Posts Tagged ‘megalast’

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!). 


Object Blue Dazed 100 

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

SofterTouch

Can you believe its been a whole year since SofterTouch made their cosmic crash-landing at the mothership? This Thursday sees an intergalactic celebration of the rowdy, abrasive, noise intensive experiencé that has become a cult-hit! With three successful club nights AfterTouch, SofterTouch and MEGALAST as well as playing at festivals such as Secret Garden Party, LeeFest and Glastonbury, J.Aria (Jacob Aria) and Ni-ku (Nik Rawlings) are renowned across East London for their eclectic and bratty DJ stylings. We caught up with Jacob and Nik to chat about how their friendship blossomed, why we’ve heard Barry Manilow play at SofterTouch, and what we can expect from Thursday!

Hiya Jacob and Nik! For our readers who aren’t that well acquainted with you two, can you tell us a bit about yourselves ? 

J: I’ve been working as a musician in some form or another since I was about 15. Loads of different bands and gigs, festivals and all that. My main focus is a vocalist and experimental producer. I started to find my feet as a DJ about eighteen months ago.

N: I come from a choral background, had a noise band when I was a teenager and ended up studying Sound Art in Brighton, and DJing and promoting went hand in hand with that. For a long time I was obsessed with voguing and that informed a lot of my earlier DJ sets, and I organised a series of voguing events in Nottingham. I’ve always been drawn to more textural, intense, manic music. I think some highlights for me so far have been playing for Boo Hoo at Südblock in Berlin, at Tropical Waste with a hero of mine, KABLAM, and at Intruder Alert in Warsaw. Travelling and making new connections is one of the best things about DJing.

jacob aria

You’ve been collaborating with one another for quite some time now. Let’s rewind… How did you two meet? 

 J: We met at a Lotic gig in Brighton and hit it off. We’re both quite unbearable so we compliment each other pretty well.

N: Jacob and I hit it off pretty much immediately (ie. we both ranted a lot). Our interests and taste clicked so when I moved up to London it was an obvious move to work together. We’re a good balance as a duo and Jacob’s happy to tell me to shut up which is important when you work with me.

Your first club night, Aftertouch, seemed to have a real underground and experimental vibe to it. Tell us a little bit about the premise behind it?.

 J: We wanted to bring together experimental queer performance art with experimental queer club DJing in a way that we hadn’t experienced before in London – it was usually one or the other.

N: We had spoken a lot about how at the time (2015/16) there was a lack of queer nights that focussed on the more experimental club music we were both into whilst also making a good space for performance art and radical drag. We wanted to present a night that was darker, more confrontational, disco-free, without being too overtly serious or prescriptive.

Aftertouch provided an amazing platform for queer artists. There seems to be an abundance of amazing LGBTQ+ performance talent but a lack of spaces for them. How can London become a better city for performers? 

J: There are loads of amazing things happening now. But it’s always a nightmare trying to get a venue to support you with your stuff. There’s usually always a catch, and doing something that isn’t super conventional is always a gamble. I think London would benefit from having more interesting and accessible spaces to party in. The licensing laws here are too tight, it stifles a lot of freedom when you’re regulated in that way. It needs to loosen up, and we need more funding to be put into creative outlets. It’s kind of a rich kids playground, and rich kids are boring c**ts.

N: There’s some fundamental issues being in London that need to improve that would positively impact all creative scenes and especially queer performers. Space tends to be in short supply, but so is time; without lower rent and better wages it’s impossible to take time to make work!  We all need more time and space than we often have in London if we want to be able to make ambitious, honest and original work. I’m sick of seeing new build flats sold on the credibility of the ‘creative quarter’ that they knocked down. Dedicated spaces are in short supply, so hats off to the LGBTQ+ Community Centre project. Projects like that are going to be wildly important in supporting performers.

nik 2

Why did you decide to move away from performance to a music-centred night with SofterTouch?

 J: I just wanted to bring something really different to the Dalston Superstore programming, and to have a regular night to work on my DJ skills I guess. It had always been that I was the one that sorted the performance aspect of afterTouch and I wanted to cross over into DJing. Plus Superstore have always been so supportive of us as both friends and mentors that we wanted to do something there, something ‘at home’.

