, will be released on October 19th. We started recording it a couple of years ago, after she worked on the track with Waterson. We ended up calling each other, cancelling appointments like the busy (lazy) bizz women that we are! And now the EP is almost out, with great mixes by Ray Grant, Napoleon and moi!

If you were to be trapped in a lift with five people from the world of music (musicians/artists/performers or DJs) who would they be?

Assuming that it will never happen, with Shirley Bassey, Sainkho Namtchylak, Stevie Wonder, Tina and Michael.

Aérea Negrot’s DJ Chart…

Kim Ann Foxman – Let Me Be The One (Catz N Dogz Remix)     

Right amount of dirt, funk and the sweetest voice on earth.

Billie Ray Martin /Aérea Negrot – Off The Rails (Aérea Negrot Dub Mix)

Listen here

Be the judge!

Claude VonStroke – CaliFuture (Dub Mix)

Acid tech, groovy enough to shake the dust off the shelves.

Pittsburgh Track Authority – Treated 

DEEP. COSMIC. SAVANNAH.

Kiki /Joyce Muniz – Warriors

Dark and sexy. It brings them all back to the dancefloor!       

To find out the rest of Aérea’s chart, make sure you pick up a copy of QX Magazine!

Join her and Borja Peña this Saturday 4th October for B(e)ast at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.

Aérea Negrot

This Saturday sees a special team up from Borja Peña and Bpitch Control solo artist and former Hercules Love Affair member Aérea Negrot for B(e)ast. We quizzed Aérea ahead of the party to ask her collaborating with her Berlin neighbour Billie Ray Martin, singing in various languages and recording for Ellen Allien’s label…

Dalston Superstore: Tell us about the inspiration behind your stage name?
 
Aérea Negrot: Aérea was a name given to me by friends when I started performing, as I used to be fascinated by airplanes and airports since my childhood. Needless to say that started my obsession of dating flight attendants… Nowadays I hate airports, flight regulations and liquid limitations.
 
Negrot, however is a mixture of two famous Latina singers: Toña La Negra and Olga Guillot, both known for their melodramatic touch… Aérea Negrot since 1996.

What is your favourite language to sing in? Which do you feel you are most expressive in?

I feel quite comfortable singing in English, but I sing also in Spanish, Portuguese and German, I have a connection with these languages since I have been moving around for a while and have a funky mixture in my DNA! 
 
At the moment I’m recording a song in Hebrew for a film called Marzipan Flowers by Adam Kalderon. I enjoy being challenged by sounds and languages.
 
Your vocal style seems a composite of styles and genres, perhaps anything you find interesting? How would YOU describe it?
 
I find it also hard to describe… it’s freestyling with a operatic touch! I’m inspired by many musical styles: classical to jazz to pop; salsas to sambas… all with a electronic beat.
 
What did your classical training entail?
 
My classical training was short lived as my entrance to Classical School was denied. That was traumatic, but it only encouraged me to continue my path… that teacher told me that by age 24 I was too old to start at Conservatorium, that around that age I should’ve  already been singing the same repertoires that my vocal range would allow me to… SAD, but she was right. However, today  I’m Aérea Negrot.
 
What are your personal favourite solo tracks from your former Hercules & Love Affair band mates?
After touring with Hercules and Love Affair for four years, I developed a special relationship to songs, because I had to sing some of them live. My favourite was of course Blind, originally sung by Antony Hegarty. Falling, which I used to sing in duo with Shaun J. Wright, You Belong by Nomi Ruiz and It’s Alright by Kim Ann Foxman.
 

You’ve remixed previous DSS guest Billie Ray Martin’s band The Opiates, recorded a duet with her and you’ve even interviewed each other… why do you gel so well together?
 
Oh Billie and I have been involved in projects since we met a few years ago. After all, we are neighbours and friends. It started with a remix that I made for her called Dinah And The Beautiful Blue. It was magic putting her voice in an airport environment…. still melancholic and sexy.
 
We’ve also recorded a duet together… coming out real sooon!!! 
 
What makes Bpitch Control your label home?
 
