Posts Tagged ‘Borja Peña’

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

The Cucarachas

 Dalston Superstore regulars Borja Peña and Tom Stephan have been working on their joint project The Cucarachas for some time now, and with remixes for The Pet Shop Boys and tracks featuring none other than Kevin Aviance already under the belt, we know these up-and-coming superstars are set for big things! We caught up with the duo to find out more about releasing records on Tribal and Nurvous and working with their heroes… 

How, when and where were The Cucarachas formed?

Borja: Well we started a club night together called DISH about two years ago, and from that we decided to get together and do some music that would sound like our night. At every party we would try a new track and see how people received it, and after a few we created the band.

We both love John Waters movies so we thought of “roaches”, and as we wanted to sound even dirtier… “the Cucarachas” came along. Like mexican cockroaches, you can’t get filthier than that!! 

You both live in London but both work as international DJs… if you could live anywhere else (for its music or LGBT scene or whatever), where would it be and why?

Borja: I really cannot imagine living anywhere else. I think London is the most amazing place on earth as it’s so easy to fly anywhere from here, we have a great scene and there is so much happening all the time, but if I had to choose, it would be Berlin or New York… I have great friends in both cities. Maybe I would choose New York actually, I think Berlin would kill me! It’s too much fun, I like to keep it as a holiday destination… I need time to replenish my braincells after a visit. Actually, braincells don’t get replenished do they? Oh shit!

Tom: I can’t imagine living anywhere else either! I came here 22 years ago and never left. I do love NYC, but fortunately I get there fairly often to DJ and see my friends. 

What was it like working with the legendary Kevin Aviance for your track Sushi Darling?

Borja: That was all Tom’s magic, people don’t seem to know he is talking about Tokyo in the track, it’s genius.

Tom: I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kevin several times in the past and he’s amazing. He’s an incredible performer. Some people just have that ‘something’ – when they walk into the room, you know it. Kevin is one of those people. However, Kevin’s vocal on this track came from an interview he did in Japan. I have no idea how I ended up with a copy of it, but I’ve been playing this recording of him for years in my DJ sets. Borja and I had this great groove going in the studio and I suddenly thought of this acapella and it fit perfectly. 

Quite an array of producers have remixed you so far. Sushi Darling alone features Mike Q, Honey Dijon and The Carry Nation among others. Are there any producers that have been an influence that you’d like to remix your work?

Borja: Well as we are closer to Xmas I will start asking Santa now… Dear Santa Claus, this year I’ve been a very good boy, can I please have Tapesh, Kim Ann Foxman, Tank Edwards, Ejeca, Hard Ton, Danny Tennaglia, Waze & Oddisey, Green Velvet, Agoria, Dixon, Daniel Maloso, MK and Mathias Aguayo to remix Cucarachas? I would add Snuff Crew but they did remix our last track!! 

Tom: They did a great mix too. I was just playing it last night! 

What were your first thoughts about releasing on Nurvous, the future music off-shoot of seminal NYC label Nervous Records?

Borja: We did this track called “U” and right after the first listen we where dancing around the studio and thought, we should send this to a really good one. So we sent it and they came back to us within hours saying they wanted it. To this date I’m still pinching myself.

Tom: Yeah, it just fell into place really quickly. Borja mentioned Nurvous as his first choice for U, and I’ve worked with their other side, Nervous, for years. A few emails later and we were set. 

Let’s talk about your remix of The Pet Shop Boys. How did that come to be? Talk us through it..

Borja: Tom you should explain this one… 

Tom: This follows on well from the last question because it was “U” that got us the PSB remix. Neil and Chris are close friends of mine, and Neil and I always play each other what we’re working on.

I was playing Neil a few of the Cucarachas tracks and he loved U. Later that week we were contacted by their management asking if we’d remix Vocal. I hate the expression ‘no-brainer’, especially when Kevin Bacon says it, but this was one of those. 

Borja: In terms of the remix, we loved the vocals of the track and we built the beats around it like a little journey. The moment the hair on the back of my neck went all stiff and I had goosebumps I knew we were on to a winner.

What’s the support been like from them and from other artists?

Borja: Well it turns out the remix package was sold out and Number One in the American Billboard Dance Tracks, so that was another magic moment for me, lots of my friends were sending me voice messages twatted at crazy hours (thanks boys) telling me they heard it in Ibiza or In Berlin or in Miami… even if they woke me up I was so proud when I got those messages.

