Anna Lunoe

Anna Lunoe is currently supporting The Weeknd & Banks on their North American Tour. We’re lucky that she has time on Tuesday, October 8th to spin at Le Poisson Rouge, giving us the fun dance party that we crave. She took a few minutes from her busy touring schedule to answer some questions in our exclusive spotlight interview. Check it out below and we hope to see you at LPR!

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Anna: Finding a way to support my music obsession so I didn’t have to work in that damn clothing store. I didn’t realize that I could make a real career out of it at first.

OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Anna: I have to say Le Bain, as that has been my go-to spot over the last few years. But I have also had great sets at LPR and on my last trip to NYC I went to Output to see Para One and Destructo and that place was excellent, so I want to play there one day too.
“I personally like DJs who make unexpected choices… I want to be able to play any genre any time. I want things to feel fresh…”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Anna: Although I appreciate the more purist DJs, I personally like DJs who make unexpected choices like Jackmaster or Para One or Brodinski. I want to be able to play any genre any time. I want things to feel fresh and like anything could happen and the audience would come with me.
OXD: We live in a time where gay house and disco fans like ourselves are going to non gay venues to discover fresh and new music. What do you think this means for the future of NYC’s nightlife?
Anna: I hope that means a more diverse and healthy scene in general!

Anna recently shared her top tour tracks on Nylon Magazine’s blog. Here is a sneak peek:

1. Indian Summer – ‘Foreign Formula’

2. Janet Jackson – ‘If (Kaytranada Remix)’

4. AC Slater & Anna Lunoe – ‘All Night’ (Cover Of Power Trip By J. Cole)

4. AlunaGeorge – ‘You Know You Like It (DJ Snake Remix)’

5. Ta-kU – ‘Electr(on)ic Relaxation’

Mike Servito

To celebrate the end of an incredibly fun Paradisco season we’re calling on the amazing talent of Mike Servito to give us an all vinyl daytime disco and house set that will serve to be the perfect kick off to Gay Pride week in New York City. Learn more about Mike via our exclusive spotlight interview, and join us on Sunday, June 23rd for the last Paradisco of the season.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Mike: The music directly inspired me. It spoke to me and it just made sense at a young age. I grew up where radio mixes were the normal. I was fortunate to come up in a time where house music and techno were evolving. It was new, fresh and exciting. I don’t think I fully understood what was going on at the time, but I was very connected to the music as a kid. I used to record DJ mixes to cassette from the radio shows late at night and pass out. I would take those mixes and edit out all the commercials so there was a continuous mix. Sometimes, I would combine parts of mixes from two different shows to make my own. The idea was embedded early on. I never physically tried to mix 2 records together until the early 90s. That’s when it all registered. I think it was inevitable.

OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Mike: Output is my favorite venue in New York, currently. The sound system is unparalleled. I feel comfortable in the club and playing in the booth. The kind of music I want to play has a place there. The programming is incredible so far, and the appeal to a mixed crowd is very present. I think it’s what New York has been missing out on for some time. It’s nice to see a venue of that calibre again, and in Brooklyn.
“I think the appreciation for underground dance music in the gay community is exciting again.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Mike: There are too many to name. I am quite fond of Daniel Bell and Prosumer. Those two always do it for me. They both bring so much joy to my ears and make people move effortlessly. That in itself in always admirable. They have a keen sense of what works for them. They play what they want, and they know how to keep a crowd dancing. They pull these gems out of nowhere. I’m always riveted.
OXD: We live in a time where gay house and disco fans like ourselves are going to non gay venues to discover fresh and new music. What do you think this means for the future of NYC’s nightlife?
Mike: I think it means we are on the track to taking it all back. To be able to go to any bar or any club where there is a gay and straight audience can be refreshing if it’s the right venue or event. Within any scene, there are limitations. I think limiting yourself to the same bars and seeing the same people can run its course. I think the appreciation for underground dance music in the gay community is exciting again. It will certainly force people to reconsider their options for nightlife. It’s not just this one sided thing where gay men and women only want to listen to pop stars and strictly hang out at gay bars. The need to break that stereotype is happening. The need to “occupy” must exist.
OXD: Finally, What are your top 5 tracks at the moment?

