Always outspoken about her experiences and processes, Thaemlitz spoke with LWE via Skype in advance of a tour for Francis Harris’ album release, and more immediately before her gig at Oval Space on October 25th.
DJ Sprinkles’ Where Dancefloors Stand Still is a particularly refreshing mix whose astoundingly on-point selections sequenced just so could redefine what listeners should expect from the mix CD format.
In our culture obsessed with authenticity, with having “been there at the beginning,” with sticking to one’s roots, Thaemlitz elegantly shows that it’s not these roots that unite us but rather our common experiences.
While this list is far from comprehensive and certainly from only one person’s perspective, these are ten of the best mixes I’ve heard so far this year, hopefully offering some signposts to where you can find some soon-to-be favorites for yourself.
Culled from her 2006 Routes Not Roots album as Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion K-S.H.E (“B2B”) and the digital-only A Silence Broken compilation (“Hush Now”), this release hosts two of Terre Thaemlitz’s most potent and timely dance floor tracks on vinyl for the first time.
For Terre Thaemlitz, audio is never “innocent.” From Thaemlitz’s earliest ambient recordings, through a series of incredible electro-acoustic projects for the Mille Plateaux label, to a current triple-life as producer of astringently political “radio shows,” deep house auteur as DJ Sprinkles and K-SHE, and writer/polemicist, Thaemlitz’s project has always been to unsettle any putative audience’s assumptions of what constitutes knowledge and politics. Thaemlitz is also possibly dance music’s finest socio-political commentator. Not to mention her continual “queering of the pitch.” With DJ Sprinkles’s Midtown 120 Blues somehow managing to be one of the best dance music albums of both 2008 and 2009 (thanks partly to a staggered release schedule, but also to the ineffectual nature of most any of its supposed “competitors”), it’s time to take the temperature of the “ideology of the dance floor” with our scene’s most articulate outsider.
If house were a nation and LWE its president, Terre Thaemlitz is the first person we would look to when filling our cabinet. It would be difficult to decide where to put her, though, as his abundant talents make him perfect for many roles. As a top notch producer whose roots are tangled in the history of house, she’d make an excellent minister of culture; as a great thinker who elucidates hidden truths in media, gender, sexuality and our interactions with them all, he’d fit well as secretary of the interior of our heads. Midtown 120 Blues, his first album delivered under his disc jockey alias, DJ Sprinkles, brings these departments together, recontextualizing house music to the tune of sumptuous deep-house (easily nabbing the #3 spot in our top albums of 2008 list). So we’re very pleased to have Thaemlitz curating LWE’s 14th podcast, which is actually a live DJ mix from his Deeperama series.
Art by Joe Baran [Mule Musiq] Like disco before it, house music was born in queer club culture, one of the few places its artists and patrons — mostly gay minority men — could be themselves without fear of reprisal. And also like disco, house was co-opted by ever larger audiences, shedding its ethnicity and […]