Bpitch Control has been my home label since 2010, home to my baby album Arabxilla… it been just an honour to have these dreams released by them, and also a great opportunity to collaborate with other label artists like Kiki, Dance Disorder, Skinnerbox and System of Survival. All thanks to Ellen Allien who invited me to take part with the release of my first ever EP All I Wanna Do.
 
If you had a time machine and could go back to any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would we be visiting?
 
Definitely Studio 54…. with a touch of Ancient Egypt, I guess the time is now.
 
B(e)ast and Aérea Negrot Present… Eda Lind is this Saturday 7th June at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.
 

Happy 5th Birthday DSS

By Cliff Joannou / reprinted from QX Magazine with kind permission

Dalston Superstore put queer East on the map five years ago. With an incredible array of club nights, combining explosive DJs with the most mentalist drag queens and trannies, you don’t get more bang for your buck than a weekend at the ‘Superstore. Owners Mikki Most and Dan Beaumont plied Cliff Joannou with plenty of prosecco and told him just how they pull it all together every week…

CLIFF: Why is Dalston Superstore the dog’s bollocks?

DAN: Come down to our birthday next Sunday and we’ll show you…

You’re on. How has Dalston itself evolved over the past five years, and what impact has the ‘Superstore had on the area…

DAN: When we started out people thought we were crazy trying to open a gay bar in Dalston! 

MIKKI: Yes, we were pretty much the first bar in the area, and certainly the first gay bar, so I think people thought we were mental. We’ve opened up a lot of doors in the area for people though, and it’s been amazing to be part of helping make Dalston more diverse. It’s been stressful at times but the booze helps!

How have you set it apart from other gay venues?

DAN: Music, booze, food and fun! You never know what to expect at the ‘Superstore. You could find Grizzle reenacting the Human Centipede on the bar – don’t ask! – and then pop downstairs for dance courtesy of some hot young DJ we’ve found in New York or Berlin.

MIKKI: Yes, we’ve always tried to push things a bit here and not just do the obvious stuff. We both ran clubs before [TrailerTrash and Disco Bloodbath] and putting on great DJs is fundamental. We’re open day and night, and I like the idea you can come for a decent cocktail and some food early evening and still be here at 4am in the morning dancing… There’s not too many places offering that in London.

For such an intimate club spot, you’ve had some very cool DJs jump at the chance to play there…

DAN: The best thing about programming your own discotheque is that you get to bring all your favourite DJs over to play. Highlights for us have been an amazing set from Prosumer in the early days, Erol Alkan dropping a disco set, the legendary David Morales playing for four hours, and multiple visits from people like Optimo, Horse Meat Disco, Chloé and Spencer Parker. Plus, our amazing residents – it wouldn’t be the same without Hannah Holland, Borja Peña, the Little Gay Brother guys, Lovely Jonjo, Dave Kendrick, Jos Gibson and the Duchess of Pork et al.

MIKKI: Absolutely, we recently had the guys over from Members Club in Berlin for B(e)ast and the music was really amazing and fresh for London. It’s great to have the freedom to bring over international talent and introduce it to our scene over here.

And it’s the place to put a wig on it…

MIKKI: It’s part of what we are and to be honest all the best nights I can remember at ‘Superstore have involved wigs and heels flying around all over the place. So many of our regulars turn up in flats and leave in heels, it’s what gives the place its sparkle.

DAN: [Laughs] Yes, our bar very often gets mistaken for a stage by our bewigged regulars doesn’t it? We wouldn’t be the venue we are without the support of people like Jonny Woo, A Man To Pet, John Sizzle, Jacqui Potato and Glyn Famous. In fact we are still in awe of their talents… not to mention their ability to stage dive in heels on a Friday night without sustaining any injuries.

Dalston Superstore (117 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB) celebrates its 5th birthday over the May Bank Holiday weekend with the main party on Sunday 4th May.

Marc Miroir

Next weekend Berlin based DJ Marc Miroir joins us for a night of haus music at B(e)ast! As the face behind Berlin’s famed gay underground party Members, the resident DJ at Airport in his hometown of Würzberg, AND the co-founder of the long-running Paso Music, Marc knows how to get the laser basement pumping. We caught up with him ahead of the party to find out more about Marc, Members and more…

Describe your party Members in 3 words.

