Posts Tagged ‘jaye ward’

Jaye Ward plays all night long at Patsy!

by Whitney Weiss


Sweetie Darling! This Friday sees the ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS globe-trotting, multi-generational queer club experience, PATSY, return to the mothership! This time around they are passing their champagne flute to London’s rising DJ Star, Jaye Ward who will be playing whatever the hell she wants ALL NIGHT LONG! Having her roots set in Hackney, Jaye has been involved in music for the best part of the last 30 years, playing the Club Dog parties in the late 80s, through to working for record shops, to DJing and promoting since the 90s.

More recently, she’s been playing a rolling schedule of clubs and festivals, including being a regular face at Superstore! PATSY resident Whitney Weiss caught up with Jaye to tap into her encyclopaedic music knowledge, to find out how she delights dancefloors around the world,  summer plans at the first edition of Albanian Festival Kala and how to charm her with a mixtape!

Hello Jaye! Let’s bring it all back to the start. What’s the first album you ever bought? Where did you buy it and what was it like listening to it for the first time?

I think it was Chic – C’est Chic so that’s 1978, I think. From G&M records in Mare Street, Hackney. I LOVED that shop. I had been allowed to buy 7”s before then. Things I mainly heard on the radio (I mean, I was 10). Pop/disco was huge whenever we went on holiday, mainly holiday camps on the south coast. Obviously I got it for Le Freak. It was on the radio ALL the time. And I loved the photo of the band on the cover—they looked so smooth. I was obsessed by Alfa Anderson lying on the floor in the split skirt. Beige was HUGE back then. When I first listened to it, I remember being disappointed that there wasn’t anything else HUGE like Le Freak on it, but I soon got DEEP into those minor chord changes. It’s still maybe one of my all time favourite LPs for the reasons above and for one of my favourite tunes EVER, At Last I Am Free. I have all sorts of versions of the track… the sublime Robert Wyatt version still sends shivers!

Is there a record that reminds you of when you first started going out clubbing?

I was clubbing before acid house but once that happened all bets were off regarding iconic records as it was like someone had turned the taps on full! But even now 35+ years later, if I ever here GO BANG loud, preferably in a club setting, I’m transported back to warehouses full of dancers from all tribes of nightlife getting their dance on… now THAT’S an iconic record!

What songs do you have playing on repeat at the moment?

God, I’m listening to so much as usual but am currently obsessed with that Tommy Awards II record – both sides are psychedelic beauty. The new MC TALLA NAN CREAG thing that’s going to be coming out on Firecracker is immense too. Been going through loads more dance floor style stuff too for me taking over the basement of the mothership for Patsy and it’s been ace to rediscover (sort of) old records that I remember sounding great loud. Also this week I’ve had the first five Bad Seeds LPs on repeat too… I love Nick Cave. I’m doing a remix for MAN POWER at the moment and so far it’s got a swampy Bad Seeds type of vibration to it, so that’s fine by me.

Your taste in music is just so pleasantly well-rounded. What do you think is the most surprising or unexpected record in your collection?

That’s nice to say, thanks. I think that’s mainly because I’m so old! I’ve always liked joining the dots and happily I still seem to be able to put things together that sound like they wouldn’t go well but in reality connect beautifully. I could easily play the same sounding things for ten hours but I’d be bored out of my skull, let alone punters. I like it when a dance floor or room has that up, down and left to right kind of flow to the evening. It gives people a chance to breath and smile. I think there’s nothing that’s too surprising popping up in my collection seeing as I’ve always gone for the weirder end of things. I do have EVERYTHING done by Toyah though, does that count?

What’s the one record that never leaves your DJ bag because it is 100 percent guaranteed to delight a dance floor?

Ummmm there’s quite a few things that are regulars in my box and now permanently on my USB keys. Flim Flam by Yellow Sox on Nuphonic blew me away when it came out and still does EVERY SINGLE TIME. I reckon it’s one of the best house records EVER made. Fight me. Song for Annie by Erot is of its time but still makes people come and ask me what it is. An ace vocoder version on Chic’s At Last I Am Free is a permanent resident, too. Most of the time I try to vary what I play as much as possible. I guess that’s what has always, up to recently, made me either a hard booking in that I’m VERY balearicly minded even though I don’t really play that sort of thing that much or that I’m super flexible. Not sure. Ha!

Speaking of delighting a dance floor, what’s a record that brings you great joy?

The Chance by Reel Houze on Zoom Records. It’s like an edit of Go Bang with extra drums from Harvey.  A lot of that mid 90s UK nu-disco stuff was and is amazing. The mid 90s was when the quality control suddenly shot up I reckon. It’s one of my fave records still and I’ll drop my lollipop headphone and go dance for 10 minutes or so if I put it on, it’s still immense. Hearing Glenn Underground, Danny Wang, Maurice Fulton or any of that super deep dub instrumental US house over an ace system WILL make me cry. Make It Last forever by Donna McGhee will definitely make me go sploosh too.

