After her first DAF gig in April 2010, New York resident LAUREN FLAX became one of Dick And Fanny favourite artists to work with. She has graced our decks several times and it’s with an immense pleasure that we are welcoming her again for our grand finale, this Saturday 4 October. Come celebrate our 5th birthday, Lauren’s birthday, and the UK release of “Pleasure Principle feat. Kim Ann Foxman” at our last ever Dick And Fanny event…
Lauren has been busy in the last few years from producing her own singles as well as working on her project CREEP with co-conspirator Lauren Dillard. The pair released their debut album, Echoes, last year, which features 14 different singers such as Sia, Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, Tricky, Lou Rhodes of Lamb, Alejandra De La Deheza of School of Seven Bells, Dark Sister, Holly Miranda, Alpines, Planningtorock, Nina Sky and Romy xx. Lauren has also collaborated with a slew of international talent from Fischerspooner to Sia and has remixed bands including Le Tigre, MEN, Telephate and Heartsrevolution.
You grew up bathed in the awesome music scene of Detroit, didn’t you? Is that how you fell into this industry? What were you playing then?
I was definitely immersed in the rave / club scene at an early age in Detroit. House music was always there for me, but in the beginning I used to play Drum & Bass. After that I was really into electro like dopplereffekt, I-F, Adult., and so forth. House music took over though full time for the past 12 years or so.
Why did you decide to leave Detroit?
Well back then I just needed to function somewhere else. I decided to move to Chicago once I turned 21 to learn how to produce music with some friends of mine that had also moved there from Detroit. I could only handle a few years there though until I up and moved to New York City, which has been home ever since.
You are an internationally renowned DJ but most of us know you as a very talented producer as well. When did you start producing your own stuff?
Probably in 1999, but I don’t think I wrote anything worth while until many years later haha.
Did the release of “You’ve changed feat. Sia” mark a defining moment in your career and if so, how?
Well it was definitely my biggest release to date but I don’t think it would be where it is today if it weren’t for Sia. She’s just so wonderful and her voice is simply unmatched. I was very fortunate to work with her.
Another defining moment perhaps is the release of your album “Echoes” under CREEP INTL, which you produced with the other half of CREEP, Lauren Dillard. The album has the kind of ethereal beauty that transcends you into another world [get your copy here]. We absolutely love it. Your collaborations on it work so well. How did that come about? Did you write the tracks for these specific artists or did that come afterwards?
It was all a very organic process. It just started out with us writing music and asking friends to sing on them for fun. We didn’t really think people would pay much attention. When they did, we decided to just go for a full length. The music does come first and then we just sort of conjure which vocalist should sing on it.
What was the industry’s reaction to the release of your album?
I have no idea. I don’t think it’s healthy as an artist to pay too much attention to that kind of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I cave but it’s really best to just stay focused on your creativity.
We know how hard it can be for female artists to be respected and recognised. Was that why you decided to release “Echoes” under Creep Intl?
Honestly we only had a couple of labels we would trust to want to work with us and if they didn’t want to release it, then we would handle it ourselves and maintain complete creative control. That’s exactly what we did.
If you have any advice for the younger female musicians out there who admire your work, what would those be?
Don’t listen to anyone when they talk about male dominated blah blah. Just practice your craft, do the best you can, crave to learn more and share that knowledge. work together with others so you can grow even faster.
And of course, we can’t have this interview without mentioning your latest release, the wonderful “Pleasure Principle featuring our friend Kim Ann Foxman” [get your copy here]. We’re also beside ourselves that Dick And Fanny will be celebrating the UK release of the track. What’s the story behind that one?
It was just something fun I started a while back. I put it to the side for years until coming back to it. I ended up scrapping the entire first version and created what you hear now in about a day. I had asked Kim Ann to sing on it on the first go around years ago so I just used the vocals she had recorded before a popped them on my new version. It worked out so great, her voice is just perfect Janet.
And finally, do you have anything else up your sleeve that we can get our hands on in the near future?
More dance releases with more fun singers / rappers. You know how I just love those collaborations haha. Expect more from me on CREEP INTL very soon.
We cannot wait!!
So so looking forward to more coming from your talented self!