Good music, sexy stylish crowd, Berlin underground.

Why is Club Kosmonaut the ideal place to hold it?

The size and layout of the club is perfect for that party. We can open other rooms whenever we want and above all there is a very nice garden for the summer. Both dancefloors boast a Funktion One sound system, and it is in Friedrichshain, where a lot of party people are living.

If you had a time machine and could go back to any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

Right at this moment I would beam myself up to Koh Phangan in Thailand in the year 2007. That year I was there for three weeks and played a lot of legal and illegal thai-break and full-moon parties in the jungle. It was amazing. As it’s not summer in Europe yet, I wish I could be there!

The inevitable march of gentrification is by all accounts happening as well in Berlin albeit a lot slower than it is in London- have you seen this have any impact on your party at all?

Gentrification is  not just a problem for creative people like musicians, artists or film-makers. Higher rents mean less money for going out for everyone else, too. But people still want to go out and have fun. So for now I don’t think that this affects our party. It’s a monthly party and we are very underground. We have well-known and unknown talents combined, so we can keep the costs for the entrance low and Kosmonaut’s drinks are not expensive. I think these are the perfect requirements for a great crowd. 

What are your favourite gay parties outside of Germany to play at?

It’s funny but most of the parties I play at aren’t gay… Most of the gay parties in other countries play strange music. Typical circuit gay house music or hits and disco is just not my cup of tea haha.

You’ve been running your label Paso Music now for 10 years- what keeps it going for you?

I used to release my own productions on labels like ARAS, Heinz Music, LevelNonZero, Trapez, Confused, Greatstuff, Bondage and of course on my own label Paso Music. I learned a lot through these releases on other labels and now everyone else releasing on Paso benefits from that. I like it when I can manage my releases from the beginning over all aspects of the release. I can define the release date, I can assign the artwork, I can chose the promoter… all in all, the release is (except for the music) 100% Marc Miroir.

What for you epitomises the sound of Berlin?

The sound of Berlin is various. There are so many musicians and DJ’s from all over the world. And everybody influences the sound a little bit.

The sound in the club depends on the location and the day. The sound of MEMBERS is deep, driving, techy, housey and groovy.

What prompted your move from your hometown of Würzburg and could you see yourself living anywhere other than Berlin now?

It was the music. I’m still running my monthly residency at Airport in my hometown. Eight years ago I had reached my limits and there was no further progress in my career I could make. Berlin just had so many more opportunities and there were already a lot of friends of mine and many colleagues. Here, the exchange between the DJs and musicians is huge and the benefit is big.

Why did you choose the alias Marc Miroir?

That’s my real name in French. My first name is Marco, and my last name is Mirror in German.

In french class at school  I was called Marc Miroir and I took that name for the first gig, where an artist name was required. I just kept it despite all the misspellings and varying pronunciations it has come in for.

Last year you worked with the amazing Hard Ton for your track Fire… what collaborations or featured artists do you have up your sleeve for 2014?

There is another a collaboration with Hard Ton in progress. 

My next single release called Love comes with a stunning Kiki remix on Paso Music in May.

And this week I was with in the studio with the lovely Elif Bicer from Ostgut Ton. Be prepared for great results!

Join Marc Miroir on Saturday 7th April for B(e)ast at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – late.

Shaun J Wright

This Saturday we welcome DJ, producer and vocalist Shaun J Wright over from the Windy City to our little Dalston laser basement for B(e)ast’s 3rd Birthday! As a former member of Hercules & Love Affair, and now an acclaimed producer and DJ in his own right, this banjee boy is sure to set the basement on fire! Ahead of the party we posed a few questions to him about running hot gay nights in Chicago, releasing on Classic Music Company and his time living in London…

What inspired you to set up your night Twirl?