Tom: PSB and their management really liked the mix, so we were happy. And I’ve had the experience of playing it as the last track of the night- everyone with their hands in the air- just as I had imagined, so it’s been a success in my book.

Would you say The Pet Shop Boys were an early influence on either of you? Who are your personal musical icons (of any genre or era)?

Borja: Erm… Yeah!! I’ve got all their music, they are electronic music pioneers exploring it in any way imaginable and still killing it and being very innovative. There are not many people like them around. 

For me there are so many to mention and I keep adding to the list constantly, from David Byrne to Grace Jones, Janet Jackson to Pete Herbert , Giorgio Moroder to Missy Elliott …. those just came to my mind.

Tom: Absolutely. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. Other musical influences- DEVO, Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, Ministry. 

So, not only have you released on Nurvous, but also the extremely influential Tribal Records. Are there any other seminal labels left on the wishlist for you guys?

Borja: Again so many, there are really amazing young ones like Batty Bass or Local Talk, Love Not Money, The Jackathon… and really established ones like BPitch Control, Kompakt, Trax… again, there are too many to mention!! Bringing back Tribal to life after so many years with The Carry Nation is definitely one of the highlights of this music project for me… who would have thought.

There obviously a strong ’90s house influence going on here… what are you personal gems of the genre?

Borja: Mmm…. Celeda – Be Yourself,  Funky Green Dogs – Fired Up, Hollis P. Monroe – I’m Lonely, Liberty City Murk – Some Lovin, Armando – Single Minded

Tom: Definitely early MK, like Chez Damier- Can You Feel It (MK Dub), Farley & Heller tracks like their remix of DSK- What Would We Do? and even back to acid house like Bam Bam- Give it to Me.

I think house music and electronic music in general has been technology driven. The appeal of the old school house sound is that it’s analogue, warm and dynamic, whereas so much music made on people’s laptops sounds quite cold, digital and squashed . We’re trying to bring some of that warmth back. 

Are there any clubs you’re keen to test The Cucarachas sound in (apart from Dalston Superstore of course) or that you wish you’d had the opportunity to have?

Borja: Well we aren’t really playing as “The Cucarachas” that much because Tom and I have crazy flying schedules. We find it really difficult to be in the same place at the same time, so we cannot do that many tracks together. We are keeping this very special. Our first outing was at a warehouse party in Brooklyn with The Carry Nation, and now Dalston Superstore. Dream places to play… although if I ever play in any of these places I will probably have to take an antianxiety to calm down because of the pressure…. would be: The Warehouse Project in Manchester, Berghain, Lovebox, Sonar, and I’ve heard great things about Dance Tunnel too…

Tom: There’s a very cool new club in Brooklyn called Output that I’d love to play. But ultimately I’m happy to play wherever there’s people dancing!

What drives you both to DJ and make music?

Borja: We live in a world where so much negativity is bombarding us on a daily basis, from the news, to bullshit in the workplace. Music has always been therapy for me, a way to change a grey day or a bad mood into a smile and good vibes. I try to channel that when I DJ or make music and think of what I would like to listen to on the dancefloor, what sounds will give me goosebumps make me shake my ass like crazy or put my hands up in the air. Being a DJ is so amazing and so rewarding, you get to play your favourite music very loud and make people smile… dance… you touch them and take them on a mental vacation for a few hours. There’s nothing better than when someone comes to the DJ booth to ask you, “What is the name of this track??” with a big smile, or when you wake up and check Facebook and have all this messages from people telling you how much fun they had thanks to you… not many jobs give you that motivation! Or maybe porn does?

Tom: I agree, it’s about escape. I always thought the story of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever was a good example of how I see clubbing. You’re in a dead end job during the week, but on Saturday night you can totally reinvent yourself. I had that experience of stepping into another world when I first went to the Sound Factory in NYC and heard Junior Vasquez. It was such a moving experience. I was hooked and I haven’t been able to stop since. If there’s a cure for this I don’t want it!