THE CARRY NATION are New York City’s Nita Aviance and Will Automagic. Will has produced and remixed records as part of Automagic and other monikers for many labels over the last 14 years and has produced and remixed for artists including including N’Dea Davenport, The Ones and The Ananda Project. He has played all over NYC and globally with residencies at Vandam, Ladyfag’s 11:11 and roving art-based warehouse party SPANK. Nita, having made a name for himself performing as a member of the House of Aviance in the 90s, landed behind the decks in the early 2000s with residencies at AREA10009, Mr Black and currently at the award-winning WESTGAY. In his relatively short production history, he has already logged remixes for Beyonce, the Scissor Sisters, Le1f, Automagic, & Adam Joseph.
The Carry Nation will be played at Dick And Fanny on Saturday 12 July at Dance Tunnel (London, UK) alongside DR. SLEEP and MICHELLE MANETTI. We caught up with them before they grace our decks. Have a read below…
You’ve just come back from Glastonbury. How was it for you?
Glasto was great fun this year. Bloc 9 is beyond compare and the family vibe there allows everyone to bring their A game. We heard some of the best sets this year in that field.
How did you two meet?
We were always fans of one another before we became friends. It wasn’t until we started getting booked at the same gigs that we realized a closer working relationship was undeniable.
When did you first start working together as The Carry Nation?
The Carry Nation was officially formed 3 years ago with the help of a vocal outtake from our good friend Viva, thus bringing This Bitch to life.
What’s the story behind The Carry Nation name? You don’t seem like the type of girls who bring out the hatchet when someone’s having a drink 😉
That is exactly the point. We have been known to carry on.
You have quite a few tracks and remixes under your belt as The Carry Nation. What’s coming up next?
We have a 2-part mix compilation coming out on TRIBAL this month which helps mark the relaunch of one our favorite labels. We dug deep in their vaults to find rare mixes of TRIBAL classics to compliment the labels new material. We also have some exciting remixes on the way but that’s all we can say about that for now 😉
Where are the best parties happening in NYC right now?
And who are your favourite DJs and producers in NYC and further afield at the moment?
The list is far too vast to name just a few, but you can be pretty sure if our names are on the same bill/release we are down with that sound!
Thanks guys, we can’t wait!
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Hailing from Lisbon in Portugal where he is a weekly resident at Club Lux, Tiago has a laid back intensity that is reflected in the expansive and inquisitive nature of his sets. Raised on good music in his home, turned on to drumming by his older brother, he came to Dj’ing via live music. He has been at it for close to twenty years, and in the last decade added production work to his resume. Check his production and remix work on labels like DFA, ESP Institute, Golf Channel, Leng, etc. He his involved in a great variety of projects and working distinguish formats such as techno, house, chill out, dub, leftfield rock and disco.
We are so excited to have Tiago flying in to London for an exclusive set at Dick And Fanny’s 4th Birthday at Dance Tunnel. Tiago will be joined by Dactylo (Flash Cocotte, Paris), Colby B (NYC) and Pep Sanchez (London).
Hi Tiago, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name’s Tiago, I’m a DJ and musician from Portugal. I love to travel, love the wind…
You have been a resident at Lux in Lisbon for quite some time. How did you get started as a DJ there?
I was invited just before the club opened. I was DJing at this other club called Captain Kirk and they asked me to leave and be a resident there. This was back in 1998. I’ve been DJing a weekly night there since then.
What else can you tell us about Lisbon’s nightlife? Any secret tips?
It’s amazing, and the best part is that there are no secrets, it’s open to everyone and very easy to find a good time I think.
Has the Euro crisis had any impact on nightlife in Portugal and Lisbon?
Sure did, still does, and will be doing for quite a while unfortunately. The recession is a motherfucker. But we still dance.
You have remixed a fair bit, which one of your remixes is your favourite? And do you have any remixes lined up at the moment?
No favourite… honestly. Each and every one of them has been so much fun working on. And yes, remixes for Hidden Fees are coming out soon so stay tuned, and a remix for Mock & Toof just came out.
You also release your own productions under different names. Can you tell us a bit about the differences between your various monikers?
