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 November we ring in the third birthday of our favourite happy-go-lucky queer rave, Homodrop! Over the last three years, the Homodrop crew have cemented their place in East London queer nightlife, with a strong emphasis on the visual element of their identity. Their resident graphic designer for the past year has been Benedikt Rugar, whose lurid, cheeky and abstractly sexual work has been turning many heads in the venue! Having worked with iconic clubs and brand from Berghain and Cocktail D’Amore to Beam Club Bangkok, his artwork is now synonymous in London with Homodrop’s colourful, mad aesthetic. We caught up with him to chat childhood inspiration, mosaics and, of course, gay nightlife!
Hi Benedikt! We absolutely ADORE your kinky, abstract Homodrop artwork! Where do you get your inspiration?
Hi – thank you so much! It is lots of fun to work for Homodrop. I get the concept of the party from my going out in the queer/gay scene in Berlin. I think I understand what Homodrop wants. It’s queer and colourful, sexy and playful, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Music, fun and love are in the foreground of the experience. For the poster series, I developed absurd spatial still-lifes that played around with queer topics, without necessarily showing men. From futuristic penis-instruments to a blowjob fruit salad in a glory hole – clichés from the scene in a new packaging.
Has graphic art always been a big part of your life?
I was always a very visual person. I have trouble remembering names, but faces I never forget. My graphic awakening was quite early, at the end of my school years. University was like a forge for my visual understanding, and drawing has never left me since. Graphics and drawing are a language that can be more easily read and understand across cultures. I find this exciting – that it can breach borders.
You’ve worked with the Homodrop crew for a year now – can you describe the party in three words?
Unicorn, kinky, adorable.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re making work?
Very different kinds of music. Lena Platonos is super!
What is your earliest artistic memory?
As a child, I drew my own action figures on card, cut them out and made them fight with each other – like you would with actual action figures. Almost all of these card figures were muscly “male mermaids” with vampire teeth. A mash-up of the Little Mermaid, He Man and Count Dracula. They belonged in a world of their own. Sadly I lost them over time, otherwise I am sure they would be on one of my walls now.
That’s so cute! Which other artists or designers do you most admire?
Of course there a few artists that I like. But off the top of my head, I can think of the posters from Braulio Amado, which are amazing, or I still love – and have done so for years – the graphic and comic worlds of Igor Hofbauer or Yuichi Yokoyama.
Which work of art do you wish you created?
Ask me that again when I’m so old that I can’t hold a pen with my hand.
You were recently commissioned to create a mosaic for Bangkok-based Beam Club – what was that project like?
It was definitely something special. I was asked to design a seven-meter long mosaic wall for the Beam club in Bangkok, which had recently been finished with an interior design concept by William Russell of Pentagram. The wall lies behind the bar in the lounge, a quieter area of the club, so the owner wanted the illustration to have a dream-like feel about it, inviting guests to linger in the space.
My immediate reference were vintage illustrations from the 1960s, where families gather in front of futuristic buildings, a representation of everyday life scenarios but in an imposing environment. These were the raw materials that I used to create a window into a fictional landscape. Instead of a conventional rendering, we decided to solve this challenge by creating a huge mosaic wall in tune with the materials used throughout.
The artwork – which I had to “translate” into the language of mosaics – is made up of hundreds of 1 x 1 cm pixels: the actual black or white tiles on the wall. The technique allowed for matt and glossy finishes, which used in combination allowed me to introduce highlights.
You’re involved with a lot of graphic design for nightclubs – is the clubbing world a big part of your life? How does it inform your work?
It has a big influence in my work, yes. I went clubbing a lot, especially during my first years in Berlin. It’s what happens here. In Frankfurt, where I come from, I never found parties like the ones I enjoyed later in other cities. I got to know many different kinds of people going out in Berlin, and with some I am still connected. When I first met them, I never suspected that it would lead to very nice collaborations later, like record covers and club posters. The scene is full of talented people from the creative business – and it’s not all lost on the dancefloor. Sure enough, I love dancing and going out. It’s a part of life in Berlin.
What does your queer utopia look like?
Queer utopia ? It depends from where you start. From outside: for sure, more love and tolerance. And from inside – for the scene itself: less narcissism, more activism!
Any exciting project in the pipeline you can let us in on?
