Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

CHRISTY LOVE I'm Going Under video ft JAVIER NINJA



This tune is ok, but it's all about the video for me anyway - JAVIER NINJA giving you his amazing hands:

Monday, 29 July 2013

CVNT Mix for Bottom Forty



I've just done a new podcast mix for the wonderful US website Bottom Forty.

It's a bit more housey/four-four than my usual ballroom/Jersey fare, but it still has an edge of high camp for voguing your ass off to. there's also a few exclusives in there, like the collab between Terry Farley and Horse Meat Disco's Severino, and an as-yet unreleased Hard Ton gem. Also big up to Paul Knight for the Malcolm McLaren/Willi Ninja track that kicks everything off:




MALCOLM McLAREN & BOOTZILLA ORCHESTRA "Opulence/You Own Everything" MATRIXXMAN & MYKKI BLANCO "God Created The Beat"
TRONCO TRAXX "Runway As A House"
FARLEY & SEVE ft Paul Alexander & Franklin Fuertes "Diva Snap (DJ Sneak Mix)"
UP YOURS "London (Ralphi Rosario Dub)
JOSH CAFFE & HOLLAGRAM "Play With The Maid"
YNFYNYT SCROLL "Brand New Pussy"
ARMAND VAN HELDEN "Work Me 96"
UNKNOWN "Callas"
DJ HAUS & MATRIXXMAN "Feel It"
CVNT "Wicked Beauty"
HARD TON "Off The Wall"

Check out my wee interview for Bottom Forty here

BOK BOK [Night Slugs/Rinse FM] interview

When I was researching my "Welcome To The Ballroom" aricle last year, when it was still a freelance piece getting shopped around, one of the first people I reached out to was the UK DJ, and head of the ace label Night Slugs, BOK BOK, aka Alex Sushon. Because of Alex's initial comments about cultural misappropriation, I decided to redraft the whole piece, and to do it as a very straight-faced look at ballroom culture, giving this unique scene the serious recognition it deserves. 

So, even though I didn't end up using his comments in the end, they were hugely influential on the finished article. 

I caught up with Bok Bok last week to ask him some more questions about his label, their recent US tour, and the expansion of the ballroom sound:





How was the recent Night Slugs tour of the States?

Great, thank you. The Night Slugs and Fade To Mind crews played a lot including a lot of back-to-back lineups mixing up the two crews. The synergy was felt by all.

Ballroom seems like a big part of the NS sound now, how did the US crowds react to that?

The sound makes the most sense over in the US, so yeah people tended to react pretty well. Certain tracks from the ballroom scene just tend to work really well in clubs in general, so people usually react pretty well to them, and theres a lot of influence from ballroom in our stuff too, so it all crosses over. And MikeQ was with us DJing on this tour, so bounaries have become more blurred. 
 
Did you see ballroom culture being approariated by more mainstream clubs while you were there?

I wasn't playing in massive clubs, so I'm not sure really. People dance and have fun at the nights I play, I have seen people voguing at the nights before in New York, for example, but whether that's appropriated or perpetuated culture is unclear and not that important when they're in a club dancing.

What is the attraction to the ballroom sound for you?

For me the sound really nails everything I love in club music - it's minimalist and devastating, it's an extremity of house so of course I'm gonna love it. 
 
Beyond ballroom, what is floating your boat right now? 

I've been locked away in my internet-less vault of a studio so I'm not sure what's going on in the outside world lately. Not to seem self-aborbed, but one thing that's doing it for me is our sub-label Club Constructions. There was a set of guidelines that was set out when we started it, and now the sound has really come into its own. It's amazing to watch the series develop. There's a definitely a Jersey Club and ballroom influence running through the series lately, especially with the forthcoming Jam City one. 
 
Who are your current favourite producers? 

Current top producers off the top of my head: Deamonds, Helix, Jam City, Neana, Rushmore, Divoli S'Vere, Beek, Tom Trago, Hysterics. Fiedel is killin it. 

What's up next for Bok Bok, and also for Night Sugs? 
 
Stuff coming on Night Slugs; a new Egyptrixx LP, a new Jam City release (an EP called "Jazz"), a new Girl Unit release, and loads more Club Constructions stuff etc etc 
 
Stuff coming from Bok Bok: a new EP on Night Slugs. hopefully before the end of the year is out!
A series of 12"s culminating in 'Night Voyage Tool Kit 2' with Tom Trago, and a subsequent compilation of stuff on Night Voyage. And watch out for my productions on the forthcoming Kelela mixtape on Fade To Mind also : )

BONUS

Here's some of the initial Bok Bok interview mentioned above that went on to shape the direction of the finished "Welcome To The Ballroom" piece": 
 What is "ballroom"? How do you define it?

To me, ballroom is a style of music influenced heavily by House and Club (Bmore, Jersey, Philly), made primarily to be a soundtrack to  voguing events. There are also House tracks that aren't ballroom per se but are a staple of these events. People like Robbie Tronco were doing the a prototype of that sound years ago, but in my eyes its Vjuan Allure who pioneered the current hard, stripped back sound that replies on sampling "The Ha Dance".
  
It's not enough to simply sample "The Ha Dance" though. There are a ton of tracks that do that that aren't anything to do with ballroom. The truth is, a ballroom track will simply have the right feel, whether it can be performed to or not is in its vibe and how its put together.  It's a little bit intangible, I'm also not fully qualified to make the call being a DJ not a dancer! But a lot of the stuff being made currently that's influended by the ballroom scene I can confidently say wouldn't work in that context. 
 
How did you discover this scene/music? 

I discovered the scene through Kingdom years and years ago, when he showed me Mike Q's music, and I remember thinking it sounded a bit like the harder more stripped down UK funky that was happening at the time, and also like Club, and also even occasionally like grime! It was tracky, stripped down, raw. I was addicted straight away. 

What are your top 3 ballroom tracks?

My top 3? It's really really difficult because the tracks are really great in their multiplicity. 
Current off the top of my head top 3:
Vjuan Allure - Silo Pass remix
Mike Q & Kevin JZ Prodigy - I Feel Like
Mike Q & DJ Sliink - The Bitch

Sunday, 28 July 2013

LADY BUNNY Take Me Up High

Loving this feeling! Awesome old school diva house/garage vibes from the legendary drag goddess Lady Bunny - if you dug the Hard Ton tune below, you will love this:


Lady Bunny is a class act - she uses her position as a well known drag performer to speak out against all kinds of social injustice, and with a large dollop of righteous anger. She doesn't take any bullshit! If you don't follow her on Facebook or Twitter, then DO IT. NOW!

HELL NO to racist drag at Manchester Pride


Here are screen grabs from the latest video by Manchester drag/pop-parody act Queens Of Pop, whose previous hits include “Kerry’s On The Coke Again".
Their latest video is a parody of Will.I.Am’s “Bang Bang" performed as black & white minstrels, to the tune of the Charleston. Both perfromers appear in black face with enlarged jazz-hands, and the lyrics include jokes about black men having big willies, black men infecting others with AIDS and gay black men being rapists:








Queens of Pop will be performing on the main stage at this year’s gay Pride festival in Manchester.
Fuck that.

