Hi babies! Value Pack is our brand spanking new weekly monday night shindig. There will be trashy, nostalgic music, cute vibes, CHEAPDRINKS FOR STUDENTS and maybe a little bit of drag action… Before the first installment this monday (05/11) we had a cheeky little chat with our resident discount pop DJ BRAT.
U K, Hun?
Good thanks babe! You’re a founding member of Bodycon, one of our monthly Thursday parties, tell us a bit about that..
Bodycon is the messy binch you have a fab time in the smoking area with bt would NEVER invite to the afterparty bcs she’d be the one to break the sink. She’s obnoxious and makes absolutely no sense, but the club is where she shines. She’s that girl who posts constantly on Facebook and is only funny 10% of the time IRL.
What exactly is Discount Pop
Discount Pop is a culmination of all the bangers you’d hear pulsating out your older sisters door in 2003. It’s the choreo to Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground. It’s a celebration of the once overplayed, now underplayed that will guarantee a toe tapping and more than one bussy popping.
How many times are you going to play Jennifer Lopez – Waiting for Tonight?
I guess u’ll have to Wait until mon Night to see 😉
How many shots of Tuaca are you going to hammer?
I’m usually a Jägerbomb chik, u know this. But I’m going to see if my expired student card works @ the bar 😉
Does she even go here?
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. If she’s wearing a Peplum, she’s not getting in.
What’s you’re most memorable Poundland moment?
Who hasn’t done a last min High Drag lqqk w/ Poundland accessories?
If you were a multi-pack of crisps, what choice of flavours would you contain?
Jägerbomb, Vegan Cheese, Strappy Cork Wedge and Special Edition Tuaca.
What’s the cheapest thing you’ve ever done?
Nothing I do is cheap, it just looks like it is.
Are all the things she said running through you’re head?
All the things she said will be slut dropping in ur head Tues morn !!;*
Our favourite happy-go-lucky homodisco HOMODROP is turning four this weekend and celebrating with an extra special party with headliner SONJA. We had a little chat with promoter Florian about the birth of HOMODROP, his musical inspirations and more..
Hi Florian, for those of us that don’t know you as a promoter, can you tell us a little about what you do?
For HOMODROP I’m taking care of programming, building a line up, contacting DJs , agency, booking them and also taking care of all visuals . It’s is really important for me to have good music and good posters. Both are linked.
How did Homodrop come into the world? Was she an easy birth? A long, painful out labour of love?
Very fast actually, no pain hahaha! The party came out of the closet 4 years ago, in a Stoke Newington basement, on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon. For the first one there were only 2 DJs- STATHIS from DISCOSODOMA and myself.
If you could sum up these last four years of Homodrop in one track what would it be?
That’s a hard one! I think I’d choose a track form MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA who played last year for us, called I AM DISCO .
If you could pick any guest, dead or alive, to headline one of your parties, who would it be?
Can you tell us a little bit more about SONJA, your headliner for this edition?
We met playing together in Lisbon where she’s been really shaking up the underground electro scene in the last year. She has her own label called Labareda, a resident for LUX and hosts a monthly radio show on the famous Radio Quantica. On top of that impressive CV she is very funny!
What were your earliest musical inspirations?
Electronic wise i started to play minimal, techno minimal, electro minimal and electro clash about 12 years ago.
You’ve got all international of late, Homodropping in Canada, France and Portugal, where you now live, what’s that been like??
I’ve recently moved to Lisbon. It’s a really nice city and I’ve discovered a very underground scene, even more underground than Berlin. It’s proper underground, in all aspect, venues, posters of party, equipment, people ….
If you could be any animal crossed with another animal, what would you be an why?
I can imagine myself a mix between a bee and a stingray.
What track would you use to describe this creature??
Ahead of this Friday’s Miss Zombie Drag Queen 2018 as presented by notorious heauxmeauxsexy disco crew Mints, we caught up with them to hear about some of their favourite evil drag queen inspirations! Y’all better roll on down to Party Party this evening, stock up on some Smiffy’s campery and join us this Friday for your chance to be crowned MZDQ2018, win a £50 bar tab, flagon of Lambrini or a frozen chicken tikka lasagna as unofficially sponsored by Iceland!
The Witches These ladies, led by queen Anjelica Huston herself, are the dream combination of horrifyingly glam and horrifyingly… well… horrifying. The Roald Dahl books were scary enough, but when The Witches came out in full colour in 1990, all our worst nightmares came terrifyingly to life. Iconic.
A wig made entirely of snakes, and the ability to turn mere mortals to stone with just a glance. Now THAT is drag.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
She has to be on every single list of the most devilishly camp Halloween divas. This film is full-blown 80s horror cheese, and we are here for it!
Every single Jessica Lange character on American Horror Story Whether it’s Constance Langdon, Sister Jude, Fiona Goode or Elsa Mars, Jessica Lange never fails to leave us gagging at the depth and bredth of her sheer evil in American Horror Story. Our personal fave is Constance Langdon, original terrifying bad bitch of AHS, and though Elsa Mars might not be the most iconic of those four charaters, she leaves us with a fabulous tagline for Mints presents Miss Zombie Drag Queen 2018: “My monsters, the ones you call depraved, they are the beautiful, heroic ones.” I mean.
Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus If this movie wasn’t a formative autumnal tradition every year of your childhood, have you ever even participated in Halloween? This 1993 comedy horror fantasy is just the perfect recipe of camp that we love at Miss Zombie Drag Queen. Ladies, take note.
Her Majesty the Queen Notorious reptilian shapeshifter and royal leech of the people, her majesty Queen Elizabeth II might not be the campy glam icon we all deserve, but she’s probably the most likely on this list to be an actual undead zombie creature. Sorry not sorry ma’am.
