Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: DJ Dollpartz

1534784_10151952033683725_212484438_o1. If you were forced to spin a genre/genres of music other than the genres you spin now as Dollpartz & as one half of WoJ, what would it be? Both my solo and collaborative sound projects definitely engage a huge range of musical genres, so I’d just have to go with what I have yet to explore!  I’m a huge hip-hop fan, and because that genre necessitates a certain technique of mixing, it would be a great new skill to master.  I’m also a huge Reggae fan, and can see myself grooving behind the decks to a nice mix of Reggae and older dub and dubstep.  Maybe you’ll hear a set like that from me in the future!

2. How does Dollpartz differ than your half of the Talon/Claw pair? What makes you one or the other?  The real difference is in the sound that’s created when I DJ solo versus the sound that Tyler and I collaborate to bring to audiences and listeners.  For example you’ll find a lot more soulful house lyrics in my solo work, simply because I love them but they don’t make sense for whiteowljaguar’s sound.  When I dig for tracks for whiteowljaguar, I’m not only listening through my ears.  I’m always conscious of what we’ve created in the past and take into consideration whether this track works with or grows off of those sounds.  If the track really doesn’t fit with woj but I still love it, it goes into my Dollpartz folder.  That’s not to say I don’t dig just for Dollpartz, or that some tracks don’t carry over between projects.  Dollpartz has a playful, teasing, naughty, and hearful sound… at least, so far.  Whiteowljaguar is more deep, dark, and dirty.

3. Have you DJ’d in any city besides NYC? What are the different scenes you spin for like?  I’ve spun three times in Black Rock City, NV, twice as Dollpartz and whiteowljaguar had an amazing set on the S.S. Carcharius art car with Andy Warren and his crew from the west coast.  Woj travels a lot for pleasure and for gigs, so we tend to pack somesort of gear.  I’ve DJed in Northampton, Mass where I went to college at Smith.  House music was an interesting experience for students there who’d usually been partying to top 40’s and 90’s hip-hop and R&B.  woj spun a great, naughty party in Durham, NC; we recently spun a weekend long event in Massachussetts.  We’ll be heading to Mexico to spin in April.

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4. As a lady DJ, can you talk about your experiences from a few different angles? How are you treated differently when you’re Dollpartz vs. when you’re part of WoJ?  Well… first, I’d like to think that I’m just a DJ who happens to be female.  I’d really like to see the day when there’s an all-female DJ line-up and that doesn’t make it a special night. I want people to get excited about a line-up because the DJs are talented women, not just because they’re all women.  I do understand the need for these events now, and I recently participated in a ladies’ night for Modus Operandi that had an all-female line-up dripping with talent, and it was empowering.  There is a deep respect between female DJ’s; we do share a unique experience.  Spinning alongside REsy, Cry Baby, and Dopeshoes, all incredibly talented women whom I admire for their technical skills, supreme musical taste, and auditory adventurousness, there was definitely the lack of a feeling of otherness that surfaces when you’re the only woman on the bill.

I do believe that the sense of comradery between DJs regardless of gender or sex is generally incredibly strong.  When I’m spinning as Dollpartz, it’s clear it’s me. When I’m performing with Tyler, I suppose a sort of difference in treatment often comes when people make assumptions.  They assume that I’m just a girl dancing behind the decks, or just the girlfriend of the DJ.  This usually goes away when it’s my turn with the headphones.

5. How are you treated differently by fans? Are there people who don’t know you’re female? What happens when/if they find out?  Haha.  It’s cool that I can say that’s never happened to me! At least, not to my knowledge.  Perhaps if someone thought whiteowljaguar was two dudes and then met me and Tyler, they’re more surprised that we’re a couple who DJs together than a male/female duo.  I’m sure our internet presence has something to do with that.  We both work hard to post equally about upcoming gigs, etc, so most people figure it out.1174633_210528592449425_1740809701_n

6. What are your plans for 2014? Any surprises that you want to tease people about?  I’m extremely excited about 2014!  Dollpartz’s first studio mix will drop shortly, so keep on ear out!  I intend on taking on a few more gigs just as Dollpartz too.  Expect more from our Talon&Clawcasts!  We’ll be working hard on them, and let’s just say you may be hearing mixes from artists other than woj ourselves. We’ve been hitting the studio, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear something original from Talon&Claw productions by the time some crazy people go build a city in the desert 😉

7. Can you explain the Disco Fist? It’s this awesome signature piece, but does it have any more meaning than just “hey look at this?!”  I can only say what it means for me, really.  My incredibly talented dear friend Jen Glenn created the object and took it out dancing.  It created such great energy that she made more, and more, and eventually our group of friends and some complete strangers started making them and taking them out dancing as well.  They’ve been out of the country and danced all over the United States.  A DiscoFist popped up on an instagram photo snapped at a festival in the UK worn and made by someone we don’t know at all. What I love about the object is its interactivity.  It creates another dimension of a party as a visually stimulating prop that bounces about the dance floor, adding to the overall energy of the event.  It gives people power to help shape the party experience.   It’s also personal.  Each person who puts it on interacts with it differently.  I suppose to me it forces people to not only attend an event, but to really participate in the event.  It empowers them to influence the experience. It forces people to connect with their bodies (it’s heavy!) and with strangers.  Plus, there’s the documentation of it… everyone wants a photo with it, which has given the DiscoFist the need for its own facebook to track its adventures and help people relive their moments with it. But really to me, it’s just fun, and who doesn’t need more of that?

8. What artists/producers/dj’s do you look up to? And who are you jamming on right now that the internet should know about?  I’m a huge Maya Jane Coles fan.  Ida Engber, Nina Kraviz, Ellen Allien, Deniz Kurtel are all women who really inspired me and hooked me into the realm of deep tech house and techno.  Damian Lazarus and most artists on his Crosstown Rebels label were also early inspirations of mine. Woj has been jamming on Hannah Wants for about a year now, and she just got signed to dirtybird. Her sound is filthy and soulfully housey at the same time and I’d say she’s my biggest inspiration right now.  Watch out, world! She’s about to make a serious splash in global underground music. 

9. What’s the deal with this Primal Scream you’re working on? This sounds kind of fun.  I studied performance art in college and haven’t done a piece on my own since graduating in 2011.  This piece is an ode to my alma.  At 10pm before finals period, my entire college would go outside and scream.  It was therapeutic.  I figured New York could use a practice like this, especially during this awful winter, so I decided to see how many people we can get to scream at the top of their lungs at 8pm, March 12th  (TONIGHT!)  You don’t have to go anywhere to do it, though going outside might be fun in case we can hear each other from far away.  The idea is to get enough people to all around the city that non-participants ask, “what just happened?!”    (Join the facebook page and spread the word!!!I guess I just like making people really uncomfortable with my performances.

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10. How should people get at you, Dollpartz specifically on social media? Where are you now, and where do you plan on being before the year is out?  I’ve been focusing most of my energy towards my collaboration with Tyler on whiteowljaguar and Talon&Claw productions, plus I’ve been working on my own art and event production.   Bookings for Dollpartz right now can be made through whiteowljaguar@gmail.com.  My soundcloud and facebook are coming soon.  Do support whiteowljaguar on facebook and soundcloud, and also our art collective, DiscoFist, is on facebook as well.  Most announcements about Dollpartz and woj can all be found on whiteowljaguar and DiscoFist’s facebook pages.  Plus we might just tell you where the DiscoFist will be dancing that week 😉

(Photos thanks to Chris – VMP, Alex Bershaw – Verboten & Dollpartz)

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