My close friend and musical partner Alinka and I were constantly discussing the type of party that we wanted to attend prior to starting Twirl. We wanted an intimate night with quality dj’s that focused  on house music and where we could test run our new demos with little pressure. Berlin, the legendary venue where we have the party, is a Chicago landmark. Everyone is welcome at Berlin. The full spectrum of sexuality and gender expression can be found in the club and it creates a unique, pulsating vibe. The door policy is very relaxed and everyone is up for a good time instead of posing. That sense of inclusiveness was important to us from the beginning.  A Club Called Rhonda, the incomparable monthly in Los Angeles, was also a source of inspiration. I would talk endlessly about how I wanted to start a mini-Rhonda in Chicago. A party that felt inspired and free. I hope we’re on our way to having a Rhonda-ita or a Rhonda-ette. 

Boystown was recently voted “most incomparable gay neighbourhood”. As a Chicago native, can you attest to this and if so, what is it that makes it so special?

Honestly, I’ve spent the majority of my adulthood away from Chicago. I’ve only had the last couple of years to reacquaint myself with the city and that has been disrupted by frequent travel. I spent a lot of time in Boystown during my teenage years skipping class and shopping at the vintage shops with my friends. It was a very safe space for me then and it still feels that way now. My favorite place in Boystown is a bar called Wang’s that everyone traveling to Chicago must visit. It’s off the beaten path on Broadway and is the most charming space in the city. There’s a cute dancefloor tucked in the back where my friends Harry, Jpeg and Ace throw a party called Men’s Room that is off the charts. There’s always something fun happening there. I also love Smartbar, which is in the neighborhood directly north of Boystown. Queen at Smartbar sets the bar for impressive gay parties in the city. This past Sunday the line-up included Michael Serafini (Gramaphone Records), Garrett David (Bell Boys), Derrick Carter, David Morales, Lil’ Louie Vega, Ultra Nate and Inaya Day for Frankie Knuckle’s Birthday Bash! I spent part of the night chatting with Robert Williams from The Warehouse. I guess those kind of things are what make Boystown specifically, and Chicago in general, special. 

Can you tell us something we should know about your girl -and close collaborator- Alinka? Any plans to release together on Classic again?

The most important thing that I can tell you is that she is awesome! She’s an amazing dj and super talented producer. We have such a great mutual respect for each other and we also encourage one another to grow, grow, grow. I have learned so much from her.  As a singer I’m often faced with collaborations where the roles are super rigid or there are geographical and time constraints that don’t always allow the nurturing of a personal relationship prior to working. With Alinka I’m free to express myself in a very open manner and I think that translates into our music. We talk about life experiences and hang out together and that makes our music much more personal and cohesive. 

Classic will be releasing a remix package of Twirl Vol. 1 very soon. We hope to release a Twirl Vol. 2 with Classic, too. 

What, in your opinion, is the most pressing issue facing queer people of colour in the US at the moment?

I can not answer this question sufficiently with a singular issue. I would say, in general, there is a very widespread and accepted disregard for the humanity of queer people of color. This manifests sociopolitically with policies and practices that continue to allow and encourage discrimination based on sexuality, gender, class and race.  Queer people of color tend to find themselves the most vulnerable with the least amounts of resources and agency when their historically oppressed identities intersect (e.g. black, transgender and impoverished). 

I’m often left shocked by the lack of advocacy for the end of violent transmisogyny by larger LGBT organizations that tend to focus primarily on the issue of acquiring gay marriage while our sisters are being murdered everyday. While I believe fighting for marriage equality to be a noble cause, transwomen of colour, particularly black, are murdered at a disproportionate rate to others in the community. If they receive any media attention they are often misgendered and blamed for their victimization. It is tragic that their lives have not been regarded as a cause worth fighting for on a much larger scale. 

Who would you say are your protégées right now?

I don’t think of myself as someone established enough to have protegees. I’m still learning the ropes myself. I do have a few close friends who are at an earlier starting point to their careers as far as releases are concerned. Some, like Newbody or Banjee Report, have been working on music as long as I have and they are dope. We share experiences and encourage one another. I’ll get back to this question in about five years. Hopefully, I’ll have some names. 

Signature catch-phrase…

My signature catch-phrase is literally catch in all of it’s variations. Catch it (punctuated with a finger snap)… You caught?… CAAATTCHHH! 

What’s your most tangible memory from your time with Hercules & Love Affair, like if you could step back into that frozen moment right now…?