If, like me, you don’t want this disgusting racist nonsense given the stamp of approval by Manchester’s most popular (publicly funded) gay event, or performed live to a crowd of thousands as a representation of the best of Manchester’s gay culturer, email Manchester Pride directly here: http://www.manchesterpride.com/contact/

Or you can sign this petition: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/manchester-pride-act-out-say-no-to-racism-at-manchester-pride-3

Saturday, 27 July 2013

HARD TON interviewed by me for Dangerous Minds


Meet Hard Ton, the disco love-child of Divine, Sylvester & Leigh Bower: originally published on Dangerous Minds



Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from disco-licious Italy, let me introduce you to the wonderful Hard Ton!

This Italian house music performer comes across like the bastard offspring of Divine and Sylvester (and with more than a little Leigh Bowery to satisfy your outlandish-costume-and-make-up needs.) Hard Ton makes a righteous, soulful noise that harks back to the original pioneers of sleazy, seedy Chicago house like Mr Fingers and Robert Owens. In a sea of anonymous dance-music acts that seem happy to bask in the hazy glow of their battered MacBooks, Hard Ton stands out not just for making authentically retro-sounding house, but for making a huge visual statement that reminds us that house was once the realm of the weirdos and the outcasts.

Hard Ton is actually a duo composed of Mauro Wawashi, a formidable producer and DJ in his own right, and vocalist/front person Max, here taking a break from his day job in various metal tribute acts to channel his inner disco diva, including wrapping himself up in the kind of glad rags that would make a hooker blush. Being quite the big guy, this in itself is a bit of a statement, and a beautiful act of plus-size body positivity. Not surprisingly, Hard Ton are fast gaining a hardcore following among the gay bear community.

To my shame, I have known Hard Ton for quite a while now (we even shared a label, Dissident, a few years back) but have failed to feature them on Dangerous Minds before. Let’s remedy that right away! With a new EP to promote and a current tour of the States for Pride season, I sent the formidable Max some questions to wrap his tongue, and brain, around.

Who and what is Hard Ton?

A multi-sensorial experience: you can dance to me, you can watch me, you can touch me. Sometimes you can also bite me.

What inspires you musically?

Acid house, disco music, pop. But I suppose I got inspired from everything I ear, it could be a techno track in an underground club, a metal song in a concert, or the shit played on the radio. Outside of music I find inspiration in pop culture, club culture, photography, fashion and art. Well, some fashion and some art. And definitely all the queens who stood up against the police at Stonewall back in 1969! 

What can someone expect form a Hard Ton show?

A ton of meat screaming like a real diva. 
What is the strangest reaction you have had live?

A guy kissed me in front of his girlfriend while I was singing, and I’m not talking about that kind of kiss that your mama would give you…

What is in the near future for Hard Ton?

Our new E.P. has just been released [via Killekill Records - check it out here], and we are very proud of it. We’ve also just finished a remix for S’Express, and produced some tracks for Paul Parker. And of course we are working on new tracks. As for an album… is there really anyone who still buys CDs? Well, I do! 


Hard Ton “Work That Body”



You can find Hard Ton on Facebook, and keep up with the latest news via Hard Ton’s Twitter.

Friday, 26 July 2013

MIKE Q interviewed for Dubpost/Wireless

Excellent video, with Mike Q Laying out the history of ballroom for people who don't know it:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

HYPEHEADS Luxury EP [remixes by VJUAN ALLURE, YNFYNYT SCROLL]

More dancefloor fire from Austin's #FEELINGS crew, including some cracking remixes by CVNTY faves, delivering some utempo, hard-hitting ballroom-rave:

Monday, 22 July 2013

DJ HAUS Cold As Ice [free download]

Love this - great mix of Bmore, breaks and house, very much in a CVNT style:

GREG WILSON "How House Music really hit the UK"

Great article by Greg Wilson about the white-washing of House music’s roots in the UK, and how that relates to the “no-shuffling" discrimination of certain modern dancefloors. Personally, I think there’s a lot of str8-washing in the “accepted history" Greg is railing against too, but race is the very deserving focus of this excellent piece:
During recent times I’ve been intrigued to hear about the growing schism on the House scene here in the UK, brought about by the introduction, primarily by young black dancers, of ‘foot shuffling’ (aka ‘cutting shapes’), an increasingly popular style of dancing that has been met with much hostility in certain quarters, and, somewhat bizarrely, resulted in shufflers being banned from some clubs for dancing in this way. The accusation is that not only do they take up too much dancefloor space, but there’s a general ‘moodiness’ with regards to their attitude. Although it no longer seems to be online, there was even an ‘Anti Foot Shuffling Campaign’ page on Facebook, with some of the posts suggesting underlying issues of racism. As one person commented, “It's not that all these people on here hate shufflers, they just don't like fact that black people are into House music now.” Although this comment may be well intentioned, it’s also somewhat misguided given there are, and always have been, plenty of black people in the UK who are big into House – it’s just that their presence is usually to be found away from the mainstream, in more specialist avenues like the Deep and Soulful House scenes. Furthermore, some of the older black crowd are also resistant to this new wave of shuffling, so to present it as a purely black / white issue would be wrong.

That said, what’s clear from this whole kerfuffle is that there are a significant amount of mainly white enthusiasts on the scene today who seem to segregate House as somehow belonging to them, whilst suggesting the black crowd should stick to ‘their own music’, the likes of Grime, Hip Hop, R&B and other more ‘urban’ genres. This is all despite the fact that House, as anyone with even a basic awareness of its origins would tell you, was born within Chicago’s black clubbing community back in the mid-80’s.

The 25th anniversary of the Acid House ‘Second Summer Of Love’ is upon us (the original ‘Summer Of Love’, of course, being way back in psychedelic ’67, emanating from the Hippie movement of San Francisco). It’s remarkable that House music has been the main staple of British dancefloors for a colossal quarter of a century, the original ‘ravers’ now middle-aged. Yet despite its importance to this country’s popular culture, its true roots have never been fully acknowledged. In fact, if you told many of those on the House scene today that it was mainly black kids in the UK who first embraced the music, they’d no doubt look at you incredulously, for everybody knows that Ibiza ’87 was year zero, as this is how the story has, and continues to be told – the true origins in the relatively grim cities of the North and Midlands buried deep beneath the sun-drenched romance of the White Isle.

What’s even more remarkable is that the original style of dancing to House music in this country, before the hands in the air approach of the Rave era, was uncannily similar to shuffling, as illustrated by this now historic video, recorded at the Moss Side Community Centre in Manchester on September 27th 1986:




Read the full article here on Greg's blog.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

SHANGAN ELECTRO

Saw these guys live on Friday night and I fuckin loved it! So much energy and good vibes, and I love the production (and I have to admit, Mr Nozinja is HELLA cute). If you get a chance to check them out ever, don't miss it.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

RIOT AT THE BALL


Mike Q posted this video today:



...which reminded me of this video from the start of the year, of the same incident. I have been meaning to post it on here, but never got round to it until now. I wonder where (and why) this happened? 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

MIKE Q & ROMANTHONY "Get Sum"

Via Fact mag

Exciting news: audio of a collaboration between ballroom producer MikeQ and iconic house singer Romanthony, who died earlier this year, has emerged. 

