Posts Tagged ‘Honey Dijon’

Fèmmme Fraîche second birthday!

We can’t believe it’s been two whole years since East London’s hottest lez fest Fèmmme Fraîche first sauntered through our doorway with a flick of her hair and a twinkle in her eye! She’s now racked up 12 riotous ladies nights at the mothership, with the likes of Honey Dijon, DJ Heather and Joyce Muniz at the helm. To ring in this very special occasion, promoters Michelle Manetti and Sandra Le have planned a whole night of  giveaways a-plenty, goodie bags up for grabs for our party-goers and cute AF merchandise with their resident DJs running riot the whole night long! We caught up with the girls to reflect, reminisce, and get excited for this Saturday’s birthday bash!

Hey Michelle and Sandra! Happy birthday to your baby Fèmmme Fraîche! How have the last two years of parties been for you?

SL: Thank you, guys! I can’t believe it’s been two years already! The last two years of parties have been… exhausting! Haha, no seriously though, we’ve had so, so much fun. We’ve met incredible artists, and working with the DSS crew is a real delight.

MM: Yep, it’s been a wonderful whirlwind of deliciousness, all pleasure no pain (except the day after each party, which always feels a little delicate!)

If you had to pick one song to represent Fèmmme Fraîche, what would it be?

SL: I’d say U & Me Electricity from Kim Ann Foxman, it’s my favourite track at the moment! It brings me back to my youth, it’s classic, it’s catchy and it’s acidy! Kim Ann is one of our favourite DJs and a good peep, so hard not to go with that one.

MM: For me, I’m gonna say Skwerl – All Woman (K2’s Deepah 1ne Dub). The track is 10 years old now, and I love dipping into my old skool tunes for FF, it’s bouncy as hell, ravey and as the title says, it’s all woman, just like Fèmmme Fraîche!

What has been your highlight of the last two years?

SL: That’s a tough one. Each night has its own flavour and all our headliners have been phenomenal. If I had to pick one though I’d have to say our night with Honey Dijon was pure madness! 

MM: Yep, I have to agree. They’ve all been amazing, but the Honey Dijon party had some crazy electricity, so much energy and love that night, even the walls were dripping with sweat, it was such a crazy, sexy, cool party!

femmme fraiche at dalston superstore

Why do you think it’s important to foster spaces for queer women to party?

SL: Well, it may sound cliché but there aren’t many places anymore where queer women can meet other queer women, play, and have fun whilst feeling they can do so safely. So, yes, it is important to foster these safe spaces and cater for a diverse crowd of queers with all sort of tastes.

MM: Exactly, it’s so important we nurture these safe spaces and continue to provide places, and parties where girls can go out, feel comfortable and confident that they won’t feel discriminated or objectified unwillingly so they can concentrate on just having fun and enjoying their night.

What does your queer utopia look like?

SL: Ultimately a world where nobody gives a fuck about who you are, how you identify or who you love.

MM: Second that!

FF007 b

Can you tell us a bit about what to expect at your birthday party?

The finest Fèmmme Fraîchetastic music, sexy dance moves, general sexiness, sweat and big smiles all round! And of course as, we’re celebrating our second birthday, there’ll be decorations, party poppers and fun things… plus we have some goodies to giveaway – we’re giving two lucky winners  free entry for them and their pal, free drinks on entry, free merch and two £20 vouchers for Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium. Enter here! Are you excited yet? we are!!!!

Who are some of your favourite DJs and producers at the moment?

SL: All the DJs we booked in the past two years, our homies, and right now, Peggy Gou!

MM: Yeah, all our headliners have been booked pretty much because they’re our faves, but also The Black Madonna, Tama Sumo, Steffi, Virginia, Heidi, Helena Hauff deserve special shouts for being fabulous DJs and repping the girls.

If you could change anything about London’s LGBT nightlife, what would it be?

SL: We need more of it, and more diversity.