Maybe the biggest difference is that they were all made in different time spans but all part of the same body and soul so…The thing I like the most is that part of the process that is finishing something and then giving it names. I wanted to do different stuff for different labels and thought it would be fun to give it different names too.
What can the Dick and Fanny crowd expect from your set?
A fun time 😉
And lastly, what are your three top tracks of the moment?
Just one this morning, Popol Vuh – ‘Why do I still sleep?’.
We surely won’t feel sleepy tonight when you make us sweat on the dancefloor!
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Bringing a fresh sound and a fierce energy, Dactylo quickly became resident DJ of infamous parties and highly coveted nightspots in Paris, Brussels and Switzerland: Flash Cocotte, FURIE, Trou Aux Biches and Pacific are today household names in the Parisian party scene. She started producing remixes in 2012 for Yelle, About The Girl and Kiddy Smile. Her first EP will be out in late 2013. We are very excited to have her play her first DJ gig for us at our 4th Birthday party on Saturday 26 October at Dance Tunnel in Dalston. Dactylo will be playing alongside DJ Tiago (DFA Records, Portugal), Colby B (NYC) and Pep Sanchez.
Hi Anne-Claire (AKA Dactylo),
You are part of the crew that organises possibly the best queer night in Paris, so we think anyway, called Flash Cocotte. Can you tell us a bit more about it? When did you decide to launch this night and what is the idea behind it?
Well first of all merci for this nice compliment and for having me over!
Thing is we didn’t decide to «launch it» it was a human adventure that lead to what is Flash Cocotte today.
I met Nizar, Pipi and Numéro 6 at the same time in 2007 we became close friends and partied hard. Pipi and Nizar used to organise parties at le Pulp, Androginy for Nizar, Goutte Dior and Jacqueline Coiffure for pipi. I think we did one party called FURIE and then another and then we decided to do a regular night. We found the venue called La Java and did 3 years of insane Flash Cocotte there. Then we moved to our current location, Espace Pierre Cardin, because we needed a bigger venue as people were sometimes queuing for more than an hour and a half to get in.
Flash Cocotte is my favourite project because it brings together people, people that come from different horizons, young or not so young, completely broke or insanely rich (or famous haha) but having a great time together dancing, connecting, flirting.
The idea behind it came along with the making and the constant progression of the night itself. One thing though we had in mind from the start was to keep a democratic entrance fee (and that is a permanent struggle with the venues to keep it this way). Another thing we particularly watch is to keep a good balance at the door, we like to keep it open to everyone but we also have to protect our crowd and keep Flash Cocotte an area of freedom.
You seem to have your fingers in many pots, what other parties do you organise in Paris and what are their distinctive flavours?
Trou Aux Biches is a monthly party at La Java where it’s always 40°C, packed and wild. We try to program, and so far with success, queer bands mostly for live sets. We’re having Telepathe and Teengirl Fantasy on November 9, No Bra in January, and we had in the past JD Samson, Trust, Magie Noire (our brand new project where we explore our dark side) and invite house and techno guests such as: Maragret Dygas, DJ Koze and soon Motor City Drum Ensemble.
And there’s also Pacific at Paris Social Club where I invite my favourite deep house DJs.
If you had to describe the queer scene in Paris in three words, what would those be?
FUN / Gaily-coloured / Friendly
When did you start DJing?
6 years ago, I had so many DJ friends and one day I just realised I could do it too, the first day of the rest of my life!
Who is DJ Grosse? Is it your alternative DJ persona?
Yes haha no comment.
How do you find new tracks to play? What are your influences?
Everyday I’m hustling lol, digging the internet, Russian forums, soundclouds all the way. My influences are mostly black music from soul, funk, disco to house music. I have a big record collection (I used to work in a record shop…).
You’ve concocted a delicious mix, Sextape #2, that our DAFers will enjoy for sure. What’s your favourite track in it?
All of them! What I like in recording mixes is that I can put everything I love in it and it doesn’t have to be dance floor oriented.
You’ve remixed quite a few tracks, what is your favourite?
The next one! Wait and see!
And finally, what can the Dicks And Fannies expect from your set at our 4th birthday party?
To hear my new remix haha, lots of bass and emotion à la folie.