My biggest project at the moment is to follow my own art, next to my regular jobs. I just had my first solo exhibition in Hamburg, which was a very nice experience, but in very busy periods like those, I miss sometimes the energy and time to work on my own stuff. And it’s from these self-initiated projects I draw the material that I use in my other work, especially in club posters which depend so much on the visual. Free artworks need their own process, and usually jobs don’t give you the time for this. So it’s important for me to be connected with myself like this too.
Check out Benedikt’s artwork for Homodrop, and join us on the next party on Saturday 4 November from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
Our favourite happy-go-lucky homodisco Homodrop returns to Superstore this Saturday with a special appearance from London based DJ, producer and genre-defying wunderkind Kiwi (Disco Halal, Future Boogie)! Joining him is the queen of the queer scene in Geneva, Nina Nana who is known for DJ sets which branch into the world of drag performance and span disco, italo, boogie and beyond! We caught up with them to get a forecast of what to expect at Homodrop!
Describe in one image your vision of the party.
Describe with one track your vision of party.
Kiwi: This one’s much harder, because i can’t think of a track that really sums up everything a party can be. But this ones been doing the business recently, pitched own of course.
Queen or queer?
Nina Nana: Queen of queer!
Are they any exciting future projects for you that you can share with us?
We often speak to DJs with many a plate up in the air, but I think it’s safe to say that Throwing Shade wins in the versatility category, with an MPhil in African history from Cambridge, work in human rights law, a Black Belt in Karate as well as being a beyond-talented producer, DJ and NTS Radio host. The latter gig has had her placed on our radar for years now, and we are so thrilled that we’ll finally get to experience her sonic mastery at the latest edition of Homodrop! Promoter Florian Dovillez AKA Cheriii caught up with the London music doyenne to find out what she has in store for us at her upcoming Dalston Superstore debut!
The best club or festival you’ve been in your all life?
For the latest edition of banging gay bash Homodrop, promoter Florian Dovillez AKA Cheriii invites Parisian big guns Abajour for their lazer basement debut! The duo have shot to cult status after closing the Cocktail D’Amore main room with cosmic marathon eight hour sets. No stranger to throwing their own parties, their Berlinons Paris nights have grown from small illegal parties to legendary full-throttle raves, and we can’t wait to see what they bring this Saturday!
The last track you played at Cocktail D’Amore in Berlin?
Yello – Lost Again (Extended Dance Version)
Your BEST producer and why?
Considering the fact that we are playing many different styles there are a lot of producers that are important for us. At the moment we are particularly into DJ Sotofett. The quality and the creativity of his productions are simply incredible.
It all started with small illegal private parties we threw for our friends at different spots around Paris. It was a way to express our vision of how we wanted a party to be like. Several friends joined us to form the [BP] crew and we continued to organise more parties that grew bigger and bigger while keeping the same objective.
Berlin or Paris??
They are two very different cities and we love them both and wouldn’t like to have to choose!
The club / place you would LOVE to play ?
To be honest the last eight hour closing sets we did at CockTail D’Amore at Griessmühle in Berlin were particularly intense. The crazy energy of this party perfectly suits our sound. We are fully satisfied knowing that we will play there again in August.
Tell us 2 tracks you’re sure you gonna play at Homodrop!
We never really plan which songs are gonna be played, yet these two are good candidates for Homodrop:
D’Marc Cantu – Hungry for People
A Split Second – On Command
Catch Abajour at Homodrop this Saturday 6 May from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
One of Dalston Superstore’s most influential party institutions in recent memory is no doubt Florian Dovillez’s Homodrop. Over the past two years the promoter and DJ has welcomed a veritable who’s who of house and techno artists from the UK, Europe and beyond to repeatedly blow the lid clean off our lazerpit. This month sees the celebration of two years of brilliant parties, and for the special occasion, Florian has called in crowd favourite Heretic to return for a thumping basement sweat sesh. We sat down with the prolific DJ and producer to find out what makes him tick, and what he has up his sleeve for the birthday this Saturday!
Hi Heretic! We’re super excited to have you play at Dalston Superstore! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, I’m Tim! Producer of electronic tomfoolery, DJ of very special interest music & I’m based in the artistically ever-declining / property developer utopia that is East London.
If you had to trace your DJ career back to one track that started it all, what would it be?
Well, I never really set out to be a DJ. Eskimo Twins, of which I am one half, started life as a live band but our manager made us learn to DJ. So that was actually the impetus to start playing records at people, but one track the we’d always shoe-horn into every set in the early days was Aspic by SMD. It still holds some pretty special memories, having played it at thousands of people, and at empty rooms.
What is the weirdest/best place you’ve ever played?
Played in an ex-army tank sprayed gold once at Secret Garden party once, that was a bit weird.
You recently remixed Andrew Weatherall’s Frankfurt Advice, how did you guys come to be working together?
I first met Andrew when we played with him at Slide in Brixton a couple of years ago. He opened by giving us a salute for a remix we’d just done and we’ve sort of stayed friends ever since. He did a remix of my track Pollux last year and it was an absolute honour to return the favour for him this year.
If you could pick any other artist, alive or dead, to collaborate with, who would it be?
With 2016 being the utterly shit year that it has been, I suppose I have a wider pool of dead geniuses to choose from.. I’ll go with George Martin though, my Beatles obsession is where my love of music started I think.
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?
I’d love to go & check out The Dancing Plague of 1518 in Strasbourg. No one can say for sure why it happened, but the most likely cause was ergot fungi, which probably grew on their bread. It has a very similar makeup to LSD, so everyone was off their tits dancing maniacally. Sounds like a decent rave to me.
I think that might just be the most original answer we’ve ever had to that question!! What is your go-to track to rescue a waning dance floor?
Currently, I’d go with Dance.. While The Record Spins by Kornel Kovacs, it’s a groovy beast.
Favourite track of the year?
That’s really tough, there’s been such a monumental amount of great music out this year, so I’m not going to overthink this one. First one that comes to mind is Black Sands by Mikron. Belter.
Can you let us in on any plans you have in the pipeline for 2017?
Sure, I’m actually going to try and slow down on the release front in 2017. I feel the last 12 months have been a bit of an overkill with the amount of records I’ve put out and I’m keen to put more time and energy into my live show. So, I’ve currently only got one EP lined up in 2017 for the chaps at Ransom Note Records, and I’ll probably only do another two after that next year. I’ll have my head down, making the live show as good as it can be.
Can you give us a hint of what you have in store for Homodrop’s Second Birthday?
At this point, I honestly have no idea! I’ve played Homodrop a couple of times so I know what the vibe is likely to be, but you never know. I’ll take my ‘The Very Best of Drive Time: 40 Driving Classics & Feel Good Anthems’ CD along, but we’ll see where the night goes…
French producer and DJ Kosme has developed a cult following over the last few years, having played some of Europe’s most cutting-edge underground clubs as well as huge festival dates. Between gigs, he has established the famed Cosmic Adventure club night at Le Sucre, which has seen guests ranging from Theo Parish and Mr G to Konstantin Sibold & Move D. Ahead of his Dalston Superstore debut for Homodrop, promoter Florian Dovillez caught up with him to chat Boiler Room favourites, dream parties and plans for 2016!
HOMODROP is so glad to have you on board for your first gig in London. Tell us which track you really want to play during the night?
For sure some terrible disco classics like this
Who is your currently favourite English producer ?
You’ve played two times already for Boiler Room. The first time before TALE of US, and the second one in 2015 before Laurent Garnier. Now you are playing in Dalston where Boiler Room was been created… Can you give us two tracks you played from those two sets?
Donnie Mark – Stand Up For The Soul Grand Club Mix
Konstantin Sibold – Mutter
For New Year’s Eve, you played to the temple of techno, Berghain/Panorama Bar. Tell us the most intense memory from your set.
A friend that I have not seen for ten years cried with pleasure at seeing me playing & happy with other people. Friendship is very important for me.
What is the most precious record in your vinyl collection?
All of my records are precious for me, each one is a part of my life.
If you have a time machine and could visit any dance floor / anywhere, where would you like to dance?
Can we expect new Kosme tracks on a new label soon ?
Homodrop are thrilled to be welcoming Parisian DJ, producer and general super-babe Chloé (Bpitch Control, Kill the DJ) for the next instalment of their loved-up homodisco. Between releasing killer LPs, playing at her Rex Club residency in Paris, and DJ spots all over the world, we caught up to chat precious records, plans for 2016 and what to expect at Homodrop!
Hi Chloe, we can’t wait to have you back at Superstore! First of all, who is currently your favourite English producer?
At the moment I’m into Jamie XX. I really respect him as a producer – he has the talent to make a good mixture of multiple genders. I really like the production on The XX too.
What is the most precious record in your vinyl collection? of them all ?
I am very attached to all my vinyl collections – music that goes from classical music to 60’s/70’s jazz, 80’s punk rock bands, 90’s electronic, 2000 electroclash-whatever, 2005 minimal etc etc… difficult to just pick only one of those !
You recently played B2B with your friend Miss Kittin. What was the best moment of the night?
At one time Kittin played And I Miss You by Everything But The Girl, an edit/remix by Todd Terry. So I thought “Okay, then I can play Show Me Love by Robin S” – this old school hit from the 90’s. I have to say everyone was so happy to party, t0 just have fun – especially as it was just eight days after the Paris attacks. We really needed to be all together, and continue to do our job normally, even it was a bit difficult as we all think about the people that died there.
Homodrop is so glad to have you for the last edition of 2015! Tell us which track you really want to play during the night ?
I’d like to play one of the tracks from Markus Gibb’s new EP, out on Lumière Noire, a collection I’ve created on Kill the DJ. And I have tracks also to be coming on Lumière Noire from Moderna & Theus Mago to play for sure!
Can we expect a new album from Chloe soon ?
Yes, I am working on it!! Hope to finish SOOOOON!!!
Catch Chloé at Homodrop on Saturday 5 December from 9pm-5am at Dalston Superstore.
Parisian DJ and party promoter, Babybear is a serious force to be reckoned with. Having recently welcomed house music royalty in the form of Robert Owens, Marshall Jefferson and Andy Butler to play at his party Menergy, he is fast becoming one of the front running tastemakers of the gay Paris party scene. Ahead of his appearance at the Homodrop First Anniversary bash, he caught up with us to chat Paris, parties and programming legendary club nights!
Hi Babybear! Can you introduce yourself to us in a few sentences? My name is Yannick Barbe, I’m 45. Actually, I’m a journalist (until recently I was the editor in chief of Têtu, the gay magazine) but I seriously started as a DJ around 2005-06. Ever since my teenage years, house music has been my passion. I was resident DJ of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, the electro-hairy party at Les Bains (Paris). I also played in parties and venues like Beardrop, Flash Cocotte, Wanderlust, Social Club and YOYO (Palais de Tokyo). One year ago, with my friend Oscar (Wonderbear), we launched MENERGY, a gay party with one goal: to reconcile gay shirtless club goers with house music. And it’s a success.
If you could trace your love of house techno and disco down to one track, what would it be? Donna Summer – I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix). Definitely!
Your party MENERGY has welcomed major DJs such as Robert Owens, Marshall Jefferson and Andy Butler. What has been the highlight for you? Obviously, Robert Owens because it was the premiere! Can you imagine talking to your friends about your project when having a drink, and few months later, a house music legend is in your club singing I’ll Be Your Friend?! What a blast!
How does the Paris gay party scene differ from other major cities? Diversity is the key word – a lot of parties every week with a variety of music styles and different crowds. But we are missing one world-renowned big gay club. Venues are a major issue in Paris. We need space and freedom!
You’re taking us on a date in Paris – where are we going to eat, drink and dance? You can start the night by having a drink at A La Folie Paris, the newly opened restaurant by Remy Baiget – also a party promoter – in the middle of la Villette park. For a delicious dinner, don’t miss the tasty grill room of Loup, a trendy restaurant with good music. Finally, check the line up of Gibus Club, newly revamped club with brand new parties: Possession, Black Out and… MENERGY of course 😉
This is Homodrop’s First Birthday – what is your favourite celebration track? Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All (Club 69 Mix). So cheesy. How can one be gloomy when listening to Whitney?
What is one guilty pleasure record that people would be surprised to discover you love?
My unconditional love for French singer Véronique Sanson. The best sad songs ever.
What is one fool-proof track that always lifts the energy of the club?
KiNK vs. Marc Romboy – Over & Out. Italo-house crazy piano, infectious rhythm, sample of First Choice’s Let No Man Put Asunder, and this incredible breakbeat sequence in the middle of the track.
Describe your perfect queer party utopia.
Less misogyny in the male gay scene.
If you had a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?
San Francisco. Circa 1978. Sylvester is singing on stage. And I am having fun with Al Parker, the gay porn icon. The boys in the back room laughin’ it up/Shootin’ off energy/The guys in the street talk checkin’ you out/Talkin’ ’bout Menergy.
Roi Perez is a DJ with one seriously impressive rap sheet. In addition to playing legendary ten-hour sets at Berghain’s Panorama Bar, the Israeli electronic music producer & DJ has spent the last couple of years jetting around Europe playing some of the biggest clubs and proving himself to be at the top of the house and techno game. Ahead of his Superstore laser basement debut this Saturday for Homodrop, we caught up to chat favourite records, marathon sets and new releases.