We’ve heard whispers that you have some exciting things in the pipeline for Fèmmme Fraîche in 2018! Can you let us in on any plans?

We’re growing Fèmmme Fraîche into something more than just a club night, continuing to support female, female-identifying and non binary DJs and throwing damn fun Fèmmme Fraîche parties, but just adding some extra dimensions and extra features for it to become a little more interactive. Our plan is to create a platform and a space where queer women can showcase their creative skills across numerous artistic disciplines, as well as offering opportunities to learn new skills. We’ve got some fun stuff up our sleeves, so stay tuned!

And finally, what are you planning to unleash on the laser basement at your birthday party?

SL:  The demons of house music!

MM: Yep definitely the beasts with the dirtiest, filthiest basement beats. We want bras spinning, booty shakin’ and hand’s-in-the-air action!


Catch Michelle Manetti and Sandra Le at the Fèmmme Fraîche Second Birthday Bash, this Saturday 11 November at Dalston Superstore!

Nick V

By Pavliné


After the Berlin edition, the SWEAT crew is now looking at Paris for its second bash at Dalston Superstore. For this special dance edition, it just seemed natural to invite Nick V, the DJ who took it upon himself to bring expressive dancing back to the forefront of the clubbing experience during his eight year residency at Mona in Paris! After a ten year hiatus from playing in London, we can’t wait to welcome him to the lazerpit. We caught up with him to chat about the importance of dance as a cultural force, starting an independent label, and musical discoveries!

Hey Nick, first of all and for those who might not know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your DJ career?

I was born in Manchester in the UK and lived there for 17 years until 1987. My parents are Franco Vietnamese but the start of my life was very English. Coming from Manchester, music was a strong part of my life. During the 70s and 80s so many new popular music genres were born, including the ones that laid the basis for today’s dance music culture.

I moved to Paris in 1987 and started DJing in 1993, specialising in the more soulful side of house music, from the disco inspired garage sound to the jazz grooves of deep house, still a strong part of my sets today. My first gigs were at Queen club on Champs Elysées opening for US house DJs to a predominantly gay crowd. The people running the club were very strict about having the dancefloor full so I learnt how to push a crowd and challenge myself as a DJ. I was looking for more musical freedom though, so I started the first of a series of residencies in Paris in 2003, playing a mixed bag of records to a mixed crowd. This is was the beginning of what I am doing today at Mona where retro house fuses with newer sounds, vintage disco and jacking acid house or techno.

Tell us a bit about your residency at Mona and what makes this party so special?

Mona started in 2008. At the beginning it was the continuation of my previous residencies in Paris. We weren’t that successful at the start. We decided to turn things around in 2010 by inviting younger cats to play at the party and instantly the crowd started to change, especially when the My Love Is Underground crew (Jeremy Underground and Brawther) came. We like to invite back regular guests such as Daniel Wang, Prosumer, Honey Dijon, Karizma, Giles Smith or Mike Huckaby.

The dance “element” is quintessential to the party ?

The big change came when we started to get involved in the Paris dance scene, putting on events for dancers and also for non-regular dancers who still loved to dance, via the Mona dance class at the start of the night.

I have always been a dance enthusiast but I noticed that except for one or two very specialist exceptions, dance wasn’t really happening in the clubs. I found this is a shame as many dances started in the clubs.

Pavliné: This is where the idea of dance classes came from?

I wanted the ordinary non-dancers to be at the centre of things. With the help of some of the best dance talents Paris has to offer, we set up the classes, devoting the first hour of the night to dance, free and open to all and especially beginners, with every month a different teacher coming down to teach house dance, voguing or waacking.

We then started throwing, every three or four months, kiki vogue balls and now dance contests that incorporate vogue, waack, house dance and even more, so that some of the more regular dancers could show their moves. We make sure the atmosphere stays very relaxed though and having fun is our priority, for the hardcore competition vibe you need to attend the battles! With dance our crowd changed and the party changed with the positive energy that comes with it.