If someone fancied you and was making a mix tape (or CD, or Spotify playlist, or USB), what song they could choose that would really charm you?

IF someone fancied me, especially lovely funky queer ladies who have a penchant for tiny women of a certain age, making me a mixtape containing old 80s post punk love songs (they do exist, trust), lo-fi jazzy experiments, deep spiritual jazz, weirdo stuff, dub, lovers’ rock, songs by Nick Cave or the goddess Lydia, old blues and any curve balls of their own would make me blush and then stalk them… y’know.

What’s a record that makes you think of one of your most iconic nights DJing? And if you don’t mind my asking, what was that night like?

God that is hard. Lots of lovely evenings out where certain records have had people singing along or psychically combining to actually change the atmosphere into something like I imagine The Loft would have been like. Mind Fair’s Secret All Night Carnival Version of Spike’s Fooling Around on Gold Channel has that Loft feeling. It’s SO beautiful. Upstairs at Patsy I’ve played it a number of times and people have sort of stopped drinking and swayed all together and danced in a jazzual way, which you can imagine is a bit of a feat there for hyped-up beautiful queers hell bent on a weekend of damnation.

I was in Cyprus playing records for the ace Whizzy Wig crew last month and everyone was dancing and it was very much ace! People screaming, etc. We were all playing lots of jazzy house, disco and Trax style funky acid classics. I played Loose Joints Is It All Over My Face? – the bloke version – and people lost their shit. That was a fun moment. That record nowadays seems to do that for everyone I think. I love that people into dance music of all kinds are now up to speed with how disco really was the source for everything we listen to. Books with huge chunks about David Mancuso, Nicky Siano and Larry Levan etc. have really opened people’s minds to how everything is connected. It’s ace!

What song have you always wanted to hear someone else play out so you could have a dance in public to it?

God there are so many. I play it, but I’d LOVE to here someone randomly play Vinceremos by Working Week. I’d loose my shit totally and sing along, arms waving aloft. Scoops in Columbia by Plaid would have me kicking my shoes off and running to the floor making sure my boob tube was still up—amazing record loud! Random plays by other people is my absolute fave thing.

If you had to choose one album to listen to all summer long, what album would it be?

Ummmmm, wow, another hard one! The loft box sets, ha! Calling Out of Context by Arthur Russell, Colossal Youth by Young Marble Giants, North Marine Drive by Ben Watt, Nothing Can Stop Us by Robert Wyatt or Neil Young On the Beach all have summer vibrations associated with them for me. So maybe them. Tomorrow I may feel differently.

Speaking of summer, what’s a record that you’re really excited to play at the first edition of the Albanian seaside festival Kala this summer?

Not sure yet. I’m taking a seriously wide range of things because they have me playing at various times and in various situations. I really want to get to play glacial electronic stuff alongside pretty songs when the sun goes down under the stars. Living in London I very rarely see stars and really want that scene to happen.

What’s one song that you wish you would have written? Do you write music ever?

I mess about making things. Edits for myself to play. Mainly extensions of things. I have zero musical chops apart from having a good ear for things I suppose. Musicians blow me away. My friend Margo is a producer and amazing musician. She talks about stuff to do with composition and I have to work hard to keep up. Totally in awe. I could easily list a hundred songs that make me go ‘Whoa! How?’ And easily a thousand dance records that I have no idea how they came up with what they came up with. People who do this are living, walking gods to me. In the Bad Seeds film 20,000 Days on Earth there are two moments within that one LP alone where he’s singing songs that they are still working on – Higgs Boson Blues and Give Us A Kiss – where my hair on my arms have sat bolt upright and I’ve started to cry. When he sings Jubilee Street at the Sydney Opera House. The words “I’m vibrating I’m transforming” make me eternally jealous. But to be honest, I’ve had 40 years of records making me feel this way.

 

What record makes you think of PATSY?

God, lots of records! But the first time I played records for PATSY and played I Need Somebody to Love Tonight by SYLVESTER, not only did people dance but a few started singing along and I thought YES!!!


Catch Jaye Ward at Patsy on Friday 20 April from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!

Jess Farley (Rhythm Sister)

For the second instalment of heauxmeauxsexy disco Mints for 2018, the all-nonsense party crew invite the Rhythm Sister Collective to take over the laser hole for start to finish! The all female / non binary DJ collective have also programmed an open decks session before the party kicks off called The Floor Is Yours, in order to give any new DJs amongst us the chance to play out. Known for delectably eclectic selections spanning world sounds, house, disco, techno, breaks and beyond, we can’t wait to see what they unleash at Mints! We caught up with founder Jess Farley to chat the changing climate of equality in dance music, favourite female selectors and Albanian summer festivals!
 

 
Hey Jess! We are so excited to have you join us for Mints! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for those who might not know you?
 
Hello! I’m Jess Farley. I’m a DJ and the founder of Rhythm Sister. I’ve moved back to Bristol after being in London for six years, I have two cats and I also run my own business in marketing & social media for creative brands such as artists, labels and events.
 
