Posts Tagged ‘LGBTQ+’

THEM FATALE

THEM FATALE! is a brand new night ran by and for non-binary, trans* and gender non-conforming folx. Their SICKENING line up features trailblazers of the trans* community including Lewis G Burton, DAWTA, DJ PUSSIEPHUSSShayShayRODENT, ELLIOT, ORNOGRAPHY and hosts UNORIGINALMINDS, Cool DadLucia Blake & Caviar J

We caught up with promoters UNORIGINIALMINDS (aka Jo Alloway) & Lewis G. Burton to chat about their inspirations behind THEM FATALE, why trans* representation in nightlife is so important and what we can expect from Friday! 

 

 

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Can you introduce yourselves?

Hi there! I’m Lewis G. Burton DJ and performance artist and I’m Jo a haggard old queen and *jazz hands* together we are Them Fatale!

What’s your favourite kind of bread?

Lewis: I’m a northern girl and true to my roots I love a good stottie.
Jo: Does eggy bread count? Love it sloppy babes.

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What was the inspiration behind Them Fatale?

Lewis: I helped Jo do the door at Superstore around Christmas and we were saying as non-binary people wouldn’t it be fab if there was a night for us and our trans brothers/sisters and gender non-conforming folx. Six months later here we are!

Jo: We’ve both been around London’s queer nightlife scene for awhile ( obviously Lewis has been around ALOT longer than me), and trans*, non-binary and GNC folx are paving the way in the scene whether as performers, DJs or artists. I guess, one of the main reasons that both Lewis and I wanted to put this night together is to curate a space where we are able to celebrate and showcase the talent of the community.

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What can we expect from the party?

Lewis: Lots of incredibly talented non-binary, trans* and GNC babes playing some banging music and dancing on the bar in all of our glory.

Jo: Yeah… what they said. 

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If you could sum it up in one track what would it be?

Lewis: Thomas the tank engine theme song

Jo: Ms Kevin Le Grand’s rendition of The Cheeky Girls.

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Why is trans representation in nightlife so important?

Lewis: I think alot of cis gay men have forgotten their history as they’re being assimilated into hetronormative society. Trans* people are the reason we have more freedoms now than we have in the past 100 years. Trans* people have always been at the forefront for the fight of equal rights and yet we’re still the most marginalised members of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re still being brutally murdered and beaten worldwide for our very existence. This is why representation in nightlife and just in the media, on TV and film and within pop culture is vital now more than ever.

Jo: Trans* folx face violence everyday, whether that’s systematically, societally or to our bodies. Its because of this that trans* folk need spaces to go to, now more than ever. Nightlife has always been a safe haven for the trans* community and an important site for gender expression, activism and community for queer folx more broadly . In the context of rising homogeneity amongst nightlife venues and the loss of independent queer venues in London the once close relationship between radical politics and nightlife has been diluted.  The majority of nights & venues cater to those who have cash in their pocket (aka the ‘YAS’ screaming, glitter smeared, cis white gays who work in finance). Marginalised LGBTQ+ folx have been pushed out of the very spaces they created and need now more than ever, whether that’s QTIPoC communities, queer women or trans* folx. For us to have the opportunity to put together THEM FATALE, which is trans* led,  has an all trans* line up and is an opportunity for our community to not only take up space, but take ownership of a space feels quite important. We are just apart of growing move in Queer London that is trying to reassert trans* representation in nightlife including Transsister, Transmissions, Wimp as well as Clash Bash and Femmi- Erect at Superstore to name a few. So things are looking up in this context, but we need to keep on pushing further!

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If you could be any animal crossed with another animal, what would you be?

Lewis: Theresa May mixed with Boris Johnson because I can’t think of any worse monstrosity.
Jo: Jon Sizzle mixed with a possum. Thoughts?

Can you tell us a little about some of your DJs and performers?

Lewis: DAWTA is the DJ alias of BBZ Co-Founder Naeem Davis who is an absolute force to be reckoned with and doing so much for the QTIPoC community. DJ PUSSIEPHUSS is the alias of UNITI founder Englesia who has curated an incredible line-up of parties this summer. Lucia Blake is mother of transmissions and organiser of the first ever London Trans* Pride!

Jo: We’ve got some familiar faces from superstore too! ShayShay, RODENT, Orny & Elliot and COOL DAD aka Katayoun Jalili have all been trailblazing for the community for years now ! Just so excited to have all of these incredibly talented trans* folx on our line up!!

What are some of your favourite Superstore memories?

