Isn't it special to witness the birth of a new genre tag? In this edition of Hang the DJ, former Boston resident DJ Lifepartner ushers in such a moment by describing his DJ genre style as "Tropical Electro-disco." That could kinda apply to Spanish artist El Guincho too, couldn't it? Barely? Almost?
Now that we've got two acts that fit the bill, all we need are a string of blog posts, a feature article in a music magazine expanding on what exactly fits into the tropical electro-disco mold and we've got it made as godparents of the movement. Expect it to join the ranks of "shoegaze" and "nu rave" by showing as an official genre on iTunes in approximately nine months. In the meantime, enjoy this Q&A with the aforementioned DJ Lifepartner. We talk Holocene happy hours and an upcoming mobile gallery. Oh yes, and collecting unemployment:
How did you decide on your DJ name? What's your real name?
The name came from another act I was in with a friend from Boston called Life Partner DJs. We stopped playing together when we moved to opposite sides of the world, so I dropped the pluralization, lost the space and claimed Lifepartner for myself. My street name's Kirk though, like the Captain of the Starship Enterprise.
As the Rapture say, "People don't dance no more, they just stand there like this" - how often do you encounter this?
Since moving here in 2007, I've been fortunate enough to play to crowds that have gotten into the stuff I've been putting on. I have had a few experiences with folks just looking confusedly at me not knowing what to do, which always make me a little self-concious.
The perfect combination of the energy created in a basement or at house party and the dance floor of a well-equipped venue, complete with sweaty, happy faces.
How do you feel about requests?
Requests have their time and place, like at a party where one might be playing the hits. It's a bit bothersome, however, when playing an already thought out set to have someone holler a track name at you- especially if said song might wreck the dance floor. I don't really mind though, I'm a nice guy and try my best to entertain them.
Do you have a story about a particular request or requester?
I played a private birthday party for a guy in his late-thirties recently. A drunk woman at the party was not into what I was playing and decided to incessantly shout "bring it back to 1974, I wanna hear some Shaka Khan!" Granted, I love Ms. Khan, but I wasn't alive in 1974 and didn't see it fit for me to bring it back to the time period she requested. I settled the disruption by playing a Nina Simone remix. The woman later told she was a witch, while serving herself more jungle juice out an ice sculpture shaped like a chalice.
Do you DJ full time? / What do you do outside of DJing?
I'm trying to make an occupation out of DJing, but haven't quite done it yet. In the mean time, I work events for Chychele Event Design, collect unemployment and study History.
Where can we find you?
I play a lot of house parties and do happy hour at Holocene and various events for them when they need me. I'm also working on getting nights at Dunes and Rotture as part of the start up DJ group I'm in, Wild Life. We're gonna have a podcast and new nights starting in February, so keep an eye out. I'm also working on starting up a non-profit artists collective and mobile gallery called Sugar Cube which I'll be DJing the openings for starting on the first Thursday of February at (10th and Flanders above the new Nuvrei Bakery space). And I play weird shit at Ground Kontrol every second Friday, just 'cause.
How long have you been spinning?
About three years now.
What drew you to DJing originally?
Going to house parties and queer nights in Boston as a kid and seeing other folks play was what got me into it at first. I figured I had as good of taste as the next DJ and decided to give it shot. I've been in love ever since.
What are your thoughts on vinyl versus CDs versus laptops?
I mostly use Serato Scratch when playing out (except when playing dancehall). It's ideal for me because it's like playing vinyl and I don't have to lug around crates of records. This allows me to ride my bike to get to gigs, and play stuff that's not available on vinyl yet, saving me cab fair and keeping me up to date with new shit. I do love live vinyl though, and don't think anything can beat its authenticity.
What songs will we find ourselves dancing to with you?
1. Midnight Request Line (Switch Remix) - Skream
2. Tunisia Bambaata - DJ Mehdi
3. Strawberry (Rapclash Remix) - Adrian Lux
4. Township Funk (Kingdom Remix) - DJ Mujava
5. Segertåget - Maskinen
How would you describe yourself in five words or less - complete sentence or not:
A genuinely nice young man.
How do you describe the genre you play?
A mix of electro, disco and dancehall. So I guess Tropical Electro-disco?
Who are your other favorite Portland DJs?
Beyondadoubt, Bruxxy, RAD!, Linoleum, Nathan Detroit, Hoop Dreams and The Fix guys
with a MySpace genre tag of Tropica/Electro/House Disco
Photo care of MySpace