Listen to The Cucarachas via their Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/the-cucarachas

And you can buy their tracks via Beatport: beatport.com/artist/the-cucarachas/316411

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

Win A Pair Of VIP Lovebox Sunday Tickets

Next weekend sees our annual jaunt down to Victoria Park for Lovebox Sunday! To celebrate we’re throwing two parties over the course of the weekend AND we’ve managed to get our mitts on a pair of VIP Lovebox Sunday tickets to give away! With some of favourite people appearing at the festival, from Kim Ann Foxman to DJ Harvey to Frankie Knuckles to Derrick Carter and a whole host of DSS family and friends across all the stages throughout the day, it’s sure to be a family affair.

Catch Johnny Woo, Horse Meat Disco and former DSS guests A Love From Outer Space (Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston) over in the Russian Standard House Of Davai… Hannah Holland, The Lovely Jonjo, Kris Di Angelis and of course Superstore boss Dan Beaumont can all be found in the East Side Strut.

Meanwhile here at the good ship Dalston Superstore, we’re kicking off the weekend with our Lovebox Sunday Warm-Up… on a Friday! We’ll be doing our duty helping you warm up your rave muscles for Sunday’s amazingness (our doctors advise you to stretch out at Dalston Superstore where we have a taster of what’s to come on the big day). Horse Meat Disco’s Luke Howard and Guy Williams of Paradise 45 will be massaging your dancing feet in the bar and kick-ass DJ Kris Di Angelis and Macho City hero Dave Kendrick will attend to your cardiovascular needs downstairs.

And on Sunday evening, it’s time once more for our legendary Outside The Box afterparty where we welcome a very special NYC guest to play alongside our fave local hero DJs including Grizzle, Borja Peña and Mikki Most.

For your chance to win a pair of VIP Lovebox Sunday just email the correct answer to hello@dalstonsuperstore.com by 10am Monday 15th July with the email subject “GIVE ME A PAIR OF VIP LOVEBOX SUNDAY TICKETS!”

Which former Dalston Superstore guests will be playing at Lovebox Sunday?

a. A Love From Outer Space

b. A Love From The Laser Basement

c. A Love That You Found After One Too Many Hackney Iced Teas

*Only the winner will be contacted

For more info and Lovebox tickets visit: lovebox.net

The Carry Nation at Paris’ Acid Ball

Tomorrow night we are pleased to welcome our good friends The Carry Nation to the Dalston Superstore laser basement for Paris’ Acid Ball!!! Comprised of Nita Aviance and Will Automagic, these New York wunderchildren are in the process of finishing up their current European mini-tour that took in Batty Bass, Horse Meat Disco, Glastonbury and more! And there’s just time for one last hurrah/Glastonbury Love-in Reunion with Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont, DJ Squeaky and Cathal. We caught up with one half of The Carry Nation, Miss Nita Aviance herself to find out how their magical team-up came to be, their hot NYC tips and so much more…

What lead to you guys naming yourselves after Carrie Nation?

Nita: One day we were working in the studio and took a break, Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls happened to be on the TV, and y’know, for a couple of us who happen to “carry on” all the time, it seemed really appropriate haha.

How did you both meet?

We’ve known each other for years actually. We’ve been DJing a lot of similar parties, known a lot of the same people, worked at each other’s parties a lot- have each other guest DJ. But the production team started when Will had all these great out-takes from his Escandalo project with Viva Ruiz and Desi Santiago and he said to me “I’m gonna give these to all of our friends!” and I said “Oh no you’re not! Let’s make a track! This is a record.” And that’s where This Bitch Is Alive came from. We really just clicked quite well in the studio, it was so easy, and it came out so well, so, it was on!

Describe The Carry Nation’s perfect summer NYC night out?

Ohhh, the perfect night out? I don’t know… it would probably have to be one of our parties! We’ve been doing a lot of loft and warehouse stuff right now, mostly at The Spectrum. But I think my favourite one we did recently was just us for nine hours, track for track. It was kind of a big night in Brooklyn, there was a lot of different parties… we go late! But yeah, it was really just nice and easy and effortless to play together for that long. And you really get to explore so many musical places that way. That’s really what we like to do. I’m from the school of LONG long sets. That’s how we were raised. Raised on the dance floor.

You’ve just played the Batty Bass warehouse, Horse Meat Disco at the Eagle, Block 9 at Glastonbury, then back to London to play here at Dalston Superstore. What kind of venue style suits The Carry Nation best?

