Tuesday, 18 June 2013

HOUSE OF SHADE Interview for Dalston Superstore

By Niall Connolly

In the cult classic ’90s documentary Paris Is Burning, “shade” is defined by the legendary drag queen Dorian Corey as the art of throwing humourous insults at your rivals. “I don’t tell you you’re ugly, but I don’t have to, because you know you are ugly.” Accordingly, Berlin’s House Of Shade doesn’t have to tell his competitors they’re not as good. Just one listen to any of his DJ mixes on SOUNDCLOUD and wannabe ballroom DJs will hang their heads in shame, they’ll know they’re not as good. That’s the beauty of shade. Ahead of his debut London dj gig at Dalston Superstore this Friday for BANJEE BOY REALNESS, we sent House of Shade head honcho Jan some questions to answer…

Who/what is the House Of Shade?

House Of Shade is not a real house in the ballroom/voguing sense, so no mothers, fathers and children, unfortunately! House Of Shade is more of a DJ moniker and at the same time a characterization of the sounds I play, which is house, disco and ballroom beats that have a certain fierceness to them to get you in a legendary and shady mood.
You are known for your vinyl-only DJ mixes. Is it a conscious decision to just use vinyl, and do you think using one format only can limit a DJ?

Using only vinyl can be limiting, true, because a lot of the newer beats are not released on vinyl anymore. But often limitation is also a good thing, and personally I just love the whole process of mixing records too much to give it up for now. You know, the challenge of pitch adjusting and blending two records manually without fucking it up – so much can go wrong. It’s exciting!  
How is the vogue/house scene in Berlin?

The house scene is huge, obviously, but the vogue/house scene isn’t, at all. There’s not much drama on the dancefloors in Berlin, being competitive or even fierce are somewhat foreign concepts in the clubs. But there is in fact a budding voguing scene. Last year in August, Georgina Philp – who’s the best voguer in Germany – organized the first Berlin Voguing Ball which had legendary Hector Xtravaganza over as a judge and drew competing houses from Hamburg, Düsseldorf, even Paris. The next Ball will take place on August 17 at Festsaal Kreuzberg.  

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