Thursday, April 14, 2016

Los Angeles to Vancouver to Detroit

I hit Los Angeles in late March with two things on deck: 1) play with the awesome Bianca Oblivion and 2) participate in a panel on Dj culture and research at Cal State Northridge. Mission accomplished, with pleasure, and extra fun in there!

Bianca Oblivion is a mover in a lot of musical innovation going on in Los Angeles right now, which to me is having a kind of resurgence in dance music, including dance music that involves a lot of women at the controls. And Bianca is involved in a lot of it - the Culosangeles parties, the Broad Bassed LA and the Club Aerobics crew (a label/radio show and general ferment of creativity also including Ducky and Suspect Bitch - check out this great interview with them) are really inspiring! So we played together at The Lash with some other bass luminaries and it was a blast :)

While in LA I also got to meet up with and guest on the Culture Remixed radio show and see the location in person - Espacio 1839 in Boyle Heights is a great little locus of activity and art and right-on politics and cute political clothes too :) I was especially excited to be able to bring in the awesome DJ Izla, a super talented artist and organizer, mostly on hiatus and rebuilding at the moment, but luckily for us all game for a little radio teaser! There was already a guest scheduled, the incredible and mind-bending Gothic Cholo, who as soon as I saw I thought "this cat must know my old breakcore compadre Baseck" --and of course he did. Bizzart (his other name) also spoke beautifully about the healing aspects of the music he does. Here's a taste:

My section of the set is here, and you can hear the whole show (starting with Julian our host, and then Gothic Cholo, and then me, then Izla) at the Culture Remixed Archives here:

On Monday I linked up with a crew of dj/producer/scholars at Cal State Northridge for Groove Is In The Heart: a symposium on research and djing.

In Vancouver, I was there for other reasons, but I managed to squeeze a radio set and catch up with my an old friend, Dj Kuma! He and Motomasa

motomasa on the left, kuma on the right
have been doing Art of Beatz radio for nigh on 12 years at this point, and we figured out it had been 9 years since I had played on it. They have had quite an impressive roster of folks, and it was a pleasure to support coop/community radio, a cause near and dear to my heart.

The archived set is here, in its bass-heavy glory:

Next I headed to Detroit to link with the awesome Mother Cyborg and also the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, who are doing super important work. I came in town just in time to play Temple of Cyborg alongside producer/singer/dj Mother Cyborg and the Detroit Godmother of house Stacey Hottwaxx Hale. Literally just in time, snow (!!) having delayed my flight I basically came in and headed straight to the club on 3 hours of sleep (although I did have a chance to eat some tasty food courtesy of my awesome host). Now this party is the jam, and having the three of us rocking out behind the decks, sometimes simultaneously, was definitely a treat. We had a beautiful crowd at Temple Bar and it all basically flowed in beauty and bounce.

The next day, I was able to participate in the first session of Mother Cyborg's Dj class, which was super super fun, and ended with me being tasked to demonstrate good blending and changing tempos from 80 - 150, which I had 15 minutes to do! I think I did ok :)

One of the other highlights of the Detroit trip (there were many tbh) was getting to meet up with the driving force behind the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a nonprofit run by a returned Detroit native who is trying to archive as much as possible Detroit's musical history.
here's me with a fragment of the archives, repping them on my t-shirt
 It's very much a labor of love and if you want to show the project some love, it will definitely be used to further the cause of supporting and promoting Detroit's incredible musical legacy.
After a week in Detroit seeings sights and meeting lovely people, it was time to return to NY, just in time to get rolling for this month's HEAVY.. which is a doozy! more on that in a few.