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Mix tape: Let's Funk Up All Genders!


As part of the publishing strand ‘Sonic Commons’ L’Internationale Online invited house DJ Materia Hache, part of the collective Others to the Front, to publish and introduce a mix tape. The invitation arose out of a session in Madrid in September 2023 during the programme ‘Notes for a Time Apart’ in Museo Reina Sofía. The music and the tape’s evocative introduction mobilize the rolling rhythms of house music – and the sonic more broadly – as a space for expression, strength and community building.

This mix aims to be a time capsule that transports you to that moment in the garden of the Sabatini Building of the Reina Sofía, and make it possible for any moment to be that Saturday, 16 September 2023, that late summer day, with a group of wonderful dancing creatures who remind you of who you are. That’s what this crowdin common with house music. House is what, through its frequencies, accompanies and sustains memories and stages of life. House doesn’t judge and doesn’t expect anything, it just lets you dance: now it’s your turn to dance.

house music is about letting go
house music is about letting loose
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor
house music is experimentation
house music is transformation
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor

My friend Andi Roets, aka DJ Anarres, told me that ‘the roots of house lie in black queer communities, in the struggle to live and find love in a world that does not want you to exist.’ From its beginnings, house contains the strength of a community in struggle, a community tired of hiding, a solid alliance between the otherness. Understanding house more as a way of mixing and playing music than as a gender with clear-cut boundaries, house is an optimistic cry of enough is enough! that reminds us of who we are and opens up imaginaries of possible futures. Let’s funk up all genders!

house is not a genre
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor
house is a feeling
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor

Discotheques of the 1970s were intended to be safe and welcoming spaces of self-expression and celebration for queer and trans BIPOC communities, and the music played in these spaces would come to influence the innovators of house music. House music was born during the eighties as a totally new sound in the black gay clubs of Chicago, first at The Warehouse and then at The Music Box. It was there where people like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy pushed the boundaries of disco and electro far beyond the conventions of pop songs and focused on creating a relentless groove, within which rhythmic soundscapes develop and morph into one another.

Hard-hitting kick drums, soulful bass lines, deep beeps, dramatic symphonies, funk, Latin rhythms, pop and looped vocals, bursts of bubbles, shiver-inducing trebles, stripped-down percussion and piano formed these sensual and deep grooves.

house is hedonism
house is sweat
house is sex
house is everything
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor

In the Knuckles and Hardy sets, the almost constant climax of disco tunes was deconstructed into an all-night, trance-inducing, sequenced track continuum. When I’m asked what groove is, I answer, cadence – groove is the part of music that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the end.

Dance, vogueing and queer culture all reveal and tell a story, while groove as a hypnotic sound transports you, transforms you and whispers to you all that is yet to come. House music is generous and asks for nothing in return; it keeps the past, with an honest view onto the present, and an openness to creating futures. It’s about excavation, historical exploration, and a look that pays tribute to the dance floors that laid the foundations from which to approach and expand shapes to come.

house music is queer, it is the diaspora
house music is community, it’s unity
house music is deviant, it is freedom
house music is the otherness, the underground
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor
no one is more than anyone else on the dance floor

Like all subcultures, underground dance culture has its own channels of communication and diffusion. The tracklist – the list of tracks that make up a set – has been a means for the transmission of information and knowledge throughout thirty years of rave culture. In the beginning, the tracklist was a fundamental tool to orient oneself in a field where information was scarce beyond the channels of local scenes: fanzines, free radio, vinyl stores or word of mouth. Today the tracklist is a fundamental tool to separate the noise from the signal in a world of informational overabundance. It is a way to be guided by one’s means in the middle of a jungle of substitutes and throwaway sounds. Many friends are no longer with us, but somehow they remain alive in our rhythms and in our own interpretations of house music.