Lewis: My club night INFERNO started out with humble beginnings at Dalston Superstore which was an absolute ball for me and start of a really exciting journey!
Jo: I feel like I’ve been apart of the furniture at superstore for awhile now, I’ve worked on the bar and the door for 3 years and used to go as a punter for a few years before that. So as you can tell there are far too many memories to recount. But I mean…. having one of your managers jump over the toilet cubicle, slap you awake, pull your pants up and put you in a cab is definitely a moment.

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The event is raising money for Gendered Intelligence- can you tell us a little about the work they do?

When we started talking about creating THEM FATALE, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to raise money for those organisations who work tirelessly to provide much needed services for the Trans* community. Gendered Intelligence is just such an amazing organisation we had to reach out to them!

Bit of information about them for you all;

Gendered intelligence is a not-for-profit charity, established in 2008.They work with directly the trans community and those who impact on trans lives and specialise in supporting young trans people under the age of 21. Find out more information on their website AND make sure you put some cash in their buckets on the night. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, everything really does help.

With an unlimited budget, what would your dream line-up for Them Fatale be?

We already have the line-up of our dreams!


 

Them Fatale launches this Friday 31st of May at Dalston Superstore. Find the facebook event HERE.

Spinee

This Friday expect major heat as J.Aria & Ni-ku are back for the fourth instalment of mega-rowdy rave MegaLast! As per the experimental, abrasive and uncompromising party hasn’t disappointed with the line-up featuring the iconic Sylvere, Spinee, Minou + Shivum Sharma

Taking the helm in our lazerhole for the first time is Spinee! A PC Music affiliate and NTS radio monthly host the London based DJ and producer has been making waves with her hyper pop bangers and nu metal jack-house trax! 

We caught up with Spinee to chat about working with the infamous PC Music collective, her favourite LGBTQ+ musicians and what we can expect from her premier set at Dalston Superstore!

 

We’re pumped to hear you at Superstore for MegaLast this month! For readers who’re meeting you for the first time, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Me too! I’ve been so many times but never played here I’m excited that it’s with MegaLast looks like a really fun party AND the line up is smashing! I’m a DJ and producer based in London, I host a monthly show on NTS Radio and play hardcore club music. 

We first heard of you from your PC Music releases; how did you meet everyone from the collective? And what was it like working with them?

I met everyone through A. G. Cook, they’re a super talented group of people I’d never been around people who were very open to a lot of (good) weirdness. 

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Do you have any plans in the future for more collaborations?

I really enjoy having guest mixes on my NTS show so I’m trying to do a lot more of them this year. My show next week features a mix Peggy Viennetta – a truly seductive and hyperactive entity!

More recently you’ve been holding down one of our absolute favourite NTS Radio shows; your mixes are wormholes of hyper pop bangers, nu metal jack-house trax with occasional hardstyle curveballs thrown in. Has planning an hour of music every month changed how you think about DJing?

Thank you! And definitely, it makes me way less lazy having a schedule to stick to. I’ve always been obsessed with finding new music but shaping it into a fun hour to be played out makes me use my time wisely.  For me djing for radio is quite different from playing live too, I feel like I can be more goofy IRL whereas radio is all recorded and I want it to be more of a sleek representation of what I do.

 

You’ve been DJing around the scene a lot more in the last year…..are you focusing on DJing now, or can we expect some more Spinee releases in the future?!

I am focusing primarily on djing but I’m in the process of learning Ableton as I used Logic for all of my old tracks and I ended up feeling a bit restricted by it. Once I’ve totally mastered Ableton I have tonnes of ideas for new tracks, evolved and next level from my older stuff but still with the Spinee Spirit. 

What other LGBTQ+ musicians are you loving at the moment?

Bored Lord, LSDXOXO , Ariel Zetina , Chema Diaz , Smiley Vyrus , Ghozt and Fallen Shrine are all super talented DJs/ artists. 

 

What has been your favourite queer venue// clubnight to play at and//or go to?
Creamcake forever!!! Tremors throws great parties in London. Fave venue to play at has to be Südblock I’ve had so many great times there

If you had unlimited budget and could book anyone, what would your perfect clubnight look like?
This is such a good question!!! I would book Nightwave, Eclair Fifi, UNIIQU3 , Honey Bunny, VTSS , Sherelle, GFOTY , DJ Paypal, all of Casual Gabberz and all of Off Me Nut records and force everyone to do one long b2b. 

What do you have planned for the rest of 2019?

I’ve got a few things coming up in London and Paris, loads more NTS shows and then I’m open to playing wherever whenever !

Finally, in three words what can we expect from your first set at Dalston Superstore?!