Oh la la, we can’t wait!
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Djing since 2002, but in the industry since 1991, Colby b got an early start with music in the city of Seattle. She began working with promoters and record labels early on doing production, promotion and various other odds-&-ends in the scene but was most famous for being the door girl at every hot event in the city before starting work as a DJ. Being tagged as one of the most in-demand DJs in Seattle, Colby b moved on-ward and up-ward to the city of New York after juggling residencies at parties in Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco. She can be found playing New York’s hottest venues, including Le Bain, Marquee, EVR, Greenhouse and Westway.
Hey Colby, we’re excited to finally have you play at Dick and Fanny. You’ve just been on a little European round-trip. Where have you been and what did you get up to?
I feel like I’ve been everywhere! But many places I still need to go, next time 😉
I’ve put my hands in about everything music related, club management/booking/promoting/record labels and finally settled on djing. I had a good reputation and that combined with a wide range of musical expertise led to bookings and so on. I was so blessed to grow as a artist in that community I’ve played with some real legends and biggest names. Moby, The Pet Shop Boys, Deadmau5, James Murphy, Hercules and Love Affair, Peaches and The Scissor Sisters to name a few.
I feel like the west coast is def more organic/DIY/arty/queer and in some instances pushes for a lot of top 40 where as in in nyc house music reigns king (or queen if you will). The [ny] venues tend to either be more posh and exclusive or more underground and sleazy – all combos I like 😉
In Seattle the end all be all is Pony. The best gay bar ran by my old party (Comeback) partner Marcus Wilson who has had his hand in everything from TrannyShack to the legendary Seattle party Pho Bang. He also has a amazing band called the Ononos. There are lots of things going on any given night though, lots of stars in that city – including last Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon.
In New York you have too many to choose from on any given night. The best ones right now if have to say are Westgay at Westway (a old strip club if that gives you any ideas) and then any party thrown by legendary promoter Susanne Bartsch. I’m lucky to have played at most of her events since moving to New York such as Vandam Sundays (thrown with club kid legend Kenny Kenny) On Top at Le Bain (The Standard) and most recently Catwalk Thursday at Marquee which just this week won best party in New York at the The Paper Magazine nightlife awards. And one must not forget the legendary bars such as The Cock, The Monster and Eastern Bloc.
At the moment all my focus has been on touring but I do have plans for more in the future. I do have two mixes out currently, Fast Chick (DJ Nita and Colby b remix) by ErickaToure Aviance and Best XXXcessory (Pointy Paradise mix) by Manilla Luzon of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Pointy Paradise is myself and Matt Katz-Bohen of the band Blondie.
Definitely more New York, she really rubbed off on me 😉 But I pick up influence from every city I play in so your always getting a mixed bag – a goodie bag of something for everyone!
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DAVID OH has his fingers in various pies including residencies at Another Night, which is also run by our friend and previous DAFer Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light), Songs of Praise and R&She and guest spots at Dirtbox, Beast, Popstarz and Bristol Pride. We are super chuffed that David will be playing for us on Saturday 16 February at Shacklewells Arms.
When did you first start DJing?
Well I’d started the usual way of DJing at some friends’ house parties, and by annoying my housemates in various bedrooms of mine over the years. One of my friends then started a pop night called Love Machine, and asked me to play at that. I became resident and the night started doing well, hosting launch parties for Nicola Roberts and the like. Through that I got asked to play at more nights, like Popstarz, and it gained steam from there.
You run a few club nights across town, tell us a bit more about them.
I help to run three nights at the moment. Songs of Praise at East Bloc is just about to go monthly, after being every other month for a year and a half and having some insanely fun and packed parties. So I’m really excited about that. At Vogue Fabrics I run Another Night, a 90s night with the fellow fabulous Welsher Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light), which is always ridiculously fun, and R&She with Neil Prince and QBoy. This is packing out Vogue Fabrics every time it’s on too, so I’m really happy!
What are your favourite tracks you currently play over and over again?
It really depends on what night I’m playing at, as my sets can vary so much. One track that I keep playing across most of the nights, in its original or remixed form is ‘Losing You – Solange’. Such a perfect track. On Saturday you’re bound to be hearing the Andy Butler remix of ‘Into The Groove’ at some point, as well as plenty of Bubba and T. Williams, my favourite producers right now.
