With his music soaked in tropical sounds and releases on labels such as Balearic dream curators Distant Hawaii, Sonikku and SWEAT look like a match made in heaven. Headlining this takeaway edition alongside Al Zanders, the Lobster Theremin affiliate talks pop music classics, video game soundtracks and time travel!
Hey Tony, we can’t wait to have you back! You’ve played at Dalston Superstore several times and also at Chapter 10. For those who might not know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your Sonikku moniker?
SONIKKU is a musical hybrid of Sonic the Hedgehog and Madonna.
Listening to your tracks (in particular Dilemma), it’s obvious your music is widely influenced by pop music. Could you give us a few examples of the perfect pop album according to you?
At the heart of winter, the SWEAT crew is bringing the heat to Dalston Superstore with a sun-drenched double bill! Headlining this takeaway edition alongside Sonikku, the Wolf Music and Phonica Records affiliate, Al Zanders, will be serving disco and trippy house in the laser basement. Sweat head honcho Pavliné caught up with him for a tequila sunrise, and to find out what to expect from him at his Superstore debut!
Hey Alex! First of all and for those who might not know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your DJ career?
I’m no salesman, but I make funky, deep and sometimes ethereal house music, as well as edits, all designed to be enjoyable on a dance floor. I tend to DJ a variety and don’t like to stick to one genre or style, so you might hear anything from techno to broken beat.
You’ve recently moved from Sheffield to London. How is the music scene there compared to here in London?
I’ve actually been living here 18 months already. I’d say Sheffield is more communal because of its size – everyone knows everyone. London is a very different kettle of fish.
We are a huge fan of disco edits at SWEAT and your edit of Tangerue ‘Doin Your Own Thing’ is truly amazing. You released it under the Lodger moniker, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Thanks! I personally don’t take a lot of pride in edits, they’re just for me to DJ with. Lodger was the first alias I ever made years ago – and I’m probably not going to release under that moniker again, as I’m too focused on my own productions as AZ.
Your latest EP on Phonica Records had an impressive reception upon it’s release. What was the idea behind the tracks?
Thank you – they were inspired by DJ Shadow, the way he layers samples together from vastly different areas of music into one song, creating an interesting blend. Like that beef custard Joey eats in Friends – wrong but somehow still works…
What does 2018 have in store for you musically??
An EP with one of my biggest musical heroes, the first release on his label in 16 years, plus some fun edits and a track I’m working on with a singer that I’m very excited about. So a lot!
What can we expect from your set at Superstore?
Depends what you guys seem to like, but I’ve been enjoying a lot of trippy techno recently so maybe some of that mixed in with my usual flavours.
Can you think of a track that you might slide into your set to fit the tropical and hedonistic aesthetic of SWEAT?
Finally, our classic Dalston Superstore question: if we had a time machine ready to take you to any dance floor, past present or future, where would you like to go and why? I’d maybe go to see the Co-Op guys at Plastic People, but they seem to be making a comeback now – so no need for the time machine!
Catch Al Zanders alongside Sonikku at SWEAT on Friday 5 January from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
We are so psyched to welcome mischievous house and techno don Spencer Parker as our guest of honour at the Superstore Christmas Bash! When he’s not travelling the world gracing the stages of some of our favourite clubs and festivals, Spencer is a regular guest at Berghain, be it playing house and disco upstairs in Panorama Bar or filthy techno on the club’s main floor. We’ve been hearing whispers since September that his set at Field Maneuvers was many people’s festival highlight of the year, so we can’t wait to hear what he unleashes on the lazer basement! We caught up for a Baileys and a chat about his 2017…
I quite like my eyes… but I have a beautiful smile too – tough to pick just one if i’m being brutally honest…
Favourite release of the year?
Mella Dee – Techno Disco Tool on Warehouse Music
Playing Hi Tech Jazz on a roof this summer, as the sun came up over beautiful Monopoli, southern Italy, for the amazing Apart party gang.
I love a Baileys! (Shout out to Terry’s Chocolate Orange too though!)
Complete, utter, devastating and total heartbreak.
It was that “breakfast” at Glasgow airport a couple weeks back. I know, I know… It’s my own fault…
Best tour destination?
I think that it has to be, and shall always remain, TOKYO! (But after travelling there a little recently, I’m also beginning to fall in love with LA, I have to say.)
Best rave moment?