There are just too many! It was such a special period in my life and the friendships that I was able to establish with the other band members are so precious to me. What sticks out the most was our tour with Gossip. We opened for them in sold-out stadiums throughout Germany and France. That was exhilarating enough but to top it off we had so much fun with them backstage after the shows, laughing and carrying on until the bus call. It was a blast! 

What was the absolute best thing about studying fashion at London College Of Fashion and what impact (if any) has that time had on your life now?

Living in London was the absolute best part of the entire experience. It had been a lifelong dream of mine to live in London. During early childhood my grandmother shared with me the movie ‘To Sir With Love’ starring Sidney Poitier and Lulu and I knew that I would live in London one day. The kids were so cool and I loved everything about their environment.  In the U.S.A. we have much fewer historical buildings so when I arrived in London and it still resembled the imagery from the movie I fell in love again. It is my favorite city in the world and I hope to live there again. 

I studied MA Fashion Curation at LCF and it was such an enlightening course. The approach to education and research was much different than I had experienced during my undergraduate studies in the US. The process was much more relaxed, but the expectations were just as high if not more so. I feel like the experience helped me become more confident in my ability to create and execute my own ideas instead of relying on others to see the value in them. 

You’ve spoken at length before about your introduction to the ballroom scene and your decision to join the House of Escada… If you were setting up your own dream House, what would it be the House Of and who would be your children?

[read the article on ballroom that features Shaun here]

Ooooh, very interesting….It would be the House of Revolution and my children would be a mix of fab, progressive political figures, vogueing children, and fashion icons. We would cause a stir on the steps of D.C. goverment buildings as we sashayed (instead of marched) for change. Yes we can, Hunteeee!

Join Shaun this Saturday 1st February at B(e)ast 3rd Birthday at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Photo by: Emily Marren

Deborah Ombres

Sultry Spanish drag queen and MTV starlet Deborah Ombres joins us a special guest host this Saturday for B(e)ast. Co-hosting is Ursula Snakes with residents Borja Peña and Tom Peters in the basement whilst the top bar sees girl-DJ-duo The Wives takeover. Deborah, whose name is a play on the Spanish for “man eater”, is sure to live up to her name and be quite the delectable host. We caught up with her ahead of the party to find out more…

How did you come to be on MTV?

It was an internal audition first as a boy and a few months later as a transvestite. It was hard and there a lot of interviews, but in the end I got it.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t like icons. I like to know people with good mood and good heart. I wanna wear all kind of clothes make me comfortable and sexy. I’m inspired by maybe Beyoncé and Lady Gaga but just with a few tips.

Deborah Ombres

What three things make a good hostess?

Sympathy (for the devil), good vibrations, and alcohol (haha).

Why did you decide to move to Madrid?

I love big cities, and for my career the best option was Madrid. You would never see me in the country with a cow (or maybe you would if my millionaire husband wanted that).

What is the cabaret and drag scene like there? Where would you take us on a night out?

Now, with the financial crisis I think there is more room for people who are absolutely creative, brilliant, humorous and amazing. There’s a new wave of drag queens and discos for trans* taking place that are very popular and successful.

A perfect night out for me is at Fulanita de tal, which is a pub and what’s on depends on the day. Que Trabaje Rita is a good disco on Sundays, but Madrid has a very vibrant nightlife and you can enjoy a lot of different choices.

You’ve also worked in radio… do you prefer it to TV?

The radio experiences were amazing and is one of my favorites, but TV is also really special. I can’t choose one or another.

Can you share a good tip or piece of advice from your book about the different types of men? 

The title of my book roughly translate as “How many toads you should kiss before you find a Prince”. Men are like a good hairspray… you should try to find one less sticky ’cause you worth it.

Deborah Ombres

Talk us through your outfit for B(e)ast…

I never talk with strangers about my outfits. Maybe I will be naked.

If you were a cocktail what would you be and why?

A Cosmopolitan ’cause I’ve always envied Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City. A woman that only writes a column every month and still earns enough money to wear luxury brands the rest of her life… When I’m older I wanna be like her.

Join Deborah Ombres at B(e)ast this Saturday 5th October at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-3am.

