Hostile Sounds discussion

This Thursday 2/2, I’ll be on a panel discussing the way in which sound can be used by activists as a source of power. Joining me on the panel will be Tina Haver Currin, Christopher DeLaurenti, and Rodrigo Dorfman.

In approaching this discussion, I’m thinking about the ways in which the police use high-pitched sonic weapons to create an atmosphere of fear among activists, particularly the LRAD and police sirens. I just released a track that samples the LRAD and police sirens but then flips them into tools for a club track that people can dance to. In doing this, I hope to temporarily disarm their sonic weapons and turn them into something that can unite activists on the dancefloor.

Some of my favorite artists sample & flip sonic weapons in their tracks – everyone from KRS-One to False Witness. They have inspired me to give it a try with this new track. Overtly political music is once again on an upswing, and I look forward to hearing about the ways people have been using music as a tool for activism.

Here’s my latest contribution:
https://soundcloud.com/dj-playplay/hostile-club

The event Thursday:
https://fsp.trinity.duke.edu/projects/fspppg-hostile-sounds

Recent parties

Here’s a few flyers of parties I’ve played recently. I was on tour in NYC, Philly, & Montreal last month, & now I’m back in Durham making music and throwing probably too many parties 🙂

Suzi Analogue threw a party & had me come play w/ TT the Artist, Nadus, & more (NYC)
Suzi Analogue threw a party & had me come play w/ TT the Artist, Nadus, & more (NYC)
DJ Chela & Dustyfingerz had me out for this one (NYC)
DJ Chela & Dustyfingerz had me out for this one (NYC)
Philly fundraiser (also me & Counterfeit are collabing on some 90s remixes right now)
Philly fundraiser (also me & Counterfeit are collabing on some 90s remixes right now)
I came back to Durham & was greeted by 300+ of nostalgic Durhamites
I came back to Durham & was greeted by 300+ of nostalgic Durhamites
Rang & Forge had me out at Arcana for their Super Secret Party <3
Rang & Forge had me out at Arcana for their Super Secret Party <3
THIRSTY was hella cute w/ DJ Bitchcraft as always
THIRSTY was hella cute w/ DJ Bitchcraft as always
Most recently, we had an all-vinyl Party Illegal & I got to break out my 90s drum & bass & acid house records
Most recently, we had an all-vinyl Party Illegal & I got to break out my 90s drum & bass & acid house records

Moogfest Shenanigans

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Busy weekend for PlayPlay & Party Illegal!! Moogfest appearances are as follows:

The Pinhook
Friday May 20th at 4pm
I am doing doing a b2b2b2b2b2b set with Treee City / Queen Plz / Bitchcraft / GRRL / KT Caustic.
http://sched.moogfest.com/speaker/party_illegal.1v3cn7l8
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Ninth Street Bakery(Outdoors)
Saturday May 21st 2pm-6pm
We are playing a FREE/ OPEN TO ALL PUBLIC outdoor party with Runaway and I’ll be playing w GALDYTRON!, Treee City, Queen Plz, DJ Shahzad, & Bitchcraft. I go on around 5pm.
Event page: Local Motive: A RUNAWAY Celebration
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Arcana
Saturday May 21st 10:30pm-2:30am
Party Illegal Presents: Aeon Flux is FREE/ OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and my alter ego SlaySlay will be going on at midnight w/ another alter ego by the name of Free Pizza

Update and March gigs
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Other than the 6-8 hours a week I put in as editor of Clarion Content, I am basically full-time DJ’ing and producing right now. Expect some new tracks and mixes from me in the near future, as soon as I stop being such a perfectionist 😉 Also, I have the travel bug after an incredibly dreamy trip to the west coast (shout out to Swagger Like Us in San Francisco for having me guest DJ and for all of the great producers I met up with in LA). I’ll probably head to NYC next, so if you run any parties out there, I’d love to come through and play! In the meantime, I should rest up because the latter half of this month is going to be wiiiild:

3/5 – Move Your Body (a 90’s house + techno party) @ Arcana
3/17 – Ladies of the 80’s @ Atomic Fern
3/18 – A rumored party @ Full Steam TBA (10pm-midnight)
3/18 – Late night set for Girl’s Rock fundraiser @ The Pinhook (1am)
3/19 – Early set @ the Durham Co Op (12pm-2pm)
3/19 – Party Illegal w/ JUBILEE @ The Pinhook (11pm set)
3/20 – Disco Deluxe w/ Luxe Posh @ Ruby Deluxe
3/24 – Disco night @ Atomic Fern
3/25 – DIDA Fundraiser @ The Vault (10pm-midnight)
3/25 – Late night Sweatcore set @ The Pinhook (1am)
4/2 – THIRSTY (new queer party!) @ The Pinhook
4/3 – WBIB Park Party (5pm slot)

February gigs

Here’s what I have going on so far in February. I’ll be in California for nearly half of the month and can’t wait to check out all of the parties in SF and LA. Lemme know if you have any suggestions! xo

2/12 – DJ Ripley, One Duran, PlayPlay @ The Nightlight

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2/13 – CoxxPlay Goth Drag Night @ The Pinhook

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2/15 – TBA, San Francisco

2/19 – Swagger Like Us ft. Big Dipper @ Oasis, SF

2/25 – TBA, LA

2/26 – Dreaming of the 90s @ The Pinhook

2/28 – Doctor Dakar, PlayPlay @ Arcana

 

It’s So Cold in the D

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But here’s some gigs I have lined up for December:

12/11 – The Pinhook’s 7th Anniversary Party
(DJ’ing from 12:30-2am)

12/12 – The Revival at Tooties

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12/17 – Ladies of the 80’s at Atomic Fern

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12/19 – Durham Durham New Wave Holiday Party at Atomic Fern
(DJing the earlier part)

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12/19  – Party Illegal at the Pinhook
(DJing from 11-12pm)

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12/26 – Runaway Holiday Party at Motorco

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12/31 – Cheap Date – A Queer NYE Party at the Pinhook

Stay tuned for more….