I think the thing about The Carry Nation that works really anywhere is the fact that Will and I have had so many years playing records in a lot of different places in New York, as New York has changed over time- from big clubs to small bars to now, Brooklyn warehouse stuff. We’ve had the sound evolve and we’ve evolved with the sound. It’s always basically house music with a strong influence from everything that’s going on around the world. So I think it allows us to go anywhere and play in any kinda space…. Also, y’know, trying to bring all the music with you that you might possibly need can be a bit of an exciting chore haha… god love USB sticks now!

Which queer DJs across the world have influenced your style the most?

Coming and playing here in London has been really wonderful. Especially all the different people that we end up playing with. Because it really is a variety. From Junior Vasquez from when we were first coming up, to Severino right now- one of the most positive, joyous, energetic DJs that I know. But y’know, travelling all the way over to Australia even, you really get a sense now that it’s a global underground culture. And we really are all pushing the same thing. I always say it’s just about a beat, if it gets you on the dance floor, if it gets your asses shaking, then that’s all that’s necessary! It’s the same everywhere.

You recently released on Batty Bass Records. Why did you decide to release on a UK label?

I don’t even remember how we discovered Batty Bass but it came up somewhere and we really liked the stuff they were putting out. When I enquired from friends in London about Batty Bass and about Hannah Holland, they immediately said “Yep. That’s where you need to go. This is the kinda girl doing the exact same thing as you’re doing in New York right now.” And we wanted something to help expand the sound out of New York. It can be really insular there and, like anywhere, you can just put out stuff for you and yours. But we wanted to make it more global. It was our first choice and when she signed the record I couldn’t have been happier.

You mentioned working with Viva Ruiz for This Bitch Is Alive… what other vocalists, past or present, are on your wish list?

Oh my god, well, we’re actually working on a new record right now with Tigga Calore that we’re very excited about, and we just remixed N’Dea Davenport’s incredible voice on the upcoming Automagic release. And we’re producing Escandalo’s next record too. It’s so exciting to have people come to us and be interested in working with us. For us, it’s never really so much about working with a full vocal as it is cut ups and stuff so it’s exciting to be getting into that. There’s so many really great rappers coming out of New York City right now and that’s where the sound is…

Like who?

Le1f, House Of Ladosha, Zebra Katz, Cakes Da Killa… they’re all our friends and they perform at our parties in New York, so it’s really a great house-hip hop mix, which is really the roots of all this anyways.

Who are the best New York hidden gems we should be listening out for?

Other than us?! Goodness… well, House Of Ladosha really is incredible. Juliana Huxtable really is just a muse to the whole scene right now and has just started DJing. We found out she was gonna play one night so we went to see her and really had our minds blown. The track selection, from someone so young, it was amazing how far back she could reach, not to mention she’s just like a beautiful alien and we love her.

Juliana Huxtable 

Fatherhood is really an amazing group, made up of Physical Therapy and Michael Magnan. They’re our brothers in arms over there. They did a remix of the track, Warriors, that we did with The Cucarachas. Their stuff is brilliant and they play HARD. They get you to the dance floor.

How long did it take to wash all the glitter off from your amazing photoshoot you did with Leo Herrera?

Hahaha, oh god, probably not as long as it took to touch us up afterwards! The thing that’s wonderful about working with somebody like Leo is that he’s so fast and he has a vision. And we really only needed to give him a few words… it’s wonderful working with your friends that way. The crew that we have in New York is so close, we all cross over with each other… it really benefits the process. You get to move quick and you get exactly what you’re looking for, even if it’s not what you know you’re looking for yet! But yeah. Glitter. Glitter was everywhere. And we didn’t even use all the glitter! We ended up saving it for our next party which I didn’t have to clean up haha! 

 The Carry Nation by Leo Herrera

Tell us about your amazing artwork…

It’s all done by Troy Clark, who’s an amazing visual artist from New York. I’ve been working with him for a very long time on my personal stuff and it was the right move going with him for The Carry Nation. It was another one of those things where we just toss out a few key words and we just let him go with it. He knows us well and comes to all of our parties, knows exactly where we’re going musically. So he’s able to drive the artistic and visual vision. Which is fantastic because we can take what he does on the posters and incorporate it back into the parties… in terms of design in the space. 