All images courtesy of Deborah Ombres

DSS at the V&A

This Friday pop down to the V & A Museum in South Kensington for a little taste of Dalston Superstore at their Dalston Takeover!  You can sample one of our delicious cocktails, the aptly named Hackney Iced Tea, and watch a video shot by the wonderful Kenny Campbell at our bi-monthly B(e)ast night from the lovely Borja Peña.

B(e)AST @DALSTON SUPERSTORE from kctv on Vimeo.

Also showcasing for this special Friday Late event will be our neighbours The Arcola Theatre, Dalston Roof Park, Cafe OTO, Stunt Dolly, the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and loads more!

For the full list and info of Dalston based companies and venues appearing at the V&A’s Friday Lates Dalston Takeover visit the website: www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/friday-late

Join the Facebook event for the V&A’s Friday Lates Dalston Takeover this Friday 28th June from 6pm – 10pm at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington.

Borja Vs Jonjo

By Borja Peña

I have been following Hot Boy Dancing Spot’s The Lovely Jonjo since he used to play at Trash on Mondays at the sadly now gone club The End. I remember it like it was yesterday, his sets were always so unexpected, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Kraftwerk; you couldn’t help but turn your head to the booth and wonder who was this DJ with blonde curls…. 

Well, almost ten years later I have finally booked him to play at B(e)ast and I couldn’t be more excited, but before the party on Saturday 1st of June, let’s find out more about Mr. Jonjo while we enjoy some sangrias in sunny Barcelona just in time for Primavera Sound…

Hey Jonjo, Primavera always has the reputation to book these bands that are largely unknown to the general public and then a year later everybody is talking about them… who are you looking forward to seeing the most at this festival, who do you think is the underdog?

Two bands that have really dividing people at the mo are The Knife and Savages, I have seen both but can’t wait to see them again. Saw Veronica Falls last night, proper British band; the drummer is amazing. Other bands I’m looking forward to, apart from Blur and Phoenix (swooon), are Tame Impala and Death Grips.

Amazing I really hope you make them part of your set!

I remember hearing you playing with Erol Alkan at Trash in the now disappeared The End. What are the clubs you miss the most in London and why?

God there are so many clubs that are no longer around that formed my teenage ears. Smashing at The Eve Club, Turnmills for Heavenly Social and of course Trade, Bagleys, and I used to love The Leisure Lounge when Popstars was there.

Your club Hot Boy Dancing Spot is now an institution, but if we talk about actual hot boys… who is your ultimate hottie?

Movie stars or pop stars don’t really do it for me. Lots of cute boys walking around here in Barcelona but the boy I’m seeing really is the hottest in my eyes hehe.

I’ve seen you play at some crazy nights… and days… but what is the weirdest thing that has happened to you while playing?

God so many weird things, a man got a bit gropey in Tel Aviv, a little bit forward. Apart from that just odd requests, Geri Haliwell asking for “black music” springs to mind, silly cow, Prince was playing.

You play so many styles but if you had to do a back to back and you could choose any DJ who would that be and what would be the track would you start your set with?

Apart from you Borja you mean hahaha! I’m a huge fan of KiNK and would love to be on same bill as him let alone back2back. I would probs open with anything by Daniel Maloso, all of his releases drive me crazy.

It was so great working in the studio with you and Tom Stephan and I love playing the track we made together! Are you working on other tracks at the moment?

I know right! So much fun working with you and Tom, our track The Birds goes mental on dancefloor. I just finished a edit for Moonlight Matters as well.

And totally random I know but… If you were a B(e)ast… which one would you be and why?

I know it’s a little Miss World but I would have to say a dolphin. Sunny sunny and smiley.

Join Borja and Jonjo in the basement at B(e)ast on Saturday 1st June from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore.

Borja’s Banjee Mix

Next weekend sees the lovely Borja Peña join us at Superstore once more as a special guest at Banjee Boy Realness Vs PS. With Josh Caffe and Joe Robots in the basement and Bisoux and Cathal in the top bar it’s sure to be a banging night! Ahead of the night we decided to quiz Borja on all things banjee…

Which track from your mix will be your (not so) secret weapon to ensure things get really filthy in the laser basement?