N: We’d both worked at Superstore – and for me it was a formative club when I first started coming to queer clubs, so obviously we wanted to ‘come home’. But we were also really excited to disrupt what people might expect from Dalston Superstore, and bring something a bit more confrontational and manic. It’s been a really great learning experience for both of us; we play B2B all night, and play a really frenetic and sometimes jarring combination of tracks, so the music can be a real journey. It’s kind of like an argument on the decks, but somehow it works. Oh, and generally I’ll close out with a basic bitch trance or donk remix of something so there’s that.

In terms of your DJ styles, who or what have been your inspirations?

 J: My influences are all over the place. Sometimes I’m pretending I’m Black Madonna or Honey Dijon, other times it’s Aphex Twin or JLin. I dunno, I’m super messy. I get most of my inspiration from my DJ friends or by being on the other side of the desk on the dance floor and kinda peeking over to see how the DJ is working. I’m always trying to study whoever I see.

N: Big question. I think the whole of our particular scene looks to TOTAL FREEDOM as an originator. KABLAM, originally of Janus in Berlin is still my current favourites, we have a lot of choral influences in common too. Then also I always look back to the Bubblebyte party, maybe seven years ago in Peckham where AIDS-3D & TCF (then known as Craxxxmurf) played loads of insane bubbling and hardstyle – it still stands out years later, and I’ll weave in some tracks from that period throughout most sets. When I’m playing a solo mix I’ll plan a trajectory and think about the textural and emotional story I want to tell, and when I play SofterTouch with Jacob it’s much more about wild trax that’ll just about fit with whatever they’ve been playing and keep bodies moving without being too stuck to genre or tempo.

Its safe to say that you both are quite contrasting in what you play, but we’ve never experienced a dull moment when you’re both going b2b at SofterTouch! Why do you think you both work so well together?

J: It just keeps the night evolving, because the mood is constantly shifting. We have totally different tastes but there’s a middle ground, we are both trying to experiment in similar ways – just with different tracks. If I think Nik is being too bratty I’ll play Barry Manilow just to piss him off.

N: We kind of battle each other a bit and sometimes there’ll be 30 minutes of us playing tracks that mix smoothly and then you’ll have a whole load of material that shouldn’t work together but somehow does. There’s a huge range of genres we’ll play from…. and every now and again I’ll drop a lipsync track in and get on the bar. We play a lot of quite intense music but it’s all with a sense of humour.

More recently, you both brought your experimental flare to our Friday night line-up with MEGALAST! Whats in store for the next one?

 J: MegaLast is our new Friday night party. It’s kind of a natural progression from softerTouch. We are bringing in challenging and experimental DJs from across the country and the continent. I guess we are really trying to shake up the kind of programming you would expect on Kingsland Road on a Friday night. We are back on August 31st for round two, it’s gonna be even bigger and rowdier than our first. I’m super excited about who we are looking to get down to the lazerpit this time around.

N: MegaLast brings both SofterTouch and AfterTouch’s music policies together; there’s artists downstairs playing more abrasive, experimental and intense music downstairs in the basement and diverse party tracks upstairs. The next one will be headlined by Object Blue whose recent release on Tobago Tracks is one of the standout records of the year for us; they’re also a regular Superstore-goer and so we’re really excited to have her at DSS for the first time

Who would be your dream booking?

J: Flying Lotus or J Lin would be nuts.

N: TCF, Holly Herndon, Ase Manual, Lotic, W3C.

In five words, can you describe what we can expect Thursday?

J: Bratty, erratic, explorations, heaviness and audacity.

N: Cute bounce, much booty, kick.


Catch J.Aria and Ni-Ku at SofterTouch: One Year this Thursday 7th June 9pm-2:30am at Dalston Superstore!

 

LOFT

This Friday sees the first instalment of MEGALAST, our brand new extravaganza from J. Aria + Ni-Ku! Expect extreme bass, acidic explorations and alien club music. Headlining this experimental, abrasive, uncompromising and trip-inducing experience is LOFT (Astral Plane)!