Euphoria, Eurodance and ENERGY!


 

Catch Spinee at MegaLast with Sylvere, Spinee, Minou + Shivum Sharma Friday 26th April at Dalston Superstore!

Marie Malarie

This Friday sees the second instalment of our new party OUTRÉ VOYAGE from HOMODROP affiliate Marie Malarie! This time around the queer audio-visual experience brings some serious Big Femme Energy in the form of 239EF (NTS RadioJAY (SIREN), Marie Malarie (Homodrop), Rachael (Rye Wax), Eliza RoseChaka Khan’tCheriii (Homodrop), Heidy P. and Michelle Manetti!
 
We caught up with promoter Marie Malarie to chat about growing up in Eastern Europe, her experience of the London LGBTQIA+ nightlife scene and to get the lowdown on their special guests!
 
 
 
Hey Marie! We are so excited for the debut of Outré Voyage at Dalston Superstore! Can you tell us a bit about yourself for those who might not know you?
 
Hiyaaa! Thank you so much for having me!
 
I find it really hard to talk about myself but I will try my best. I’m a smalltown girl from 
Eastern Europe who was always passionate about music. Shout out here to my older brother who was listening to it non-stop and passed me that beautiful thing. After finishing high school I left my home city and moved to Warsaw where I went to uni but it was more a constant party than actual studying. There I made my first steps with the whole DJ thing, learning how to mix and slowly started to play out in local clubs. Bored with my life I decided to follow my brother and move to London to discover more.
 
I love diversity of this city and opportunities that it gives. People who I’ve met here opened my mind and eyes so widely. I’ve experienced so many things which inspired me to find out more about music, communities around it, club and queer life. It’s very beautiful how people support and motivate each other which doesn’t really happen where I come from. 
 
I feel very happy and grateful to be given the chance to have a night at Superstore. All I ever wanted was to make my own thing which is a mixture of music, visual arts and overall happiness and love. My aim is to bring some underrated/unknown DJ talents along with locals/internationals and well known residents with majority of female representatives of dance music scene. Each edition is different in terms of the line-up and visual side.
 
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You are the long-term resident at Homodrop and have played a whole lot at Dalston Superstore – what do you love about playing at the venue?
 
I love this spot with all my heart. I was so happy when I found it for the first time. First of all the vibe of it. It’s a colourful, warm, wellcoming and safe place with lovely and kind staff: bar, kitchen and security. Second – I think it’s a great example how a queer venue should be like. Diverse programming for all week including club nights, drag shows, day entertainment and food plus some local social and foundation initiatives. The music selection is very different and I like the fact that it can be also cheesy sometimes to keep the balance. That all makes it a place for everyone, no matter who you are. It’s the most important LGBTQIA+ spot on London’s map.
 
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What inspired you to start Outré Voyage
 
I always wanted to run my own night but it’s very hard to start one, especially in such a big city like London. I had this luck to meet that lovely person who inspired me a lot – my friend Florian who runs Homodrop night at Dalston Superstore. He always goes with the flow and every his move is very intuitive which results in what we can see. I’m a person that constantly overthinks things and always wants to be perfect which causes only procrastination and depression in my case. I realised that you don’t have to be so serious about everything you do and try to be perfect because we will never be, no matter how we try. And that imperfection and randomness sometimes rises new ideas that you didn’t even expect to happen. That’s why we need positive and creative people around us. It’s like taking a deep breath. 
 
Replying to the question: I was inspired by some lovely people I met, by my dreams and love for music.
 
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If you had to choose one track to some up the party, what would it be?
 
 
 
Check out other productions of Aldona Orlowska
 
Can you tell us a little bit about some of your special guests?
 
Every guest is special! On following Friday we will have 3 girls headlining: sick duo  called 239EF which consists of Kristina and Chloé – two music geeks with insane selection and Jay from well-known female djs collective SIREN throwing queer parties promoting women and non-binary artists. Apart from that we will have Heidy P from Montreal/Lisbon, crazy b2b with Rachael and Eliza Rose plus our favourite residents CHERIIIChaka Khan’t and Michelle Manetti with a little live surpsire. And me somewhere in a dark corner… I love the fact there are so many of us.
 
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We really love your artwork! Who is the amazing designer behind it?
 
It’s a non-human person called TROUBLE WANTED. It’s me. There are two of Us.
 
If you could change one thing about the electronic music scene, what would it be?
 
If we’re talking about London what I miss the most is having an opportunity to rave during the day somewhere outside, surrounded by nature. There is nothing more beautiful than going for a little Sunday daytime party with your rave family to smoothly finish the weekend. I know that there are some of them happening from time to time but there is not much choice.
 