Romanthony is best known as the voice of Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’, but the New Jersey artist’s career goes far beyond that: he released several albums in the 1990s, and released solo records for Roule and more. In his later years he collaborated with Teengirl Fantasy, on their album Tracer, and had been working with Boyz Noize and MikeQ before his death in May.

You can now hear audio of MikeQ and Romanthony’s ‘Get Sum’ – it’s the first track on L-Vis 1990′s mix for The Fader, which also features new material from Bok Bok, Kelela and more. You can stream the mix below, and check out L-Vis’s FACT mix from earlier this year here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

PARIS HAS BURNED (New York Times, 1993)

After the death of Angie Xtravaganza in 1993, Jesse Green wrote this piece for the New York Times about the impact of “Paris Is Burning" on the people whose lives it chronicled. Thanks to Matthew Hill for the link. 
 
 House of Xtravaganza
 
LOOKING like endangered birds, the drag queens tottered on their heels as they entered — “a bit early in the day for we girls," said one. It was noon on a recent Saturday at the Sound Factory Bar on West 21st Street, and they were attending a memorial for Angie Xtravaganza. One of her children, Hector Xtravaganza, kept breaking down in tears. “It’s not just her, it’s all of them," he said. “My entire gay childhood is disintegrating before my eyes." Indeed, as some of the 100 mourners rose to reminisce, it was as if their whole world, the world of drag queens and voguing and ecstatic, elaborate balls, had died along with Angie.

Though she was only 27, Angie had been a mother more than a dozen times. Not in the usual way; she was biologically male. “But a mother is one who raises a child, not one who borns it," Hector pointed out. And as mother of the House of Xtravaganza, Angie had taken many rejected, wayward, even homeless children under her wing; she had fed them, observed their birthdays, taught them all about “walking the balls." Competing in categories like High-Fashion Eveningwear and Alexis vs. Krystle, Angie was legendary, a Queen among queens, achieving in fantasy what the world had denied her in reality.

Drag balls, the product of a poor, gay and mostly nonwhite culture, had been held in Harlem since the 1920’s. But it wasn’t until Jennie Livingston’s award-winning documentary, “Paris Is Burning," was released in 1991 that anyone outside that world knew much about them. By then it was almost too late. For Angie Xtravaganza, such fame as she achieved in the two years following the film’s release could not be savored: the AIDS-related liver disease that eventually killed her was already destroying her hard-won femininity. “She had spots all over, like a Dalmatian," Hector said. “And she had to stop taking the hormones that made her look soft, because they’re what really ate her up." In later pictures, you can see the masculine lines of her face re-emerging despite the high collars and makeup.
But it wasn’t just Angie. Before filming was even completed in 1989, her “main daughter," Venus, a frail transsexual who in the movie dreamed of marriage and a home “in the Peekskills," was found strangled under a bed in a hotel. Since then, Kim Pendavis, filmed sewing his costumes, has died of a heart attack though he was only in his 20’s. Of nine featured players, five are gone or going.

Paris is no longer burning. It has burned. And not only because of the casualties. No one needs to go to a ball to see drag anymore: Dame Edna Everage has television specials, Ru Paul mugs on the covers of magazines, fashion shows feature drag acts on the runway. No one needs to go to a ball to see voguing either, not since Madonna gobbled it up, appropriating two Xtravaganzas in the process. Once mainstream America began to copy a subculture that was copying it, the subculture itself was no longer of interest to a wider audience, and whatever new opportunites existed for the principals dried up. After one show last year at the jazz club Sweetwaters, Octavia St. Laurent, for instance, returned to dancing behind glass at the Show Palace. And the balls, which had moved downtown in their moment of fame, have mostly moved back to Harlem.

The film’s critical and financial success should therefore not be taken for the success of its subjects. “The truth is, though I didn’t get rich, I am now a film maker," said Ms. Livingston, 31. “And that’s something I wasn’t before. It doesn’t mean it’s easy to get money. But I am educated and I am white so I have the ability to write those grants and push my little body through whatever door I need to get it through."

And drag queens can’t. “If they wanted to make a film about themselves, they would not be able," said Ms. Livingston, who grew up in Los Angeles and is a graduate of Yale University. “I wish that weren’t so, but that’s the way society is structured." In fact, other than Willi Ninja, the movie’s star dancer, who has stitched together a career including choreography, fashion and music, the characters Ms. Livingston presented remain, at best, where they were when filmed.

Angie Xtravaganza’s memorial made that all too plain. A shrine had been set up in the back of the room: flowers, photographs and, on a pedestal, a pair of Angie’s favorite earrings. Behind them stood a huge funeral wreath, a giant X of blood-red carnations that seemed to stand for more than Xtravanganza. Almost unnoticed was a simple basket of white and purple lilies. “To all who loved Angie," the florist’s card read. It was from Ms. Livingston and her co-producer, Barry Swimar, who were in England to raise money for new projects, including a satirical drama about the way movies depict violence against women.

Perhaps it was just as well they couldn’t attend. There is a lot of anger in the ball world about “Paris Is Burning." Some of it concerns what a few critics have called exploitation: making the lives of poor black and Latino people into a commodity for white consumption. “The complaint is somewhat unfounded," Ms. Livingston said, “as it was largely a gay audience, which included blacks and Latinos, that made the movie successful."



"Anyway," Ms. Livingston continued, “I don’t believe you have to be one thing to make a film about it. I’m white, yes, but I’m an openly queer, female director, and I can’t think of anything more out of the mainstream. I’m sorry, but I do not think I have the same relationship to the ruling class as a straight man."

But most of the anger centers on money. “I love the movie, I watch it more than often, and I don’t agree that it exploits us," said Pepper LaBeija, 44, whose braggadocio and fierce but fey style made him a standout in “Paris Is Burning." “But I feel betrayed. When Jennie first came, we were at a ball, in our fantasy, and she threw papers at us. We didn’t read them, because we wanted the attention. We loved being filmed. Later, when she did the interviews, she gave us a couple hundred dollars. But she told us that when the film came out we would be all right. There would be more coming.
"And that made me think I would have enough money for a car and a nice apartment and for my kids’ education. Because a number of years ago, to please my mother, I took a little break from being a 24-hour drag queen, and so I have a daughter, 15, and a son ready for college. But then the film came out and — nothing. They all got rich, and we got nothing."

Miramax, which released the film, said that “Paris Is Burning" grossed slightly more than $4 million at theaters in the United States. This is not much compared to a Hollywood hit but is exceptional for a documentary that cost only $500,000, including $175,000 for music clearances, to make.
Ms. Livingston would not say how much money she made from the movie. “There was a rumor in the ball world — and this delights me — that I now have a house on Long Island next to Calvin and Kelly Klein," she said. “But the truth is I live about the same as I did, except that I used to be chronically about three months late in paying the rent, and now I’m more or less on time."