Pavliné: If you had to choose one record to represent Mona?

I like to break tracks into my sets and turn them into Mona classics that the crowd recognise instantly. There have been quite a few over the years. The big one at the moment is the e-smoove remix of Taylor Dayne’s I’ll Wait that dates from 1994.

 

It’s a bit of old news now but Paris has experienced a sort of dance music revival. Can you tell us a bit about that and how does it feel for someone like you who’s been part of the scene for a lot longer than that?

As I said earlier, things haven’t always been this way. About eight years ago parties in Paris were much less diverse than they are today – the successful ones were more orientated towards the minimal techno sound dominant at the time.

Many people were going to clubs outside of France, to Berlin, London or Barcelona and bringing back new ideas and a fresh outlook on clubbing. So it was only a matter of time before they started to do their own thing over here, with the vibrant energy of the younger generation challenging established promoters and pushing boundaries, even literally, with new alternative venues appearing far away from the centre of Paris, which was unheard of in the past.

That’s how it started, in reaction to the lack of a scene. I believe that’s how things happen, so I don’t really mind when things go “bad”, it’s always part of a cycle and there’s always something new and interesting that comes afterwards.

Jeremy Underground and Brawther played some of their first gigs with you. Who are your more recent discoveries and artists to watch?

I’m very much into the Australian producers of the moment such as Harvey Sutherland or Jad and The. In France there’s Gary Gritness, an amazing multi instrumentalist and a great set of producers who produce both house and hip hop such as Neue Graphik, Mad Rey or Hugo LX who signed the first release on my new label.

As you mention it, can you tell us a bit about the record label?

Mona Musique is a project that has been in my head for a while and I have only just started to find some free time to make it happen. I have been curating music for a while and receive a lot of good stuff, so setting up a label was the logical step forward. I wanted to link it to my party Mona, and the idea is for tracks to be designed for the party, incorporating and appealing to its different aspects: the dresscodes, the thrill of the dancefloor, the mixed crowd and the creativity of the dancers. The first release is out now and I am working on the next set. I have come to realise how hard it is to maintain a consistent level of releases and a steady work rate, so hats off to all the longstanding independent labels!

What can we expect from your set at Superstore?

I haven’t played in London for over ten years so I’m quite excited about the idea of coming over, and thank you very much for the invitation. I never really prepare my sets that much, I throw into my box a good mix of classics and recent records that I’m feeling, and everything comes together on the spot depending on the vibe, how people feel and how they react to what I’m playing, so I can’t really say much more in advance.

I must say I like it when people come to dance with an enthusiastic and open mindset, and that they don’t take things too seriously, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know who is making the music, fun always comes first for me. I try to keep this in my own mind myself when I play, so if you see me dancing then it’s a good sign!

Finally, can you think of a track that would fit the tropical and hedonistic aesthetic of SWEAT?

This traditional Gwoka drum track from Guadeloupe in the French Antilles and released on London based label, Sofrito, is fast becoming a Mona classic. It’s a super DJ tool sitting well between any genres and putting dancers into a trance. The kind of track that lets your body take control.

I bought that record when it was released a few months back but never got to play it in a club. If you do play it on the 19th, you can be sure I’ll be dancing on my ass off!


Catch Nick V at Sweat Dance Party this Friday 19 May from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!

 

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.

The Cucarachas

 Dalston Superstore regulars Borja Peña and Tom Stephan have been working on their joint project The Cucarachas for some time now, and with remixes for The Pet Shop Boys and tracks featuring none other than Kevin Aviance already under the belt, we know these up-and-coming superstars are set for big things! We caught up with the duo to find out more about releasing records on Tribal and Nurvous and working with their heroes… 

How, when and where were The Cucarachas formed?

Borja: Well we started a club night together called DISH about two years ago, and from that we decided to get together and do some music that would sound like our night. At every party we would try a new track and see how people received it, and after a few we created the band.

