I’m hopeful that post-COVID-19 we’ll see a shift in direction in the dance music scene, specifically in London where big-name acts are favoured over local up and coming talent of which we have many, myself included (don’t believe me? Check my SoundCloud, I’m really good). DJing is weird a thing, in theory, anyone can do it, especially nowadays, all you need is a fairly decent laptop an entry-level midi controller and you’re in! But it’s really hard to get good at DJing if you don’t have the ability to play in front of a crowd. It’s similar to standup comedy in that way, you can be as funny as you want with your group of mates in a pub but unless you get consistent stage time you won’t develop your act.
In days gone by you would develop your sound as a resident DJ, which involved playing every weekend or so at a night club near you. It was an opportunity to immerse yourself in the scene and play for people who actually gave a shit about the music. Plus there was the added benefit of saving the club owners tons of cash in booking fees, ha. But in London resident DJs are few and far between, nowadays clubs favour booking top tier DJs in the hopes they’ll translate to tickets sales and drinks at the bar. Unfortunately in a place like London where ticket prices steep there’s no guarantee that booking an RA voted top DJ will guarantee a return on investment. It’s a guessing game of sorts. But once the dust settles with the coronavirus the clubbing landscape will have changed considerably, initially, clubs will not have means to fly over high calibre talent and they’ll instead have to look at utilising their local scene and hopefully it will usher in the return of DJ residencies in bars and clubs across London. One can only hope.
Tell us about an early DJ gig (or series of gigs) that helped make you the DJ you are now.
My first residency was at a club called Motor which was located in Hamtramck, an enclave within the city of Detroit. It was a Tuesday night weekly called Family thrown by Adriel Thornton that ran from 1997-2000 that really pulled a diverse section of people from the techno/party scene and the more musically open minded gay scene. Playing every week along with Derek Plaslaiko and opening for an incredible array of local and international talent really helped shape my musical aesthetic and helped it grow. I’ll never forget the time Derrick May scolded me for not turning down the headphone volume before he went on. To this day I try and make it a point to turn down the headphone volume when I trade off.
From him I’ve learned never to put a limit on my exploration and always to dare to search for and play the weirdest things that I like. At his first set in Romania I remember feeling like I wanted to split in two; half of me wanted to stay near the DJ booth to watch his perfect way of playing with the two tracks he’s mixing and his magic, his messy way of browsing through the records and covers of his record-bags; and my other half wished to get lost in the crowd and be irrevocably enchanted by the music, to ride and absorb every wave of energy. – Alexandra
Along with every other industry, Fashion has come to a grinding halt since the coronavirus went into overdrive so the news has been a bit slow. But over the last couple of days, the rumours have now been confirmed, Clare Waight Keller has left Givenchy. I haven’t paid that much attention to the house since Riccardo Tisci left but I’m curious to see what direction they decide to go in. In terms of replacements, I’d pick either Matthew M. Williams from 1017 ALYX 9SM, his label has gone from strength to strength and his codes would work really well at Givenchy. The other option would be Marine Serre, it’s a bit of a wildcard pick, but she’s French, young, environmentally, minded, so I could see it working, whether or not LVMH would take that risk is another thing, but it’ll be interesting to see how it develops over the next few months.
Maybe it’s just me, but mean comments on the internet don’t affect me. I’ve accepted over the years that the internet is the wild wild west and any attempt to try and corral or coerce people to act a certain way will only come back to bite you in the arse. Resident Advisor learned this the hard way when they decided to remove comments from their site a year ago due in part to the backlash they received when they published this agenda laden interview with Mama Snake. Don’t get me wrong, some of the comments aimed at her were downright rude and disrespectful but others were constructive and essentially called her out on her bullshit. But we live in sensitive times at the moment and instead of enforcing a code of conduct or appointing mods, RA buckled under the pressure and completed removed an essential part of their site and it’s never been the same.
Now the same scenario is playing out in public on HÖR, a newly launched Berlin-based online radio show. As per the screenshot above, over the weekend a few DJs of Asian descent were subjected to horrible abuse via live chat, which is completely out of order. The easiest way to deal with it would be to appoint mods in the chat and generally keeping an eye on things, but I don’t think disabling comments is the best option. I can only speak from myself but I get a lot from reading YouTube comments, whether it’s track IDs or background info regarding said DJ, I’ve gotten a lot of value from the comments. And I’m sure booker and promoters would agree to that too. Mean comments on the internet will always be there, what you have to do is cultivate a community of people who can somewhat police themselves and chase anyone out who doesn’t abide by the rules but don’t let the actions of a small minority affect everyone else, please!
Camea has nothing to do with the above post, but I really enjoyed this set so I just wanted to share it, ha!
