DJ Sprinkles - Midtown 120 Blues

DJ Sprinkles (Terre Thaemlitz) is a seriously polemical person for someone really into deep house. I completely agree that Madonna co-opted and reified 80's latino and black gender transversality for the idiot masses, but what, exactly, does it have to do with the deep house of today? It's a considerably less vital argument these days, fighting the mainstream machine. Dance music need not even address the mainstream which can't even attempt to track trends and capitalize, and a certain cadre of new dance finds itself aping and twisting mainstream approaches from a position of obscurity. Mainstream is no longer uncool, because it is no longer a relevant distinction. In comparison to Madonna's New York of the 80's, it strikes a pale ghostly shadow. But over repeated listens, the album's intent becomes less a corrective from an old master (Thaemlitz was one of the major DJ's in the gay and transgender club scene in NY in the 80's and 90's and was a major presence in the emergence of deep house) than an elegy for a forgotten, and brutalized source. Listen on the gorgeous "house music is conrollable desire you can own", this is super personal, darkened dance music that also springs from this revisionist motive. As she/he reinterprets older music, lush pads and aimless, floating beats, vocal snippets misheard, vinyl crackle, the DNA of deep house, she retrofits it with a softer, less heterogenous approach. In "Grand Central Pt 2", house is skeletonized into crickets and panning chords, subway rattle, the distant booms of a club, a sad voice over testimonial on watching a performer in drag getting "knocked around" while everyone laughs. It's the saddest portrait of the sad underbelly of clubs and the culture of performance. So, music that is now being subjugated to a kind of retro fetishizing all of sudden has a historicized document from someone who can claim to have been there, seen the excesses and the victims, and is now reporting back with wistful remorse. It's all a bit self serious to those who might have never considered deep house a home, or care to understand the outsider origin of most dance music genres, but for those who were there, or can imagine the landscape she's coming from, it's a very elegant, touching record.

DJ Sprinkles - House Music Is Controllable Desire You Can Own

DJ Sprinkles - Midtown 120 Intro

DJ Sprinkles - Grand Central Pt 2 (72 hrs. By Rail From Missouri)

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