Charles Jeffrey (and accompanying outfit) dancing on a speaker to Hannah Holland playing classic Tenaglia featuring Liz Torres on vocals while standing next to our beloved Dan Beaumont in his safe space™ at Chapter 10.
Our favourite Grecian power rave returns this Saturday 2 December for their final party of the year, and they’re pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s a special one! Their guests of honour are fellow Athenian tastemakers, previous guests and ‘sodoma soul sisters Amateurboyz! Having raved a long summer’s day away with the Discosodoma crew as well as rave royalty Discodromo at their A THREESOME ON ACID party during Athens Pride earlier this year, they are well-placed to provide us with their expert top tips for successful raving ahead of Saturday!
1. Cubicles that take six people x2
2. Never ending booze
3. A disco nap area / special K discovery room
4. A lock in
5. An after party
6. Glory holes
8. Vegan bumps ( or Organic Chanel)
9. Fag hags
10. Smoking wherever you like
11. And bonus: No lights!
Catch Amateurboyz at Discosodoma this Saturday 2 December from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore
Our monthly Thursday night queer rave happening Happy Endings has quickly gained cult status for their notorious toilet rave, abstract dress up themes and genre-defying bookings, and the latest edition Movembra is sure to be no exception. They have invited South London front-running female sound engineers, DJs and producers Omnii as their special guests. The collective run a range of initiative to encourage female and non-binary people into the music industry, as well as curating an interview series on Medium featuring female and non-binary audio pioneers. We caught up with them to chat challenging stereotypes, fighting misogyny and the future of a more equal electronic music scene! Hi Omnii! We can’t wait to welcome you soon for your Dalston Superstore debut at Happy Endings! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves for those who might not know you?
We are a group that aim to encourage women and non-binary sound-enthusiasts into technical areas of music including production, live and studio engineering.
We run workshops teaching technical skills to improve people’s confidence in a highly male dominated area substantially lacking in female role models. Other than supplementing technical knowledge, our workshops help to build a community of like-minded individuals. We also have an ongoing feature series interviewing female producers and engineers about their work. These interviews have a strong technical focus, centered around music gear and recording processes. Also, we are now expanding our output to include gigs, events and as two of us also DJ, we’ve started doing this under the Omnii name as well.
How did you initially meet, and what inspired you to start the collective?
Omnii just turned one! Naomi and Fran met at university, but decided to start the collective when they were both working as live sound technicians at the Student’s Union. Fran was also doing a lot of studio work alongside this. We noticed very quickly that we weren’t seeing a lot of other women or non-binary people working in tech, and having had to teach ourselves a lot of it in the first place, we decided we wanted to build a community of encouragement to change that. Joy was also working at the SU in events at the time, and started doing live sound too. It’s been the three of us since September.
How do you work to network and foster community with other female and non binary DJs, producers and sound engineers?
The interview series has been really great for this, as it allows us to reach out to people we wouldn’t normally run into in person. Also recently, we have been really fortunate to be invited to talk at various events, such as Girls On Film and WITCiH (Women In Technology Creative Industries Hub), where we’ve met some incredible people and built connections that way. We’ve also run workshops for Red Bull Studios, and because they have a big pull in the industry and a huge network, we were really fortunate to meet lots of like-minded people and awesome producers, engineers and DJs there. Other than that, we’ve been getting an increasing amount of emails from really cool individuals in varying practices reaching out for contacts and meet-ups, so that’s really helped!
Yeah! So we run interviews with a variety of women and non-binary producers, with the main focus being on their gear and production. We felt like so many interviews (particularly with women) are focussed around their songwriting and personal experiences, and very few focus on how they make music. This adds to the perception that women don’t know as much as men about the technical side. We’ve also run longer features with studio engineers, such as Steph Marziano, which have proved to be really interesting and offer great perspective and advice to people aspiring to get into the industry.
There are some incredible female and non-binary DJ collectives really changing the face of electronic music at the moment – have you experienced a shift in attitude from the wider music community since you got started?
Yes and no. We get a lot more people reaching out to us for collaborations and recommendations now, and we think people are becoming more aware of female groups working towards changing the demographic of the industries. The DJ collectives are amazing and we’ve been lucky to be on panels with collectives like Girls Can’t DJ. It does feel like a change in London and we’re getting there step by step but there are still a lot of perceptions that need changing.