Anjelica Huston at Morticia Addams Our babe Anjelica makes her second appearance as this scathing, ruthless matriarch with an unmatched contempt for pastel colours. She is pure unbridled gothic femme. And can we talk about those eyebrows?!
Meryl and Goldie in Death becomes Her Name a more iconic duo… we’ll wait.
The Craft The original teenage badass witch crew, this is the cult horror film that kick started our obsession with the occult, and paved the way for Charmed, Witches of East End and other favourite ooky spooky pop culture hits. Fairuza Balk is the badass BFF that every queer deserved in high school.
We caught up with promoter Marie Malarie to chat about growing up in Eastern Europe, her experience of the London LGBTQIA+ nightlife scene and to get the lowdown on their special guests!
Hey Marie! We are so excited for the debut of Outré Voyage at Dalston Superstore! Can you tell us a bit about yourself for those who might not know you?
Hiyaaa! Thank you so much for having me!
I find it really hard to talk about myself but I will try my best. I’m a smalltown girl from
Eastern Europe who was always passionate about music. Shout out here to my older brother who was listening to it non-stop and passed me that beautiful thing. After finishing high school I left my home city and moved to Warsaw where I went to uni but it was more a constant party than actual studying. There I made my first steps with the whole DJ thing, learning how to mix and slowly started to play out in local clubs. Bored with my life I decided to follow my brother and move to London to discover more.
I love diversity of this city and opportunities that it gives. People who I’ve met here opened my mind and eyes so widely. I’ve experienced so many things which inspired me to find out more about music, communities around it, club and queer life. It’s very beautiful how people support and motivate each other which doesn’t really happen where I come from.
I feel very happy and grateful to be given the chance to have a night at Superstore. All I ever wanted was to make my own thing which is a mixture of music, visual arts and overall happiness and love. My aim is to bring some underrated/unknown DJ talents along with locals/internationals and well known residents with majority of female representatives of dance music scene. Each edition is different in terms of the line-up and visual side.
You are the long-term resident at Homodrop and have played a whole lot at Dalston Superstore – what do you love about playing at the venue?
I love this spot with all my heart. I was so happy when I found it for the first time. First of all the vibe of it. It’s a colourful, warm, wellcoming and safe place with lovely and kind staff: bar, kitchen and security. Second – I think it’s a great example how a queer venue should be like. Diverse programming for all week including club nights, drag shows, day entertainment and food plus some local social and foundation initiatives. The music selection is very different and I like the fact that it can be also cheesy sometimes to keep the balance. That all makes it a place for everyone, no matter who you are. It’s the most important LGBTQIA+ spot on London’s map.
I always wanted to run my own night but it’s very hard to start one, especially in such a big city like London. I had this luck to meet that lovely person who inspired me a lot – my friend Florian who runs Homodrop night at Dalston Superstore. He always goes with the flow and every his move is very intuitive which results in what we can see. I’m a person that constantly overthinks things and always wants to be perfect which causes only procrastination and depression in my case. I realised that you don’t have to be so serious about everything you do and try to be perfect because we will never be, no matter how we try. And that imperfection and randomness sometimes rises new ideas that you didn’t even expect to happen. That’s why we need positive and creative people around us. It’s like taking a deep breath.
Replying to the question: I was inspired by some lovely people I met, by my dreams and love for music.
If you had to choose one track to some up the party, what would it be?
Can you tell us a little bit about some of your special guests?
Every guest is special! On following Friday we will have 3 girls headlining: sick duo called 239EF which consists of Kristina and Chloé – two music geeks with insane selection and Jay from well-known female djs collective SIREN throwing queer parties promoting women and non-binary artists. Apart from that we will have Heidy P from Montreal/Lisbon, crazy b2b with Rachael and Eliza Rose plus our favourite residents CHERIII, Chaka Khan’t and Michelle Manetti with a little live surpsire. And me somewhere in a dark corner… I love the fact there are so many of us.
We really love your artwork! Who is the amazing designer behind it?
It’s a non-human person called TROUBLE WANTED. It’s me. There are two of Us.
If you could change one thing about the electronic music scene, what would it be?
If we’re talking about London what I miss the most is having an opportunity to rave during the day somewhere outside, surrounded by nature. There is nothing more beautiful than going for a little Sunday daytime party with your rave family to smoothly finish the weekend. I know that there are some of them happening from time to time but there is not much choice.
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/anywhen, where would you go?
I would go to regions of Southern Africa to explore music of The San People. Otherwise I would love to rave somewhere in US in the 80’s or early 90’s at one of the acid house/techno underground warehouse parties.
Favourite track of the year so far?
Don’t have one!
Who are some of the artists on your radar for future guests at Outré Voyage?
That’s a surprise! Expect some gooood tuuuuunes.
Catch Marie at Outré Voyage Friday 21st September 9:00PM-3:00AM at Dalston Superstore!
After their thunderous debut in April, this Friday sees Ni-Ku and J.Aria return for an extravaganza of boundary pushing experimental club-music at the second instalment of MegaLast! Providing the heat in our lazerhole is none other than the queen of trance-like rhythms, ricocheting percussions and delirious energy, object blue!
The Tokyo-born, Beijing-raised, London-based producer and sound artist has gained widespread recognition and praise for her distinctive take on club music. She was featured as one of Fact Magazine‘s ’10 House + Techno artists to watch in 2018’, and named one of the key influencers in youth culture in the infamous Dazed100 List, alongside the likes of Yaeji and SOPHIE. Fresh from a high profile set at Berlin’s Atonal Festival (one of Europe’s epicentres of electronic music), she is one of the hottest figures in London’s bass and techno sphere right now.
We caught up with object blue to chat about her experience as a queer woman in the music industry, who is inspiring her at the moment and what we can expect from Friday!