 

#FML 1.0 – From Durham to NYC, Baltimore to Jersey

I recently wrote about the new #FML party my friends Zach, Yair and I have started. Total rager! Original article can be found here on Clarion Content.

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Last year I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Zach Levine and Yair Rubinstein, two Duke grad students from New York who recently moved to Durham. It turns out that they both are amazing DJs and party planners so we joined forces and started planning #FML (named after a popular Twitter hashtag). The name is Zach and Yair’s creation and I think it is genius because the hashtag insinuates that this party has a cybernetic, posthumanist vibe to it – which is exactly what we are going for. Some associated hashtags: #fullspectrum #cyborg #futurism #shots #hype #cyber #666 #gay #cosmos #posthuman #candy #deephaus #nonbinaryeverything.

The venue we chose for our first party was The Vault on Broad St, under Joe Van Gogh. The Vault is a 3000 square feet private event space for the Palace International, a delicious restaurant serving authentic African cuisine. They have been gracious enough to open up the space for several public events centered on POC in the last few months, including an upcoming hip hop happy hour event put on by ZOOCRÜ, an Afro-Zouk night put on by Kizomba RDU & Embodied Dance, and the Perspectives on patriarchy discussion hosted by Art Underground. The event I attended in this space was Gemynii’sBODY POSITIVE art exhibit and I remember walking in and noting how gorgeous the space was, how great the performers sounded and how cute the placement of the bar was. Gemynii’s art is already incredible, but the space made the showing even more magical.

So, when Zach suggested we throw the first #FML party at the Vault, I was #allaboutit.

We brought in Abdu Ali, a phenomenal and forward-thinking touring artist who I am not even going to attempt to box into a summarization. Here’s the bio off of his website:

Rooted in the ghettos of Baltimore, Abdu Ali raps, sings, and chats over unorthodox sounds, creating music that’s green, provoking, and quenching. His work to conquer musical boundaries has put in him in genre categories along lines of afro-futurism to punk to hip hop to “post-apocalyptic” sounding. Ali, has also become known for his energetic visceral performances, spiritualizing audiences as a cosmic, punk, and soulful tempest on stage. Unapologetically black and queer, Abdu Ali is bold, raw, and most importantly life-affirming. 

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Joining Abdu Ali was a producer & DJ whose remixes I adore and play a lot in my sets:Kilbourne. Her sounds are very Jersey club; very hype.

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The night of #FML 1.0, Zach coordinated with the space, I rented some speakers, and we showed our two guests the fabulousness that is the NC State Fair. Turkey legs and apples galore! The sun set, and we were ready to rage. We made the space really dark, with the exception of some laser lighting and the bar lighting. Though the space is huge, the dark lighting made its size look less obvious (take note, Motorco).

Yair, aka Big Spider’s Back, started the night off wafting the warm synths of his original productions into the air, creating a polished ambiance that felt more New York than Durham. Since Big Spider’s Back was originally conceived in New York, this makes sense.

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Next up, Zach’s DJ alias D.L. Masc took over and created a patchwork of hot remixes featuring dark ambient noise, heavy reverb, thumping club beats and chopped yet still recognizable pop vocals, pushing the club even closer to a New York vibe. A regular attendee of the GHE20G0TH1K party series in NYC, D.L. Masc’s sets are influenced the most by DJs like Physical Therapy, Total Freedom, and Venus X.

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After Zach, I hopped on and played a typical high energy PlayPlay set, and included some remixes I recently added to my collection from GHSTGHSTGHST, Doctor Jeep, Cherushii, and more.

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When Abdu Ali took the floor (no stage in the Vault, which makes for a much more intimate show), he SERVED. The crowd formed around him, but gave him enough distance to thrash around and hit the floor as he crooned and chanted along sharp, raw, afro-futurist productions that would be impossible to place into a genre – I did hear Baltimore club beats on a few of the tracks, but everything else felt unfamiliar (which I loved).

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After Abdu was finished, Kilbourne threw down the highest of high-energy sets. She began with her original productions, which reflect her Jersey roots and aren’t the cleanest productions, but she prefers her mixes to sound “sloppy, distorted, and upset” anyway. Later, she began to play happy hardcore (!) and other 160+ BPM tracks. Zach, Matthias (below), and I had transformed into 5 year-olds and were jumping around on the dancefloor like little rabbits.

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I ended the night with Top 40 hip hop and trap music in an attempt to bring Durham vibes back into the space. People were still dancing into the wee hours, which is promising for a city where everything seems to sleep by midnight on weekdays. Durham will never be Berlin, or New York, or LA, where people dance every night of the week…but if we could at least have well-attended dance parties on a weekday I would be thrilled.

Stay tuned for #FML 2.0 in December! We’ll be bringing in more out-of-town guests, and Clarion Content will be the first to know.

PS. Shoutout to Laura Jaramillo who held down the door allll night.

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*Photography by Ryan Vu

Home of Jess Dilday – DJ, Producer, and Music Scholar