STILL, all but two of the movie’s surviving principals — Willi Ninja and Dorian Corey — hired lawyers to try to cash in on the film’s success. The largest claim came from Paris DuPree, who sought $40 million for unauthorized and fraudulent use of her services. Though she is never named on camera and appears for less than three of the movie’s 76 minutes, her 1986 ball, called Paris Is Burning, provided the title for the film and is extensively featured in it. But like all of the others, she had signed a release, and her lawyer dropped the matter.

"There’s no obligation, in a documentary, to pay your subjects," Ms. Livingston said. “The journalistic ethic says you should not pay them. On the other hand, these people are giving us their lives! How do you put a price on that?"

Somehow, she did. Ms. Livingston said that even before the threats of lawsuits, she had decided to pay about $55,000 to 13 performers, based on how long each appeared on screen. And in 1991, after the claims against her had been dropped, the money was distributed.

"I think Jennie has complied with the spirit and with the literal representations she made along the way," said Peggy Brady, a lawyer who represented Ms. Livingston’s production company. “Besides, in our society, we try to encourage the free exchange of information."



Pepper LaBeija was not appeased: “The $5,000 I got was hush money. We didn’t have no choice but to take it. And $1,500 went to my lawyer for doing nothing." He paused, and the musical, swaggering tone familiar from the film returned to his voice. “But at least it brought me international fame. I do love that. Walking down the street, people stop me all the time. Which was one of my dreams doing the drags in the first place.

"What hurts is that I’m famous but not rich. A California magazine said I had sued Miramax and won untold millions and was seen shopping with Diana Ross on Rodeo Drive in a Rolls. But I really just live in the Bronx with my mom. And I am so desperate to get out of here! It’s hard to be the mother of a house while you’re living with your own mother. Why couldn’t they give us $10,000 apiece?"
Ms. Livingston defended the size of the payments. “If they’d been actors in a dramatic film the size of ‘Paris Is Burning,’ they would have made a whole lot less," she said. Of course, if ‘Paris Is Burning’ had been a drama, Ms. Livingston might have earned a whole lot more. As it is, she said she had seen nothing beyond her guarantee. “If we get more money, in all likelihood we’ll distribute more money." Mr. Swimar said. But nothing is likely to smooth Pepper LaBeija’s feathers. If the best documentarian never fully captures her subjects, it’s also true that best subjects never fully accept being captured.

"Oh yes, to this day a lot of the girls hate Miss Jennie, but that’s just greed," said Dorian Corey, by all accounts the star of the movie. She is sitting in a makeshift dressing room at Sally’s II, a drag bar just west of Times Square on 43d Street, applying stage makeup over her street makeup — there’s not much difference — in preparation for her Thursday night show. “Junior LaBeija pitched a bitch in The Amsterdam News, saying he wanted $50,000 because he was the star of the movie. But the Bette Davis money just wasn’t there. I’ll tell you who is making out is those clever Miramaxes. But I didn’t do it for money anyway: I did it for fun. Always have."

She dabbed white greasepaint on her eyelids. “You see I was in show business for years, so when my 15 minutes finally came, it was gravy. And what I got from the publicity tour you couldn’t buy. They paid the hotels and limos. I didn’t even buy cigs; I just signed. I got to be a star! In Boston, the black children were coming up to me with tears in their eyes! It did whet my appetite, and I hoped that crazy little Jennie would have done a sequel, because once you do something big, you want to do it again. But what I got was plenty, and the rest is just bitter onions."

The room in which Dorian would emcee her “Drag Doll Review" was dim and dingy, encrusted with the detritus of many louche incarnations: amorous murals, go-go lights, mirror balls, boudoir lamps. Drag queens of every size and style huddled around the bar, trying to stir up business from average-looking men in dull business attire. From “Paris Is Burning" it might not be evident that this is part of the drag world, too; yet more than one of the movie’s leads can often be found here, looking for customers.

"Welcome to Sally’s II," said Dorian drily. “The original, just down the block, burned down." She narrowed her eyes. “And when this one burns, we’ll move on up the way."

At 55 — “Put me down as 27 and say it’s a two-for-one sale, honey," — Dorian comes from a different age of drag than most of the others in “Paris Is Burning." “These children, it’s a new world now. Most of them make their money turning tricks. It’s that or starve! I myself" — she pulled off her red shift and shimmied into a sequined floor-length magenta dress with rhinestone spaghetti straps — “am lucky to have avoided all that. I’m an old farm girl, from Buffalo, and when you’ve had that healthy beginning, you don’t go the same way."

Dorian slipped into a pair of gold pumps, then poured jewelry from a bag onto the Formica counter. “And today it’s so risky, with the almighty shadow opening the door." She arched one enormous eyebrow in deference to AIDS. “Even I have to the worry. I’ve had such a torrid past. So now I’m a VCR queen, if you know what I’m saying. You don’t have to give a VCR breakfast."

She examined some delicate fake pearl earrings, then rejected them in favor of a pair with four-inch dangling rhinestone strands, which kept falling off. “I’m not trying to look real," she said, getting out the glue. And, true enough, with her platinum wig and elaborate eyes, she looked like a cross between Tina Turner and Barbara Cartland, albeit with stubble in the cleavage of her silicone-enhanced breasts.



"I love all that madness," Dorian said. “Ru Paul, Lypsinka, Liz Smith. But I tell the children to think very serious, and if it’s at all possible avoid the drag life," Dorian said. “It’s a heartache life. If you do pursue it, make sure you get your education, some kind of skill. I always supported myself with my sewing. But the oldest profession is still the easiest, though there’s nothing so pitiful as a 50-year-old prostitute. It’s a one-way street with a very bad end."

But her advice seemed to go as unheeded as her show at Sally’s. Opening with “It’s Today" from “Mame," she had to signal the sound man to turn up the volume in hopes of commandeering attention. Occasionally, when one the patrons did take notice, he would approach Dorian in midsong and stuff some dollar bills down the front of her dress. Dorian didn’t even blink.

She got a better response at Angie’s memorial. It had been a painful afternoon, but when Dorian walked toward the shrine in her fur hat, sunglasses, rain jacket and purse, she was greeted with a huge round of applause. She was, after all, another legendary mother. “It’s O.K., children," she drawled, “because Angie’s got something now that we’ve lost: a little beauty, a little peace. And it’s gonna be hotter and better up there."

Drag is variously explained as destruction of the male within or the female without. For Dorian and for many of Angie’s other mourners, drag is not a means of destruction but of rescue — a little beauty, however perverse and rococo. This is the achievement that Ms. Livingston indelibly recorded: the victory of imagination over poverty. But the victory is Pyrrhic at best. The movie’s title may come from the name of Paris DuPree’s ball, by which she meant only that the competition would be hot, but the phrase itself has a darker history. “Paris brennt?" ("Is Paris burning?") Hitler asked , wondering whether the city had fallen. And though Paris, France survived, the Paris of Ms. Livingston’s movie — and all it depicted — may not.

The mirror ball kept spinning at the Sound Factory Bar. It wasn’t until after 3 o’clock that everyone who wanted to speak had spoken. The crowd went quiet. A man asked everyone to hold hands in a circle. “Remember," he said. “We are all legends."