Oh hello object blue! We are so excited to have you at MegaLast this Friday! What can we expect from your premier set at DSS?
Lots of harshness and intensity, but still will be making sure you dance all night. I really can’t wait!
You dedicated your EP Do you Plan to End a Siege to ‘all the women on the dancefloor’ and you have been ON POINT in calling out the misogynist bullsh*t of the music industry. What has your experience in the music industry been like as a queer woman?
It’s frustrating a lot of the time! Since I was a teen, male musicians have mistook my enthusiasm for music as an invite for flirting. I’ve had male musicians approach me and say “I love your music, let’s work together,” then disappearing once they learn I have a girlfriend. I still get hit on on the dancefloor after I finish a set and get offstage. Heteronormativity is real! I just want to be taken seriously as a musician, no matter whether I’m f*ckable or not.
There are some amazing femme collectives like Pxssy Palace, SIREN & Rhythm Sister paving the way for and creating safe club spaces for women and femmes on their own terms. How do you think it is best to support these collectives?
Go dance and bring a crowd! And if you’re bringing straight people — tell them to behave or we’ll punish them according to clause 433 of the Gay Agenda!
It’s been well documented about the loss of LGBTQ+ spaces in London, but this change has been more abrupt for queer women. How has this effected what clubs you go to?
Yeah, there seems to be nowhere for lesbians to go. It has been impossible to find a lesbian club to hang out in — once I went to a lesbian bar that’s defunct now, but it was empty with bad music. All the years I’ve been in London, I’ve given up on lesbian-only spaces and chosen good music instead, even if that means I have to be harassed by straight men all night. It’s been traumatic, I’ve gotten badly groped several times. Nowadays I go to Superstore a lot with my girlfriend, and it’s great that there are lots of women-focused events. I really want to go to Opulence, the queer techno party, but I haven’t had the chance!
What LGBTQ+ musicians are inspiring you at the moment?
If you had unlimited budget and could book anyone, what would your perfect queer clubnight look like?
All of the above + Octo Octa, Yaeji, HAAi, Roza Terenzi, D. Tiffany. and I want all the DJs to play at least three hours each so it won’t be a club night, it’ll be a full weekend. I’ll personally prepare food and serve it. Espresso machines for those of us who don’t do uppers. Several rooms including some darkrooms (though my friends have set up darkrooms at their parties before and it became a Deep Chat Zone!).
We can’t believe it huns… Our pure nonsense heauxmeauxsexy disco party Mints is entering their terrible twos this Friday! To help celebrate, they have invited none other than Australian wunderkind selector Toni Yotzi to the mothership, joining a very special lineup of international special guests including Johannes Albert and Jaqi Sparro! Toni Yotzi has reached icon status down under, having helped put Perth on the underground electronic music map by programming Deep Doogs’ sunrise rave and presenting parties for the like of Kenji Takimi, Bell Towers and DJ Nozaki. In 2018, she has gone from strength to strength, with highlights including headlining Golden Plains Festival and being a recent special guest on Tim Sweeney‘s New York dance music institution Beats In Space radio show! We caught up with Toni to find out about her infamous Camp Doogs festival, the Australian electronic music scene and what she thinks makes queer crowds so special!
Hey Toni! We are so excited to finally have you at Dalston Superstore! You’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind tour over the last few weeks, how has it been?
I’m so excited too! I feel like I’ve been away for ages but it’s been great! It’s been a bit testing at points., learned a lot and listened to club music on nice sound systems which I’ve been missing in Melbourne. Inspiration on tap.
Can you tell us a bit about Camp Doogs, the festival that you co-curated in Western Australia?
Doogs is a booteek festival a few hours out of Perth, we celebrated our fifth birthday last year by giving ourselves a holiday in 2018 haha! I book Deep Doogs, the rave part of the weekend and Stephen Bellaire (Reef Prince) works on the main stage. It’s a really special weekend for a lot of people that celebrates local and national artists. We never release the line up which is a programmer’s dream because you can create a weekend of deep creative cookery. People come with an open mind and leave feeling excited about enjoying something they wouldn’t necessarily normally rave too.
You have hosted radio since 2011. What do you love about community radio?
Community radio is so important to me. It’s been the start of so many amazing artists’ careers, like CC: Disco!, Noise In My Head and Andras. I love the freedom of expression, which has undoubtably shaped how I DJ. Community radio gives the underrepresented a voice, and way to explore ideas and passions. Creating stories with sound is so interesting to me, I wouldn’t even know how to begin trying to convey the same visions with film. I love how it’s adapted to changes in people’s listening habits. Radio will never die.
How do you think your hometowns of Perth and Melbourne have influenced you as a DJ?
Brits love the seaside, so Perth has always had a lot of English expats (my mum being one of them)! I suppose this lead to a strong drum n bass scene in the 90s and 00s and a general UK club influence. I didn’t quite realise the influence until I noticed it wasn’t as common across Australia to thrown in trap, bass music and rap in a club set. I’ve been listening to Noise In My Head mixes for a long time as well which filtered a unique Melbourne eclectic ~ vibe ~ throughout too.
The Australian electronic music scene is finally starting to be recognized on more of an international scale, and we think it’s about time! Who are some under-represented Australian artists who we should have on our radar right now?
I’m loving Hame DJ, he’s just put out a great ep on Vulcan Venti, Rok Riley is Perth’s spiritual guide to everything good: the best selector, DJ and carer. Tourist Kid is also a true inspiration to me, he can play anything. I joke he’s a mix machine because he churns out so many incredible sets. A boy genius, crazy fast worker, he just put out an amazing textural experience on Melody As Truth called Crude Tracer, but he also makes next generation library music and bangers (hopefully soon).
What is special about playing to a queer crowd?
NRG, expression, appreciation, cheekiness…all the absolute best things.
You have become known as a master of genre-bending sets. With such a diverse repertoire, what are some of your favourite places to discover new music?
Gahhhh the genre mash – my truest love-hate relationship. I often say to myself, ‘Whyyyyy can’t you just play one thing!’ But it doesn’t work like that. So for digging in the last couple of years, I’ve started buying records again which is really good for finding old but fresh labels then I can discogs dive. I especially like 90s rave and percussion-driven house. I listen to a lot of mixes and I really like Bandcamp for finding new releases because their emails are very specific to what artists and labels you like.
What has been a personal highlight of yours over the last few years?
I think playing at Golden Plains a few months ago will be a lifetime highlight… Peaked too soon! The sound system is incredible, one stage with 10 000+ people in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by incredible Australia bushland, working on visuals with friends. I cried a bit on stage playing Hiroshi Wantanbe’s Infinity Sign because it was just all so beautiful.
What is the craziest thing that has happened during one of your sets?
The fact I can have a existential crisis while DJing and keep playing is pretty wild to me lol.
Who are some of the DJs and selectors who have inspired you?
Has this year’s summer time got you dried up and far too dusty? Well my babes, get that kick of moisture down at our homo-oasis this Friday as our favourite mis-matched club night returns with a wet and wild affair at Clash Bash no.5 ~ SPLISH SPLASH!
After five instalments, these jumbled up queens have gained quite the reputation for their unique lewks, and we can only imagine what they will throw at us this time! To help inspire you to dress as clash-tastically as possible, we asked the Clash Bash crew to compile their Top 10 Clash Bash Fash moments!
Read on to find out who makes the cut of this infamous list!
1. Princess Diana
Two garish, clashing houndstooths, some stripy detailing and an oversized, jaunty hat! If Princess Di was still with us, she’d definitely be on the Clash Bash guestlist.
2. Walter Van Beirendonck
In their Spring/ Summer 2016 collection, Walter Van Beirendonck used fabrics that clearly were snatched from a baby’s crib! Absolute toot!
Even an off-duty Mikey Woodbridge can make mis-matchy-matchy look mega-chic. Mikey proves that there is no need to actually buy anything at Vivienne Westwood. Just grab an empty bag, and make yourself a hat. We love this lewk! It’s bold, bright, and (brown) cow stunning!
Fizzy Finger’s technicolour couture is perfect for the fashion forward alien. An extraterrestrial scuba suit perfect for wading through the milky way and lounging on Mars!
8. Gaff-e’s ‘Colour Me Crazy’
Gaff E’s kaleidoscope-esque music video for ‘Colour Me Crazy’ features some truly iconic lewks filmed in the magical home of Sue Kreitzman! The Clash Bash crew salute Gaff E & Sue, and encourage you to dance on and over the line between art collector and high-fashion hoarder.
9. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
J-pop superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu inspires with an off-the-charts kawaii overload. If you aren’t sure what to wear for Clash Bash, pull a Kyary and just wear everything. More is always more!
10. Synchronised Swimmers
As this Clash Bash ~ Splish Splash, our pool-less pool party, we had to include a horrendously fabulous synchronised swimmer lewk. Sparkly veins, sequin arteries, a bejeweled heart, AND a an exposed brain swim cap. Slay’s Anatomy!
YAS queens, that’s all the inspiration you could possibly need before you take a cheeky dip this Friday!
After bringing the queer utopian chaos to the ‘store back in May, SISSY Palace is back this Friday with a whole new lewk for an after-hours affair, its Call me SiSSSY. The Hackney Wick based queer performance and music platform has been making waves with their packed out line-ups of London’s most revolutionary queer artists. We caught up with promoters Zeb and Matt to find out how it all began and get the tea on their line up!
Hello hunnies, just for our readers can you tell us why you started Sissy Palace?
We started Sisssy pretty soon after we met. We were living in this warehouse community in Fish Island and there were parties every weekend, it was super fun. We wanted to throw our own party, and to make it explicitly inclusive and queer, which wasn’t happening anywhere else around. That’s how our first event happened! We ran it our of our warehouse, just drawing from the community around us for performers, lighting, sound, and an audience.
It was performance-heavy from the start. We both love performance and the role it has played in the queer scene and the sheer variety of talented people out there, and we kinda want to showcase it all! We’re like the Veruca Salt of East London promoters. Each time we showcase live musicians, drag, physical theatre, cabaret, hiphop, spoken word. Anything reflecting a radical queer politics. For our warehouse events we have a corner dedicated to exhibiting photography and visual art too. It’s a bit over the top, to be honest. We’ve challenged ourselves to try to showcase ten performers at each of our events. It’s outrageous and stressful to organise but it’s super fun too.
What can we expect from Call Me Sisssy?
There isn’t one type of queer and there isn’t one type of creativity. So we’ve booked ou wayyyyyy too many performers to showcase that. Ten at the last count. Also expect a super diverse warehouse crowd. A lot of our friends from Hackney Wick will be coming through and making you wonder what kind of nonsense you’ve got yourself into. And possibly confetti cannons!
To give you all a little bit of a taster, check out this sneaky peak of their lineup below!
Trained in contemporary dance and hip-hop, Dave has put together a piece in three acts especially for SISSSY, laying bare his very personal experiences of homophobia. Expect improvisation, audience involvement and music drawn from his Spanish background.
This queen lives up to her name with fiery, energetic performances that place politics and identity front and centre. She’ll be performing a powerful piece in which she reimagines herself as a slave, as well as a new high energy dance number drawing heavily from Paris is Burning.
Multi Media Artist who explores gender issues, sexualities and mental illness mixing tragedy and absurdity into a live comedy show, using Clowning, live looping and visuals art. She’ll be performing a part of her amazing Edinburgh show for us!
You may know him as Tyler Luke Cunningham, this star of BBC sitcom Boy meets Girl and East End production Summer in London is also (!) a talented musician, merging rap/spoken word with reggae sounds drawn from his Caribbean heritage. Turning his struggles in life, love and transitioning into hopeful and positive messages, this is gonna be special.
Britain’s leading Theresa May drag impersonator, Fagulous, will be taking to the stage to show you all what a hard throbbing Brexit really looks like! You’ll hear her rap her life story, why Brexit is Mrs May best friend, what she gets up to on Grindr! Theresa can’t wait to let her hair down at Sissy Palace, it’ll make a nice change from the chaos she’s caused in the Houses of Parliament.
As a creative individual, he expresses himself in different platforms. He always had this passion for dance but never taken seriously since he moved to London where he gets to know techno music and its environment. Through this performance, Seyi wants to combine different styles of dance movement and body expression. Azealia Banks is the perfect choice since she’s fresh and innovative in music and the only female rapper to sing on upbeat house!
This Pride our favourite happy-go-lucky rave situation HOMODROP is taking you out of the commercial noise of central London and queering Pride with an underground, sweaty rave situation! They’ve roped in a line-up of LGBTQ+ Nightlife trailblazers including Iranian vibe wizard Kasra V!
To get you in the mood for Pride, we thought we’d ask HOMODROP Promoter Cheriii for their top ten Pride Anthems! Honestly huns, this track list is going to get you ready for a big old messy Pride weekend! Slay!
We have to start with the classics! LGBTQ+ History is so intertwined with music and club culture! It’s so important to know where we came came from!
1. Patrick Cowley – Journey Home They were a Pioneer of electronic music in the 70′ in San Francisco! Patrick Cowley was and one of the first artists that died during the AIDS crisis in November 1982 at only 32 years old!
2. Gloria Gaynor – I will survive No words except this is my hymn of happiness!
3. Donna Summer – I feel love Obviously, Donna is here. This track is timeless and the best to end a dj set after a long night dancing.
4. George Michael – Freedom George Michael is the father of our queer generation, the ultimate icon.
The next two are groundbreaking Berlin based Queer Artists. I also have a big crush on them both!
5. Mikey – Paths A queer Artist to know, to follow and to love. So talented and actually was a regular at Superstore before moving to Berlin.
6. Lotic – Hunted One word… TALENT.
Here are some of my favourite contemporary artists that have influenced my experience of LGBTQ+ Culture.
7. The Knife – Pass this on Loooove this track! I can listen to it on repeat for hours! Everyone must have danced to it alone on their room infront of a mirror. Or maybe that is just me?
8. ANOHNI – Marrow Its so hard to choose just one track because the full album, Hopelessness, is just insane. It was the first album that ANOHNI released as a trans women. It is emotive, poignant and very political.
9. Vive la fête – Noir Desir Being French, I had to put this band in. This song is the song I danced to when I first came out. As did many people from my age.
Finally of course…
10. RuPaul – Sissy that walk Whilst I don’t agree with everything RuPaul has said, it’s astounding what he has created in the last few years. To have created a platform to showcase the creativity of Drag and LGBTQ+ people more broadly is important. And more importantly, for young LGBTQ+ people to see themselves on a mainstream TV show is definitely a positive. SO, now Sissy that walk.
Catch Cheriii at HOMODROP this Pride Saturday at Dalston Superstore 9pm-4am
On Saturday, the Laurel and Hardy of Dalston and legendary DJ’s, Dan Beaumont & Wes Baggaley, are joining forces to get you all bumping and thumping to some deep homosexual house with their brand new night: Bottom Heavy! Having both been prominent figures in London’s queer nightlife for over a decade and played some of the most infamous parties around the globe including The NYC Downlow, we are pretty sure that these two bottoms know how to throw a TOP party.
Despite their quite sickening resumés and having been pals for years, its actually the first time they’ve collaborated together! Don’t worry huns, this isn’t the only venture for the duo. Later in the year, Dan and Wes will be playing back-to-back at Farr festival alongside Prosumer, Tama Sumo and Lakuti!
To get you lubed up and prepared for Bottom Heavy, Dan and Wes had a little chinwag amongst themselves! Read on to find out what these two legends think about the state of London’s LGBTQ+ Nightlife, their most played records and whats on the horizon for them both!
Dan: Can you remember the point in your life that house music grabbed you?
Wes: I do actually. I was still at school and too young to go clubbing but I remember when Steve Silk Hurley’ ‘Jack Your Body’ and Raze ‘Break For Love’ were in the UK charts and on Top of the Pops. I remember the video for ‘Jack Your Body’ having a bucking bronco in it. Then there was the whole acid house /rave thing in the tabloids. I became mesmerised by it. I used to buy 7-inch singles every week with my pocket money from being really young and I remember buying ‘Jack Your Body’, ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’ and Inner City ‘Good Life’ on 7inch. The first house music 12 inch I bought was Lil Louis ‘French Kiss’ in 1989/90 which I still have and still play.
Dan: I remember all those weird cartoon videos they threw together for those Chicago house records that became hits. Also remember thinking ‘who is Steve Silk Hurley and why isn’t he in his video?’ Then I got totally obsessed with Betty Boo.
Wes: What inspired you to open Dalston Superstore?
Dan: I met Matt and other Dan (DSS co-owners) when they were running Trailer Trash, and I was doing a party called Disco Bloodbath. As promoters, we often had problems with venues, and talked a lot about starting our own. Eventually we began looking in earnest and around 2008 we found the site that became Superstore. It had been empty for a couple of years before we found it. We just wanted to create a space where the people who came to our parties would feel at home, where the music, drinks and food were all good and our friends could be themselves.
Dan: What sounds are you looking for when you go shopping for records to play out? What are you trying to communicate through DJing?
Wes: That’s a tough one. I like a really wide range of different music and play various styles but when I’m looking for sort of functional dancefloor records I tend to be drawn to quite energetic stuff with lots of percussion. I’m a massive fan of the old Cajual, Relief and Dance Mania Records and always tend to gravitate towards that type of jacking type sound. I also like disco and I’m a sucker for a disco sample but I don’t like playing the same sound all night. I just tend to play what feels right at the time, could be soulful, disco, acid, techno, hypnotic deep stuff, jazzy stuff, ravey breaks type stuff, broken beat, African percussion.
Wes: You’re partly responsible for some of the best LGBTQ+ parties around at the moment including my favourite, Chapter 10. What are your thoughts on LGBTQ+ clubbing in London at the moment, especially with a lot of venue closures in the last 5 years?
Dan:I personally think that LGBTQ+ clubbing is very inspiring right now. Adonis, Discosodoma, Homodrop, PDA, Femmetopia, Gay Garage and loads of others are all pushing underground queer music and culture to new places. Unfortunately the gay scene is still affected by misogyny, internalised homophobia, body shaming, transphobia and masculine bullshit, but it seems like more interesting voices are starting to come through, which means more creativity and more talent steering queer clubbing. Also it’s exciting to see groups like Friends of the Joiners Arms, Resis’Dance, and London LGBTQ+ Community Centre (all rooted in queer dancefloors) disrupting the status quo.
Dan: What do you think are the positives and negatives of LGBTQ+ clubs right now?
Wes: I also think it’s a very good time for LGBTQ+ clubbing at the moment. In spite of a lot of the recent venue closures there are great nights popping up in non LGBTQ+ clubs. Seems to be a sort of creative DIY culture happening which is great. There same is happening in other cities like Manchester with great nights like Meat Free at the White Hotel and Kiss Me Again at the Soup Kitchen. There’s some great music events and brilliant cabaret stuff going on at the likes of The Glory and The RVT. As you mentioned, the internalised homophobia, transphobia and misogyny needs to be addressed. A lot of the fetish venues have closed down and some of the bigger LGBTQ+ fetish nights in London are struggling to get venues. I do think this is a vital part of the culture that is dwindling. I reckon we need a LGBTQ+ fetish rave with good music.
Dan: Good point about all the amazing queer parties outside of London!
Wes: Can you tell me some of your favourite producers and record labels at the moment?
Dan: I love it when you find a record that you know intimately from the first bar to the outro, and it does a really long stint in your bag. What are your most played records over the past couple of years?
Wes: I’ve got a few of them. I’d say my absolutely most played record is Braxton Holmes and Mark Grant –The Revivalon Cajual, which has never left my bag in 20 years. I actually need to replace it because I’ve almost worn it out. Also the Maurice Fulton Syclops ones, Where’s Jason’s K, Jump Bugs and Sarah’s E With Extra P are go to tracks but luckily he’s just released another album of gems. The man’s a genius. There’s Kinshasa Anthem byPhilou Lozolo on Lumberjacks in Hell that came out a couple of years ago that I’ve played a lot, and then there’s that Danny Tenaglia remix of Janet Jackson –The Pleasure Principlethat I’ve owned for many years but didn’t know what it was until I heard you play it at Phonox haha
Dan: I’ve totally stolen The Revival off you. It’s pure magic.
Wes: Tell us a bit about the idea behind Bottom Heavy. What can we expect?
Dan: The main idea is so we can play together all night and I can steel your tunes! Whenever I’ve heard you play, I can hear a sound in between all your records, a sort of energy that I’m always searching for myself. It’s hard to describe, but it exists in the space between that jacking Chicago sound, leftfield Detroit stuff and tribal New York tracks. Plus also jazz, afro, techno, electro and disco elements. As we mentioned earlier, here are loads of great gay nights popping off, but I think what’s missing is a really great HOUSE all-nighter that joins the dots between all those sounds.
Wes: Haha! Well there’ll be a lot of tune stealing going on because I’ve been known to have a sneaky peek through your bag as well.
Dan: Back to your earlier point about Fetish nights. Why are they important to the gay scene? Are there any you remember particularly fondly? If you were to throw a fetish party, what would the vibe be?
Wes: With the fetish thing I thing it’s important to have those spaces where you can dress up and sort of act out your fantasies and do whatever you want within reason. I’m actually not massive into the sexual side of it myself believe it or not, but I do like the spectacle of the whole thing and the dressing up and the fact people are free to express themselves sexually at those nights without judgement. Sadly a lot of the fetish nights are also men only parties that go hand in hand with the whole gay misogyny thing.
A few years ago me and my friend Lucious Flajore put on a fetish night at The Hoist which is now closed. The night was open to everybody, gay, bi, trans, heterosexual men and women. The soundtrack was dark disco, slow brooding techno and weird electronics in one room where we also had alternative cabaret and showed art house horror movies and in the other lighter room we played disco and showed John Waters films.
The atmosphere was great but we had problems with the sound and there was no dancefloor to speak of then the venue closed. We also had a problem with heterosexual men complaining about gays (I know right? At the Hoist!). I am actually thinking about re-launching the party at a new venue and putting in a good sound system but making it more LGBTQ+ focused and making sure people know that women and trans people are more than welcome
Dan: That sounds amazing. You need to make it happen!
Dan: OK last one from me. Who is your biggest DJ influence?
Wes:That’s really tough but I have to say Derrick Carter. I first heard him play in about 1995 and became obsessed. I loved the way he seemed to mix different styles with ease and mix the records for ages.
Dan: I used to go to his Classic residency at The End religiously, and would always try and describe tunes that Derrick played to people in record shops the following week. I never had any luck. I was probably trying to describe about three records being played at the same time.
Wes: And for my last one I’m going to fire that question back at you and also ask if you have any music coming out soon?
Dan: I’ve got a bunch of musicnearlyfinished that I need to sort out. I’m going to lock myself away and do that. Arranging tracks does my nut in.
Catch Dan & Wes at Bottom Heavy Saturday 23rd June 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
This Friday our favourite loose cannon PATSY invites you to her Third Birthday! Headlining this glitzy affair is the absolutely fabulous Jacob Meehan!
A thoughtful DJ and passionate organiser of functions, Jacob Meehan has played everywhere from Smart Bar (Chicago) to Panorama Bar (Berlin), worked behind the counter at Chicago’s legendary Gramophone Records, and now roams about:://blank for 48+ hours straight each month when Buttons, the party where he’s both resident and program director, delights all of queer Berlin.
Ahead of his hotly anticipated set at PATSY, resident DJ and booker Whitney Weiss caught up with Jacob to talk about summer songs, anti-fascist protests, and floating music festivals.
Hey Jacob! You’re a resident DJ and program director at Buttons, a great monthly party that combines creative artist bookings and queer debauchery in Berlin. What is a song that embodies the energy of Buttons for you??
Hyper Go Go’s High Cloud 9 Mix.
Before Berlin, you lived in New York and in Chicago, where you did the Men’s Room parties and were a resident at Smart Bar. What record makes you think of your time in Chicago?
RIS – Love-n-Music.
I’ve heard you play everything from house to freestyle to ambient sunrise music to techno. What would you say is the most surprising or unexpected record in your collection??
This track from Mr. Bungle’s California album has been stuck in my head, which harkens back to my teenage days as a closeted, stoned, angsty Midwestern nu-metalhead.
This is your second time at Superstore (thanks for your set at Les Poppeurs a few years ago!) What is a song you’re looking forward to playing late night in the laser basement??
I’ve got lots of fresh stuff from friends and colleagues from all over the globe, which I love being able to share. My former co-worker at Gramaphone Records, Ike Release, just gave me some lush unreleased material, and Will and Nita from The Carry Nation inboxed me a great new vocal house track. Plus new cuts from Buttons residents Shingo Suwa & Stanley Schmidt.
Berlin has been blessed with a lot of sunlight this April and May. What record is your favorite to listen to at home when the windows are open, a breeze is wafting in, and you’re relaxing??
Alice Coltrane Featuring Pharoah Sanders – Journey In Satchidananda.
What’s a song you wish you had written?
Have you heard the latest track by John Roberts? I deeply admire everything that he does.
Do you write music ever, and if so, what’s it like??
Recently you participated in what looked like a beautiful and successful protest against the far right AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland) in Berlin where the music community outnumbered the fascists. I saw that you were DJing at one point. What sort of songs did you play, and what was the day like?
Clubbing is one of Berlin’s biggest industries, so to see the scene self-actualise and come together to politically organise against the far right was beyond powerful and necessary. 70,000+ people showed up in the streets to stand up to the AfD, and show them that they are not the majority. The day was a beautifully colourful, peaceful, multi-generational protest soundtracked by a number of trucks rigged with sound systems. Buttons collaborated on the QUEER BLOCK with Riot, Pornceptual, Herrensauna, Gegen, Cocktail d’Amore, Members, GDay, and Room4Resistance. It was honestly one of the most important things I’ve ever been a part of, and it was such an honour to be able to play for an hour. My personal highlight was getting to drop Robert Owen’s 1987 classic Bring Down the Walls just a stone’s throw from where the Berlin Wall used to be.
You’re one of the organisers of Whole Festival, which is bringing together Buttons, Discwoman, Unter, Horse Meat, Cocktail d’Amore, and more on a peninsula at Greimminer See. What’s a record you know you’ll want to play there, surrounded by friends and community??
I think I’m slated to play before Eris Drew on Saturday night before the sun sets. Our stage will be floating in a lake, which is a former quarry, now flooded. I anticipate soundtracking the transition from light into dark, probably through Bezier – B2 Teleconférence.
What was the first record you ever bought? Where did you buy it?
Babe, we’re gonna love tonight by Limefrom Gramaphone and Try Again by Aaliyahoff Ebay.
What song have you always wanted to hear someone else play out so you could dance to it?
All Night Passion by Alisha!
Catch Jacob Meehan at PATSY, Friday 15th June from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore!
Can you believe its been a whole year since SofterTouch made their cosmic crash-landing at the mothership? This Thursday sees an intergalactic celebration of the rowdy, abrasive, noise intensive experiencé that has become a cult-hit! With three successful club nights AfterTouch, SofterTouch and MEGALAST as well as playing at festivals such as Secret Garden Party, LeeFest and Glastonbury, J.Aria (Jacob Aria) and Ni-ku (Nik Rawlings) are renowned across East London for their eclectic and bratty DJ stylings. We caught up with Jacob and Nik to chat about how their friendship blossomed, why we’ve heard Barry Manilow play at SofterTouch, and what we can expect from Thursday!
Hiya Jacob and Nik! For our readers who aren’t that well acquainted with you two, can you tell us a bit about yourselves ?
J: I’ve been working as a musician in some form or another since I was about 15. Loads of different bands and gigs, festivals and all that. My main focus is a vocalist and experimental producer. I started to find my feet as a DJ about eighteen months ago.
N: I come from a choral background, had a noise band when I was a teenager and ended up studying Sound Art in Brighton, and DJing and promoting went hand in hand with that. For a long time I was obsessed with voguing and that informed a lot of my earlier DJ sets, and I organised a series of voguing events in Nottingham. I’ve always been drawn to more textural, intense, manic music. I think some highlights for me so far have been playing for Boo Hoo at Südblock in Berlin, at Tropical Waste with a hero of mine, KABLAM, and at Intruder Alert in Warsaw. Travelling and making new connections is one of the best things about DJing.
You’ve been collaborating with one another for quite some time now. Let’s rewind… How did you two meet?
J: We met at a Lotic gig in Brighton and hit it off. We’re both quite unbearable so we compliment each other pretty well.
N: Jacob and I hit it off pretty much immediately (ie. we both ranted a lot). Our interests and taste clicked so when I moved up to London it was an obvious move to work together. We’re a good balance as a duo and Jacob’s happy to tell me to shut up which is important when you work with me.
Your first club night, Aftertouch, seemed to have a real underground and experimental vibe to it. Tell us a little bit about the premise behind it?.
J: We wanted to bring together experimental queer performance art with experimental queer club DJing in a way that we hadn’t experienced before in London – it was usually one or the other.
N: We had spoken a lot about how at the time (2015/16) there was a lack of queer nights that focussed on the more experimental club music we were both into whilst also making a good space for performance art and radical drag. We wanted to present a night that was darker, more confrontational, disco-free, without being too overtly serious or prescriptive.
Aftertouch provided an amazing platform for queer artists. There seems to be an abundance of amazing LGBTQ+ performance talent but a lack of spaces for them. How can London become a better city for performers?
J: There are loads of amazing things happening now. But it’s always a nightmare trying to get a venue to support you with your stuff. There’s usually always a catch, and doing something that isn’t super conventional is always a gamble. I think London would benefit from having more interesting and accessible spaces to party in. The licensing laws here are too tight, it stifles a lot of freedom when you’re regulated in that way. It needs to loosen up, and we need more funding to be put into creative outlets. It’s kind of a rich kids playground, and rich kids are boring c**ts.
N: There’s some fundamental issues being in London that need to improve that would positively impact all creative scenes and especially queer performers. Space tends to be in short supply, but so is time; without lower rent and better wages it’s impossible to take time to make work! We all need more time and space than we often have in London if we want to be able to make ambitious, honest and original work. I’m sick of seeing new build flats sold on the credibility of the ‘creative quarter’ that they knocked down. Dedicated spaces are in short supply, so hats off to the LGBTQ+ Community Centre project. Projects like that are going to be wildly important in supporting performers.
Why did you decide to move away from performance to a music-centred night with SofterTouch?
J: I just wanted to bring something really different to the Dalston Superstore programming, and to have a regular night to work on my DJ skills I guess. It had always been that I was the one that sorted the performance aspect of afterTouch and I wanted to cross over into DJing. Plus Superstore have always been so supportive of us as both friends and mentors that we wanted to do something there, something ‘at home’.
N: We’d both worked at Superstore – and for me it was a formative club when I first started coming to queer clubs, so obviously we wanted to ‘come home’. But we were also really excited to disrupt what people might expect from Dalston Superstore, and bring something a bit more confrontational and manic. It’s been a really great learning experience for both of us; we play B2B all night, and play a really frenetic and sometimes jarring combination of tracks, so the music can be a real journey. It’s kind of like an argument on the decks, but somehow it works. Oh, and generally I’ll close out with a basic bitch trance or donk remix of something so there’s that.
In terms of your DJ styles, who or what have been your inspirations?
J: My influences are all over the place. Sometimes I’m pretending I’m Black Madonna or Honey Dijon, other times it’s Aphex Twin or JLin. I dunno, I’m super messy. I get most of my inspiration from my DJ friends or by being on the other side of the desk on the dance floor and kinda peeking over to see how the DJ is working. I’m always trying to study whoever I see.
N: Big question. I think the whole of our particular scene looks to TOTAL FREEDOM as an originator. KABLAM, originally of Janus in Berlin is still my current favourites, we have a lot of choral influences in common too. Then also I always look back to the Bubblebyte party, maybe seven years ago in Peckham where AIDS-3D & TCF (then known as Craxxxmurf) played loads of insane bubbling and hardstyle – it still stands out years later, and I’ll weave in some tracks from that period throughout most sets. When I’m playing a solo mix I’ll plan a trajectory and think about the textural and emotional story I want to tell, and when I play SofterTouch with Jacob it’s much more about wild trax that’ll just about fit with whatever they’ve been playing and keep bodies moving without being too stuck to genre or tempo.
Its safe to say that you both are quite contrasting in what you play, but we’ve never experienced a dull moment when you’re both going b2b at SofterTouch! Why do you think you both work so well together?
J: It just keeps the night evolving, because the mood is constantly shifting. We have totally different tastes but there’s a middle ground, we are both trying to experiment in similar ways – just with different tracks. If I think Nik is being too bratty I’ll play Barry Manilow just to piss him off.
N: We kind of battle each other a bit and sometimes there’ll be 30 minutes of us playing tracks that mix smoothly and then you’ll have a whole load of material that shouldn’t work together but somehow does. There’s a huge range of genres we’ll play from…. and every now and again I’ll drop a lipsync track in and get on the bar. We play a lot of quite intense music but it’s all with a sense of humour.
More recently, you both brought your experimental flare to our Friday night line-up with MEGALAST! Whats in store for the next one?
J: MegaLast is our new Friday night party. It’s kind of a natural progression from softerTouch. We are bringing in challenging and experimental DJs from across the country and the continent. I guess we are really trying to shake up the kind of programming you would expect on Kingsland Road on a Friday night. We are back on August 31st for round two, it’s gonna be even bigger and rowdier than our first. I’m super excited about who we are looking to get down to the lazerpit this time around.
N: MegaLast brings both SofterTouch and AfterTouch’s music policies together; there’s artists downstairs playing more abrasive, experimental and intense music downstairs in the basement and diverse party tracks upstairs. The next one will be headlined by Object Blue whose recent release on Tobago Tracks is one of the standout records of the year for us; they’re also a regular Superstore-goer and so we’re really excited to have her at DSS for the first time