Following their first release in 2016, the queer Mancunian producer has been quickly making waves. With their mixes encompassing rave birthed drum programming, experimental electronics and kylie edits, their style is renowned for its uniqueness.  Having featured in both Crack Magazine and Mixmag, as well as an EP with the label Wisdom Teeth and contributions to the Astral Plane compilation, LOFT is trailblazing the experimental music scene. More recently, LOFT was given the ultimate seal of approval: Björk selected their track Funemployed alongside the most innovative artists in the game, including Arca and Kelela, in her Mixmag cover mix

We caught up with the experimental producer to chat about their performative DJ sets, their experience of being visibly queer in the nightlife scene and what we can expect from Friday!

 


 

 

Oh hey LOFT, we are SO excited to have you at Dalston Superstore! If our readers aren’t acquainted, can you tell us a little bit about you?

Hello hi friends , I am Joeli and I do the LOFT thing. I’ve been doing it since I was about 14. I make stuff that has the privilege of Wisdom Teeth and Astral Plane Recordings’ love, support and distribution networks.

You’ve been making music since you were 14?! That is quite awhile! Do you have any highlights to your DJ career so far?

Playing in a pub in Lancaster for the drummer of my dad’s best friend’s new krautrock excursion ; playing at a club in Athens where people don’t show up until 2AM at the earliest ; playing in the home HQ safe haven that is The White Hotel on numerous occasions with only the best lineups.

 

loft101010

You must have been introduced to some talented DJs, do you take inspiration from anyone?

I’m big into feedback loops , I like listening to Ariana acapella tracks , I’m honoured to be surrounded by people as talented as Anastassia Radtsenko IceBoy Violet, Acre, Forrest Lloyd ,Hesska MICHAELBRAILEY, Szare ; Manchester is fertile atm.

You’re known for having a really unique mixing style, how did you develop this and what is your process in choosing tracks and creating new pieces?

When I was 17 I was a vinyl purist , I’ve done a lot of live “ controllerist “ live sets . I hope I can offer something more dynamic than either of the above these days . Honestly I’m just scrambling for the next tune that will make any ( or no ) sense against the preceding track . 

 

There seems to be almost a theatrical element about you at the decks. Did you intend to integrate performance into your sets?

I get drunk and write poems sometimes and occasionally I perform these to an audience . My main aspiration is to make people feel so included that tears roll from their little eyes . 

Queer Femme producers are at the forefront of the Manchester electronic music scene at the moment, with Castles in the Sky seeming to be paving the way. Have you found solidarity and support through other queers at the top of the game?

Yes absolutely, I would argue that queerness requires no explicity and as such most of the people that have chosen to work with me over the last couple years are at least “ queer sympathisers “ . Love and support is strongest feeling I get from everyone I work with. 

How have you experienced being visibly queer in the nightlife//club scene?

Y’no what ? it’s been alright , sure I experience some weird stereotyping and code switching ( I always find it funny when someone’s like “ Oh honneeeeyyyy “ and I’m ale drunk and respond in a fairly deep northern vernacular ) but within my surrounding club culture I feel pretty safe . The bad shit happens outside of that . 

 

loft22

 

From your experience playing around the UK and abroad, how do you think queer nightlife can be improved?

More queer spaces in cities outside London . Manchester has a huge gay scene but , as I’m sure we all know , queer =/= gay . BOYGIRL we building it .

So, what would your queer-utopia look like? 

Cop out answer : I couldn’t possibly comprehend . I’d make a comment about it requiring the pursuit of each individual’s ideals but that sounds a bit Randian now doesn’t it ?!

Finally, what can we expect from your premier DJ set at DSS?

Fun , tears , hugging each other , maybe a couple minutes white noise .Honestly I’m so honoured to have been invited.

 


Catch LOFT at MegaLast: LOFT, KRY, NI-KU, ELLES + J.ARIA this Friday at Dalston Superstore 9pm-3am!