Mmmm. It will not be one but probably two of my productions under the name “Cucarachas” or Cockroaches for non Spanish speakers. It’s my music project with Tom Stephan, there’s a remix of a track called Sheez from a New York based hip hop artist called Travis Lamar and another remix we did of a classic Foxy Brown tune from the ’90s called Hot Spot… Everytime I play it people go wild.

Who is your favourite EVER banjee boy?

That’s a very tuff one, at the moment there is five of them that I think need to be mentioned, as I think they are very influential from politics to fashion…

1. Obama…. I mean who runs the world?
2. Frankie Sharp. He’s one of my favourite promoters, he runs the coolest party in New York, Westgay, you should check it out.
3. Jazzy Jeff. I was born and bred in Spain and my first contact with a banjee boy was by watching The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air… BOOM BOOM SHAKE SHAKE the room was always on my walkman. Oh dear I’m showing my age…
4. Josh Caffe. I really think we were separated at birth and I keep asking him for names of tracks.
5. Shayne Oliver. I love a bit of Hood By Air.

How do you intend to make your set extra banjee to stand apart from what you play at B(e)ast?

At B(e)ast I don’t really stick to any music genre so it sounds very eclectic, I never know what am I going to play next. I think for Banjee I’m really going to prepare my set to make it extra New York style and play tracks that really remind me of banjee boys… like stuff from The Carry Nation or MK.

Who’s hotter out of the BBR co-pilots- Josh Caffe or Joe Robots?

Well I have to say Josh Caffe now, ’cause I haven’t been partying with Joe Robots… but I’m sure after the event it will be difficult to decide as I’ve heard great things and his podcasts are part of my “get the fuck out of the house” playlist.

Will you be venturing up to the top bar to take a dance with PS.?

Will I? I have been fantasising about a threesome with those two since I played with them the first time. They know how to lay down those sexy beats… aint no party like a PS. party.

Join Borja Peña at Banjee Boy Realness Vs PS. on Friday 22nd February from 9pm – 4:30am here at Dalston Superstore.

Stereon

The very next B(e)ast is a Berlin Vs London affair with the top bar seeing Borja joined by our very own Mikki Most for a hazy recreation of their b2b set at that den of iniquity that is Trailer Trash’s New Years Day party. Meanwhile downstairs Tom Peters is joined by fellow Berlin resident Stereon for a recreation of party vibes direct from the city where anything goes!

Viennese Stereon has been DJing both in his hometown since 1991 and now in his current chosen city of Berlin playing in places such as Cookies, Berghain, Tresor and more. We caught up with him to find out what’s in store for the lazer basement, how he got into DJing and what dancefloors around the world have his heart…

What’s the biggest difference in playing in your previous home of Vienna to your current home of Berlin?

Well, there are so many differences that it’s hard to describe. I had some great years DJing in Vienna, but Berlin just has so much more nightlife, and in general a much better informed and international crowd than probably any other city in the world. People come to Berlin to party and not just to go out a bit.

Where is your favourite dancefloor outside of Berlin?

I will always remember the club-room of the (not so legendary anymore) U4 in Vienna. I was resident there for eight years on the weekly Heaven gay night. I had a lot of crazy and very pumping nights djing there. And then there’s the now forgotten P1 Vienna. The first big club I went to when I was 14 years old and where I had a great time djing 10 years later as resident of a very successful weekly party called Liquid, in late ‘99 until around 2002.

What DJ inspired you to follow in their footsteps?

That’s hard to say as I’ve played a lot of different styles over the years and each branch of the electronic music tree has its own heroes. Christopher Just from Vienna was definitely always one of my main heroes before I started DJing myself. But I never really wanted to get into anybody’s footsteps. I think there are too many djs trying to get into someone else’s footsteps. I always tried to go my own way and I try to stay true to my vision of nightlife and party music without covering too much of the current trends and hypes.

What do you get up to when you’re not playing records?

I just enjoy my very relaxed Berlin Friedrichshain life. I’ve never regretted moving to this city and I still can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live. It has the perfect mix of low cost and urban adventure to enjoy life in a way that other cities can’t really offer at the moment.

