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Last year in November, Resident Advisor made the decision to scrap their community-made end-of-year lists, which champion DJs’ achievements over the year. Rather than replacing this poll, they explained their decision by referring to the foundations of dance music: “an art form born in queer communities, shaped by people of colour and populated by artists of all genders…simply put, this isn’t something you’d know by looking at the recent results of our polls.” This move by the online publication is rooted in fixing the misrepresentation that is rife in underground music, and aims to prevent talent being overshadowed by stardom. While RA’s influence on club culture, music, and creativity remains wholly relevant, their decision only serves as a reference point, a stepping stone, for us music lovers who support LGBTQ+ and minority organisations that work to dismantle misrepresentation.
Here at Keep Hush, we present to you some of our favourite club nights and groups that use music as a tool to create and preserve communities who face marginalisation, either in an industry, or in their day-to-day lives. Community is an extremely valuable concept to us. Without it, we would not be able to exist as we do, and just as we define our Keep Hush community through love of music, like-mindedness, and inclusivity, we have found that the strongest organisations are free, all-embracing, and use art as a tool to bring people together.
Club Comfort – Dublin
Club Comfort is a club night in Dublin started by DJs and producers Baliboc, bby, and Rosbeg in November 2017. Disillusioned by the lack of diversity, and the non-existent club ‘community’ in Ireland, Club Comfort’s set out to provide a space for people from all backgrounds to escape, meet similar music lovers, and party till the early hours of the morning. Speaking to co-founder Baliboc, he explained that in Dublin “there’s a disconnect between party makers and party goers. You pay in, get your stamp, there’s a bar and a dancefloor. Everyone faces the same direction (at the DJ), tentatively bopping to a 4/4 kick pattern and minding their own business.” Community, it seems, is weak or never was, but for Club Comfort, the ignition of this spirit is imperative. A recent example being their last party on Valentines Day: to protest the anti-trans organisation GRA touring in Ireland, CC held a party as a stance to challenge the ideology that was soon to arrive. For the founders, “celebration is the strongest form of protest”, and while people in Dublin may be angry and baffled by the intrusive rhetoric from overseas, their resilience and peacefulness has only proved that friends, music and love is enough to overcome hate. Find out about Club Comfort’s next party here on March 3rd with London collective Super Kitchen.
Bristol Women in Music
Bristol Women in Music is a community which aims to create a sustainable presence throughout the South West in their mission to raise awareness of women’s roles in the music industry. The focus is on the issues, journeys, and subsequent successes that many women have experienced in their field, and on opening up avenues into previously inaccessible areas. By curating workshops which teach women how to produce, hosting 8-week mixing lessons by the resident DJs on CDJs and Technics, and putting on Open Mix Sessions Nights where the best submissions are selected to play, BWIM continues to assert itself as an inclusive, progressive space for women who are eager to make their mark on an industry which is so male-dominant. Their involvement with their community does not stop there. To provoke discussion and thought, Bristol Women in Music continually update their Facebook page with ads for music jobs, articles on issues women face in the industry, and links to talks and lectures on corporate roles. The aim here is equity for both men and women, and this will not happen until inclusivity is made paramount.
Rhythm Sister – London
DJ collective and club night Rhythm Sister emphasises intersectionality, and plays an eclectic mix of techno, disco, house and world music. Featuring and supporting female-identified and genderqueer artists, their community runs similar DJ and production workshops to Bristol Women in Music – with the option of submitting mixes to play at their own club nights – but retain their core community values through their tight knit Facebook group. Though Rhythm Sister is a platform for genderqueer and females to perform, their inclusivity welcomes men and supporters from all backgrounds to balance equality and maintain an intimate, communal spirit which drives others forward.
Rainbow Riots – Global
Rainbow Riots is an activist organisation that gives comfort, reassurance, and confidence to LGBTQ+ communities whose very existence is deemed illegal and immoral by the archaic laws of their country. These members are forced to live with their identity as a secret, and, in many cases, social knowledge of their true identity is punishable by death, or other forms of degradation. Swedish producer Petter Wallenberg started Rainbow Riots in 2012 to break through this controversy and to force a beam of light into the uncertain future of his audience. Working with members in Uganda, South Africa, Jamaica, and Malawi, in 2017 Wallenberg composed and produced an album featuring vocals and contributions from numerous LGBTQ+ members across the globe, from areas where their personal tastes and inclinations are a taboo. Using music to give the marginalised a voice, bring those together who thought they’d never belong, and reconcile outdated views, Rainbow Riots is a project which prides itself greatly on the achievements of these once neglected, amazing individuals.
Keep Hush was founded with a vision to bring a community spirit to underground music, in an increasingly fragmented scene. Based on our own experiences and values, and inspired by groups such as these, inclusion is our top priority. We want to create events where everyone feels welcome. We hope to see you at one soon.
– Written by Saagar Kaushik, @saagark –
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