HOW TO VOGUE

This video is fucking funny - this guys is not the best voguer, and his take on voguing is very limited (3 elements?!) BUT his description of those elements cracks me up, and “gay yoyos" is kinda strangely accurate.


PS this ISN'T serious.

LATEX BALL 2013



2013 LATEX BALL CATEGORIES

Performance
Realness with a Twist-The Stonewall Riots $200
The Stonewall Riots was a historic movement in a community wanting to be accepted and treated equally as their fellow New Yorkers. On June 28, 1969, gay and trans New Yorkers fought back against the NYPD in a single moment that would change an entire nation. Tonight for your tens come as a police officer with a sign protesting against a fellow competitor who you feel should not be walking Realness with a Twist. For your battles come back dressed as one of the protestors of the Stonewall Riots (Gay and Proud).

Old Way .vs. New Way-Pop Art Censored
Though Pop Art was said to have started in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until the arrival of artists like Keith Haring and the Prince of Pop Art himself Andy Warhol where their work became truly controversial. Tonight, Old Way use Andy Warhol’s work as an inspiration and New Way use Keith Haring as inspiration for your effects.

BQID .vs. FQ Performance- Identity Thief of a Female Rapper $200
Rap and controversy in the mid-1990s belonged to one individual alone Lil’ Kim. With her scandalous outfits, raunchy lyrics, and constant appearance on magazine and tabloid covers, Lil’ Kim was definitely the Queen of Female Rap. However, in 2010, the world started to become familiar with a new Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj. Nicki like Kim has the avant-garde outfits and appearances some say mimics Lil’ Kim’s to the T. It became so tense that the two even began to record dis-tracks. Tonight FQs bring it as Lil’ Kim and BQID as Nicki Minaj, let’s see who really sits on the throne.

Women’s Performance- The Ice Queen $100
In 1994, the USA had women’s figure skating on lock with stars such as Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. The three held gold, silver, and bronze medals in the prior Winter Olympic Games and planned on doing the same in the 1994 Winter Olympics. However, while training Nancy Kerrigan was brutally attacked by an individual who was connected to rival and teammate, Tonya Harding. Tonight bring it in a look inspired by a Women’s Female Figure Ice Skater.

Face
BQ Face: The White Glove $100
The Iconic Michael Jackson is known as one of the most influential person in music as well as one of the most controversial due to the many of false allegations that he was charged with over the years. Tonight, we want to end the allegations by having BQ Face children create their carta without paint. Tonight come in any look you would like. However you will be asked to wear a white glove just to wipe your mug---if accused.

FQ Face: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
Marilyn Monroe is said to have been one of the most controversial women that has ever lived. She is known for her sexy and seductive aura and for her many diamonds she received as gifts from her male friends. Tonight inspired by Marilyn come glamorously done, but don’t forget your diamonds.

Women’s Face: Missed Miss America
In 1984, Vanessa Lynn Williams was crowned Miss America. Vanessa was plagued with hate mails and threats from her being the first African American Major Beauty Pageant holder in the USA. Yet her most startling threat came later that year when Penthouse Magazine released a statement that they were going to publish nude photos that she has posed for. Eventually, Vanessa resigned her title due to funders who threatened to pull out of the Miss America franchise. Tonight as the beauty queen come with a crown and sash.

BQID Face: Studio 54
From the lights to the music, to the crowd, and the scandals, Studio 54 night-club is known as the one of the best Disco clubs of America. Tonight we want you to take the look of Studio 54 night-club goers and to turn it into beauty by infusing the story of Disco into your makeup and outfit.

Realness
Butch vs. Trans-Man Realness: Sammy the Bull $100
When it comes to the Mafia, controversy seems to always follow. However, one thing that is not tolerated in the Mafia is a RAT a/k/a informer. On November 11, 1991, John Gotti and the Gambino crime family learned that their underboss known as Sammy “the Bull” Gravano had become a FBI informer. Tonight, we would like Butches dressed like a Mafia Lord and Trans-Man like a FBI Agent.

FQ Realness: The Blue Dress in the Oval Office
Who can forget the controversy surrounding President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski? Tonight bring it in a blue dress but make sure there is no stain to get you clocked.

Drags Realness: Amy Fisher
Young, gullible and in love is what drove Amy Fisher to commit a heinous crime against Mary Jo Buttafuoco. Tonight, the love of your life is simply realness and you’re taking shots at anyone who dares. Dressed as a high school teen girl, bring a picture of your rival who you wish to shoot down with realness.

Big Girl Realness (BQID vs. FQ): Bloomberg’s Plan vs. The First Lady’s Proposal $100
Mayor Bloomberg has put a stop to the purchase of any soda beverages more the 24 oz. at local businesses mainly fast food restaurants to stop the increasing obesity rate in NYC. But on the other hand Michelle Obama decided to come out with work-out routines for her efforts to stop obesity. Tonight you are not going for it or any ban of that matter. Come in honor of your favorite fast food restaurant with props and all, and tell the judges why there shouldn’t be a band on anything…well your favorite food especially. Or come dressed in work-out gear to show that you are into keeping healthy.

BQ Team Realness: Gay’s in the Military: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell! $300
Tonight we are looking for 3 different types of BQ Realness, from 3 different houses, representing 3 different branches of the USA military. In honor of the former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy each member must be unclockable, for if not, your team will be discharged from the battle zone.

Runway
Female Figure Runway: The Runway Rivalry $100
In mainstream fashion there is said to be only room for one black female top model. For years we have seen Naomi Campbell wear the crown of the Queen of Runway. Yet, some will disagree and claim that the Queen of Runway is Tyra Banks and not Ms. Naomi. The disagreement even begun to surface between the two models with shade and reads. Tonight we would like to end our own battle of what gender really runs Female Figure Runway. Women vs. BQID vs. FQ
The look is totally up to you; however, the walk must be ovah.

All American Runway: The Traditional American Look vs. The Avant-Garde Look
When it comes to the different traditional American designers and the looks they want their male models to reflect, there is not much difference between the design houses. However, in the new era of things American designers have become more avant-grade and flamboyant with their styles and models. Tonight, you decide what side of the fence you stand on. Bring it in a traditional American look or an Avant-Garde Euro-American look.

Fashion
OTA Labels: IRS and The Stars
We have all heard the controversial stories about celebrities and their mismanagement of taxes. Tonight the star is not Lauryn Hill or Wesley Snipes, it’s you, and instead of tax receipts we want to see labels….really, the labels.

Best Dressed: The Fashion Police
Will your look be the next to experience Joan Rivers disapproval? Or will Kelly Osbourne go crazy over your style?

Bizarre: The Call Me Now Gimmick! $100
Ms. Cleo fooled us all once we found out that her zodiac psychic readings were not only wrong but untrue. Tonight using the zodiac as your muse, show us that your prediction of winning bizarre at the Latex ball is not a gimmick when you captivate the judges and destroy your competitors.