For selfish reasons, I’ve pondered this question a lot over the last few weeks. My friend and I had a Berlin trip booked and ready to go, the plan was to head over during the May Day festivities, partake in all the “open-air” parties and ultimately spend the best part of a week getting absolutely mangled and dangled (shout out to D Double E). But alas *Cardi B voice* coronavirus had other plans. That being said my heart goes out to anyone who works in the entertainment industry specifically nightlife, what does the future hold for these folk? When will clubs reopen and when they do what state will they be in? Will punters be comfortable squeezing into derelict buildings at the drop of a hat? I don’t have the answers but I thought this New York Times debate was incredibly insightful, especially the quote below. Read it, now!
Now authenticity is colliding terribly with a lack of self-awareness in the face of crisis. The most flagrant version made the rounds on Tuesday due to a Twitter thread. A few weeks ago, Charnas took up a doctor friend’s offer for a coronavirus test; tests were especially hard to come by then, and still are. She broadcast it to her 1.3 million followers. This did not go over well in her comments section and on other internet forums. She insisted she paid for it, therefore she didn’t get special treatment, before capitulating in a later statement posted to Instagram. She wrote, “I acknowledge how lucky I am to have had that access,” and then she announced she had tested positive.
Her next mistake was documenting her family’s move to the Hamptons. Many others also left New York for less-dense places (which often also have fewer resources, medical or otherwise). Reporting caught up with them. The locals in the vacation towns around the city from the mountains to the sea were feeling mad and chatty. Governor Andrew Cuomo has strongly urged New Yorkers to shelter in place.
But Charnas didn’t stop there. She posted photos and stories of herself cuddling her children instead of keeping them at a distance. And then her nanny showed up in the background of one of her posts, another potential exposure. And then her husband joked that only “hot” people get the virus. By the end she was a poster child for what not to do in a pandemic: flaunt privilege, parade one’s apparently mild case when others are dying, fail to self-quarantine, and leave the American epicenter of the calamity to endanger more populations.
Her extensive apology, a longer one posted on Thursday, includes clarifying points that her husband and nanny both contracted the virus. She, the nanny, decided to shelter with them, instead of risk taking it elsewhere. Charnas clarified that her car had a full tank of gas and they got groceries delivered to the Hamptons house. She said sorry to those she offended and also cried, admitting that she too was scared, but the damage already seems to be done. One of her main partners, Nordstrom, issued a comment saying that their contract had ended in 2019 and they had no plans to re-up.
What does everyone think about the abundance of DJ live streams during the coronavirus lockdown? I have to be honest, I’m not a fan. There’s something weird about watching a DJ perform indoors whilst they try and pretend like everything is okay and they’re having the time of their lives. And we all know that isn’t true. I’m all for suspending belief for the sake of a good time but I’m not sure it works in this context. Although Dax J’s performance the other day was incredibly good! It could have something to do with him playing with vinyl the entire set, which probably works better because it’s more tactile and requires the DJs full attention as opposed to CDJs etc. Check it out if you haven’t already, especially the last 20 minutes or so, it’s amazingly good!
There was a time in my life when my sense of happiness was directly correlated with the number of trainers I had in my possession. Luckily I grew up and realized hooking up with girls and doing drugs is a lot more fun. But there’s still a part of me that’s drawn to the odd trainer here and there and there’s no better example than this lush New Balance 991. I’m a big fan of the overall shape, especially the toe box area, which look slightly thinner than the Steve Jobs approved 992 models. But what really stands out for me is the colourway, navy with hints of 3M grey and two-tone midsole. It’s the perfect shoe.
Good taste is hard to quantify but when you see you know. The same applies to bad taste although I’m not entirely sure people who have it are aware they do. But if they do they simply pretend they don’t and label naysayers as haters or in Drake’s case; poor.
Drake is undeniably one of if not the biggest stars in hip-hop, that much is true but when it comes to having taste he has more in common with someone like Rich the Kid than Tyler,theCreator. There’s no better example of this than Drake’s video ‘Toosie Slide’ a brand new TikTok inspired song that’s sweeping the nation. Viral dance challenges are a “thing” now with the kids so I guess this new single shouldn’t come as a surprise but what did surprise me was how gaudy Drake’s £81 million mansion looks like on the inside. The only thing I don’t hate is the trophy room. It looks like something you’d see in the National History museum but instead of displaying fossils of extinct dinosaurs each perspex box contains Grammys etc. The rest of the house makes the Shahs of Sunset look modest, from giant marble kitchen counters to dimly-lit-brothel-inspired indoor swimming pool it’s a truly horrendous display of wealth. And if you don’t believe me here’s some screenshots from the video as proof.