We both love John Waters movies so we thought of “roaches”, and as we wanted to sound even dirtier… “the Cucarachas” came along. Like mexican cockroaches, you can’t get filthier than that!! 

You both live in London but both work as international DJs… if you could live anywhere else (for its music or LGBT scene or whatever), where would it be and why?

Borja: I really cannot imagine living anywhere else. I think London is the most amazing place on earth as it’s so easy to fly anywhere from here, we have a great scene and there is so much happening all the time, but if I had to choose, it would be Berlin or New York… I have great friends in both cities. Maybe I would choose New York actually, I think Berlin would kill me! It’s too much fun, I like to keep it as a holiday destination… I need time to replenish my braincells after a visit. Actually, braincells don’t get replenished do they? Oh shit!

Tom: I can’t imagine living anywhere else either! I came here 22 years ago and never left. I do love NYC, but fortunately I get there fairly often to DJ and see my friends. 

What was it like working with the legendary Kevin Aviance for your track Sushi Darling?

Borja: That was all Tom’s magic, people don’t seem to know he is talking about Tokyo in the track, it’s genius.

Tom: I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kevin several times in the past and he’s amazing. He’s an incredible performer. Some people just have that ‘something’ – when they walk into the room, you know it. Kevin is one of those people. However, Kevin’s vocal on this track came from an interview he did in Japan. I have no idea how I ended up with a copy of it, but I’ve been playing this recording of him for years in my DJ sets. Borja and I had this great groove going in the studio and I suddenly thought of this acapella and it fit perfectly. 

Quite an array of producers have remixed you so far. Sushi Darling alone features Mike Q, Honey Dijon and The Carry Nation among others. Are there any producers that have been an influence that you’d like to remix your work?

Borja: Well as we are closer to Xmas I will start asking Santa now… Dear Santa Claus, this year I’ve been a very good boy, can I please have Tapesh, Kim Ann Foxman, Tank Edwards, Ejeca, Hard Ton, Danny Tennaglia, Waze & Oddisey, Green Velvet, Agoria, Dixon, Daniel Maloso, MK and Mathias Aguayo to remix Cucarachas? I would add Snuff Crew but they did remix our last track!! 

Tom: They did a great mix too. I was just playing it last night! 

What were your first thoughts about releasing on Nurvous, the future music off-shoot of seminal NYC label Nervous Records?

Borja: We did this track called “U” and right after the first listen we where dancing around the studio and thought, we should send this to a really good one. So we sent it and they came back to us within hours saying they wanted it. To this date I’m still pinching myself.

Tom: Yeah, it just fell into place really quickly. Borja mentioned Nurvous as his first choice for U, and I’ve worked with their other side, Nervous, for years. A few emails later and we were set. 

Let’s talk about your remix of The Pet Shop Boys. How did that come to be? Talk us through it..

Borja: Tom you should explain this one… 

Tom: This follows on well from the last question because it was “U” that got us the PSB remix. Neil and Chris are close friends of mine, and Neil and I always play each other what we’re working on.

I was playing Neil a few of the Cucarachas tracks and he loved U. Later that week we were contacted by their management asking if we’d remix Vocal. I hate the expression ‘no-brainer’, especially when Kevin Bacon says it, but this was one of those. 

Borja: In terms of the remix, we loved the vocals of the track and we built the beats around it like a little journey. The moment the hair on the back of my neck went all stiff and I had goosebumps I knew we were on to a winner.

What’s the support been like from them and from other artists?

Borja: Well it turns out the remix package was sold out and Number One in the American Billboard Dance Tracks, so that was another magic moment for me, lots of my friends were sending me voice messages twatted at crazy hours (thanks boys) telling me they heard it in Ibiza or In Berlin or in Miami… even if they woke me up I was so proud when I got those messages.

Tom: PSB and their management really liked the mix, so we were happy. And I’ve had the experience of playing it as the last track of the night- everyone with their hands in the air- just as I had imagined, so it’s been a success in my book.