Laurent Garnier & Mix Master Doody – (Let Everybody) Join Hands (The Latin Love Affair Mix) [Fnac Music Dance Division, 1991]
02. Bicep – Getcha Boi [Feel My Bicep, 2012]
03. Confidential Recipe – The Test [Saturnlove, 2021]
04. Bas Mooy – Warsaw [Audio Assault, 2012]
05. Dantiez Saunderson & P-Ben – Other Side [Elevate, 2014]
06. DJ Kwest – Love to Ecstacy [BBE, 2015]
07. Raul Orellana – B1 Bolero Mix 4 part 2 [Blanco Y Negro, 1988]
08. Delano Smith – We Go Back (Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp Remix) [My Baby, 2019]
09. Subradeon – Walking Through Motown (Part 2) [REKIDS, 2018]
10. DJ QU – Picazón [Strength Music Recordings, 2018]
11. DJ 3000 – Kanuni [Motech, 2018]
12. Bam Bam – Hot Spot (House Mix) [Westbrook Records, 2014]
13. Danny Tenaglia – Why Can't You Be Real by Byron Stingilyreal (Danny'S Hard Dub) [Nervous, 2006]
14. Pfortune – String Free [Hot Mix 5, 1988]
15. Gallery S. – This Must Be Deep [HAUS of ALTR, 2018]
16. Gaetano Parisio – LR Roll [Zenit, 2001]
17. Overmono – Gunk [XL Recordings, 2022]
18. Cajmere & Oliver $ feat. Dajae – We Can Make It [Cajual Records, 2013]
19. C & G Southsystem – Dual EP B1 (Honey Dijon Re Rub) [Conform Records, 2021]
20. John Beltran – Kissed By The Sun [Ubiquity, 2004]
21. Ricky "Get Down" Garcia – Get Up (Underground Mix) [Underground Construction, 1996]
22. Black Girl / White Girl – 101010101 [Self-Released, 2020]
23. Jerome Sydenham & Katsuya Sano – Encore (feat. Argy) [Ibadan US, 2012]
24. Ben Sims – Music Part 2 (Ben Sims Re-Edit) [Hardgroove, 2004]
25. Mike Delgado – Byrdman's Revenge (Trigger to Love Mix) [BBE, 2015]
26. ItaloJohnson – 07a1 (Floorplan Remix) [ItaloJohnson, 2017]
27. Olav Basoski – Aha [Work Records, 2000]
28. Loleatta Holloway – Stand Up (Hott 22 Remix) [Gossip Records, 2004]
29. Confidential Recipe -– LP1 [Rekids Special Projects, 2022]
30. Eddie Fowlkes – Hoodlum Child [Tresor, 1993]
31. Orlando Voorn – Take a Ride [Housewax, 2017]
32. DJ Sneak & Armand Van Helden – Psychic Bounty Killaz (New Chicago Mix) [ZYX Music, 1997]
33. Gentry Ice – Do You Wanna Jack [Jack Trax, 1988]
34. AWood – Go (Original Mix) [Self-Released, 2023]
35. David Morales vs. Ricardo Villalobos – Mental Enfants (David Morales Re-work) [Self-Released, 2015]
36. Gene Farris – House Freedom [Relief Records, 2013]
37. Bump – I'm Rushing (Chambray Extended Remix) [Food Music, 2020]
38. Riva Starr – Disco Loco [Truesoul, 2018]
39. Floorplan – Tell You No Lie (Edit) [M-Plant, 2016]
40. Olav Basoski – City Language [Superstar Recordings, 2002]
41. Soichi Terada and Shinichiro Yokota – Believe In The House [Far East Recording, 1992]
42. Audio Injection – Outburst [Blank Code, 2014]
43. Childish Gambino – This Is America (Todd Terry & Louie Vega & Kenny Dope Remix) [Inhouse, 2019]
44. DJ 3000 – Hajde [MoTech, 2018]
45. DJ 3000 – Arcadia [Contuse, 2012]
46. Ben Sims – The Key [Dark House Music, 2000]
47. David Moleon / Boriqua Tribez – Grooveame [Moop Up Spain, 2012]
48. House Of Usher – Shades [Animalized, 1992]
49. Sounds Of Blackness – The Pressure (Frankie Knuckles Classic Mix) [Defected, 2015]

This mix investigates the rhythms of underground house in combination with pop music. Old skool and new skool in the service of rhythms that displace us, question us, and turn us, at least for a few moments, into a single piece of matter, stronger than any given form. It is an unapologetically queer dance-floor experience, because both the history of the genre and its relationship with dance music are intertwined with queer communities and with the idea of the club as a refuge and house as a sanctuary.

It’s all about
building a furrow
a groove
a cadence
that moves
in the direction
of collective

Image from home page: Jorge Anguita Mirón

The views and opinions published here mirror the principles of academic freedom and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the L'Internationale confederation and its members.

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