Sex Siren and Body
BQ Sex Siren: The Calvin Klein AD $200
In the 90s designer Calvin Klein and his sexy male underwear commercials were TV censor organizations’ main target. Tonight we would like for you to revisit the original commercials and bring us that classic Calvin Klein look.

FQ Sex Siren: The Playboy Mansion
Hugh Heffner’s home is known for many scandals, controversy, and if not anything else the sexy playgirls that flood his mansion. Tonight bring it as a sexy Playboy Pin-up.

BQ Body: Mr. Olympia
There has been controversy surrounding the Mr. Olympia Contest since the start of the organization. The majority of the controversy stems from the contestants and the use of steroids, which are not permitted to be used. Tonight, bring us nothing but body in the colors of red, white, and blue.

Women’s Body: Anna Nicole Smith
We all fell in love with Anna’s blonde-girl antics and her silly characters. But her millionaire husband fell in love with her luscious body. Can you make the judges fall in love with your body?

Mini Grand Prizes
BQ Vogue Femme & BQ Runway: The Military Draft (The Top 20 invitees)
The idea of a military draft is an ancient one, used around the world. In America, a form of a draft was first used at the start of World War One and most controversial during The Vietnam War. Under increasing pressure, Congress discontinued the draft in 1973, and the new, all-volunteer army began.

Tonight we will bring back the draft lottery to Ballroom by hand-selecting the Top 20 individuals of BQ Vogue Femme and BQ European Runway. Only these chosen individuals are allowed to compete for the BQ vogue femme and BQ Runway category. The effect is totally up to you. The catch is that there will only be one winner and the battles will be chosen through the luck of drawing names out of a hat.
BQ Vogue Femme Invitees: $500 plus $20 pot
Alex Mugler, Baby Hurricane Khan, Bambi Revlon, Bamzy Garcon, Boom Revlon, Bootz 007, Chaos Mizrahi, Chi-Chi Mizrahi, Dae-Dae 007, Divo Icon, Elzon Ebony, Justin Khan, Lil’James Khan, Lil’ Ronnie Aga, Lil’ Vick Prodigy, Lollipop 007, Magic Khan, Moo-Moo Ebony, Niama Mugler, Omari Mizrahi, Pumps Mizrahi, Salina Prodigy, Smiley 007, Tails Mizrahi, Tiny Aga

BQ Runway Invitees $500 plus $20 pot
Aliquon Pocotti, Boi-Boi Khan, Corey Chanel, Demetri Mugler, Dvon Garcon, Durrell Milan, Egypt Garcon, Giovanni Khan, Iman Aga, Iman Milan, Justice Aga, Kenyatta Xistence, Kwon Ebony , Lil John Khan , Meme Khan, Mini Me Milan, Oreo Mugler, Peppa Khan, Rodney Lavin, T.K. Chanel, Tez 007, Toxic Mizrahi, Tracey Prodigy, Trez Prodigy, Twiggy Garcon

Legendary Categories: The Controversial Win (Legendary FACE, RUNWAY, REALNESS & PERFORMANCE) $150 each
If you ask any legend of any category about a time when they should have won grand prize but didn’t due to shade, drama, or controversy, we guarantee you there will be a hundred stories. Tonight you are the legend and you are telling us the story of when you lost a ball that clearly you should have won. Recreate the look, bring the attitude and hopefully this time the ending of this story will be different--without all the controversy.

The Rise of a Generation: As a House Production (KiKi House .vs. Major House) $500
This year in the ballroom scene there has been controversy surrounding its future due to the popularity of the Kiki scene and the lack of participation of the new generation in the major scene. Many KiKi participants say that the major scene is shady and unfair, and they would rather just walk in the KiKi functions. On the other hand, many major scene participants feel like the KiKi is a waste of time and doesn’t really prepare its youth for the real scene. Tonight as a house, showcase to the audience scene your talents by presenting a production that includes 1 Runway, 1 Face, 1 Realness, 1 Fashion and 1 Performance. The production must include a message tackling the issues of the Ballroom community (for example; HIV/AIDS, violence, homelessness) and how your house will help in its resolution.


Latex Ball Facebook page

BRENMAR & DJ FADE "Outta Sight"

HEAVY HEAVY BUSINESS

STARR REVLON Stairs performance 10s



This is how you become legendary - use EVERYTHING put in front of you to make your statement! Starr Revlon didn’t just walk down those steps to get to the runway, she worked them into her performance. AMAZING!

KAYCEE RICE 10 year old gets her 10s

WOW! This lil gurl is SO GOOD:

SUGUR SHANE [Qween Beat/Got Rush Ent] interview

Part three in an ongoing series on upcoming children.

THIS BITCH RIGHT HERE! One of the first people ever to reach out to Cunt Traxxx in the early days, it seemed obvious to ask Shane when I needed a vocal for my debut EP. A real all-rounder, I sent his busy ass some questions to catch up, and to introduce him to the CVNTY readers...

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Who is Sugur Shane?
 
Sugur Shane is an artist, but to break it down, a rapper, house vocalist, and DJ. In any case, not to be confused with a commentator or ballroom artist. Just wanted to clear that up, the mixtape has made some new Sugur Shane fans and they sometimes think I’m just ballroom.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound is dark, grimey and aggressive. Very in your face! You can always catch some shady lyrics in my art.

Who or what is your biggest musical inspiration?
I have a few. 90’s music is a big one, Lil Kim, Gillette, and Biggie. I actually wrote my first rap to Biggie’s Warning. Gillette & 20 Fingers brought the nasty side of it and also enabled me to mesh the genre’s together. As far as house music, Peter Rauhofer & Junior Vasquez were the sole contributors to that influence.

What's your favourite part of making music - djing, performance, production, etc?
I love all aspects of making music. The photoshoots are fun, Production fun  but draining, DJing can be cute, but the ultimate high is performing! I love performing, its better than any drug.

How did you get into the whole house/ballroom scene?
I was first introduced to the ballroom scene by my gay mother Princess Magnifique Royalty. I met her randomly actually when I was at Spirit Nightclub in New York. We clicked instantly and she has been my family ever since. Even with being introduced into the scene and having a gay mother; I still never really became too invested into the ballroom scene. I always checked it out here and there but kept my distance.

You're very prolific - tell us what releases you have just now…
Well of course we have my debut mixtape My Night with Peter & Junior! Which is not going away; Everyone keeps asking me about another mixtape. The mixtape still has a lot of ground work, so we are still pushing it. Aside from that I have some exclusives that dropped: Sexy Heels, Club Kid Cunt, Imma Read 2013 Remix with Queer Hiphop Artist DT. I also have my monthly Sugcast which is a tribal circuit house podcast on Soundcloud.

How did the collab with Schwarz happen and are you happy with it?
He hit me up a few days after I followed him on soundcloud. I live for his production so when he hit me up I was immediately down. Our collab Club Kid Cunt is one of my favorite tracks. That trance kick with the ha did it for me. I wrote that track within a hour, that’s when you know I’m truly feeling it.

You play a lot in your native Philly - how is the ballroom scene outside of New York at the moment? Is it different from NY? 
I can’t speak on the ballroom scene too much, because I’m not that involved. In my opinion the whole scene is starting to be watered down and taken over by vogue fem. I don’t feel like it’s a respected craft like it once was either; It’s not like it use to be. The only difference between the scenes is that it is a lot more dangerous here. Our monthly balls are in the hood, so you always come prepared. I’m not totally talking out of my ass either, because the true legends of vogue would agree.

What has been the biggest influence on you besides music?
Life experience. As I stated Biggie was one of my influences and he was a great storyteller. There’s always something that I may be going through at the time that comes out in my music. Like I said recently I stay Taylor swiftin guys in my songs as well lol. Lately it’s been the hipsters ha.

What's coming up in the near future for Sugur Shane?
I have many projects in the works right now. A new house music single coming out later this year. An EP in the works, of course more music videos. Last but not least I’m working on performing overseas and all over the U.S.

Sugur Shane on Soundcloud.
Sugur Shane's website Sugur Rush.

SUGUR SHANE Qween Beat Attack video:
 


And here it is, the Cunt Traxxx/Sugur Shane collab called “Drop", available as a free download, so GRRRRAB IT. NOW! Rest of the “Death Drops" EP is available to buy on Juno.  

JOEY LABEIJA [CuntMafia/NYC] interview

Part two of an ongoing series about upcoming children. One of the very first people to reach out to CVNT (or Cunt Traxx as it was just called back then), with some very kind words about the music, was Joey LaBeija. It was only right that I returned the love by interviewing Joey first for an ongoing series covering upcoming legends. She really is from the House Of Labeija, bitch, and she’s as talented with a set of CDJs as she is with a weave or a dip dye. 
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How is the ballroom/vogue scene in New York right now for you?

The ballroom scene here is really cute. Much respect to everyone involved with Vogue Knights, they really give the children a place to call home. But personally, that isn’t my scene. I joined the House of LaBeija to dj in the name and bring ballroom culture to the underground/warehouse scene that I am involved in. These parties have a VERY mixed crowd and I am usually the only dj that plays vogue beats. Usually, after the first 8 bars of my opening song, a circle opens up, the cunts come out of the woodwork & start dipping. I get such a high from watching them go off.

How did you get into DJing in the first place?

My whole life, I have always sought out some creative outlet. In high school I used to charge kids $50 to distress their jeans. Then I started charging my girlfriends to glue their weaves in. That turned into me going to beauty school and I’ve been doing hair ever since. Once hair became a job for me, I felt uninspired and stagnant so I started making tee shirts with my best friend. That turned into a bit of a success for us, and a consultant friend suggested we grew our brand by throwing parties or learning to dj . A lightbulb went off in my head when he said that because music has always been a huge part of my life and making shirts was getting a bit too expensive. So I bought some equipment and taught myself to dj in my bedroom.

What’s the best place you’ve ever DJed at?

The BEST party I have ever played is a monthly warehouse party in Brooklyn thrown my good friend and sagittarius sister Contessa. Nightlife in New York is so segregated; parties are either gay or straight, house or hip hop. The CuntMafia Warehouse is the only party where all the children harmoniously coexist— blacks, whites, gays, straights, hood rats and hipsters. I really discovered my ‘sound’ through this party, experimenting with music and making sure I play a set that EVERYONE can twerk to. I love Contessa so much for giving us all a place to come together, get wild, and make history.

And the worst?

Now I’m not lying when I say I have never played a bad party here in New York. BUT I will say I have worked for some really TERRIBLE promoters here :)

How did you get inducted into the House of LaBeija?

One day I was talking to my friend (now sister) Jamil about wanting to join a house. We had known each other for a while from the club scene here and started to grow close when I found out he lived just a few blocks away from me. A few weeks after our convo, he and my other sister Celso told me they talked with the Royal Members of the House of LaBeija and that I was going to be inducted the following week. My induction was done on stage in front of a club full of people after the house did a performance. It was the most magical moment in my life.

What are your all time top 3 tracks?

Big Momma Thang by Lil Kim
Back That Azz Up by Juvenile
Knuck If You Buck by Crime Mob
#HoodratProblems

And what’s your current top 3?

The acapella version of Body Party by Ciara is currently on repeat 24/7 for me right now.
No Tea by Pipes
Bubloy by Rizzla & False Witness

What is your favourite hairdo you’ve ever had?

My favorite is my current hair. It’s always some sort of rainbow. I owe my best bud Jenna, I give her free reign to do whatever on my hair and she ALWAYS turns me out. It’s the only thing that makes me feel cunt every day.

And what is the worst?

I used to have this platinum blonde pompadour when I was 18. I also was really into wearing these bright red Sally Jesse Rafael-esque eyeglasses at the time. That whole look was a mess. I wish I could take it all back but I can’t….so instead, I deleted every picture off Facebook.

What’s coming up in the near future for Joey La’Beija?

Right now I am also working with Contessa on making the CuntMafia Warehouse into an even bigger production than what it already has been. Bigger warehouses, new talent, sponsors THE WHOLE NINE YARDS DARLINGGGG. We want to take all the resident dj’s and bring this party around the world. I’m also in the works of planning a European tour in September right now. First stop is most definitely going to be London! See you then?

DEFINITELY!

Joey’s Tumblr is here, and his Soundcloud is here.


YNFYNYT SCROLL [#FEELINGS/Track Meet] interview

Absolutely one of my favourite new house/whatever producers, I originally posted this interview on Dangerous Minds last year, but thought it was worthy of a re-post. This is part one of an ongoing series covering upcoming children. 


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They say House music is a feeling, and I am inclined to agree.

For too long House music has been defined by a rigid beat pattern that, almost 30 years after its birth, has barely changed. In fact, it has changed so little as to make this hallowed genre seem stale and insignificant, the opposite of how it appeared the first time round, when (ironically) it wasn’t the beat that defined it so much as the attitude.

I remember hearing House music for the first time as a child of about 9 or 10 and asking my siblings to buy me a compilation of this strange, funky music. They got me a two-cassette release, called something like Hits of House, and unexpectedly opened my ears to a whole new freakish world of camp men from Chicago stuttering over a hard and dark music unlike anything I had ever heard. Sure, I had been obsessed with S’Express already, tuning into late-night radio on my headphones hoping to hear “Theme From S’Express” and “Hey Music Lover,” while also hoping not to get busted by my parents in the next room. But Hits Of House was like nothing I had ever heard. It’s hard to explain to younger generations just how fresh House was when it first appeared, just as it is hard for the listener to recapture the thrill and joy of hearing it for the first time.

But that’s where Ynfynyt Scroll comes in.

YS is a young, Austin-based producer who takes the best elements of house music from the 80s and 90s and squeezes them through the post-crunk filter to create something eniuinely fresh. You know, as opposed to what most of the magazines and websites sell House fans as being “forward-thinking”. Ynfynyt Scroll makes music that actually sounds like it comes from 2012, not 2002 or even 1992.
So blown away was I on first hearing Ynfynt Scroll that I immediately asked Rodrigo (his real name) to do a remix for me, which he thankfully agreed to. I am very happy to report that his remix of “Work It” doesn’t disappoint, coming on a bit like Junior Vasquez draged to a deep south R&B club, but even that pales in comparisson to his own releases, such as the Let Me See It EP on the #Feelings label. I also emailed him a few questions, that he gratefully replied to:

THE NIALLIST: Who are you and where are you from?

