In two weeks Club Lesley returns to Dalston Superstore! Alongside regulars like Falcon Punch, MDMX and The Lovely Jonjo, Canadian ethereal pop outfit Blue Hawaii join for a special DJ set. Comprised of former couple Ag and Ra (of art-rock band BRAIDS), the duo has so far released two highly personal records and garnered critical acclaim for their live performances alongside acts as diverse John Talabot, Azari & III and Actress. Ahead of the party, we caught with Ag to find out more about what we can expect from the Blue Hawaii record bag…
Blue Hawaii are well known for your live performances… what can we expect from your DJ set?
I’ll play whatever vibes best with the night. That’s what makes DJ sets unique – you don’t do the same thing every time, the main goal is to keep the best party going! Probably be focused on having fun though!
You always seem to appear on really eclectic bills- who do you consider your contemporaries?
Ah. Well we had this thing develop where we were basically a live act who identified strongly with DJ culture, so our live sets took on this back half where they would turn into a DJ set. So we can get billed either way… And our favorite nights are often a little but ravey for sure.
There’s quite a big difference sonically between your records and your live shows- where do the DJ sets fit in within this? What’s in your record bag for the night?
This is true. It’s because the live environment we see ourselves in is one of dancing, no somber contemplative music- but at home where we record, well, that is what naturally feels right. Record bag will be things like: Omar S, Todd Terje, Ginuwine, TWR 72, Destiny’s Child, all. Things like THAT haha •_•
What influence do your immediate surroundings have on your writing process?
Everything. Traveling keeps the mind and body sharp…
And how much of your personal relationship did you/do you allow to be reflected in your records?
A lot. The first one was about meeting and the second about breaking up. Wonder what’s left for the third?!
What is the glue that holds Blue Hawaii together?
Friendship and love and a special understanding that don’t exist between no one else.
If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would we be going?
Right now is pretty damn cool. But yeah- the future, baby.
You both seem to come from quite different perspectives- what are some DJs and live shows/acts that inspire you individually?
Kassem Mosse is a great example of someone who does both really well. Jamie xx is a huge inspiration in that regard. And I guess a friend now too!
If your music was the soundtrack to a film, what film would be? (exisiting or fictional film…)
“The Sexiest Person Ever”
In what way would you like for technology advances to further enhance your music making process… eg. by making physical distance seem even less so, or by production techniques?
Um. The latest version of Ableton will probably have the biggest impact technologically speaking. Or if someone created a huge free internet vinyl archive etc.
Photo credit: Mio Schörling
Join Blue Hawaii for their DJ set at Club Lesley on Friday 30th at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.
This Friday ’90s dance popstar Sonique joins us for Club Lesley! With the private view for new photography exhibit Dyke Of Our Time taking place just before the party, it’s looking set to be a big one. We caught up with the lovely Sonique to find out what she’s been up to since her chart-topping days…
You’re a born Londoner- what aspects of the city’s diverse music scene has had the biggest impact on the music you make?
I love the fact that London is really cosmopolitan and eclectic and covers so many different kinds of musical styles.
What’s your best clubbing memory from when you used to join S’Express’s Mark Moore and DJ Judge Jules at their gigs?
One time – before I even started DJing – I was with Judge Jules in a club and he needed a toilet break… then the record ran out and he had not come back so I had to choose and put on the next track.
So many good memories of Mark Moore… he bought me my first mixer!
You were resident DJ at Manumission during its super hedonistic period in the late ’90s… how do you feel about having been part of such a important (and notorious) time in Ibiza’s dance music legacy?
I miss it a lot – everyone was so free and happy then and we could play what we wanted – Ibiza is too controlled now.
Are there any tracks from your sets back then that you’ll be playing out at Club Lesley on Friday?
Oh yes but you will have to come down to find out which ones…
How do you feel about the current resurgence of ’90s fashion?
I really like it – I can just pick something out of my closet to wear!
What are you currently working on besides DJing?
I am producing a lot of new tracks in my studio with various different collaborators – the latest one I have completed is with the Greek producer and DJ – Johnny Gerontakis.
Check it out – it is called Carry On by JG vs Sonique.
You’re obviously a strong lady, from living by yourself at 16, to recently overcoming breast cancer. What motto do you live your life by?
“Live each day as if it were your last.”
You’ve played or performed at a few Prides, including Bristol and Jo’Burg; what do you attribute your popularity in the LGBT community to?
I have no idea but I feel blessed to have such support!
What one record changed your life and why?
Donna Summer – I Feel Love – the first record I ever bought and an amazing song.
Join Sonique at Club Lesley this Friday 19th April from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore.
EXHIBITION RUNS: SATURDAY 20th APRIL 2013 – SUNDAY 26TH MAY 2013
PRIVATE VIEW: FRIDAY 19TH APRIL 2013 – COINCIDING WITH THE MONTHLY LESBIAN NIGHT, CLUB LESLEY.
Tania Olive’s Dyke Of Our Time explores female gender through sexuality. Olive’s series comprises of deadpan portraits of lesbians shot within their own homes. The series aims to show the fluidity of gender within the lesbian community and challenge people’s often antiquated ideas of stereotypes. The intimacy of each individual’s own domestic space is juxtaposed against the direct and uniformed pose, allowing for each woman’s diversity and individuality to be compared.
Tania olive originates from Portsmouth but grew up in Germany due to her father’s position in the army. She then moved to London and has lived here for 13 years. Over this time she attended City University and completed a degree in BSc Nursing (hons). She was a sister in Paediatric A&E for 10 years.
Having always had a passion for photography Olive decided to do a part time degree in 2008 at Westminster University alongside working as a nurse and finished in the summer of 2012 with a BA in photography.
Her graduate show was part of the Free Range exhibition at the Truman Brewery last summer where she was awarded best in show by the British Journal of Photography (BJP) for her series Dyke Of Our Time.
This body of work is an ongoing project which has nearly doubled in size, and Olive would like to double this again still. The Dyke Of Our Time series was recently featured in the February issue of DIVA magazine
After graduating Olive has started assisting to gain more understanding and confidence of working in a studio and still nurses on an agency basis.
Tonight sees Brighton based Uncle Margie join us for Club Lesley at Superstore. A bedroom DJ from age 8, Uncle Margie is now part of female collective Corporal Pike and has played alongside the likes of Don Letts and JD Samson at famed queer party Traumfrau. Ahead of the party this evening, we asked her to pick her top five Lesley tracks to play…
My first track would be: Khia – My Neck My Back (Shlohmo remix)
It’s got a brilliant rolling bass line, and always seems to get the crowd going.
Then… Do The Du by A Certain Ratio.
It’s a great post punk track. I bought the record in the eighties and it still more than holds its own on the dance floor.
Next: Gui Boratto – Striker. This is probably my favourite track of 2012.
It’s on Kompakt Records based in Berlin. Also, my favorite German label. The baseline in this track is very Joy Division influenced. It’s got a timeless sound to it… And I just love it.
Next: Q Lazzarus – Goodbye Horses
I will play this because it’s simply my best song ever. I always include this song in my set. I guess it’s a bit of a signature track. Beautiful.
Finally, Laid Back – White Horse.
It’s another all time favourite of mine. A sure crowd mover.
Join Uncle Margie tonight at Club Lesley with MDMX, Musiclovemakers and Von Petrovosky from 9pm – 3am.
Bloggers and DJs Musiclovemakers join us for another Club Lesley outing this Friday night. As they tell it themselves, “we arelovers of music, we try find old & new that we like, we then try make folks dance with it, we’re also both interested in women.” With that in mind we caught up with Maddy to find out what music has a hold over her…
This track that never fails to move me…
This is mine and my best friends song, It reminds me of drunken nights screaming and crying to this! Kate Bush = Heartbreak.
This track I can’t help but sing along to…
I have probably just picked this just for the Kate Moss video. But I also think it’s one of the greatest ever cover versions. Dusty would have been proud.
This track has been a HUGE influence….
Even though this is a fairly new track it blows my mind every time I hear it. There is no one like Burial, he is a genius.
I lose my shit on the dancefloor to this…
This song has been rinsed on dancefloors everywhere, but it never fails to make me lose it when the bass kicks in.
I haven’t been able to stop playing this track all week…
I’ve actually had Solange’s whole EP on repeat this week, but especially this track. I like how she is not copying Beyonce and doing her own thing.
Join Musiclovemakers at Club Lesley this Friday 18th January with MDMX and Maxx DMX from 9pm – 3am.
Texan born, now Berlin based, John Renaud is a multi-media artist, fashion designer and DJ. Working closely with controversial electronic musician Peaches, he’s also designed for Cazwell, Cyndi Lauper, Amanda Lepore and Margaret Cho amongst others, meaning you’ve probably seen his work before. As a DJ, he’s known for employing a plethora of genres to get the crowd going, be it disco, electro, hip-hop, deep-house, dance-punk or indie-pop. We caught up with the young artist ahead of his set this Friday right here at Dalston Superstore for Club Lesley…
Your musical tastes span pop, deep-house, electro, tech-house and more. Can we expect a thematic set from you at Club Lesley or will you just go all out “trans-genre”?
You know, I have been playing a lot of house lately, but I still am a big fan of playing a varied mix and I always will mix in some nu-disco or indie dance pop. When you go to those mega clubs where they have “house only” DJs or “electro only” DJs, that’s great, but I always see my friends and other club goers get tired after the third hour or so of the same beat (even if they are on a bunch of ecstasy). I think it’s a real skill if you can mix some disco into some deep house into an electro “punch-you-in-the-face” track, all the while keeping the crowd moving. I’ve watched some really inspiring DJs who believe in the trans-genre approach play recently and it is one of my favorite types of sets to watch.
Who is your favorite recent dance music discovery?
He’s not new by any means, but I was really late to jump on the Boy 8-Bit bandwagon, but thank god I did. Seriously, his music and his remixes are beyond. He did a Florence and the Machine remix of Drumming Song that is so sick. He is one of those rare geniuses who can serve the music geeks with his skills and technical knowledge while at the same time making the general club crowd go insane on the dance floor. I really respect him so much.
We hear your parents met in a ’70s cover band? We NEED to know more about this! What band were they a tribute to? What did they wear? Are there pictures?
Haha, yes there are pictures. I think there is a poster in my parents’ house in Austin. My parents were semi dirty hippie flower children. They were a cover band called the Tulanians at Tulane University in New Orleans. It was a group of students that covered the hits of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, like Van Morison and Janis Joplin. That type of stuff. They did a USO tour too. They continued in a similar style band with their friends in Texas called the Pulsations, all while my brother and I were growing up. It was really embarrassing during adolescence but now that they aren’t together any more it’s kind of sad.
What influence does your Texan roots have on your work?
In my designs, I love western style yokes on shirts and making big statements. Haha. I’d say in DJing I love trying to squeeze in some country with Dolly Parton every now and then, but she can sort of kill the BPM so its only good at the end of a night or if you are playing for the gays. The gays love Dolly. Dolly loves the gays.
Why did you chose to settle in Berlin over any other major European city?
My friends were here. It’s affordable. I am actually getting to work on writing music and making art for the first time in my adult life, which was something there just was no time for in NYC. I had to work so many design jobs just to scrape by.
What ethos do you live your life by?
Try everything twice, maybe three times. I literally try and always give everyone and everything a second or third chance. There are foods I would have never liked had I just gone by the first experience, there is music I would have never learned to like, and I guess the same goes for some relationships. People are very selfish today in our generation. We forget life is about compromise with the environment, people, animals, things, etc. Facebook has made us all so narcissistic, and I am so guilty of it. I can’t believe what I write sometimes. You are not the most important thing on the planet. Give everyone and everything a second or third chance.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
Reading? German Level one. Haha. Listening to a ton of missed episodes of “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” (an NPR quiz show from the states) and several episodes of Radiolab. I am watching 30 Rock and Breaking Bad if I watch anything, I don’t own a TV so it’s internet streams for me.
You have a pretty illustrious list of people who’ve worn your clothes- who was the biggest dream come true?
Well there wasn’t one in particular; they all have been dreams I’d say. Margaret Cho was probably one of the nicest and easiest clients I have ever had. She was very gracious and trusted me. Super sweet. Cyndi Lauper was a total freak out moment, and she is great. Peaches has become one of my dearest closest friends since I started working with her so any time we work together it is an ideal situation. It’s one of the only real interactions I get to have because she can be blunt and I can be blunt. It’s like a mix of Cunty and Blunty when we discuss or fit. We can get pretty heated about the way something is supposed to hang or fit, and then ten minutes later be laughing and smoking a joint together. It’s really nice because I don’t have to hold back, and she doesn’t either.
And who would you love to design for that you haven’t already?
Oh man. Grace Jones. You are in England, Right? * COUGH * TOP SHOP! * COUGH * TOP SHOP * COUGH * CAPSULE COLLECTION * COUGH *
Your womenswear especially seems to have a strong futuristic, almost sci-fi element to it- what’s been your biggest inspirations?
Oh my inspirations are always so un-sexy. Emotion, but not in the pretty way. The messy 13 year old emo girl kind of snotty nosed first break up emotions. I always end up thinking about movies like Mars Attacks, Mad Max, The Birds, and Barbarella and while I don’t pull direct silhouettes from there the feelings of vintage future/elegant/form seem to shine through.
Who would you say has had the biggest impact on your career?
Peaches for sure. She has really been a big JR advocate in all my doings. She has pushed my fashion work. She encouraged me to DJ. Recently she has been a big pusher for me to start writing music just to see what happens. She is a really positive force in my life and she only seems to push me to do things that there is some potential in doing. She’s the really creative positive Jewish rebel sister I never had.
And finally what is your favourite end-of-the-night track?
Too Insistent (Trentemøller Remix) by The Dø. I think it’s such a sweet song and, like my design work, I always like to make my DJ sets a little moody (but danceable). I think it’s great when you need to let people know its time to go home and if they didn’t find the love of their life, us loners can have a good dance and cry together. Haha. And think about the one that we just can’t get out of our heads. Something like that. I am not sure what the song was written about, but that’s what I interpret it as. There is nothing wrong with ending the night on a somber note, as long as you do it with style.
This Friday sees Jahcoozi front woman Sasha Perera over from Berlin to DJ at Club Lesley. Signed to Bpitch Control, Jahcoozi is made up of Sasha and “two beat-freak producers/multi-instrumentalists — Teuton Robot Koch and Tel-Aviv born Oren Gerlitz.” Between them they create bass-heavy electronica that wins over fans of both dub and dance.
We caught up with Sasha ahead of her set to find out just what we can expect from this eclectic lady…
How did you meet your Jahcoozi band mates Robot Koch and Oren Gerlitz?
We met through a turntablist friend of ours in 2002. Berlin was much smaller then than it is now in terms of its creative scene. Everyone kind of knew each other personally and there was no internet. Most people didn’t even have a mobile phone. All three of us went to an Anti Pop Consortium concert and have been mates ever since.
As a native Londoner- can you tell us your favourite hometown hotspots?
That’s not easy as I haven’t lived there for 12 years! I’m not in London too often apart from Jahcoozi gigs. The last place I lived was Brixton. That was one of my favourite spots at the time. But, I guess it’s changed a lot, as has London as a whole.
I actually love Southhall for its Indian and Sri Lankan food. It’s one of the most intensely Asian/Somalian /Polish areas of London. You can’t find anything like that in Berlin.
My ecologist cousin works at an old cemetery in Tower Hamlets telling kids about the plant species that live there. It’s actually a great spot to hang out. I’m serious!
What led you to call Bpitch Control your record label home?
Modeselektor who were signed to Bpitch did a remix of an early Jahcoozi tune called Black Barbie in 2004. Then I wrote a song called Silikon on a Modeselektor beat for their debut album. A Jahcoozi tune called BLN also came out on a Bpitch compilation. So there have always been ties.
Ellen Allien had talked to us a couple of times in the past about releasing an album with them, and so with our third album Barefoot Wanderer we took that opportunity. Ellen has always loved our live show. She’s seen us playing all over Berlin ever since we released our first record and I think she digs that live energy as well as the sound.
What was the last record you bought?
Actually a Vex’d record called Gunman. It’s some early nerdy dubstep tune. Bought it in 2005 in Hard Wax. I assume you mean vinyl. The last MP3 I bought was a track by Joe on Hemlock Recordings.
You tend to collaborate a lot so who would be your dream person to work with?
Right now – Gonja Sufi, he’s a proper hero.
In the past – Moondog, also a proper hero but he’s dead.
Can you tell us a bit about the music exchange program you were involved in last year in Kenya?
BLNRB = Jahcoozi, Gebrüder Teichmann and Modeselektor headed out to Nairobi and recorded a load of tunes with Kenyan musicians, Mcs and singers. The Goethe Institute funded the project and rented a house which we converted into makeshift studios. We ate, slept and worked in the same house. It was mental!! (and loud!) One day we took the soundsystem down to Kibera, which is the biggest ghetto in Nairobi and put on a party in front of a church (it was the safest place). An amazing day and a serious eye-opener that was only possible with the help of our friends at Kibera street-art collective Massai Mbilli. 22 Kenyan artists were also flown to Berlin for a big BLNRB concert for the Worldtronics Festival. They saw snow for the first time!!
What’s in your record bag for Dalston Superstore?
Not telling, I don’t want to pre- ejaculate. Ok you twisted my arm. I admit I can’t stop playing tunes by Objekt. And there is the filthiest juke/footwork bootleg of a Destiny’s Child tune, which I’m often scared to play, but I might just have the balls to this Saturday. Maybe some Evian Christ to soothe the people after that… or some Monolake. Don’t know actually. No idea. I DJ with Ableton so I might just feel it out.
Where’s been the most unusual place you’ve ever played a gig or DJ set?
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin! Jahcoozi live and televised before A-HA at the opening of the Athletics World Championships in 2009. That was rather surreal, especially the crane shots of us on the telly!
We also played in Havana, Cuba in 2011 at a dilapidated amusement park in the jungle. Unfortunately there was a power cut after 7 songs. That kinda hurt because the place and vibe was so special.
What does 2013 hold for Jahcoozi?
We’ll be releasing the tracks we made this year on a project called Sound Camp Asia where we made music with electronic musicians from Kabul, Karachi, Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Colombo and Berlin. It was a two-week residency with 20 artists on an island with no shops and just a dirt trail.
We’re also releasing a tune we made with Barbara Panther on Bpitch Control and working on a new Jahcoozi album too. I have a load of solo stuff which sounds absolutely nothing like Jahcoozi and the album is almost finished. Exciting!!
Jahcoozi frontwoman Sasha joins us for a DJ set at Club Lesley this Friday 19th October from 9pm – 3am.
This Saturday sees Susanne Oberbeck, founder of one-woman industrial band No Bra, grace the Superstore basement for a special DJ set at Club Lesley. Having been a staple on the East London club scene, Susanne has since made the move to New York where she continues to perform live and DJ, including for controversial gay pornographer Bruce LaBruce’s live shows.
We caught up with her to chat art, the avant-garde, mustaches, books, tits and more ahead of Saturday’s set!
Why did you decide to move from London to New York?
I was drawn by its energy.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
These are the books currently on my bed: collected poems of Langston Hughes, Hot And Cold by Richard Hell, Our Lady Of The Flowers by Jean Genet, The Job: Interviews With William Burroughs, Kafka Toward A Minor Literature by Deleuze and Guattari, The Women by Hilton Als, M by John Cage, Sister Outsider by Audrey Lorde and the I Ching. They are all worth reading!!
You’re known for having a pretty eclectic taste in music. What can we expect from your DJ set here at Dalston Superstore?
Am I? I will be playing a lot of new music coming out of New York, I don’t think it’s overly eclectic, a lot of the music I play at my own club there, and it’ll be very danceable.
Why is there such a strong relationship between club culture and the avant-garde?
Because it’s instant and up to the minute and doesn’t cost much… you can experiment and you don’t need someone more conservative to give you money to do it. People coming together in this way generates energy and new ideas.
However I find using the term “avant-garde” today a bit dubious because it could be read as just another marketing cliché intended to keep the “avant-garde” in a safe place where it won’t lead to any genuine change.
What made you make the move from film-making to music?
I thought I would be better at it and I was desperate to perform! It’s more fun, you have more freedom to be inventive, it’s considerably cheaper and you don’t depend on other people to make it happen. But I do want to get back into making narrative films and more music videos in the future… I think it’s easier when people know who you are and you don’t have to struggle to be respected. [Especially] If your ideas are perceived as slightly unorthodox.
Where do you feel has had the biggest influence on you- your hometown in your native Germany, your adopted albeit temporary home of London or your current home of New York?
Probably London. Also I am not from a town but a village!
You’ve spoken previously about the need to balance getting your tits out with wearing a moustache. Is this something that still informs your performances and if not what does now?
Where is this quote from? It sounds like it was meant to be a joke. I guess using gimmicks like that has shock value and it looks extreme and serves as a short hand for something maybe more subtle I might have feared people would not get. Really it was just kind of a satire on double standards surrounding ideas about speaking and performance, subject and object, male and female, active and passive etc. Plus I felt comfortable in half-drag. Anyway now that I have grown as a musician, if I may say so, I’m more interested in just being myself on stage and let the songs speak for themselves, because it’s actually more powerful, [to] create something new rather than make music that is partially rooted in satire, or holding a mirror at the audience like in the Leonard Cohen song.
How did you come to DJ for Bruce LaBruce?
We have been friends for a while. He asked me to do it.
How do you go about picking music to soundtrack “gay zombie soldiers”?
Bruce named one song (For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield) that he thought would be good and so I think I got the idea of what he was after… [and] er maybe mixing in my own feelings about the topic at hand. We were at this strip club called Macho Mondays and there were better things to do than discuss a DJ set. I didn’t really prepare it, it’s always best to improvise on the spot because then the audience becomes part of it.
And finally, what was the last piece of art you came across that genuinely moved you?
As in sending shivers down my spine? It was actually a fashion show but I’m not gonna tell you which one! Is that considered art?
No Bra plays Club Lesley this Saturday 22nd September from 9pm – 3am with The Lovely Jonjo, Michelle Manetti and MDMX and you can catch her performing live at the Twat Boutique warehouse party on Friday 5th October.
Canadian synth-pop duo Trust join us on their debut UK tour to DJ at the launch of brand new night Club Lesley this weekend! Brought to you by the people behind the mega-popular Twat Boutique, Club Lesley will be a monthly Saturday party bringing the best in ’90s dance, funk-doom, r’n’b and garage for all the hottest girls.
Signed to Arts & Crafts, Trust, a side-project of Austra drummer Maya Postepski, are set to release their first full length TRST here in the UK later in the year. In the meantime check out this brooding video from last year’s single Candy Walls…
Trust play Club Lesley this Saturday 12th May from 9pm – 3am.