Would you say The Pet Shop Boys were an early influence on either of you? Who are your personal musical icons (of any genre or era)?

Borja: Erm… Yeah!! I’ve got all their music, they are electronic music pioneers exploring it in any way imaginable and still killing it and being very innovative. There are not many people like them around. 

For me there are so many to mention and I keep adding to the list constantly, from David Byrne to Grace Jones, Janet Jackson to Pete Herbert , Giorgio Moroder to Missy Elliott …. those just came to my mind.

Tom: Absolutely. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. Other musical influences- DEVO, Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, Ministry. 

So, not only have you released on Nurvous, but also the extremely influential Tribal Records. Are there any other seminal labels left on the wishlist for you guys?

Borja: Again so many, there are really amazing young ones like Batty Bass or Local Talk, Love Not Money, The Jackathon… and really established ones like BPitch Control, Kompakt, Trax… again, there are too many to mention!! Bringing back Tribal to life after so many years with The Carry Nation is definitely one of the highlights of this music project for me… who would have thought.

There obviously a strong ’90s house influence going on here… what are you personal gems of the genre?

Borja: Mmm…. Celeda – Be Yourself,  Funky Green Dogs – Fired Up, Hollis P. Monroe – I’m Lonely, Liberty City Murk – Some Lovin, Armando – Single Minded

Tom: Definitely early MK, like Chez Damier- Can You Feel It (MK Dub), Farley & Heller tracks like their remix of DSK- What Would We Do? and even back to acid house like Bam Bam- Give it to Me.

I think house music and electronic music in general has been technology driven. The appeal of the old school house sound is that it’s analogue, warm and dynamic, whereas so much music made on people’s laptops sounds quite cold, digital and squashed . We’re trying to bring some of that warmth back. 

Are there any clubs you’re keen to test The Cucarachas sound in (apart from Dalston Superstore of course) or that you wish you’d had the opportunity to have?

Borja: Well we aren’t really playing as “The Cucarachas” that much because Tom and I have crazy flying schedules. We find it really difficult to be in the same place at the same time, so we cannot do that many tracks together. We are keeping this very special. Our first outing was at a warehouse party in Brooklyn with The Carry Nation, and now Dalston Superstore. Dream places to play… although if I ever play in any of these places I will probably have to take an antianxiety to calm down because of the pressure…. would be: The Warehouse Project in Manchester, Berghain, Lovebox, Sonar, and I’ve heard great things about Dance Tunnel too…

Tom: There’s a very cool new club in Brooklyn called Output that I’d love to play. But ultimately I’m happy to play wherever there’s people dancing!

What drives you both to DJ and make music?

Borja: We live in a world where so much negativity is bombarding us on a daily basis, from the news, to bullshit in the workplace. Music has always been therapy for me, a way to change a grey day or a bad mood into a smile and good vibes. I try to channel that when I DJ or make music and think of what I would like to listen to on the dancefloor, what sounds will give me goosebumps make me shake my ass like crazy or put my hands up in the air. Being a DJ is so amazing and so rewarding, you get to play your favourite music very loud and make people smile… dance… you touch them and take them on a mental vacation for a few hours. There’s nothing better than when someone comes to the DJ booth to ask you, “What is the name of this track??” with a big smile, or when you wake up and check Facebook and have all this messages from people telling you how much fun they had thanks to you… not many jobs give you that motivation! Or maybe porn does?

Tom: I agree, it’s about escape. I always thought the story of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever was a good example of how I see clubbing. You’re in a dead end job during the week, but on Saturday night you can totally reinvent yourself. I had that experience of stepping into another world when I first went to the Sound Factory in NYC and heard Junior Vasquez. It was such a moving experience. I was hooked and I haven’t been able to stop since. If there’s a cure for this I don’t want it!

Listen to The Cucarachas via their Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/the-cucarachas

And you can buy their tracks via Beatport: beatport.com/artist/the-cucarachas/316411

Honey Dijon At Body Talk

The weekend Superstore fave Honey Dijon joins us once more in the laser basement for a whole night of house bangers at Body Talk! Joining Rokk, Charlie Bones and Tristan Reed, Miss Dijon will be taking us on a journey through all things H.O.U.S.E. and just listening to this recent Sound Factory inspired mix by her is getting us super-excited to see her again! 

Join Honey Dijon this Saturday 15th June at Dalston Superstore for Body Talk from 9pm – 3am.

Win A Classic Goody Bag!

Next weekend sees one of our favourite record labels, Classic Music Company, return to Superstore for another amazing team-up! Classic boss Luke Solomon is joined in the laser basement by Chris Duckenfield and Dan Beaumont, whilst upstairs it’s a Macho City takeover with Severino, Dave Kendrick and Charlie Porter all taking to the decks.

Ahead of the party, the lovely people at Classic have sent us one of the amazing and super limited edition hand-printed Dalston Superstore X Classic tote bags FILLED WITH CLASSIC TREATS to give away to a lucky winner!

You too can look as good as Honey Dijon and Classic co-boss Derrick Carter showing off your Classic tote around town…

Honey Dijon and Derrick Carter

All you have to do to be with a chance to win is email the correct answer to hello@dalstonsuperstore.com by 10am Tuesday 23rd April with the subject “I NEED A DALSTON SUPERSTORE X CLASSIC BAG!”

Only the winner will be contacted.

Who runs Classic Music Company with Luke Solomon. Is it…

a. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

b. Aaron Carter

c. Derrick Carter

Join Luke, Chris, Severino and more at Dalston Superstore on Saturday 27th April for Classic X Superstore #2 from 9pm – 3am. 

Image courtesy of Honey Dijon’s Instagram.

Josh Caffe’s Banjee Boy Realness Mix

Tonight is the night when all the banjee boys, banjee girls, butch queens and club freaks descend on Dalston Superstore for another taste of Banjee Boy Realness. Resident DJ Josh Caffe has sent us this amazing warm-up mix featuring MikeQ, Jesse Perez, Honey Dijon and more to get us in the mood and answered a few of our burning questions about it!

Which track is the guaranteed dance floor banger on your mix?

That’s a tough one, so many choices. I think Sax – No Pares (Don’t Stop) is a winner.

Is there a secret weapon on there you yet to unleash on a crowd?

There is, but I won’t say which one, you’ll have to come to the night and find out.

Have you got a particular favourite track on it? 

Time to Care by Todd Edwards. I’m a real fan of his music, brings back good memories of my teens listening to US house and garage. His stuff can be a little repetitive but I like the vocal reconstruction techniques he uses on all his tracks.

Which one track do you think really exemplifies the Banjee Boy Realness sound?

I think it would have to be La Beija by Deep88. To quote the sample on the track, “This has got to be a tribute to the Houses of New York”, this exactly what Banjee Boy Realness aims to do, equally celebrating the scene we have here.

And finally sum up your mix in one sentence for us!

Shamazing – thanks for that one Cedric.

Catch Josh Caffe at Banjee Boy Realness tonight at Dalston Superstore with Danny Taylor (A Village Raid) and Joe Robots (SOS) from 9pm – 3am.

Summer Rites Afterparty

We welcome back the wonderful Miss Honey Dijon to headline our debauched Summer Rites afterparty this Sunday! After cavorting about the luscious green surroundings of Shoreditch Park for the festival during the day, join us back in the lazer basement to continue the party. 

Not only Miss Dijon will be spinning at the decks, as she’s joined by a special b2b set from Batty Bass duo Hannah Holland and Josh Caffe! Upstairs The Lovely Jonjo, DJ Squeaky and Grizzle aka John Sizzle and A Man To Pet keep the party bumpin’ in the top bar.

