SUPER EGO "I'm starting my own line of lipstick called Freak Flag, the proceeds of which will go towards funding sex change operations," 24-year-old tech house sensation Nick Monaco told me over the phone, as he drove to his studio in San Rafael. "I started wearing lipstick onstage and to afterparties as a kind of shtick, but I began to notice all the hypermasculinity that's present on certain house scenes, the quasi-homophobia. Which is so weird, since house music was nurtured by the LGBT community. So this is my way of being a better ally."Read more »
The phenomenal house DJ and experimental musicmaker on mainstream visibility, transgender globalism, Bay Area queer culture, and the "shopping mall diversity" of the current dance music scene.
Techno has always had room for theorists and intellectuals, from Derrick May to the Mille Plateaux label roster, and social activists, like Moodymann and Underground Resistance. Most of that discourse usually takes place musically, however, with concepts emerging from the vinyl itself. The celebrated DJ Sprinkles, a.k.a. Terre Thaemlitz, the American head of Japan-based label Comatonse, tops all that by making intellectually grounded music glimmering with poetic touches and expounding in interviews and writing on such heady, heated topics as essentialism, gender idenitity, surveillance, and authenticity. She leads workshops, goes on speaking engagements, and isn't afraid to let loose in interviews. (For example -- see below -- rather than "born this way" platitudes, she considers her queer identity "beat this way.")
It's a beautiful thing, especially in the rare context of controversial truth and radical opinion pouring from the mouth and keyboard of an outspoken transgender major player on the stubbornly homogenous global house-techno DJ scene. Of course, it all comes down to the music -- we'll get a treat when Sprinkles (who chose the name because he wanted something that sounded "totally pussy" in opposition to macho DJ culture, to buck the testosteronal scene) performs Sun/24 at Honey Soundsystem -- and Sprinkles certainly has the goods. He's released umpteen pieces in an astoundng breadth of genres under multiple pseudonyms over the past 20 years. Masterpiece deep house album "Midtown 120 Blues" siezed the top of several best of 2009 charts and was, typically, followed by Soulnessless, a 30-hour "mp3 album" of music and video. Because why the hell not?