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/anywhen, where would you go?
 
I would go to regions of Southern Africa to explore music of The San People. Otherwise I would love to rave somewhere in US in the 80’s or early 90’s at one of the acid house/techno underground warehouse parties.
 
Favourite track of the year so far?
 
Don’t have one!
 
Who are some of the artists on your radar for future guests at Outré Voyage?
 
That’s a surprise! Expect some gooood tuuuuunes.
 
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Catch Marie at Outré Voyage Friday 21st September 9:00PM-3:00AM at Dalston Superstore!
 

Dan Govan

As part of our ongoing local queer artist residency at Dalston Superstore Gallery, this Thursday sees the launch our next exhibition ‘Living Vivid’ by Dan Govan!

Dan Govan is an Edinburgh born, camera-carrying, usually-anxious, glamour-adjacent wallflower, for whom photography was a hobby that’s grown wildly out of control. He started with snapshots of nights out
in 2008, but as he moved to east London in 2011 he was naturally was dabbling in club photography by 2012.  A couple of years ago he started dabbling in portraiture. Self portraits at first, exploring vulnerability and colour, muting masculinity in vivid disorienting colours. His latest project ‘Queernift’ documents the eccentric faces of the East London LGBTQ+ Nightlife Scene. 

We caught up with Dan to chat about where Queernift started, some standout experiences of photographing Drag Queens and whats next for Queernift!

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Hello Dan! Can you let your readers know a little bit about your background?
Hi! I’m a sorta-Scottish, nerdy wallflower who’s been floating around gay clubs, pubs and shows in London since 2008. Until last year I always had a camera with me but now I mostly do over-colourful studio portraiture.

The work that you are exhibiting at Dalston Superstore, is the Queernift project which documents the faces of London’s LGBTQ+ nightlife scene. Why did you start this project?
I thought it was an exciting opportunity to collaborate with and signal boost some of the local queer artists promoting their work. It’s been nice to be able to give back to this community that puts so much work into creating queer spaces, putting on so many shows and nights over the years.
 
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How did you come to know the queer performers that you photograph? 
It’s usually people I’ve met out and about! I guess it’s a community project at heart because while sometimes it will be a friend of a friend, by the time the shoot is done we’ve normally gotten to know each other a bit. It’s all people who visit, party and work in the same iconic venues and spaces that I do.
 
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What draws you to portraiture?
Whether I’m shooting events, performances or portraiture, I try to capture situations rather than things. Reactions and relationships. People are always at the core of that. The real kick comes when I manage to show people looking better than they think they look. That’s always a thrill.
 
Through the series there is a consistent strong use of colour. What is the significance to this?
So much contemporary photography pretends to be realistic. It’s not. There’s artful makeup and hair, lights and loadsa photoshopping. Even when I shoot people not in a lewk I still stick with a similar colour formula, because I want my work to be self-evidently fantastical, open about the fact it’s not what you’d see in the mirror, and celebrate it a bit more. Why be humdrum?
 
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What has inspired your work?
Mostly I’m inspired by the queer icons of the scene around me, though I’ve been blown away by some local photographers documenting aspects of a similar subculture, like Luxxer, Corinne Cumming, Kate Bones, Damien Frost and Eivind Hansen
 
As this is your first exhibition IRL, and you’ve mainly used Instagram to showcase your work.  Has social media been useful to your practice or has it been shaped by social media?
Oh queernift is basically an instagram project really, the format follows the 3-wide grid and it’s been so cool chatting to people all over the world about my work! I have another project barenift that’ll have a few pictures up at the exhibition too, that also the same 3-wide format; I fear the day instagram changes the grid!
 
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East London’s Drag Queens aren’t known for being the most introverted of characters. So we’d imagine photographing would bring about some ‘special’ memories. Any stand out experiences photographing them ?
I think my favourite shoots have been when I do a couple of friends at once, taking turns in front of the camera the energy’s always really great. I recently had a shoot with Delirium though who arrived when she said she would, packed 3 very different looks into just 2 poly bags, changed quickly, posed to the gods, and we were all done in an hour. I was amazed.
 
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Who else in East London’s LGBTQ+ Nightlife would you love to photograph?
Oh there’s tons of people that I’ve wanted to shoot for a while but we’ve never quite got it together and I feel shy about badgering them. And a few more that I never got around to asking! Rhys Pieces, Margo Marshal, Ginger Johnson, Grace Shush, Maxi More… Dozens more probably. I used to have a list that I was working through but it made me super anxious so I had to ditch it.