Get in the mood (and get over any post-bank-holiday midweek blues!) with this live recording of Honey Dijon last time she graced our decks for Paris’ Acid Ball back in January… 

Our special discount tickets for the festival itself our flying out the door so come in and grab one personally for only £15 from behind the bar! It’s no surprise really as we have the fabulous Kim Ann Foxman playing in our very own Superstore tent!

Honey Dijon plays Summer Wrongs this Sunday 2nd September from 9pm – 3am here at Dalston Superstore with Hannah Holland, Josh Caffe, The Lovely Jonjo, DJ Squeaky and Grizzle.

Honey Dijon

We are beyond excited about our special guest at the next Paris’ Acid Ball on Saturday 14th January.

Bridging the House tribes of New York and Chicago HONEY DIJON is a unique international DJ who combines the jacking sound of the windy city with the underground sleaze of the Big Apple. Honey was first inspired by the sounds of DJ pioneers like Ron Hardy, Derrick Carter, Green Velvet and Frankie Knuckles. When she moved to New York, she was finally urged to get behind the decks by the legendary Danny Tenaglia… the rest is history!

Describe your sound to us Miss Honey!

Someone once described my sound as if Danny Tenaglia and Derrick Carter had a lovechild I would be it! I love House music in all its forms from techy to deep and everything in between! To me it’s more about creating a vibe than any genre! As long as it’s banging it gets played!

Do you adapt your set for London? How do our clubs differ to the international scene?

I always take into consideration the culture of any country I play in, then again what’s the point of bringing me if i played the same music as the locals? London has incredible homegrown talent with lots of top international guests so I always feel that I have to step my game up when I’m there. Of course I have my own take on things but I like offer something different and play music that might not normally be heard there.

What producers and DJs are exciting you at the moment?

God so many! I love Solomun, so talented. I’m a big fan of Alex Tepper, Kaiserdisco, Ramon Tapia, Todd Terry, Green Velvet,  Mr. G, Mark Fancuilli, Reboot, Inner City, Sante… and me of course!

 

 HONEY DIJON’S JANUARY BANGERS

1. Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay – 212 ( Honey’ NYC edit )      

Just a fun cheeky record that I wanted to House up a bit and put a little swing into it.

2. Green Velvet feat. Russoul – Millie Vanillie [Relief Records]

Now this is how Minimal should be done! Chicago at its best! Dirty and fun!

3. Dave Brody – Sweat [Takt]

Samples the Disco classic spank and the stabs are pure runway heaven! Love it!

4. Mr. G – Got That Swing [Bass Culture Records]

Mr G is one of favorite producers in the world! This track destroys any dancefloor!

5. Jessica 6 feat. Antony – Prisoner Of Love  (Honey Dijon and Sebastian Manuel remix) [Peacefrog]

I asked my friend Nomi if I could remix this because I love the album so much! It’s very Sound Factory Bar circa 1992! Pure NYC underground vibe!

6. DJ Sneak – In Da Clouds (Honey Dijon & Sebastian Manuel remix)  [Magnetic]

A super fun remix of a sneak classic that samples Chaka Khan’s classic “Clouds”.

7. Foremost Poets – You’re Surrounded (Original Mix) [Exadoria]

Mental! Major! The drums send you into orbit!

8. 1200 Warriors – 1200 Winehouse (1200 Milty Mix ) [1200 Beats]

Really hot remix of Stronger Than Me by Amy Winehouse. Sick!

9. Madonna – Erotica  (Honey Dijon Edit) [White Label]

One of my favorite Madonna tracks ever! I made it super techy and modern!

10. Honey Dijon feat Dajae  – Until The Day (Alex Kenji remix) [Toolroom]

Alex Kenji simply destroyed this remix! I’m super happy that I got to work with Dajae on this remake of a Murk classic!

You can catch Honey Dijon WERKING at Paris’ Acid Ball on Saturday 14th January alongside Acid Ballers Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont & DJ Squeaky