1. Huerco S.: ‘Cercy’ [Future Time]

2. Alden Tyrell & Gerd: ‘Luv Thang (Instrumental)’ [4 Lux Recordings]

3. Wbeeza: ‘Jack Ur Car’ [Third Ear Recordings]

4. The Mole: ‘Nevous Disid’ [New Kanada]

5. Paperclip People: ‘Parking Garage Politics’ [Planet E]

Justin Strauss

On Sunday, June 16th, we’re featuring the iconic talent of Justin Strauss at our weekly dance-off Paradisco. Get to know this living legend with a peek into his motivations and listen to his top 5 tracks at the moment.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Justin: Since I was a kid I collected records. I was in a band and we were living in LA and I wanted to come back home to New York, and a good friend of mine told me about this place called The Mudd Club that had just opened. She said I’d love it and should DJ there. When I got back to New York, I went to the club, met the DJ David Azarch, and starting talking records. He asked if I’d like to play some records at the club. I said “Sure” and that was how it started. The owner of the club Steve Mass liked what I was doing and asked me if I like to play down there every week.
OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
From a sound perspective I’d say Cielo and Output. They really put a lot of thought and care into how those clubs sound and it shows. I miss the subMercer, where I played quite often. Just had a great vibe and wicked sound for small intimate venue and the music was always great.
“I was just thinking how it was the gay clubs that were at the forefront of new and innovative sounds. Now it seems that most just are playing commercial top 40 music, which is depressing.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Larry Levan has always been my biggest inspiration. I was lucky enough to spend many Saturday nights at the Paradise Garage. There was nothing like it ever. His influence will stay with me forever. The risks he took as a dj playing music from all genres, the way he played them, his obsession with the sound of his mixes and the sound at the Garage. It’s hard to put into words really.
OXD: We live in a time where gay house and disco fans like ourselves are going to non gay venues to discover fresh and new music. What do you think this means for the future of NYC’s nightlife?
Funny I was just thinking how back in the day it was the gay clubs that were at the forefront of new and innovative sounds. Now it seems that most just are playing very commercial top 40 music, which is depressing. What I find exciting is how this party and parties like Xanadude, and Wrecked are pushing this forward again, and that is great and exciting.
OXD: Finally, What are your top 5 tracks at the moment?

1. a/jus/ted: ‘A Brighter Light’ [Under The Shade Records]

2. Fabio Giannelli: ‘Maintain’ [Get Physical Records]

3. Todd Terje: ‘Strandbar’ [Olsen Recordings]

4. Nomi Ruiz: ‘&ME’ [Keinemusik Records]

5. a/jus/ted – ‘Stay Up Here’ [Southern Fried Records]

Will Automagic

Will Automagic from Spank! takes over the decks with his unique style of sparkling disco tunes and classic house at Paradisco on Sunday, June 9th. Get to know this prolific figure in NYC’s nightlife scene with a glimpse into his career and a preview of his favorite tracks at the moment.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Will: It’s kind of strange but I never really decided to, I kind of just always was. Going back to Middle School, I would bring a stack of records to friends’ houses for sleepovers or to any house party I went to. At one of these house parties a friend of the family of the girl giving the party came up to me and said: “You are a DJ.” I had never thought of it that way. The guy ran a mobile DJ business and offered to hire me, but it didn’t end up working out because I wasn’t old enough to drive the van… When I went to high school it was a boarding school, and the way I would try to meet people when I first showed up was by showing them my record collection. The dorm-father noticed this and informed me that I would be DJing all of the school dances from then on… The first time I ever saw a DJ mixer was 30 minutes before the first of those dances… this was 1988. Years later, in 1992 when I moved to New York, I landed pretty quickly on the dance floor of the Sound Factory at age 18. That’s when things really clicked for me inspiration-wise. On that dance floor, I became overwhelmed with excitement for developing as a DJ and realized the magic of the possibilities ahead.
OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Will: For sound: Output. For magic: The Spectrum.
“There is always something new and fresh ready to be found or created in this city, so let’s go find it or create it.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Will: David Mancuso of The Loft. I say this even though he and I actually have very very different approaches to DJing. I love to mix and layer and transform tracks quite a bit. David aims to play songs in a way that is as true to the original recording as possible out of respect for the artists who made them. He plays songs from beginning to end with a pause between each and does this on the purest and best sound system he can assemble.
OXD: We live in a time where gay house and disco fans like ourselves are going to non gay venues to discover fresh and new music. What do you think this means for the future of NYC’s nightlife?
Will: I think the future is bright. I have felt good about the magic bubbling up from sectors of both the straight and gay scenes for a while now and I love it when lines blur. There is always something new and fresh ready to be found or created in this city, so let’s go find it or create it.
OXD: Finally, What are your top 5 tracks at the moment?