Whats next for Queernift?

Well I have a half dozen new shoots to post after the exhibition launches, after that I’ve no idea, more of all of it I hope? More shoots more people more followers. I’l have to think of ways to expand the formula but as long as there’s new people it’s always interesting. Of course there’s physical proof that the work exists now, I’ve no idea what effect that will have, exciting times!
 
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Catch ‘Living Vivid’ at Dalston Superstore from Thursday 6th September till Early November!  

object blue

After their thunderous debut in April, this Friday sees Ni-Ku and J.Aria  return for an extravaganza of boundary pushing experimental club-music at the second instalment of MegaLast! Providing the heat in our lazerhole is none other than the queen of trance-like rhythms, ricocheting percussions and delirious energy, object blue!

The Tokyo-born, Beijing-raised, London-based producer and sound artist has gained widespread recognition and praise for her distinctive take on club music. She was featured as one of Fact Magazine‘s ’10 House + Techno artists to watch in 2018’, and named one of the key influencers in youth culture in the infamous Dazed100 List, alongside the likes of Yaeji and SOPHIE. Fresh from a high profile set at Berlin’s Atonal Festival (one of Europe’s epicentres of electronic music), she is one of the hottest figures in London’s bass and techno sphere right now.

We caught up with object blue to chat about her experience as a queer woman in the music industry, who is inspiring her at the moment and what we can expect from Friday!

Oh hello object blue! We are so excited to have you at MegaLast this Friday! What can we expect from your premier set at DSS?
 
Lots of harshness and intensity, but still will be making sure you dance all night. I really can’t wait!
 
You dedicated your EP Do you Plan to End a Siege to ‘all the women on the dancefloor’ and you have been ON POINT in calling out the misogynist bullsh*t of the music industry. What has your experience in the music industry been like as a queer woman?
 
It’s frustrating a lot of the time! Since I was a teen, male musicians have mistook my enthusiasm for music as an invite for flirting. I’ve had male musicians approach me and say “I love your music, let’s work together,” then disappearing once they learn I have a girlfriend. I still get hit on on the dancefloor after I finish a set and get offstage. Heteronormativity is real! I just want to be taken seriously as a musician, no matter whether I’m f*ckable or not.
 
 
There are some amazing femme collectives like Pxssy Palace, SIREN & Rhythm Sister paving the way for and creating safe club spaces for women and femmes on their own terms. How do you think it is best to support these collectives?
 
Go dance and bring a crowd! And if you’re bringing straight people — tell them to behave or we’ll punish them according to clause 433 of the Gay Agenda!
 
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It’s been well documented about the loss of LGBTQ+ spaces in London, but this change has been more abrupt for queer women. How has this effected what clubs you go to?
Yeah, there seems to be nowhere for lesbians to go. It has been impossible to find a lesbian club to hang out in — once I went to a lesbian bar that’s defunct now, but it was empty with bad music. All the years I’ve been in London, I’ve given up on lesbian-only spaces and chosen good music instead, even if that means I have to be harassed by straight men all night. It’s been traumatic, I’ve gotten badly groped several times. Nowadays I go to Superstore a lot with my girlfriend, and it’s great that there are lots of women-focused events. I really want to go to Opulence, the queer techno party, but I haven’t had the chance!
 

What LGBTQ+ musicians are inspiring you at the moment?

If you had unlimited budget and could book anyone, what would your perfect queer clubnight look like?
 
All of the above + Octo Octa, Yaeji, HAAi, Roza Terenzi, D. Tiffany. and I want all the DJs to play at least three hours each so it won’t be a club night, it’ll be a full weekend. I’ll personally prepare food and serve it. Espresso machines for those of us who don’t do uppers. Several rooms including some darkrooms (though my friends have set up darkrooms at their parties before and it became a Deep Chat Zone!). 


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Catch object blue at MegaLast this Friday 31st August from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
 

Bottom Heavy

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.

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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: Labels: Lionoil, Let’s Go Swimming, Lobster Theramin, E-Beamz/Hothaus/UTTU, Not An Animal, Ransom Note, Sound Signature, Stillove4music, Dolly, The Corner, Work Them, Mistress. Producers: Telfort, Powder, Mr Tophat & Art Alfie, Jay Duncan, Midland, Jonny Rock, LB Dub Corp, Stephen Brown, Garrett David, Steffi, rRoxymore, Pariah, and everything Luke Solomon touches. Loads more that I’ve forgotten!

 

 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 Revival on 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 by Philou 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 Principle that 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.

Russia Wes

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 music nearly finished 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!