Ron Like Hell

Ron Like Hell will be taking the decks along with Nita Aviance on Friday, May 30th at Occupy The Disco at Le Bain. Many of you know him well from spinning at parties like Wrecked, Spank and even The Saint at Large’s Black Party. Ron sat down with us in anticipation of Friday night, giving us his take on the current state of nightlife and his perspective on music.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Ron: My desire to unite all kinds of people together on the dancefloor with a unique blend of different genres not limited to just dance music tracks is my goal. I strived to achieve that for so long so once I finally accomplished that goal in the middle of my dj career, I felt at home with deejaying. As long as I am successful in making people dance and happy with the diverse styles of music I present, I am inspired and will keep it going for as long as I live.
OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Ron: There are more than just one for me. Output, Baby’s All Right, Starvue and Bossa Nova Civic Club are committed to featuring great music on really good sound systems. As an eclectic music fan, I like the diversity in the talent that they host. Plus the range of age and ethnicity of people who attend these venues is mixed which I also love.
“As long as I am successful in making people dance and happy with the diverse styles of music I present, I am inspired and will keep it going for as long as I live.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Ron: Francois Kevorkian still continues to amaze me with his detailed approach to programming music and the journey it takes you on. He has worked with Larry Levan (Paradise Garage), Thomas Dolby and Derrick May to name a few and has remixed so many incredible disco, new wave, rock, house, jazz and funk tracks for years which I truly admire. I was so happy when I finally got to hear him dj at Body & Soul back in 1998 and I still try and make it out to his weekly Deep Space parties whenever possible.
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?
Ron: For those like myself who have been deejaying to 50/50 or 100% straight or gay crowds their entire careers, I think it’s great that it is becoming less unusual to see all kinds of people dancing together. As long as people continue to seek out more diverse music styles at venues where all kinds of people are welcome, the future looks good for nightlife every where in the world.

Ron also shared his current top 5 tracks with us – check them out in the Soundcloud playlist below – and maybe you’ll even hear Ron them spin them on Friday!

Nita Aviance

Nita has turned us out during his sets at Westgay, The Carry Nation parties, and even at The Black party this past year. We’re excited he’ll be joining Ron Like Hell in the booth on Friday, May 30th at Occupy The Disco at Le Bain. Our time to chat with Nita is usually truncated to the moment in between changing tracks behind the DJ booth, so in anticipation of Friday, we chatted with him a little about his take on everything in the world of music and nightlife.

OXD: What inspired you to become a DJ?
Nita: Djing was always something I had in the back of my mind, what with spending so much of my time in clubs, but I constantly talked myself out of it. And since so many places we’re being closed down by the end of my college years I thought it much smarter to get a “real” job. It all happened quite by accident. Of course I was always a music junkie, mixtapes were something I’d really pride myself on, plus I had started producing and released my first single in 2001, in the end though it really was a case of right place/right time.
OXD: What’s your favorite venue in NYC currently?
Nita: That’s a very emotional question for me, since my favorite venue recently closed. But The Carry Nation (my project with Dj Will Automagic) just played Verboten this past Friday and I gotta say, they set that place up real nice.
“…stop chasing the dick so hard. Trust me, when you make your way to a party with great music the dicks will BE there, and they’ll most likely be attached to someone a lot more worthwhile.”
OXD: Who is the DJ you admire the most?
Nita: To be honest, the NYC family is killin it right now, so proud of my brothers & sisters for always surprising 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?
Nita: There’s nothing wrong with cross-pollination, that’s what makes for great parties. But if one is struggling to find gay parties with great music, I would suggest looking a little further. Also stop chasing the dick so hard. Trust me, when you make your way to a gay party with great music the dicks will BE there, and they’ll most likely be attached to someone a lot more worthwhile. (wink wink)

Nita shared his current top tracks with us – check them out in the Soundcloud playlist below.

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]