There seems to be a real sea change occurring in the DJ world – moving from cis men ruling the roost and guarding their knowledge closely to diverse collectives who aim to encourage marginalised groups to get involved! What are your final goals for changing the face of the electronic music scene?
There is still a lot of work to do, but it shouldn’t have to only come from collectives like ours pushing to get talented women on DJ and festival line ups; it’s the promoters, labels and venues that need to recognise us and create a safe space. It’s easy living in London surrounded by a supportive scene of so many women and non-binary people in music and feel like cis men aren’t controlling the knowledge, but in reality they often do. We want to encourage marginalised groups to learn to be confident in the technical aspects of music when we are so often made to feel intimidated. Engineering and production can be very technical and hands-on in terms of hardware, and it would be great for this to more accessible. Something that would help is moving away from stereotypes in education from a young age. A huge general goal is to eventually have every aspect of the industry from the bottom up having equal representation. That is when we will see real change.
Who are some of your favourite DJs and producers right now?
It’s so hard to choose but Alkahaf by Fatima Al Qadiri is a great tune.
What does 2018 hold for Omnii?
We’re looking to expand into more events, and have some exciting collaborations coming up so stay tuned! We also want to expand the interview series to include videos of performances and rig breakdowns with women and non-binary producers – hopefully to include gear tutorials (there’s only so many men talking about gear you can sit through on YouTube, to be honest!)
And finally, what are you planning to unleash at Happy Endings?
We try and play at least 50% by female / non-binary producers and DJs. We’ll be bringing some fierce techno to the dancefloor.
Catch Omnii at Happy Endings this Thursday 16 November from 9pm-2:30am at Dalston Superstore!
We can’t believe it’s been two whole years since East London’s hottest lez fest Fèmmme Fraîche first sauntered through our doorway with a flick of her hair and a twinkle in her eye! She’s now racked up 12 riotous ladies nights at the mothership, with the likes of Honey Dijon, DJ Heather and Joyce Muniz at the helm. To ring in this very special occasion, promoters Michelle Manetti and Sandra Le have planned a whole night of giveaways a-plenty, goodie bags up for grabs for our party-goers and cute AF merchandise with their resident DJs running riot the whole night long! We caught up with the girls to reflect, reminisce, and get excited for this Saturday’s birthday bash!
Hey Michelle and Sandra! Happy birthday to your baby Fèmmme Fraîche! How have the last two years of parties been for you?
SL:Thank you, guys! I can’t believe it’s been two years already! The last two years of parties have been… exhausting! Haha, no seriously though, we’ve had so, so much fun. We’ve met incredible artists, and working with the DSS crew is a real delight.
MM:Yep, it’s been a wonderful whirlwind of deliciousness, all pleasure no pain (except the day after each party, which always feels a little delicate!)
If you had to pick one song to represent Fèmmme Fraîche, what would it be?
SL:I’d say U & Me Electricity from Kim Ann Foxman, it’s my favourite track at the moment! It brings me back to my youth, it’s classic, it’s catchy and it’s acidy! Kim Ann is one of our favourite DJs and a good peep, so hard not to go with that one.
MM:For me, I’m gonna say Skwerl – All Woman (K2’s Deepah 1ne Dub). The track is 10 years old now, and I love dipping into my old skool tunes for FF, it’s bouncy as hell, ravey and as the title says, it’s all woman, just like Fèmmme Fraîche!
What has been your highlight of the last two years?
SL:That’s a tough one. Each night has its own flavour and all our headliners have been phenomenal. If I had to pick one though I’d have to say our night with Honey Dijon was pure madness!
MM:Yep, I have to agree. They’ve all been amazing, but the Honey Dijon party had some crazy electricity, so much energy and love that night, even the walls were dripping with sweat, it was such a crazy, sexy, cool party!
Why do you think it’s important to foster spaces for queer women to party?
SL:Well, it may sound cliché but there aren’t many places anymore where queer women can meet other queer women, play, and have fun whilst feeling they can do so safely. So, yes, it is important to foster these safe spaces and cater for a diverse crowd of queers with all sort of tastes.
MM:Exactly, it’s so important we nurture these safe spaces and continue to provide places, and parties where girls can go out, feel comfortable and confident that they won’t feel discriminated or objectified unwillingly so they can concentrate on just having fun and enjoying their night.
What does your queer utopia look like?
SL:Ultimately a world where nobody gives a fuck about who you are, how you identify or who you love.
MM: Second that!