Tank Edwards: ‘Little Fish Big Fish Cardboard Box’

Romanthony: ‘Let Me Show You Love (Kevin McKay Remix)

Friend Within: ‘The Relate’

Tom Stephan & Pagano: ‘Give It’

The Crystal Ark: ‘Rain (The Carry Nation Remix)’ Listen

Joe D’Espinosa

Besides being a good friend of OXD, NYC’s Joe D’Espinosa is a talented and experienced DJ and will be hitting the decks at Paradisco this Sunday, June 2nd. We’re looking forward to a sun drenched afternoon while enjoying Joe D’Espinosa’s soulful tunes.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Joe: I became fanatical about music and collecting records at a very early age. It was just a natural instinct for me to want to share all the great music I could find with my friends. Before I could afford any real DJ equipment, I cobbled together a device from parts at Radio Shack that allowed me to record a radio show and mix back and forth between records. I’d share these tapes with my friends and the local record store played them in the store. I would also bring my records and record players to parties with my friends, so I’ve been doing it in some way or another since I was teenager. I got a rush from getting people to hear and fall in love with new music. Plus I’m an entertainer at heart (I studied acting in college), so the art of telling a story through music was also something that I connected with.
OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Joe: I have the OXD crew to thank for introducing me to Output in Brooklyn. This venue has everything going for it. It’s got an underground vibe paired with a crystal clear and gorgeous sounding audio system. The space feels intimate, but the very high ceilings on the dance floor give it an expansiveness that adds a great dimension to the experience. Plus the acts I’ve seen there (Maxxi Soundsystem, Plastic Plates, Mike Servito) are among my current favorites.
“When the bottom line is the music, the demographics become a non-factor.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Joe: Frankie Knuckles is one of the first house music DJs I ever heard of and he remains my favorite of all time. His sets at Sound Factory Bar always made everyone happy. I heard him again recently and was reminded of why he is such a legend. Hearing him helped me understand how to bring a crowd together. He said, “For me it’s definitely like church. Because, when you’ve got three thousand people in front of you, that’s three thousand different personalities. And when those three thousand personalities become one personality, it’s the most amazing thing. It’s like that in church. By the time the preacher gets everything going, or that choir gets everything going, at one particular point, when things start peaking, that whole room becomes one, and that’s the most amazing thing about it.”
OXD: We live in a time where gay house and disco fans like ourselves are going to non gay venues to discover fresh and new music. What do you think this means for the future of NYC’s nightlife?
Joe: When the bottom line is the music, the demographics become a non-factor. The first time I saw a happy integration of cultures on a dance floor was at Body & Soul and there was nothing quite like that experience. You would look around and see smiles everywhere because everyone put everything else aside and came together in music. That magic continues today at 718 Sessions and I’ve seen it at Occupy events. The best things happen organically and everything is cyclical. I think we’ve come out of a dim period for music in gay nightlife and I’m very excited about where we’re going.
OXD: Finally, What are your top 5 tracks at the moment?

‘Misterio (Severino Horse Meat Disco Remix)’ – Munk

‘Taste the Groove (Hot Toddy Mix)’ – Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band

‘Higher Ground (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)’ – Shiny Object feat. Michael Marshall

‘Blind (Director’s Cut (Frank Knuckles & Eric Kupper) Classic Mix)’ – Hurts

‘Too High (2 Bears Remix)’ – Gramme