And can you shed some light on your Madonna obsession? Are you gonna play any Madge
for us this weekend (please)?
Oh I manage to wangle Madonna into almost every set I ever play, even if it’s a banging techno one! So there’ll be Madge on Saturday for sure.
I could write a book on my Madonna obsession, so I won’t bore you with the details. Some of my earliest memories involve Madonna, and I still think that she’s one of the bravest people in music, who changed the way things work and still does things her own way. I’ve got no time for the current Madonna bashing trend!
Oh yes! We do love Madge too for sure. Thanks David!
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You can easily recognise The Lovely Jonjo when you see him. With his blonde curls and his sweet smile, he looks like an angel, simple as that. But what makes him even more recognisable is his talent in making people go crazy on the dance floor in the wee hours of the morning as we’ve experienced to our delight at Dick And Fanny. Jonjo has been in the music scene for many years now, throwing parties himself, including the infamous Hot Boy Dancing Spot with whom we’ve teamed up for our pre-NYE event at the Dalston Superstore back in December 2012. We’ve now invited Jonjo to play some tunes for us again at our event on Saturday 16 February and we took this opportunity to have a little catch up to see what’s new with him these days.
Hi Jonjo. How are you?
Yeah really good, I had a very chilled January but 2013 has jumped into gear now with your party coming up, I have work during London Fashion Week and also DJed at the Kraftwerk after party… so super excited.
Yeah, a busy start of the year indeed! You’ve been DJing for a while now, how did you start out and where?
Well, about 10 years ago I was managing and buying for a Japanese label, Super Lovers, and used to blow all my wages on music. I was really bored of retail and started to play at a few friends’ parties. Richard and Lili, who now own The George and Dragon used to come into my shop and said they were opening the pub and were looking for DJs. I jumped at the chance and started the now legendary (and very messy) Sunday there.
There really wasn’t much of the Shoreditch scene going on then so it really was quite special. I then later went on to do warm up for Erol Alkan at Trash on Mondays and the rest is history so to speak, ha.
Yep, we do remember those Sundays at The George, they were quite something! You then started the very popular Hot Boy Dancing Spot clubnight, what was your original idea for the club and did that live up to your expectations?
In my teens I was obsessed with Popstarz when it used to be in a warehouse in Angel called Paradise (this is going back to 1995 eeek). It was a real relief for me to fit into a crowd that was about music (indie then) and not the shiny mainstream Soho thing. Oh and snogging other cute indie boys on the dancefloor. There was always lots of kissing there.
Before I started HBDS I was playing over in Berlin a few times and loved how the parties were all about cute boys into music but kind of just hanging out in jeans and tees. HOT. So I tried to do the same here, think it does what it says on the tin, ha!
The boys will be happy to know that! So… on the music front of the night, what inspires your sets? If you had to give a musical flavour to the stuff you play, what would it be?
Well my mum and dad were punks and I started playing indie so I do like to keep it a little mixed up even though I play mainly electronic these days. I love to chuck in a little post punk and disco with techno bangers. We love the last silly hour at HBDS for maybe a bit of NIN or Marylin Manson? Whatever.
Besides being super active on the DJ and promoting side of things, do you also produce your own stuff?
I work with an engineer on all the Fashion show stuff I do but I’ve just gone back to school to teach myself and hopefully original Jonjo tunes are coming up soon.
Well, we’ll be sure to stay tuned for that. Looking back at 2012, what will you remember the most?
Playing the opening party of The Tanks at The Tate was a massive highlight as was playing in New York a few times and the Dalston Superstore and Durrr Boat parties in Crotia were too much fun.
Oh yeah you played at our friends’ Mandy Graves and Jools Palmer’s party The Bassment in New York and played with them at Dick And Fanny too, what a night it was!
So what are your plans for 2013?
I have a few new nights up my sleeve and think Ibiza and Glastonbury are also on the cards. Also we will be taking HBDS to the Venice Biennale once again this year in a sleazy disco.x.x.x
Awesome, thanks Jonjo, DAFers can’t wait to shake it on Saturday!
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