Can you tell us a bit about what to expect at your birthday party?
The finest Fèmmme Fraîchetastic music, sexy dance moves, general sexiness, sweat and big smiles all round! And of course as, we’re celebrating our second birthday, there’ll be decorations, party poppers and fun things… plus we have some goodies to giveaway – we’re giving two lucky winners free entry for them and their pal, free drinks on entry, free merch and two £20 vouchers for Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium. Enter here! Are you excited yet? we are!!!!
Who are some of your favourite DJs and producers at the moment?
SL:All the DJs we booked in the past two years, our homies, and right now, Peggy Gou!
If you could change anything about London’s LGBT nightlife, what would it be?
SL:We need more of it, and more diversity.
We’ve heard whispers that you have some exciting things in the pipeline for Fèmmme Fraîche in 2018! Can you let us in on any plans?
We’re growing Fèmmme Fraîche into something more than just a club night, continuing to support female, female-identifying and non binary DJs and throwing damn fun Fèmmme Fraîche parties, but just adding some extra dimensions and extra features for it to become a little more interactive. Our plan is to create a platform and a space where queer women can showcase their creative skills across numerous artistic disciplines, as well as offering opportunities to learn new skills. We’ve got some fun stuff up our sleeves, so stay tuned!
And finally, what are you planning to unleash on the laser basement at your birthday party?
SL: The demons of house music!
MM: Yep definitely the beasts with the dirtiest, filthiest basement beats. We want bras spinning, booty shakin’ and hand’s-in-the-air action!
SWEAT is your party for queer house heads and their friends! For the latest edition, the SWEAT crew is bringing you the prodigy of the new Parisian house scene: Hugo LX (Serving la Mona/ My Love Is Underground) for a jazzy and soulful house masterclass! Hugo LX is a true music enthusiast who has been making some serious waves in the new Parisian house music scene. Although his better known production could be classified as classic or old school house, his musical journey was not as straightforward. Pavliné catches up with him ahead his gig for SWEAT w/ Hugo LX!
Hey Hugo, first of all and for those who might not know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your DJ career?
I’ve been in and out of this music thing for the more than a decade, producing music in a wide array of styles and tempos, from jazzy hip hop to contemporary dance music, through ambient and organic house.
These trips through styles and BPMs also express part of my nomadic reality, cruising between many places and countries. Growing up unrooted also allows me not to feel boundaries too much when it comes to genres, categories and even social layers.
Though everything and everyone is unique, we can nearly always find common grounds. As I’ve been back to DJing extensively for the last three years, I try to express all of this through my selections and mixes (nothing’s more lovely than when two songs play well together!)
You had a few releases on high profile music labels lately. Which one of these was a the real breakthrough track for you?
Though the label was newly born, I think Drifting Away on Nick V’s Mona Musique label made a special and significant impact, and I’m happy DJs play it worldwide, including some of my favourite selectors. It’s definitely humbling!
We had Nick V playing at SWEAT a few months back, which was sooo much fun! I believe he played a role in introducing you in the new Parisian house scene. Could you tell us more about that?
Nick V is an uncle to most of Paris’ latest wave DJs, and he played a special role connecting us to well-established and successful music structures, labels and clubs.
I remember nearly stopping music in the summer 2014, discouraged by label politics and projects being unreleased or poorly promoted. But he kept asking me for some house or broken beat demos, and the first batch were immediately published on the now defunct 22track playlist, allowing me to gain some attention by renowned label heads and DJ’s.
I read you also have a strong connection with Japan, and Kyoto in particular. You said you like Japanese Urban Soul, 80s electro and ambient. Do you also like Japanese house (because I do!) and if so, could you give us a track or a DJ you like in particular?
I’ve been into Japanese house for a long time, and have befriended several DJs there over the years. One of these friendships recently materialised in myself remixing the master Satoshi Tomiie on his latest offering. Also I’m an avid fan of Mr YT aka MissingSoul, and the master Kuniyuki (Rain of Ocean is one of my favourite Japanese house tracks ever, and it’s barely house!) who I expect to work with in the near future…
What can we expect from your set at Dalston Superstore?
Turning the event into a comfortable and intimate party! That’s what it’s all about!
You have a strong relation with vinyl. When did you start collecting records and what do you find so compelling with that format?
I started collecting at age eight. I like the generosity of the format – it’s a circle, it’s colourful, comes in various shapes and sizes, and credits on the labels, give food for thought, knowledge. Giving a vinyl is transmitting a legacy!
Finally, can you think of a track that would fit the tropical and hedonistic aesthetic of SWEAT?
Let’s go back to basics… maybe something from the Nott Us labels..
I-Aye-Bye-You by Billy Robinson probably. It has a very sweet layering and comfortable feeling, but it’s actually a real burner!
Catch Hugo LX at SWEAT on Friday 3 November from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
This November we ring in the third birthday of our favourite happy-go-lucky queer rave, Homodrop! Over the last three years, the Homodrop crew have cemented their place in East London queer nightlife, with a strong emphasis on the visual element of their identity. Their resident graphic designer for the past year has been Benedikt Rugar, whose lurid, cheeky and abstractly sexual work has been turning many heads in the venue! Having worked with iconic clubs and brand from Berghain and Cocktail D’Amore to Beam Club Bangkok, his artwork is now synonymous in London with Homodrop’s colourful, mad aesthetic. We caught up with him to chat childhood inspiration, mosaics and, of course, gay nightlife!
Hi Benedikt! We absolutely ADORE your kinky, abstract Homodrop artwork! Where do you get your inspiration?
Hi – thank you so much! It is lots of fun to work for Homodrop. I get the concept of the party from my going out in the queer/gay scene in Berlin. I think I understand what Homodrop wants. It’s queer and colourful, sexy and playful, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Music, fun and love are in the foreground of the experience. For the poster series, I developed absurd spatial still-lifes that played around with queer topics, without necessarily showing men. From futuristic penis-instruments to a blowjob fruit salad in a glory hole – clichés from the scene in a new packaging.
Has graphic art always been a big part of your life?
I was always a very visual person. I have trouble remembering names, but faces I never forget. My graphic awakening was quite early, at the end of my school years. University was like a forge for my visual understanding, and drawing has never left me since. Graphics and drawing are a language that can be more easily read and understand across cultures. I find this exciting – that it can breach borders.
You’ve worked with the Homodrop crew for a year now – can you describe the party in three words?
Unicorn, kinky, adorable.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re making work?
Very different kinds of music. Lena Platonos is super!
What is your earliest artistic memory?
As a child, I drew my own action figures on card, cut them out and made them fight with each other – like you would with actual action figures. Almost all of these card figures were muscly “male mermaids” with vampire teeth. A mash-up of the Little Mermaid, He Man and Count Dracula. They belonged in a world of their own. Sadly I lost them over time, otherwise I am sure they would be on one of my walls now.
That’s so cute! Which other artists or designers do you most admire?
Of course there a few artists that I like. But off the top of my head, I can think of the posters from Braulio Amado, which are amazing, or I still love – and have done so for years – the graphic and comic worlds of Igor Hofbauer or Yuichi Yokoyama.
Which work of art do you wish you created?
Ask me that again when I’m so old that I can’t hold a pen with my hand.
You were recently commissioned to create a mosaic for Bangkok-based Beam Club – what was that project like?
It was definitely something special. I was asked to design a seven-meter long mosaic wall for the Beam club in Bangkok, which had recently been finished with an interior design concept by William Russell of Pentagram. The wall lies behind the bar in the lounge, a quieter area of the club, so the owner wanted the illustration to have a dream-like feel about it, inviting guests to linger in the space.
My immediate reference were vintage illustrations from the 1960s, where families gather in front of futuristic buildings, a representation of everyday life scenarios but in an imposing environment. These were the raw materials that I used to create a window into a fictional landscape. Instead of a conventional rendering, we decided to solve this challenge by creating a huge mosaic wall in tune with the materials used throughout.
The artwork – which I had to “translate” into the language of mosaics – is made up of hundreds of 1 x 1 cm pixels: the actual black or white tiles on the wall. The technique allowed for matt and glossy finishes, which used in combination allowed me to introduce highlights.
You’re involved with a lot of graphic design for nightclubs – is the clubbing world a big part of your life? How does it inform your work?
It has a big influence in my work, yes. I went clubbing a lot, especially during my first years in Berlin. It’s what happens here. In Frankfurt, where I come from, I never found parties like the ones I enjoyed later in other cities. I got to know many different kinds of people going out in Berlin, and with some I am still connected. When I first met them, I never suspected that it would lead to very nice collaborations later, like record covers and club posters. The scene is full of talented people from the creative business – and it’s not all lost on the dancefloor. Sure enough, I love dancing and going out. It’s a part of life in Berlin.
What does your queer utopia look like?
Queer utopia ? It depends from where you start. From outside: for sure, more love and tolerance. And from inside – for the scene itself: less narcissism, more activism!
Any exciting project in the pipeline you can let us in on?
My biggest project at the moment is to follow my own art, next to my regular jobs. I just had my first solo exhibition in Hamburg, which was a very nice experience, but in very busy periods like those, I miss sometimes the energy and time to work on my own stuff. And it’s from these self-initiated projects I draw the material that I use in my other work, especially in club posters which depend so much on the visual. Free artworks need their own process, and usually jobs don’t give you the time for this. So it’s important for me to be connected with myself like this too.
Check out Benedikt’s artwork for Homodrop, and join us on the next party on Saturday 4 November from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
With every Halloween at Dalston Superstore comes the cult horror smash hit Mints presents Miss Zombie Drag Queen! For the banging 2017 edition featuring Bell Towers, In Flagranti and Nadia Ksaiba, we are lucky enough to welcome East London’s very own queen of the underworld, RodentDeCay! She’s been haunting stages from The Glory to Sink the Pink, and most recently debuted new commissioned work at Birmingham’s Fierce Festival and we can’t wait to have her join us to judge the competition! We caught up with her to chat queering monstrosity, fighting real-life monsters and things that go bump in the night.
I finished my Masters in the back end of 2016 so most of 2017 has been trying to be a RealLifeHuman™. But it’s also been a year of a lot of experimentation and growth, creatively, largely in retaliation to the way the world seems to be closing in on itself. It’s been a very interesting year so far for the Rat Queen.
You were recently involved in the incredible Fierce Festival in Birmingham, what was that like?
So throughout the end of 2016 and up until this week I was involved with the Fierce FWD development programme for emerging artists in and from the West Midlands. Through the programme I started exploring more sound design elements in my creative practice and presented my first solo work, HOMECOMING: a 20-minute piece scored by my own original compositions, sound design and text that looked to weaponise the ugly emotions we brew in adolescence as isolated queers into a tour de force of destruction against the systems and structures that separated us. It’s been an amazing experience and I’m hugely grateful to the whole Fierce team for their support and for commissioning me!
We were absolutely GAGGED by your recent Aileen Wuornos lipsync at Cybil’s House! How did that idea develop?
I’ve been exploring monstrosity as a queer metaphor in a lot of my work recently and so stumbled upon Aileen’s story through that investigation. Aileen was a woman who was abused constantly throughout her life, suffering numerous toxic relationships and mental health abuses. She’s infamous as one of America’s most prolific female serial killers, murdering johns that she alleged abused her. Throughout her arrest, trial, incarceration and ultimately her execution, her life was used as a toy and bargaining chip by religious and political bodies: largely all men. I wanted to bring this “monster” back into our consciousness and use her final interview as a way to skewer abuses of power that are levelled against women, queers and those of us with mental health problems while also offering some kind of vindication.
What is your process like when developing a show?
Usually I start with a nugget of an idea, a mental image or a piece of spoken word or audio that resonates with me. I magpie lots of bits and pieces from all over the Internet or in real life and make Frankenstein composites to try and weave new narratives. With my Sweet Dreams, Aileen act I found Aileen’s final interview with Nick Broomfield and overlayed this with an instrumental track of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). I thought the merging of Aileen’s narrative as an abused queer woman and the image or Annie Lennox as a powerful androgynous woman had some really powerful potential, especially with the pounding “Some of them want to use you… some of them want to abuse you” lines.
Where do you find inspiration?
At the moment, monsters, both real and fictional, but I’ve always been inspired by things that exist on the fringes of culture or society. As a queer non-binary person these modes of existence really resonate with me so I try to revel in otherness, difference and defiance. I’m really obsessed with the power of horror to shock and jar people from complacency and the ordinary, which is why my work plays with images like witches, werewolves and feral children.
Photo Credit: Graeme Braidwood
We love your dark aesthetic.. how has it developed from when you first started out doing drag?
It’s really bloomed over the past year now that I’m full out of education. My drag was always a little bit on the dark side, but was quite juvenile to begin with, mostly because I don’t think I initially had the confidence to celebrate a lot of the things that make me tick at the time. Coming into my own with my gender has definitely had a major impact in wanting to present something more liminal. I’ve evolved from being a MySpace emo princess, to an alabaster vamp, to a ferocious witch to now start pushing my drag in a direction that makes it more genderless and inhuman altogether.
If you could change anything about London’s LGBTQ+ scene, what would it be?
More celebration of and visibility for non-white and non-masculine bodies. The link between sexualities and bodies is inevitable in club culture but I’d like to see more room for discussions and challenges that take queerness away from the physical and the meat of us. I’d like to see a celebration of sexuality and queerness that doesn’t anchor itself to one singular kind of queer subject that is predominantly cis, white and male. I think a lot of people talk about these kinds of changes but I think our community has a very real problem with taking ideas off of Facebook and applying them in the real world.
Photo credit: Phillip Prokopiou
What does your queer utopia look like?
An intersectional equalisation of power, abolishing class, gender and racial barriers and fully automated luxury queer monster communism.
You were the winner of The Glory’s cult drag competition LipSync1000, and Miss STP a few years ago… what’s the next step in world domination for Rodent DeCay?
Rising like Surtsey out of the oceans to take over everyone’s minds and hearts with cold, nihilistic beauty. Seriously though, more of the same. Keeping my momentum up and putting out more unique and original content and trying to be more disruptive, political and vocal.
And now for the upcoming Halloweekend!! What are you looking for in Miss Zombie Drag Queen 2017, and what advice would you give any wannabe drag zombies readying their lewks?
I wanna see some hilarious causes of death. A fully intact fresh from the grave zombo is all well and good, but I’m really hear for chunks missing, implements in eye sockets, zombie experiments gone wrong and radioactive super zombies. Top tip: twisting your head around 360 degrees successfully, without severing any major nerve or spinal system, is a definite winning move.
For October’s edition of PATSY, Superstore welcomes SocksLove, a Scorpio from Milan who is one-half of the pan-European collective Eurocrash (alongside total babe and PATSY favorite Protopapa.) A ferociously talented DJ and actual sweetheart—one of his side projects is called Baby DJ Lab, a workshop for small children to try mixing with vinyl—SocksLove has played all around Italy and Germany, but this is his first time ever in London! To celebrate, we asked him a bunch of questions about himself and music. Read on for his clever answers <3
Ciao Gab! You’re a Scorpio. It’s about to be Scorpio season (PATSY‘s into astrology). So, what’s a song that immediately makes you think of sex?
Oh I can be pretty horny, but just from time to time. But I’d say Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.
You and Protopapa have a collective together called Eurocrash, which throws parties and has radio shows and promotes DJs and does a lot in Italian nightlife all over the country. What is a song that brought you two together/that you enjoy playing when you DJ with him/that sums up the feeling of Eurocrash?
Eurocrash is getting into production stuff, does this mean you will be producing? Until we get to hear your stuff, what is one song you wish you’d written (and why do you wish you’d written it?)
I wish I was produced by a proud productive prodigious pride bride, and my dreams are into In Flagranti‘s entire work. Or Alkan‘s. It’s rock, and it’s for clubbing, either at a festival or with your earphones.
You are making your London debut at Superstore and closing out the laser basement. What is one of your favourite end-of-the-night songs? (You don’t have to give away what yours will be at Superstore <3)
I can be very ignorant, but I’ll skip Shaggy this time. I’d rather say Exodus – Together Forever.
You’re really involved in the Italian queer underground. What is one record that’s come out of your scene lately that you wish more people knew about?
It’s certainly Palazzo – Sabotaggio, the song Eurocrash produced the videoclip and the remixes. Ch-ch-ch-check it out.
If you could travel back in time to any dance floor during any era anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? And what is a song you would hope to hear there?
I’m terrifically into early rave, can’t help it. It takes me back to a place and time I’ve nearly been into, but not actually. It’s the electric feeling of love I’ve hardly touched, and that I can translate this with Digital Boy – Direct To Rave.
PATSY is all about queer joy, coming together, and a lack of pretension (which kind of sounds pretentious when you say it out loud, but is actually quite sincere). Is there a song that you think sums up that vibe?
Perfume Genius – Queen.
Catch SocksLove at Patsy on Friday 20 October from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
The latest in incredible guests to grace the decks of our lazerpit is Mixmag, Radio 1 and Reprezent Radio wunderkind Jaguar! She’s spent her summer lighting up stages from Secret Garden Party to V Fest, as well as hosting her own radio show and regular Lab LDN parties! Her enviable energy and pure love of music is undeniable in her banging sets, which span the breadth of house, disco, techno and beyond! In between duties in her crazy schedule, we caught up to chat dream radio guests, career highlights and plans for Friday’s Wut Club!
Hi Jaguar! We’re so excited to have you join us soon for Wut Club! How has your 2017 been?
Hey! Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to play, as I love going out in Dalston!
2017 has been a bit mad. I moved to London from Leeds back in January and since then I have completely immersed myself within music and radio. My day-job is with BBC Music Introducing – which involves listening to a lot of undiscovered artists and helping get them played on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. I’m also a writer for Mixmag and have started hosting our weekly office party, The Lab LDN – so if you’re ever in need of a Friday afternoon sesh, let me know!
DJ-wise, I’ve been playing loads of festivals this year including Secret Garden Party and V Fest. A highlight was at Parklife in Manchester back in June. I played the Smirnoff House stage before My Nu Leng and Barely Legal and it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever played to. Everyone was going for it! This was actually where I met the amazing ABSOLUTE who hooked me up with the WUT Club booking.
Can you tell us a bit about your new show on Reprezent Radio?
So I’ve just launched a new show on Reprezent Radio which is every other Saturday from 9-11PM. Rep is such a vibrant station to be a part of, and the show is pretty much an extension of my personality. It’s upbeat, bouncy and full of brand new, electrifying tracks from the house/disco/techno world. I bloody love a night out, so this show is all about bringing the vibes on Saturday night! The reception has been great so far. I had Phonox resident HAAi as my guest last week, which was super fun, and I’ve got Fono doing a guest mix for the next show on 7 October!
You have already achieved so much as a young DJ and radio presenter – what has been your career highlight so far?
The ultimate highlight was last November when I won two Student Radio Awards. I owe so much to student radio which I became engulfed in during my time studying at Leeds Uni. This is how I got into DJing, broadcasting and throwing parties, so to be nationally recognised by the industry was a huge deal for me! I was awarded Gold Best Specialist Music show and Silver Best Female – I remember 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq gave me my awards and was really complimentary. It felt a bit like a dream but it was honestly one of the greatest moments of my life that I’ll never forget and has led to some amazing opportunities. I am so grateful.
Carly is such an incredible woman who I really look up to. She gave me my first London gig earlier this year which was in the main room at XOYO. Sister is an amazing movement to be a part of and I’m excited to see what happens with it.
I think collaborating is super important for a DJ – whether it’s putting on nights together, playing back-to-back, or doing guest mixes on your mate’s radio show. I always learn so much from working with other people. I also go to these amazing monthly, all-female workshops that Red Bull Studios put on called Normal Not Novelty. I’ve made some genuine friends at these events who I’ve ended up collaborating with. I’d really recommend going to stuff like this!
Who are a few of your dream radio guests?
I’m a huuuuge fan of The Black Madonna. Musically she is perfection, but I also love everything she stands for, so she would be number one! I’d love to have Fatima Yamaha do a session as he’s one of my favourite producers and has a sick set up when he plays live. Would also love to have Annie Mac on, as she is my broadcasting hero.
Favourite track of 2017?
I mean it changes every day but have been rinsing Big Miz – The Bomb a lot in my sets recently! Lauren Lo Sung’s Tresor is one of my favourites too.
What is your earliest musical memory?
When I got an iPod for my tenth birthday! I used to religiously listen to CDs on my little Walkman but then suddenly had all of my music in one place and I became obsessed with it! I was always infatuated by music from a young age, and new technology only enhanced that. My first album was Black Eyed Peas ‘Elephunk’ and I remember I would listen to it on my iPod on repeat haha!
You host Mixmag’s weekly Lab LDN show – who have been some of your favourite guests?
It’s an honour to be able to introduce the best DJs in the world to the Lab LDN audience. It’s a real milestone for DJs, and there have been some amazing sets. Rex The Dog earlier this year was incredible, Flava D was fun, Erick Morrillo was cool, and Gideön last week was sick too. It felt like a real house party vibe in our office!
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/anywhen, where would you go?
I’d definitely go back to Paradise Garage in New York and get silly in the 80s.
One track that you can’t wait to unleash on the Superstore lazerpit?
Fallout – The Morning After (Purple Disco Machine Re Work)
Catch Jaguar at Wut Club this Friday 29 September from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!