YNFYNYT SCROLL: My Christian name is Rodrigo Díaz. I was born in Lima, Peru, but I’ve lived in Dallas nearly all my life. My assumed name is Ynfynyt Scroll, which since 2010 have I used for production, DJing, visual art and as an excuse to be a cunty brat with heavy Islamic fundamentalist undertones.

Describe the YS sound to me.

It’s all about scroll scroll scrolling. Just keep scrolling on to the next thing until your brain goes “ugh, ya,” whether it’s listening or producing. I have almost no intentions when setting out to make a track, I just gravitate toward certain sounds that lend themselves to certain genres, but I don’t think in terms of genre.

Who and what are your biggest production influences?

I am very influenced by bedroom rap producers of the American south, mutli-layered trance pad chord hits, men who love dancing without making physical contact with anyone else, Afro-Peruvian rhythms, breakz and very early house.

I hear the club scene in Texas is hot - is this true?

Well Austin does a pretty good job of bringing talent through. Groups like Elevater Action, Broken Teeth and Peligrosa consistently throw good parties, my Freshmore buds in Houston do a good job too, and in Dallas there’s Track Meet, of which I am a part. We’ve thrown some pretty neat, all-out, immersive parties with movie-quality glowing slime and exotic set designs and neat/fun stuff like that, but haven’t had the frequency of guest that the folks in other cities have had up to now.

What can we expect from a YS DJ set?

You can expect me to be all over the place, to ignore genre and sometimes tempo, to play a lot of really abrasive and tinny, trebley Ha tracks, and to play as much amateur music as possible. You can also be sure you’ll hear your fair share of American southern rap, something that has been a part of every DJ set I’ve ever played.

If you could have written any song in the history of music, which one would it be?

Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.”

YNFYNYT SCROLL SOUNDCLOUD

This is the debut Ynfynyt Scroll release ofr #FEELINGS in Austin:
 

ALECTRONIK "School Of Twerk" Mix






As part of our Bummer Camp series at the Islington Mill, DJ Alectronik has put together a special mix called "School Of Twerk" for when you are bouncing in our Sisy Bounce Castle:




Blaque Won (MikeQ & Divoli S'vere Ha Crash Remix) By Braqueberry
Took the Night (HotRod X Sliink Remix) By Chelley

 And yes, you read that right - we have a bouncy castle:


DESTINY'S CHILD "Nuclear" CVNT Cmore Edit

It's the name of this blog...


B AMES interview

One of my favourite producers out right now, I interviewed B Ames for the Boing Boing feature, but only got to use a couple of quotes, so here if the full interview. If you don't know hir awesome r&b/haus/vogue productions and remixes, get your ass and ears over to hir Soundcloud.

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Most people don't even know this world exists. How would you describe it to someone who has never seen or heard of "ballroom" culture?

I’ve been sitting here trying to think about how to describe it. But I don’t think you accurately can. It’s something you have to experience yourself. I wish I could.

How did you first discover and get involved in this scene?

Through one of my friends. I was doing music at the time and they asked me to make a vogue beat chanting their name. I didn’t know what that was so they directed me to youtube and showed me voguing clips and that’s where it all started really.

When did you get into production and who are your main inspirations as a producer? What set-up do you use to produce your tracks and remixes?
I got into it when I was about 13, 14. But even when I was younger I would try to record my own radio shows with my dual deck cassette tape player! I always had an ear for music, and writing and singing, but it was when I got my first computer was when I got into the production side for real. Teaching myself how to add sounds, layering tracks etc. Some of my main inspirations as a producer.. good question. I think one of my biggest and earliest influences is Freddie Jerkins and Darkchild. I grew up listening to “modern” gospel music like Kierra Sheard and Mary Mary and they usually worked with them. So I would study the music, every single sound. The 808s.. counting how many different hit hats where used etc. So they have to be one of my biggest inspirations.  Then I started branching out and getting into the work of Prince, Masters at Work. There are so many more but it would be too long. I started off using Magix Music Maker when I was younger and still do, but then later on I grew started using Ableton which I have yet to full master.

How would you say your production style differs from other ballroom producers?
Well, I didn’t start off doing vogue house music. Which is one thing. I didn’t even think I’d get into it. I started off doing music which I could say is technically pop, but not really, and recording my own original songs. I would try to mimic other sounds to learn and teach myself and create my own. It branches from a lot of different sounds. I incorporate a lot of that into my vogue house tracks. I like to sample or add sounds that I think a mainstream audience will appreciate as well, while staying true to the ballroom / underground sound.

You do a lot of bespoke remixes for performers and dancers - what's the most common thing you get asked to do for a performance track?
The most common thing is always a voguing break or to make it with a vogue feel house feel.  That’s the number one thing I get asked.

Could you explain to our readers some of the terms used in ballroom?
  • Cunt” is used  when you are just “feeling it” feeling your best.  Or if something looks or sounds great/amazing. Which is virtually the same as “Ovah
  • Drop” is when the producers name is placed in a song. Or some signature sound that shows that that beat maker or artist made the track or are featured in it.
  • A “ha” is another form a vogue beat. There are a couple definitions for it, but one of the most common forms of it is when you transform a mainstream song, a youtube clip, maybe a commercial, tv show, vocals, and add it (sample it) or turn it into a vogue beat/track
  • Runway” is a category in the ballroom scene showing off your best runway walking ability. There are separate tracks usually used for this.
  • A “Read” is when you basically call someone or something out. Or talk about someone or something. “Coming” for someone. It’s kind of hard to explain without being from or in scene. The film “Paris is Burning” explains it all!

Outside of music, what's a big influence on you personally?
RuPaul.  The music, the look, the art and even in the business aspect. He has been one of the most influential people in my life other than my family and friends. Just from him being who she is and being the first to do what he does on such a level.


Voguing has been appropriated by the mainstream once before (most notably by Madonna) - do you see this happening again? 
Yes! I do! It already has been. Especially through the music. Half of the mainstream pop artists that are out now seem to have things used from the scene, to the dances to the looks and other elements. It’s just a matter of time until it really hits again, in a bigger way. You can see the signs in pop culture of it emerging again. It’s always been there, people are just catching on to the new form of it.

There have been a few artists lately using some of the language and imagery of ballroom culture in a more mainstream context.  What are your thoughts on that?
At first, I felt as though it wasn’t right. Because a lot of times it’s taken and flipped and used in the way that it isn’t supposed to be meant. I think a lot of people in the scene may feel like that. But then I thought about it, if people take the time to use the terms and use them, it obviously means that the scene has had a bigger impact than people may see. I think thinking like that limits the scene from spreading (when people have an issue with the mainstream using ballroom terms). I do understand though. People want things to stay to themselves, have something to hold on to, referring to the scene. So it’s understandable why people would have a problem with it. But hey, if they want to use it, use it. I look at it is a tribute.
 
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