stud1nt, Juana and SHYBOI come through with three brand new mixes recorded for Crack Magazine
This month, our cover stars were the founders of Discwoman, a forward-facing collective which disrupts the racist and misogynist structures that exist across club culture in Europe, the US and beyond. Collectivist in spirit – the engine for this change is the act of spotlighting cis, trans and gender nonconforming artists, producers and DJs – we turned to individual crew members in our follow-up piece, Meet the Family. Now though, we think it’s time to let the music do the talking.
These three mixes, recorded exclusively for Crack Magazine, serve as a snap shot of the divergent sounds placed at the very cutting edge of club culture. The MO of Discwoman in ‘Amplify Each Other’. Play these loud.
Often taking the form of a fast-edited raid across the breadth of club music, stud1nt’s DJ sets represent dance music’s pleasure principle in startling HD. Quick segues from throwback rave, RnB, pop, ballroom and more means backs-against-the-wall complacency is not an option.
But for all the instant gratification that stud1nt’s low-end heavy sets provide – and there’s a lot – it’s not hard to read in these jump-cut club histories a political meaning: these sounds and samples are frequently pulled from the well of queer culture, and the primal effect on the body is, of course, one of liberation, of letting go. Aside from being a key member of Discwoman, stud1nt is part of queer art collective #kunq, and they have presented workshops on creative approaches to production at Vassar College, the New School, and Recess Art.
In response to our question of what the Discwoman motto ‘Amplify Each Other’ meant to them, they responded, “Resist the fear of scarcity so you can believe in yourself enough to believe in others.” This half-hour barrage of irresistible, energising sounds brings this resolve to life.
Yulan Grant flexes her boundary-pushing approach with a punchy, no-holds-barred assault on the senses that reflects the inspiration for her sets: a constant barrage of stimuli. Sourcing elements from across the diaspora, Grant expertly sews together the indigenous sounds of the didgeridoo, through Aphex Twins’ homage to the instrument, to a high level of freneticism with frantic whistles, skittering beats, wiggy synths, an appearance from Prince and a whole lot more. Seemingly throwing caution to the wind, there’s a palpable sense of rebellion that pivots wildly on outlaw culture in her sets.
Synonymous with the way she colours outside of the lines, Grant is a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist who’s directed videos for Hood By Air, Beads and Rizzla; and along with stud1nt, is a part of the #kunq collective.
In a similar ethos to the way the Discwoman collective would exorcise their frustrations and feelings of marginalisation through screaming workshops, Shyboi’s mix for Crack Magazine is loud, fearless and confrontational.
A DJ since 2002 and a core part of the Washington DC techno crew Sequence, Juana is one of the newest recruits of Discwoman. Like your techno of the take-no-prisoners variety? A DC staple since 2004, she’s steadily built up a reputation for sets which thrum with the kind of piston-powered, high-tensile techno designed to exhilarate. This mix, recorded exclusively for Crack Magazine, demonstrates just how white-knuckle that exhilaration can be.
That’s not to say that Juana’s DJ style is pure brute force and aggression, that would be too one-dimensional. The dramatic deviations in tempo and tonality make her sets deeply immersive, psychedelic even – something heightened by the deeply held sense for melody which, when deployed, has the effect of a window being cracked on a dark room, a shaft of sunlight flooding in.