Posts Tagged ‘Fhloston Paradise’

Hesseltime

Tomorrow night we welcome dreamboat and DJ extraordinaire Hesseltime aka Matt Hesselworth of acclaimed clubnight and record label Tief to the Superstore basement. He joins Greg Spencer and Greg Lowe of Fhloston Paradise for some campy intergalactic techno and house sounds. Ahead of the party, Greg and Greg posed a few of their burning questions to Matt…

By Greg Spencer and Greg Lowe

Matt! We’re really excited to have you this Friday at Fhloston Paradise. We hear you were recently in Chicago (Greg L was born there!) and have some new records to play. What did you think of the home of house music and what fabulous records did you pick up?

Hey! Chicago was amazing! I spent hours in Gramaphone Records where I met Michael Serafini (who also runs the amazing QUEEN nights at Smart Bar every Sunday night). I spent a few hundred dollars in there, the best records I found in the bargain bins! The record that I picked up that I have played the most since was an original pressing of Bent Boys – Walk the Night, but I also filled in all the gaps in my Prescription Records, Strictly Rhythm, Henry Street collections etc. A lot of the newer Chicagoan music is amazing too! I picked up some records from Black Madonna, Hakim Murphy, Chicago Skyway and Garrett David and its all amazing. Michael Serafini is also one of the nicest guys going. 

You played a great set with Superstore Maestro Dan Beaumont last week. There quite a few 90s house records that had a real diva and runway vibe. Where does your love for that sound come from?

Yeah that was a lot of fun, Dan is great. One moment that stuck out though. I played a Masters Of Work remix of Simply Red (which is an amazing record), Dan looked pretty embarrassed about having to stand there while it was playing before he mixed the next tune in. I think I might have out camped Dan there? I love a lot of old US records and learn a lot from listening to some of my favourite DJs like Hunee, Prosumer, Michael Serafini, Sadar Bahaar etc..

Versatility. That’s one word that comes to mind when hearing one of your sets. Do you think of yourself having a particular sound?

Nope! I collect a lot of Afro, disco, psyche, and some krautrock too. My favourite DJs are those who keep changing direction. I find it kind of boring if it is left too long with out a vocal or too monotonous. I like to see people surprised and reacting to the music, not just zoning out or falling asleep on their feet. 

Your Tief parties are much loved in London. While not specifically gay parties, you booked the legendary Mr. Ties of Homopatik for one of your most recent parties. How did that go?

Yeah that was a really special one, every time Francesco (Mr Ties) has played for us he has attracted a really mixed crowd, which of course is perfect. I like to think we generally attract a good cross section of people to our parties, gay, straight, older and younger, this is important to me!

Tief is also the name of your record label. What’s the meaning behind the name? And can we expect any exciting releases any time soon?

Well, Tief means deep in German, which may come across as a bit pretentious. Truth is I just liked the sound of the word and it looked nice written down. As simple as that really! I guess it’s also a bit of a nod to German/Berlin nightlife, somewhere (like so many others) I spend quite a bit of time! 

Release-wise, we have some amazing music on the way with originals and remixes from Johannes Volk, Linkwood, Samuel, Amir Alexander, Tin Man, Bicep, Sisterhood, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Efdemin and a few more… really exciting for us!

Bicep, exciting! A lot of clubs, particularly gay venues, have been closing in London recently. Do you think London still has a bright future for dance music?

Yeah I’d say so, people will always party and will always find a way or place to do it. Media like to focus on negativity and while a lot of places are closing, there are other places popping up.

You’re a tall, strapping lad. All these basement clubs in London… do you ever hit your head!?

Less hit, more scrape, which is far more painful. Yeah, 6ft 5 is a bit too tall isn’t it? I’ll just have to leave my stilettos at home for this one…

Fhloston Paradise, is a pretty camp reference to a pretty camp film, The Fifth Element. Your campest moment in a club?

Wearing lipstick on a boat party in Croatia while playing b2b with Harry Midland and DVE? I sometimes play some pretty camp music, so the camp moments can come thick and fast…

Finally if you had a DeLorean time-machine to take you to any dancefloor, past or present, where would you go?

Oh, to Fela Kuti’s club The Shrine in Lagos in the early ’80s, every day of the week!!!!! Failing that, Studio 54 in the late ’70s, to see Larry Levan.

Join Matt aka Hessletime this Friday 8th May for Fhloston Paradise at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Ben Sun

This Friday night Fhloston Paradise celebrate their first birthday with a very special guest DJ set from Voyeurrhythm’s Ben Sun! The Australian-born, London resident brings his house sounds to the Superstore basement with Kasra V and Fhloston resident Greg Spencer. Ahead of the party Greg S and Greg Lowe caught up with Ben to ask him a few of their burning questions…

Ben! We’re looking forward to having you for our one year birthday bash! While originally from Australia, you’ve been in London for a while. What do you think makes our city such a special place to DJ?

Thank you! Me too.

Well when I first arrived in 2005 a guy I met in Sounds of the Universe took me to Plastic People for the first time. It was the Co-op night with people like IG Culture, Phil Asher and Dego playing. What I found there was an almost pitch black room, lit only by the lights of the booth, some guys with lasers and a joint or two (people were still getting away with discreetly smoking inside then). The sound system was perfect, and these guys were playing sort of Afrobeat sounds mixed with electronic dance stuff that was the roots of the broken beat sound they had going on then. Everyone was sweating and dancing their ass off, it was so unpretentious. This was one of those experiences that kept me in London. It wasn’t the music so much as that I saw that these guys had a voice that came through the music they made and the way they deejayed… and people were listening! So that’s why I think London is a special place to DJ. There’s so much love for independent music here, and the city breeds it.

Do you think different areas of London have a different vibe party-wise, or is music truly the great uniter?

Hehe, well I don’t think things are mutually exclusive… Yes to both? Maybe because I’m an immigrant I don’t get into the whole “my side of town” pride thing. I’ll go anywhere.

To me it seems more like there a just different style of parties, depending on the spaces available in different neighbourhoods. On the docks, in a warehouse or studio space, various clubs and turned-out pubs… The diversity of spaces is another great thing about London parties. 

Vinyl – you’re a big advocate. Do you take a position in the debate between vinyl and digital or do you think both have merits and it’s up to the individual person?

I like to think I’m not a purist in any sense, it’s inhibitive. But here’s why I love vinyl: all my good shit is on vinyl. That mix I gave you is made entirely of grubby 12 inches and secondhand finds, most of which I would never have come across if I wasn’t at the store shuffling through the crates. You can’t find that stuff through digital distributors. So it’s about how you find music, whether it’s for research, sampling, deejaying, or listening pleasure. Vinyl has the history and the beautiful element of chance too.

On the flip side, I recently started using CDJs (so I could travel with ease like everyone else), and they’re a lot of fun to mix with. Cue points, loops, things you can’t do easily with vinyl. So both have a reason to live. What I don’t like is DJs playing low quality files in clubs… party people deserve better than that.

Your label is called Voyeurhythm, an amalgamation of two of our favourite things. Where did that name come from?

Haha… us too! One of the tracks on the mix talks about the “sweet secret sins of rhythm”… and it’s perfectly dark and sexy. My partners in the label, Tyson and Mostyn (aka dark and sexy), they used to work in the same building doing kinda boring jobs, and would spend their time emailing ridiculous DJ names and band names. Voyeurhythm was one of them. I think maybe Mostyn came up with it, but it was Tyson that put it on the table for the label name. It’s possibly the most difficult name to spell we could have used. No one gets it right. But people like it too I think. It’s pretty much a joke, which suits us.

Any upcoming releases you’re excited about sharing with the House of Fhloston?

At VR we’re currently preparing two releases before summer. First one I’m super excited about which is from our friend Elliott Thomas in Portland. Like us, he’s all about the hardware and synths… and he’s made some beautiful raw, dreamy tracks for his EP, some of which is almost Aphex Twin-ish I think. The second one is by a mysterious character called Man Power (who I had the pleasure of meeting at ADE), and his is a strong kind of acid-injected record. More on all that soon! 

As for me I just got the masters back for a new 3-track EP I did for my friends at Delusions of Grandeur. Jimpster gives me great input on the music, and they’ve always been so good to work with. That will be out in about a month hopefully.

We detect a certain love of pop music working its way into your music. It can be hard to do that tastefully. How do you do that so well? Any favourite pop-artists that are particularly influential for you?

Ah it’s funny that you say that. I didn’t think it was obvious but it’s entirely true. I don’t know how well I do that yet but I’m working on it. Seriously. Always thinking, what makes a great timeless pop record? Usually more musical talent and training that I have… Obviously a nice hook, clever production but also something surprising… treading the balance between being fresh and imaginative but also accessible. This interest just stems from my childhood, hearing trippy things like Genesis or Pink Floyd.

As far as pop artists I love… Prince, Fleetwood Mac, any ’80s soul stuff, Mantronix, Quincy Jones, Talking Heads, there’s so many. Good contemporary ones too, but I can’t really enjoy listening to stuff that is too ubiquitous… commercial radio is terribly repetitive. And there’s no excuse for that because there’s an infinite amount of good music out there. Exploration is the fun bit!

You’ve cited Arthur Russell as a favourite DJ and big influence. Russell brought together gay and straight culture in a really unique way. What’s your current take on the state of the gay scene?

Well I wouldn’t presume to comment on the state of London’s entire gay scene, other than it’s made up of some of the most fun, creative, uninhibited people around, and you really can’t have a party without that. I have to say, this mix is inspired by (and an homage to) the kind of eternal gay scene that gave birth to the dance music and DJ style I love so much. And as you say it’s a lot about togetherness. I think it’s also about dropping inhibitions and not being judgemental. The themes that recur in this music (other than sex / lust / heartbreak), are all about love, togetherness, acceptance. 

If you go back to the roots of house and underground disco, you’re looking at a scene of people that for various reasons (sexual, racial, economic) were not accepted into mainstream culture like they should have been. So they do their own thing, completely unfettered by all the baggage that everyone else has. Wear what you want, dance like a freak. But it has to be creative an innovative. Super skilful DJs. And once this exciting new scene emerges, what happens? The doors are opened to anyone and everyone who wants to participate. Gay, trans, straight, poor, rich, all nations… How amazing is that? So i just think that it’s important to remember that, and to not act like a cunt if you want to come to a dance party. Or put one on for that matter!

We have a fabulous drag host, Orangina, impersonating Leeloo from the The Fifth Element, the camp sci-fi inspiration for our party. If you had to perform in drag, what would your look be?

Amazing. Oh Gregs, I thought you knew this about me. It’s been a while but I love to dress in drag. So much fun. I’ve been that dude at the big girl store looking for size 11 pumps. I try to look as feminine as possible, I think that’s they key for me. Nothing too extravagant, and I don’t suit the vampy butch thing. I don’t wanna over-egg it, but maybe I should make a little effort in this direction on Friday…

Almost at the end, just two more questions. First, if you had to DJ a scene in any sci-fi film, what would it be?

Damn. It’s a good question… I’m sure there’s better if I could think longer on it, but I’ll go with the space-time-travel scene at the climax of 2001. It’s a real mind-fuck, surely that would be interesting.

Finally, a legendary 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 wanna go into the future, all the way to this Friday night in the basement at Superstore. I’ve banged on about the past and it’s important, but we have to create our own thing now. To quote Rimbaud way out of context “It is essential to be absolutely modern”. So see you on Friday.

Join Ben this Friday 13th March for Fhloston Paradise at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Dilo

This Friday we welcome extra special Argentinian guest DJ Dilo, via his adopted home of Berlin, to the Superstore basement for another edition of Fhloston Paradise! Following on from their last party when the fabulous Honey Dijon turned it out, Greg and Greg are back for more camp sci-fi techno fun. Ahead of the party they sat down for a quick chat with Dilo to find out more….!

By Greg & Greg

Welcome to London Dilo! You produce, sing, DJ, and perform live sets across a range of genres. Has it been difficult to be so versatile in a world that likes to easily categorise us by music, genre, etc?

Hi! I’m thrilled about my visit to London!

It has been a challenge to try making so many different styles; it is my personal search, and I really can’t help but keep experimenting. I feel like my music as an extension of myself. I really think I would be bored if today I would be making the same music I was 10 years ago. I know that for a small number of people, this is difficult to understand, why I don’t stick to a formula, but I need to feel free and keep having fun when I’m creating new music. It keeps me motivated if I have new challenges. 

You’ve lived between Berlin and Buenos Aries. How would you compare the two cities?

I think both cities love nightlife, so they have tons of clubs, bars and events. What I personally prefer about Berlin is that there is much more nature, tons of parks and lakes and also it’s a big city that feels pretty chill to me. No traffic jams and not so many people on the streets. I’m always riding my bike instead of a car, which is nice and relaxing. 

Several famous London clubs have been under threat recently. What do you think of London? Is our music scene still one of the best?

I used to hang out a lot in London around 2007-2009. In my own personal experience one finds amazing parties and after-hours at people’s flats, but the clubbing scene, except for Fabric, where I spent really good nights, I don’t know very well so I can’t really judge.  

We hope we can show a new side of London!

You’re known for your live sets and this will be the first live set at Fhloston! What should everyone expect to hear when you play at Fhloston Paradise?

I will be doing a DJ/live hybrid set. Last year with the release of my album Ethereal, I played mostly live, so this year I’m taking a little break from that, and it’s also a lot of fun to play other people’s music, not just mine. 

With such a rich world of textures and sounds in your music, how do you approach the production process?

I’ve gotten more obsessive with the way I arrange and the post production process. I tend to create during the weekends, when I might be inspired by something and will quickly create the idea/draft. Some days later I start to edit and sequence, which is the more tedious part. I noticed that I always make better songs when I have a little idea already in my head of what I want to do, so I’m usually waiting on this moment and ready to flow. I’m also always writing songs on my guitar, which is an old school way, but those songs are mainly for my Elephant Pixel moniker. 

Any new releases or projects we should be excited about?

I’m very excited for my label Igloo this year, we are turning 10 years old, and I have big plans. New artists are joining the label and two are from London: Suso Flores and James Le Roux; and Jeannot from Buenos Aires. Pablo Denegri will release a new EP, and I’m working on compilations as well. I’m also currently working on a Dilo compilation that will include a selection of tracks from my album trilogy (Waheira, Ethereal #1 and Ethereal #2), which will be on CD. Remixes of Ethereal are in the works as well. I’m working on new songs that I’m writing on my guitar and of course new dance floor tracks so and I’m excited and curious to see where my next albums and EP’s will be headed. 

The gay scene was once seen to be at the forefront of dance music, but that perception has changed. In Berlin clubs seem to be defined by music rather than sexuality. Do you see a big difference between the gay and straight scene music wise?

I don’t see much difference and I personally don’t think about those things. I’m very open and I assume there are always both straight and gay people in the places I frequent. Music is about bringing people together.

Fhloston Paradise is a reference to one of our favourite camp sci-fi films, The Fifth Element. Do you have any guilty cinematic pleasures?

Films are my second passion, after music. I always have obsessions-of-the-moment. I pick a certain theme and I go deep on it. The latest has been Scandinavian movies and TV series. I really enjoy their darkness and quirkiness. Borgen and The Legacy are really good Danish TV shows, and The Fall and The Missing are both superb shows from UK. But this year’s award goes to The Knick. It has a superb soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. Nowadays Hollywood is making very bad and predictable movies, based on old formulas and ideas, but TV series are in great shape. They take more risks and they have better scripts. 

Finally, a legendary 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 like to go back to 1962 at The Cavern in Liverpool to see The Beatles. I would dance my ass off. Plan B would be The Hacienda Club in Manchester in 1982, the year it opened. That would be wicked too…. Oh, I have so many ideas! 

Join Dilo for Fhloston Paradise at Dalston Superstore this Friday 9th January from 9pm – 3am.

Meet Honey Dijon

By Whitney Weiss

Whether spinning euphoric disco sets at Le Bain or stripped-down techno in Berlin, Honey Dijon is always on top of her game. A DJ’s DJ with an encyclopedic knowledge of dance music, she currently divides her time between New York, Berlin, and a packed touring schedule. Ahead of Honey’s set at Fhloston Paradise, we chatted about the current state of New York nightlife, testing tracks on actual dance floors, and why it’s impossible to choose a single historical club to visit with a time machine…

So to be clear for those who might not know, you’re from Chicago but currently based in New York and Berlin, or just New York?

I spent the last three summers in Berlin, and I love the city. I’m just trying to figure out how to move there full-time, since everybody and their mother lives there. And I still work quite a bit in North America. I’m going for three weeks, actually, because I’m going to Tel Aviv to play The Block, then I come to London to play Dalston Superstore, then I play Homopatik, then I go to Ibiza. It’s just easier [to tour in Europe] if I’m there.

Since you’ve been involved in New York nightlife for such a long time, what would you say is the biggest difference between what it was when you first arrived and where it’s at now?

The biggest difference now is that I don’t see very many people of color at the clubs anymore. It’s not as culturally diverse as it used to be. Musically, New York doesn’t have a sound anymore. It was once one of the most influential dance capitals of the world, it had so many influential artists back in the day. There are party promoters who are very successful, like ReSolute, Blk|Market, and Verboten, but I wouldn’t say that there’s a definite New York sound. The only DJs who are really making an impression in Europe right now are Levon Vincent, Joey Anderson, and a/just/ed but I’d have to say they’re much more embraced in Europe than in the States. I mean, EDM is still quite popular here. 

And is that one of the reasons you’re interested in Europe at the moment, aside from the fact that it sounds like you’re booked so often?

Yeah, I think musically. Also, New York is such an expensive place. The best line that I ever heard about New York, as it is today, is ‘New York is a great place to sell art, but it’s not a place to make art.’ I think that’s one of the main reasons why I’m looking more to Europe. And it’s so funny, there’s such a resurgence in house music at the moment, and that’s something I’m very well versed in. They’re talking about how deep house is this next big trend, which is so funny because it never went away. It never went away, it’s just a difference face has been put upon it, if you know what I mean.

I definitely know what you mean.

Yeah. So I really feel more artistically free in Europe as an artist, so that’s one of the reasons that I would consider living there. But fees are not as high; it’s a trade-off. It’s a great place to live, but there’s a DJ every two minutes. And great ones. 

And how do you feel about London?

I absolutely love London, I think it’s such a musically rich city. I mean, the music I find in London I tend to not find anywhere else. The record stores Phonica and Kristina are curated so well, I find such amazing things there. And they just really love music. Not just dance music; you hear all kinds of music in London. From jazz to pop to dub, you can hear anything. It’s very inspiring for me. But it’s mad expensive. And so vast. It’s not like the city of New York, where it’s expensive but you can sort of walk anywhere. it’s really spread out, the east is far from the west. But I absolutely love London.

And what sorts of records have you been playing out a lot lately? What can the crowd at Dalston Superstore expect on the 12th?

I’ve been playing more raw these days, more stripped-back, more techno-influenced, mixed in with classic things. But techno has been really inspiring, I don’t know if that’s coming from spending a lot of time in Berlin. I just listen for things that reflect my personality and reflect how I want to express music. I’ve been accused of being eclectic, and I’ve embraced that. Because when I was on Traktor for so many years, I found that I was more concerned with what I could do with the music instead of letting the music breathe. I realized I was a much better artist just going back to vinyl and using USB sticks and playing records. So I guess what they can expect is a more stripped-down version of house music. I don’t know what to call it anymore! The best word I can come up with is “soultek.” 

So the fashion weeks are about to be upon us. You have a long-time collaboration with Kim Jones from Louis Vuitton and have DJed a ton of fashion week parties in the past. Are you playing this year or doing any shows?

Um, I’ve transitioned more into a personality.

Even better!

So I’m going to more fashion events than actually doing after-parties now. The thing about fashion is it always has to be the next, the next, the next, you know, I’ve had my turn. The fashion crowd went to Ibiza this year for some reason, so I think you’ll be hearing a lot more house music and stuff like that. Now I just work with friends and do soundtracks for events or do soundtracks for shows more than I do parties. Which is much more exciting and fun, because you’re actually collaborating with artists and designers instead of being the after-party soundtrack.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re collaborating on this year or is it a secret?

I think the longest-standing relationship I have is doing the music for Louis Vuitton. There’s always research that goes into that show, that goes into that music, and every season I’ve worked with Kim, I’ve always done special edits of particular music. Last season, I did a special edit of Hounds Of Love. Kim likes really obscure things, so it’s really a matter of doing a lot of research and doing special edits tailor-made for the show. That’s always exciting and challenging and fun.

And do you have any new remixes coming out?

I just did a remix for My Offence for Hercules & Love Affair, I actually have two projects about to come out on Classic. I’m about to do a remix for DJ W!ld, I just did a bunch of original material that I’m shopping at the moment. So I have lots of little musical things on the go. 

Do you think you’ll be playing your original stuff out while you’re DJing?

It’s so funny, I don’t even want to hear half the stuff after living with it. But yes, I slip things in. I have to, just to hear what they sound like. Sometimes you make a track, then you take it out, then you realize that the kick could be a lot louder, or the highs could have a lot more movement. You know, it’s one thing to make a track in the studio, but it’s another thing to play it out and get a reaction from the crowd. And sometimes, you don’t even think the stuff you’re gonna have a good reaction for gets a great reaction. So the trick about making music is just to make it. 

And then test it.

And then test it. But that’s the thing, back in the day you used to have residencies where you were able to test your stuff. But now, you just test it on the road. And you don’t get a chance to really hear, you know, have a place where you can go. I don’t know how to express it, like if you had a residency, you could test things and live with them and see the crowd’s reaction change before you release it to the world. But now, now you don’t have that. Unless maybe you’re a Berghain or Panorama Bar resident. Or a Robert Johnson resident. A club where you can have a residency to play that kind of music. I think that’s the biggest challenge. 

Now for the classic Dalston Superstore question, which is: 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?

God, that’s such a loaded question because there are so many dance floors. Oh my god! I mean, you’re talking to a person who loves music. Okay, I’m just going to give you a list. I would have loved to have gone to The Loft to hear Nicky Siano, I would have loved to have gone to The Music Institute in Detroit, I would have loved to have gone to The Warehouse in Chicago. I would have loved to have gone to Berghain in 2004. The Mudd Club, 1978. Danceteria, 1979. The World with David Morales and Frankie Knuckles. Disco 2000. Um, of course Paradise Garage. Of course Ministry of Sound in the early ’90s. The Saint. 

But also, there are so many clubs that people don’t talk about that were heavily influential in my development as a person and as an artist. There’s one called Club LaRay in Chicago, Rialto’s, Cheeks. These are all clubs that were in Chicago that weren’t talked about. They’ve sort of been erased from the dance music vocabulary because they were predominantly black gay clubs that were very underground. And back in the day, the most two famous ones were The Warehouse and the Power Plant, but back then they were really… you know, it was black and gay. Straight people went, it wasn’t like straight people didn’t go, but they weren’t the popular clubs. Like I said, there are so many dance floors around the world… God. It’s like, there was Fabric when it first opened, or Home when that first opened in London. Jesus Christ, I mean it’s hard for me to say which and when and what because yeah, there are just so many. DTPM, Trade. For me, it wasn’t about black white gay straight, it was about a movement of music. And I didn’t think there was one school, the list could go on and on and on. So if I had a time machine, I would probably go back to each and every one of them.

I appreciate the history. I had never heard of Cheeks before you just said it.

Yeah, Cheeks was actually a trans bar where Ralphi Rosario used to play. I’ve been going to clubs since I was 12, I don’t even remember what year that was, but it was definitely late ’80s early ’90s. But I was able to get a fake ID and go to these places, and I was friends with a lot of other DJs and I got snuck into clubs, too. It was a different time, you know. It’s so funny now how…you know, it’s funny to me, I don’t want to use this word to offend anybody because at the end of the day anybody who loves this kind of music and promotes this culture I’m all for, but I don’t see a lot of um, it’s still a very heavily male dominated industry. I don’t see a lot of people of color that are tastemakers. There are hardly any women of color. I don’t see any queer women of color. I just have a different reference point about it, I suppose. But I don’t want to insult anybody or sound like a victim or sound like I’m jaded or bitter or upset. I think you have to be very careful in how you word these things, because it should be about the music at the end of the day. 

And do you feel, because like, as a female DJ  I don’t usually like asking other people the identity question, but do you feel responsible as a public figure or as someone in the scene, for being…

Trans?

For being representative, for doing a good job representing your viewpoint?

Well, I think you can probably answer this. You don’t want to be considered a female DJ, you’re a DJ.

Exactly.

You don’t want your talent to be pigeonholed by your gender. But having said that, I don’t think I would have had the experiences I’ve had if I wasn’t who I was. So I think it’s important for me to tell those stories and those experiences, because those stories won’t be told otherwise. So it’s not so much that I feel a responsibility to anyone, it’s more that I feel like I’m giving a voice to experiences that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. Being a trans person now has become en vogue, as we so care to say. It’s one of those things I don’t want to be put in a box because of, but at the same time, it’s a thing that also gives me the advantage of having had such a rich musical cultural experience. And being able to move between different worlds and being able to have different dialogues with different audiences with music. You couldn’t put a Chicago house DJ on the main floor at The Black Party, but yet they did, because I’m from Chicago, and I’m trans. 

I think my quote unquote ‘gender experience’ has allowed me to navigate different worlds, which has given me the opportunity to have a rich musical cultural experience that I get to share with other people. I can’t control what other people say about me, but I can control what I say about myself. I don’t define myself by my gender, I don’t define myself by the music that I play, I don’t define myself. I just define myself as Honey. I’m Honey. And all of these experiences have made me who I am as a person. So if I have to communicate that to other people, that’s the best answer that I can give, that I’m fortunate in a way that I’ve been able to navigate different worlds, because I’ve been many different things. I’ve been able to go from straight to gay, gay to straight, whatever you want to call it, black white straight gay bi purple trans, and each has its own language and vocabulary, and I’ve been able to incorporate all of that into my expression of music. Not a lot of people get to do that. Most people you know have only been to one, they’re comfortable. Not comfortable, but if you’ve never had to question your identity and you’ve been able to be successful in one lane, well, there’s a whole freeway out there. 

Join Honey Dijon for Fhloston Paradise in the laser basement and Whitney Weiss in the top bar for Nancy’s this Friday 12th September at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Sci-Fi Is A Drag!

By: Dr Sharon Husbands

This Friday at FLHOSTON PARADISE we’ll be celebrating the whacky, weird and other-wordly!  The party name itself references a film that makes the list below, The Fifth Element!

One of the best things about Science Fiction is the way some of its best artists play with gender, usually through makeup and costume. And what do us tranny-whores (careful, you can’t say those words out-loud or the gender and sex police cum on you) love more than playing with gender? Below is a (highly subjective and not-at-all exhaustive) list of some great gender bending moments in science fiction film and television that might inspire your look:

10. The Junk Lady, Labyrinth

Ok, both 10 and 9 actually fall in the genre of fantasy, but now one cares about genre anymore, do they?

The Junk Lady was just fucking awesome. She wanted Sarah to become a hunched old hag: so did we. Anyone who wouldn’t wanna funk with Bowie’s package in a muppet filled labyrinth needed something terrible to happen to her. The look requires some architecture experience and great balance. 

Runner Up: Mommy Fortuna from The Last Unicorn, bitch used horns to achieve a new level of fierce! Again, this is F-to-F drag at its best. 

Mommy Fortuna

9. Orlando, Orlando

Tilda Swinton plays Orlando, ordered to stay young forever and doing so across sexes and sexualities. So many looks to choose from and really, this one is about the costume change – show up in princess garb and knock ‘em dead as a dandy on your way out.

8. Jadzia Dax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

In keeping with the long-life sex-change theme, we call upon a simple Trekky-fetish look that will win over the nerdy gaymers out there: JADZIA! A host for a parasitic worm-alien that inhabits bodies over its lifetime. Dax’s past friends can’t ever seem to get their gender pronoun right. It’s like a weekend in Berlin, really.

Jadzia Dax Star Trek DS9

Also: LESBIAN KISSING:

DS9 lesbian kiss

7. Curtis, Misfits

Another TV related top tenner and another simple look, for lazy queens like me, there’s Curtis. Curtis starts out as the object of the affection of a girl who’s super power is to make men horny (really? That’s not a power that just RAPEY). He then switches his time travel powers to sex swapping powes, getting stuck in his female form for quite some time and experiencing pleasure in ways HE never imagined.  Simple orange jumpsuit and a wig to take on and off will do. 

6.  Thomas Jerome Newton, The Man Who Fell To Earth

Ok, so I had Tilda, so I had to have Bowie. Also, Mary Lou, HELLO. Do her looks! Amaze. But yeah this is like an important alien moment with some boy glamour thrown in. Useful, important, and already worn by so many. 

5.  Cinna, The Hunger Games

As with Curtis above, this is an easy one, but super effective and good for the fashion student who fancies themselves a “club kid” (which is anachronistic and highly questionable, but let’s not get into disco politics, shall we?). This film is like a MAC Superstore, so pick and choose, but I love a simple pandrogyny look.  Oh and yeah, it’s probably not science fiction, but remember my point about about genre? ALSO some fan made these which makes me really happy (cause they have so much time and Photoshop).

Cinna Hunger Games

4. Dren, Splice

Dren is a humanoid figure formed by the copulation of Fred and Ginger, two multi-animal hybrids. Dren is a fierce timely look and great for baldies. Also, her “mom” changes from Ginger to Ginge later in the film, cause animals can do that. Humans can too, but the NHS has a waiting list.

Dren Splice

3. Plavalaguna, The Fifth Element

There a plenty of hot looks in this film, try em on. But for the drag queen, this DIVA takes the cake cause she got TALENT to back up her HOT LOOK. It’s not just about being pretty in a dress, it’s also about wowing the crowd. 

2. Barbarella, Barbarella

Everyone I asked said this first, I was reticent cause she’s cis-gendered and I did that a bit at the start of the list BUT. Maje looks. Hot realness. Do it. Also, clearly John Sizzle’s main source of inspiration.

Barbarella

1. Frank N. Furter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The alien transsexual that started us all off on our path to bisexual party play. She wins. 

Frank N Furter

Below is a horrid video of a tv of “Rose Tint My World” which shows many new tranny Dalstonites on their first time in heels on stage…

Honourable Mention:

Ruth Patchett, She-Devil

Roseanne plays the best drag mommy ever. 

Join us tonight (Friday 11th July) for Fhloston Paradise with special guest Luke Solomon at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Silk86

By Greg Spencer and Greg Lowe

Back for their second Fhloston Paradise party, Greg Lowe (half of Zigzag Samstag) and Greg Spencer (of Public House fame) are bringing rising London stars Silk 86 into the lazer pit for some spaced out homo galactic madness. At a time when the London scene can be too fragmented by genres, Silk 86’s Finnian Casey and Tom Lunn bring a wide variety of styles and influences to the dancefloor, all put together with razor sharp mixing. We caught up with them as they were finishing their latest track out later this year on local imprint Newington. They reveal some of their secret floor killers, what it’s like to DJ as a pair, and why three boobs are better than two…

What releases do you guys have coming up and how is 2014 shaping up so far for you?

We’ve spent a fair chunk of the year so far in the studio, so we’re feeling good, but perhaps not looking as resplendent as usual. Looking forward to summer, our track Dem Curves should finally be out and we’ve got a few bits on the London record label Newington alongside some vocal tracks, so 2014’s shaping up nicely.

DJing with another person can be hard, did you guys have to work at it or were you in sync from the start?

We’ve never really DJ’ed together outside of a club environment… so it’d be a stretch to say we worked on it! To start with we had to pretty much jump in and see what happened, so we’ve probably got better with time and we feel like we bounce off each other pretty well. 

Do you have any killer tracks that are always in your arsenal and what are they?

True magicians never reveal their secrets. We’ve got a few gems that we like to work into sets every now and then. When we want to step it up a notch, this track normally takes things up a gear.

A bit of Mr G never fails either.

Such a versatile track. You can pop it in at any point in your set and it works. 
And if there’s energy in the room, this tune multiplies it by 10…

If you guys could play back to back with any other DJs who would you choose?

There’s already two of us, so if we had to squeeze another DJ into the booth… we’d have to go for… off the top of my head… Nina Kraviz. Don’t ask why. Failing that, the late and great Aaron Carl. 

If you could describe your sound using one character from a sci-fi movie, which one would it be and why?

The three boobed girl from Total Recall. Cheap Thrills a plenty.

Join Silk 86 at Fhloston Paradise this Friday 9th May at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am. 

Ed Davenport

New night Fhloston Paradise (named after the giant space-liner in The Fifth Element) joins us this Friday for the first time, with special guest Ed Davenport. The former Londoner, now a Berliner, Ed Davenport has been quietly making waves, playing regularly at both Berghain and Panoramabar and releasing techno records on Falkplatz, NRK Music and his own imprint Counterchange. Ahead of the party we caught up with Ed to talk production, obscure geek references and more…

What one record set you on your path in music?

It may sound a bit self-centred, but I’d have to say it was my first ever piece of music signed to a real label. That was the track Yanderling, on Gumption which was signed while I was living in my wonderful mouse-infested house in Peckham, during my first year of University. It was 2005 and making music was just a hobby. After that record eventually came out in ’06, my whole focus changed and I knew I wanted to keep on putting out records and doing this full time!

Your past lies in graphic design and even today you create artwork for releases- do you think for you there is a desire to produce a complete multimedia artistic package?

Yeah, actually that’s what I was studying at uni and I still love to make artwork for my own releases, or some of my friend’s labels. I just like to keep busy and I don’t feel balanced unless I’ve got some new visual projects going on alongside the music. Making artwork for my labels and for other releases I’m involved with helps keep me sane and allows important listening time away from the studio. I don’t know if that makes up a ‘complete’ media experience, but I’d like to continue developing the visual stuff too.

As a former Londoner and current Berliner who plays in pretty diverse places around the world, where currently has the most exciting upcoming music scene you’ve experienced?

I just got back from Beirut. I was pretty surprised by the standard of production that they put into their events, and it seemed like there was a thriving, competitive scene going on there, right in the middle of that crumbling, hectic, nervous city. That’s the kind of thing that excites me about the touring aspect of this music. Another similar scene is Tel Aviv. In both cities I saw great qualities in the young people going to techno parties – intelligent, super-friendly and hard-working music activists with golden hearts!

You’ll be joining us here at Dalston Superstore for Fhloston Paradise- which is a pretty great geek reference… if you ever released under an obscure-reference-alias, what name would you pick and why?

Artist Name: Leonard Hatred 

Track Name: Psilence


Look Around You – Music Psilence Leonard Hatred by Le0nardHatred

What’s due up next on your label Counterchange?

Coming next on Counterchange is a 4 track Various Artists EP entitled Co-Ops Vol.1 (COUNTER004). It features tracks from Roman Lindau, Cassegrain, Savas Pascalidis and Nubian Mindz. They are all diverse, talented artists and this record highlights their straight-up club tracks. It’s also kind of a reflection of the variety of music I’m playing out at the moment. Roman’s track is funky, dubby bassline techno – classic Fachwerk stuff really. Then Cassegrain’s track takes things much more in a sci-fi direction, heavy on drama! After that there’s be a new EP from me in the works.

You just made your Fabric debut… are there any other UK clubs you’re keen to play that you’ve not as yet?

I’d love to get up to Glasgow for The Arches or Subclub – I remember hearing those club names on Radio 1 when I was a teenager, while Tong went through his weekend roundup… classic techno institutions! 

What’s one piece of equipment or hardware (computers aside) that you couldn’t make music without?

I love my KORG ESX-1 – it’s a sampling drum machine with powerful valve compressors. It’s taken part in pretty much all of the music I made for the last 4/5 years. It’s not such a sought after machine, but like any instrument, you have to learn how to use it, or in this case, push it, to get interesting sounds out!

If you had a time machine, what dancefloor anywhere/anywhen would you want to visit?

Without a doubt, The Haçienda circa 1989. Mike Pickering or Sasha on the decks. If only.

Can you talk us through your production process a bit – do you start with an idea/inspiration or is it an almost formed piece of the track in your head that you need to get down- how does it work for you?

It’s always based on jamming really. I’ll have sequences or parts prepared from old tracks, which I like but I don’t like the drums, say. So I’ll take that one element and open it up by itself. Then I’ll boot up my drum machine and synth, run it through some outboard FX and mess around until I find something that works. Often my tracks go through 5 or 10 different versions until I’m happy. I’ll make rough mix-downs, play them out in clubs, send them to close friends and try to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. I’d say about 75% of the music I make never sees public release. Also, I often get really inspired when I’m out of the studio, travelling or maybe hearing other friends play. I’ll make notes or buzz words that remind of an idea, or record some badly-sung idea into my phone. Then the next time I’m in the studio I’ll try to get it down. It’s a slow, patchwork process but somehow it works!  

Any genre- what’s your most perfect track to end the night on?

I once finished an 8hr set with this – the opening track Carry On. It’s totally cheesy, groovy and full of love! Just listen to the break halfway through – sleazy proto-funk gold! Actually listen to the whole album! It has the power to remind you that there’s a whole world of amazing music out there outside of house and techno. That, and the fact that the best, most honest and soulful music was made in the ’60s and ’70s, and we’ll never get close to it again!

Join Ed Davenport at Fhloston Paradise this Friday 14th March at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.