What’s the craziest party you’ve ever played at?

There has been some of course, but probably the Lady Gaga after show party at Berghain’s Laboratory was one of the craziest.

How do you detox after a heavy weekend of DJing and partying?

I normally feel quite fine after weekends. But there is nothing better for your body than a good herbal tea with a good amount of ginger, some fresh orange juice and honey.

What’s the most important aspect of the night for you- your tune selection, the crowd, the club, the atmosphere? Obviously all plays a big part but what do you find personally affects you the most?

For me it is the tune selection. As a DJ I always try to make the people feel good with themselves and sexy. I want them to dance and have some fun for their effort of coming to the club. And I think with the right tracks at the right moment, all other aspects can be influenced and tuned to the desired atmosphere.

What projects are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on a remix for a friend’s band project. aMinus is a very friendly bloke from France who’s stranded in Berlin as well. I actually should have delivered already but I still don’t know if it’s finished or not. The single will be called Don’t Mind Me Now and will be released within the next two months or so.

Describe what your set will be like at B(e)ast in 3 words…

Sexy! Pumping! Vogue!

Join Stereon for B(e)ast with Tom Peters, Borja Peña and Mikki Most on Saturday 2nd February from 9pm – 3am.

Tom Peters

Tom Peters, aka KevinFunkt, is one of our resident DJs for hairy haus bi-monthly party B(e)ast. A resident of electronic-music capital Berlin and Kompakt signee and seriously adept at getting the lazer basement pumping; this man knows what he’s doing! Tom sent us this hot mix ahead of tomorrow’s party and answered some of our burning questions for us…

What is your favourite dance floor in the world? 

There are definitely a few… I love Fabric Room 1 for WetYourSelf! on Sundays, Dalston Superstore for Saturdays in London. There’s this new amazing place in Berlin called Prince Charles that feels like having a party in your living room it’s pretty special. And there is this club called Ego in Hamburg owned by Solomun that kicks ass with my friend Miss Bliss as a resident.

What’s the best thing about a resident DJ at B(e)ast?

Since I first came to play at DS I immediately fell in love with it. There is no pressure, the crowd is incredible and unique. We don’t have this kind of mixture of people in any of the clubs in berlin. It’s very refreshing.

What one track can’t you get out of your head at the moment?

Matthew Dekay & Lee Burrigde – Holding On  (All Day I Dream)

You’re currently based in Berlin- what makes it an amazing place to live?

Berlin is still affordable compared to all the other metropolis and it’s got such an massive underground music scene which is very inspiring. As I am a music lover Berlin is the obvious choice but tomorrow who knows, the world is my dancefloor.

What have you got due out next on Kompakt that we should be listening to?

Watch out for the next, Speicher on Kompakt in 2013.

We hear you are “constantly curious”!! What’s the best new fact or thing you found out?

Producing feeds my curiosity as I am always researching new sounds. I live for that moment when you finally find the sound that gives you goosebumps.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen happen at B(e)ast?

I think the wildest thing was the opening night with Jacqui Potato dancing on top of the bar. Gunnar Stiller and Fabiano giving it back to back.

And the night of the birthday when London was covered in snow and all our regulars turned up freezing and ending up topless dancing to Kim Ann Foxmann.

What was the best musical moment of 2012 for you?

East Ender Festival around Sonar Barcelona was pretty epic… goosebumps playing at 5am in the morning into the sunrise.

What is SAVE-FASHION and why should we already know about it?

The SAVE-FASHION aesthetic; a brand dedicated to celebrating and expressing the pleasure, intensity and emotion of urban life, fused into fashion.

You probably saw our bagpacks and shirts for Mobilee Records at Sonar. People like Maya Janes Coles and Spencer Parker are wearing our T-Shirts, and on every other DJ’s record bag you can spot our sticker “I think about you all the time”

And finally what have you got planned for 2013?

I am just working on a US Tour around WMC Miami, and of course the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. Good times.

Join Tom Peters for B(e)ast on Saturday 8th December from 9pm – 3am with Borja Peña, Franx De Crystal and The Spanish Mafia.