What inspired you to start the Rhythm Sister Platform?
 
From my personal experience of learning to DJ, and also from speaking to a lot of other women who were going through the same. I found there was a common feeling of nervousness and a lack of self confidence in the process and feeling like music and the ‘scene’ was out of reach and not accessible to them. I think this is a combination of a lack of role models, socialisation of women from a young age, plus the male domination in the scene. So Rhythm Sister was about creating a community and space for women to feel comfortable to learn more about music and DJing from others, and for it to feel in reach for them. Alongside serving as a platform to help shine a light on more talented women and non binary artists, it exists to inspire others and help increase the amount of role models there are. And hopefully it’s doing that :)
 
Music is obviously a huge part of your life. What is your earliest musical memory, and what has really shaped your love for dance music in particular?
 
I don’t remember this first hand but my Mum said when I was like one or two my favourite song was Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam and I used to go mental dancing in my nappy every time it came on haha! I think what’s shaped my love for dance music in particular has to be growing up in Glastonbury and going to the festival since I was young, drinking pear cider and roaming around all the tents by myself, it was pretty eye opening! There was also a big drum and bass scene when I was a teenager so I was listening to that and raving in fields since I was like 14! I guess my love for house, techno and dance music in general developed over the years from this.
 
You have done some incredible work to level the playing field for female and non binary DJs – we really admire your work! Have you experienced much of a shift in people’s attitudes since you first started? 
 
Aw thanks :) A huge credit goes to all the Rhythm Sister crew and extended crew who’ve helped and supported along the way. Yes 100% I think attitudes have shifted and are shifting. There’s still a way to go but the conversation of equality seems to be at the forefront in music at the moment. There are more women and non binary artists on line ups, more and more are finding the confidence to DJ and produce, and more initiatives, collectives and nights run by women are popping up! I think there is way less stigma, although it definitely still exists, but I think over the years all the work we’re putting in now will hopefully come to fruition and the scene will continue to unearth all the talented people that have been hiding or have gone unnoticed. 
 
Do you find it really different to play to a queer or female dominated audience compared to the typical straight cis-male electronic music crowd?
 
There is definitely some type of magic and feeling in the air that exists in queer / female dominated spaces that you can’t really explain. It’s not really the absence of straight cis-males, it’s more an energy that’s created when people are truly feeling free and safe to be themselves, to dance and have fun, not being nervous and contained, which I think happens more in straight cis-male crowds. The openness and freedom is inspiring – we need it more! I think this is also achievable in mixed crowds, it’s like a mutual respect for everyone you share the space with. 
 
You will be running a party for beginner DJs before Mints kicks off, can you tell us a bit about it?
 
Ever since we started our workshops we have really wanted to set up a night for attendees to be able to perform in a club environment. It’s the next step from practising at home, to help them develop flow, read the crowd and be able to invite their friends to see them play out. It can do wonders for confidence and really help cement the nice and empowering feeling that DJing gives you, and hopefully it can be the stepping stone for future gigs! We’ll have four x 45 minute sets that run from 7pm – 10pm before Mints kicks off, and we’re announcing the line up soon! 
 
Who are some of your favourite female and non binary B DJs who are really killing it at the moment? 
 
Ah soooo many. London-based up and coming artists: Peach who’s just released on Midland’s label Intergraded is smashing it, Kiara Scuro, Jaye Ward, Anu, Rachael who works for Rye Wax and Five Miles is a wicked selector and is putting on some great parties and doing lots of good things for the scene, all of the artists involved in Siren are putting out great music and mixes. In Bristol: the BWiM artists Em Williams, Daisy Moon and Danielle are amazing and my friend Kiia is going to go on to great things. Further afield: Gwenan, rRoxymore, Margarat Dygas, Helena Hauff, Nina Kraviz of course. On the more jazzy, selector vibes: Donna Leake, Mafalda (just listened to her Dekmantel mix), Lauren Hansom from Australia. I literally could go on and on!!!
 
Who are some of the guests you have invited to join you for the basement takeover?
 
Jaye Ward has the best selection I’ve heard in a while, have heard many of her radio shows and a few mixes, literally can’t wait to finally meet her and hear her play in the club!! Souvenir are also two very talented DJ and selectors who played one of the best warm up sets I’ve seen at our party at Rye Wax for Peckham Rye Festival last year. Plus can’t wait to combine forces with Mints, should be a cracking one!!
 
Do you have any exciting plans in the pipeline that you can let us in on?
 
Ooo… we have a few exciting gigs coming up this summer! Most looking forward to playing at Kala in Albania – it looks so stunning. Plus there’s a new mix series and we’re soon to be rolling out a new mentorship scheme!
 
And finally, in five words or less, what are you planning to unleash on the Superstore basement?
 
Drums, breaks, ALL THE FUN!

Catch Jess Farley and Rhythm Sister at Mints this Friday 6 April from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore! 
 
mints at dalston superstore