The Carry Nation poster by Troy Clark 

One song that is currently soundtracking your summer…

That is a tough one… I’m gonna have to say it’s the new track we made with The Cucarachas, we literally just can not stop playing it, even for ourselves at home. Not to brag and boast, but, it’s just the song we’ve all been having in our heads for a long time. It came out so quickly and so easily; it’s wonderful working with Tom Stephan and Borja Peña. It just clicks. And after playing it out so much here in the UK- apparently it works! We’re very excited to get that out to everybody’s ears.

Join The Carry Nation here at Dalston Superstore for Paris’ Acid Ball on Saturday 6th July from 9pm – 3am.

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.

Smokin Jo

After praying good and hard, the girls of East London have had their earthly desires granted and a heavenly force has delivered unto them a hot Easter Sunday party! Going by the somewhat sacriligious name of Sister Pantychrist, this glorious worship of dance music carries on right through the night until 4:30am, and features a fallen angel in the shape of legendary DJ and former Trade resident Smokin Jo, and five (count’em, five) ex nuns called Borja Peña, Cathal, Bisoux, Rebecca Sawyer and DJ Squeaky. 

Ahead of Sunday’s extravaganza we managed to prise Smokin’ Jo away from her divinely duties to find out more about her favourite tracks, what it takes to be a female DJ and what inspired her to pick up her headphones in the ’90s…

What parties and what DJs inspired you to start DJing yourself?

I used to go to all the big raves and underground illegal warehouse parties in the late ’80s: places like Clink St, Sunrise, The Dungeons were all amazing; DJ’s like Colin Favor, Tony Humpries, Evil Eddie Richards, Kid Batchelor really inspired me; the deep house and techno sounds I fell in love with.

When did you make your first ever mix tape?

God… ummm probably around September 1990. I got some decks and used to practise every day, I made tapes and played them in a shop I used to work in. 

What does Trade mean to you?

Trade means so much to me, It was the club that launched my career, not to mention it was utter mayhem every week. It was a dream gig, to be able to play that music to that crowd is something I will NEVER forget. It was a truly special time, the energy and the feeling that everyone was one. Every track I played and every mix I did was greeted with cheers and applause. Magical.

As a longtime London resident and someone who regularly plays here and abroad, what’s your take on the current view in the music press that London’s club scene (both on the smaller night scale and bigger warehouse events) is in dire straits?

I think the press always needs something to complain about. We are very spoilt in London to have such a diverse music scene, and while some clubs maybe are getting a bit stale and lazy, there are lots of underground, illegal or newer parties and venues that are popping up which are amazing. Dance Tunnel, Half Baked, Shelter, The Loft Studios are all amazing. If you want a good night out you need to go and and find it not expect it to come to you.

You’re our fallen angel at Sister Pantychrist… what’s the most angelic or heavenly act you’ve ever committed?

One time in Ibiza my boyfriend and I found a girl who had fallen into the port in Ibiza town, she had lost her friends, had no money and no idea what she was doing, totally off her nut. We took her back to our place and looked after for a few days, gave her food, let her stay and showed her a good time in Ibiza! 

Tell us one track you plan to play that’ll deliver salvation to the crowd…

Pleasurekraft  – American Hustle

What’s the funniest inaccuracy you’ve ever read about yourself?

That I was married to Skin from Skunk Anansie.

You’ve said in the past you found it easier to stand out when you were first starting out as there were only about 4 female DJs in the UK… now that there are a considerable amount more, what does a girl have to do to get noticed?

I guess it is the DJs that treat themselves like a brand that make it now. You have to have an agent, a manager, PR, your own record label, a club night, lots of tracks out. Maybe even your own merchandise. This is not something that I think makes a good DJ but it seems these days you have to have a team behind you to really stand out and make it.

You’ve recently been releasing on Hannah Holland’s Native City label- how did that come about?

I have know Hannah for years, she is a good mate, when she said she was starting a label I jumped at the chance, keep it in the family and all that!

What are your three favourite tracks for dancing to? And not necessarily ones that you’d play out…

The Emotions – Best of My Love

Blackstreet – No Diggity

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Join Smokin Jo at Sister Pantychrist on Easter Sunday 31st March at Dalston Superstore from 7pm – 4:30am