Hi Roi! Can you tell us about yourself in a few sentences?
Hey ! I’ve been living in Berlin for the past two years, as a DJ, record collector, and a clubber. I’m also running the London’s Phonica Records section at The Store in Berlin. Before that I was a Tel-Aviv resident where it all started.
What is something that would surprise us about the Tel Aviv party scene?
The scene is pretty much focused on big names worldwide rather than local DJs. I think the freedom of creativity to book whoever is more suited is important, but it’s becoming more of a fetish to glorify artists from abroad. I wish it was more supportive for local DJs/producers scene. I do think it will get there in few years.
You are known for some seriously epic sets at Panorama Bar – what is it like playing a 10 hour set?! How do you go about it?
I’m lucky to have Panorama Bar to allow this possibility. I prepare for the set very properly. But once it starts I get in a very specific mood and I run with it. For a set that goes for 10 hours without any breaks I’m aways surprise how it feels like 1 hour in the end. It’s fun!
If you had access to a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would want to go dancing?
I’d have loved to go to an early David Mancozu’s Loft Party. When I was in NYC two years ago I went to one to check it out. I loved it! It felt like everyone there was on mushrooms.
What is the first record that got you into house and techno?
I really don’t remember, probably it was a Larry Heard album.
What is one record you like to throw in as a curveball to keep people on their toes and why?
Matrixxman – 808 state of mind. It might sounds like just a decent good track but I’ve tried it many times, it’s a dance floor slow killer!
What is your favourite release of 2015 so far?
It just been out this month and it’s kinda hit material but Heaven’s Vape by STL (Smallville records)
Join Roi Perez this Saturday 1 August for Homodrop at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-3am
Rising Glaswegian techno star Alex Smoke joins us in the laser pit this Saturday for a very special LIVE set for Homodrop! Having released techno and electronica records as early as 2002s on labels like Soma and more recently Optimo, Alex has since turned his hand to composing scores for television. Ahead of the party, Homodrop caught up with the Scottish producer to find out more about what we can expect this weekend…
You come from Glasgow, where the club culture is intense, what do you think about the club culture in the UK these days?
Truthfully I have to be honest and say that I can no longer speak for people who are driving club culture as I don’t go clubbing nearly as much these days and play less too, but there are trends that I notice from a distance. The undergound is still there but the commercial pressures are huge, and the hype and front seem to matter as much as the music. Some of the innocence has been lost and that’s a shame. Having said that, there is more great music than ever, and younger and younger producers pushing their own sounds and that is great. The occasions when nights have that magic reminds you what club culture is all about, and that it is still there.
Could you explain why our Homodropers might be so excited to see you playing at Dalston Superstore?
I’ve always been popular with the deaf, so I imagine you have a large following who are hard of hearing. Ho ho. Seriously, if that is true, then that’s very nice to hear. Maybe because I tend to play the same few venues in London these days such as Fabric, which only caters to a certain cross-section of clubbers. I’m really happy to be playing in a small intimate venue though…. it suits me best.
Do you play often for gay scene?
Not really to be honest. I am very homophobic. Just kidding of course! I have played many gay nights over the years but less so recently.
What can we expect from your live set?
I’ll be playing extra well. That’s the main thing. I like to keep it very dancefloor focused but also interesting and varied. Sets which don’t move in style or emotion become boring unless you’re out of your banger, so I’ll be catering to the full range of intoxication. Technically, it’s melodic techno and rave-wonk on a laptop, pieced together as I go along and accompanied with a drum machine and possibly some singing…..
You recently released the score for the BBC’s Order & Disorder series under your real name Alex Menzies, how come?
In recent years I’ve been working more on scoring and composition as that is probably where I’m headed, and I got the chance to score this physics series. It’s such a different outlook from club music, but it’s what I enjoy most. It got picked up by Kathexis for release on vinyl and I’m really glad actually as otherwise it’s restricted to the tv and I think it stands alone as music too.
Any new projects?
Yup, some more Wraetlic material (weird vocal songs) later in the year on Huntleys + Palmers, another BBC score release on Kathexis, a possible Alex Smoke album this year and a large scale psycho-acoustic installation in Glasgow Cathedral in November designed to melt brains.
Join Alex Smoke this Saturday 6th June for Homodrop at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.