Amsterdam collective Dance with Pride’s launched an eight hour takeover of Red Light Radio over the weekend. It’s worth a listen, covering the gamut from sex worker activists to “cheap Moroccan music”.
Dance with Pride got its start as a way of bridging activism around LGBTQIA+ pride with the dance music community. Apart from taking on the causes of the marginalized, it also offers something for your ears that should be refreshing – a needed break from business-as-usual sound. (Hey, music is good at that. Diversity isn’t just some political abstraction, but something that can tickle your ears.)
As its organizers offered in 2017, that’s a chance for an all-encompassing and necessary approach to a broad spectrum of artists:
“The Dance With Pride initiative kindly reminds you that the roots of Dance Music stem from diverse Queer, Black and Latino communities … This Pride weekend is the perfect time to reflect on this and pay your respects on the dance floor.”
Progressive-minded Amsterdam is known for being outspoken and forward-thinking on these issues, and it’s fitting that the radio takeover takes place in a street-front window formerly used by prostitutes. (It’s still the red light district around the radio station, in the tourist-crowded center of the city, where space is at an impossible premium. Having DJed there, you get a kind of fascinating fishbowl effect – so plenty of gawkers peer in from roughly the same vantage point as the infamous Internet streaming camera.)
Even in Amsterdam, though, there’s a palpable sense of urgency. Summer 2019 in Europe brings elevated concerns for the safety of queer communities. Right-wing pressure has erupted across the continent, including in alarming attacks in Poland that involved some members of the electronic music community there. The Netherlands have also seen right-wing groups, hostile to queer populations, seated in government – and an upswing in harassment. And yes, even in the supposed “bubble” of Berlin, there are fresh worries about repression. (Happily, the Pride March here in Berlin also this weekend was a peaceful event, even with 1 million attendees.) This year was the 50th anniversary of the so-called Stonewall Riots – and a reminder that the root of the event wasn’t a party, but political demonstrations by people whose safety was threatened.
That puts Dance with Pride’s efforts in a new light – that of a shared, international cause. So it’s wonderful seeing a mix of albums and interventions, English, Dutch, Somali, and Derija languages.
Let’s tune in. Select Facebook videos first, then Mixcloud audio links for everything at bottom (including if you disable Facebook content – and good for you, heh).
Lazer Gazer joins with queer Arabic music (oh heck, yes, that’s a thing, whatever your image of Arabic people may be). It’s led by Dance with Pride organizer Axmed, Somali-Dutch music personality and an all-around wonderful and thoughtful person, reading a Somali text. [ Watch ]
Nat Portnoy from Amsterdam Queer Porn Collective, Dorothy Waste playing live “witchy industrial tenderness from this (un)holy priestess”:
LIONSTORM and DJ Jasmine Perez:
And here are the sound links, direct from the source: