From The Trenches: Mohawk The Educator

(I have been waiting to do this interview for years now. Mohawk is a luminary in the NYC underground scene, my boss at New York DanceSafe , a spectacular dancer & a generally all around stupendous person. She’s throwing a party that you need to go to, and I’ll be giving two tickets away, so you have no excuse. But before you do, kick back and enjoy this long-form conversation with someone who is fielding a tactical force to keep your sorry butt alive if you’re partying in the Tri-State area.)

Mohawk, Harm Reduction Coordinator Extraordinaire.

1. How is the party coming along? Any new surprises to announce, or should we just show up and find out? The party is pretty much ready to go and we’re in our last week of ramped up promotion. I wouldn’t say there are true “surprises”, however I’m sure many people are hearing about the party through different sources, so beyond the musical talent we’ll have on board, the additional performers, vendors, and workshops might come as a surprise to many. We’ve been making announcements a few times a week, highlighting some of what’s to come. We don’t expect everyone to keep up with these announcements, but we definitely want to showcase all that we have in store. It’s getting pretty late in the game and we still have people wanting to take part in the festivities. Don’t bank on this type of event happening again–we host events with specific objectives and move forward from there. It’s a “launch party” of sorts, so come find out for yourself and see what it’s all about!

2. You’ve been doing harm reduction for a long time, have you seen any changes in the work/scene that you’d see as positive? Any worrying trends you are trying to sound the alarm about? I’d like to preface this answer first: I really only have visibility of what’s happening in NYC. In doing this work with a nationally represented organization, a lot of people assume that we all see the same things or face the same problems. This is not necessarily the case, so I’ve chosen to take the New York chapter in different directions based on what we learn each year. The good news is, people overall are becoming more “hip” to testing. People want kits! The worrying thing about this is that, people forget that drug use comes with risks beyond just the potential of ingesting the “wrong” drugs by accident. An obvious worrisome trend is how much do we need to fear fentanyl popping up in drugs, especially non-opioids? This is one with a lot of hysteria around it right now. It takes a lot of work to keep the most accurate information in circulation and weed out the sensationalism and myths.

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Midnight Music: Funkerman – Coming Home [Funky House]

Funkerman - Coming Home (Original Mix)This continues the good feelings for Midnight Music this week, with the V-man himself reminding me that funky house is far from dead. This track by Funkerman is already ancient in EDM blog time, but I wanted to make sure it got some love here, as he’s been blowing up quickly. And deservedly so, with the talent & foresight required to bring this track into the world. The funky house starts up and doesn’t quit, as the classic sample echoes through the track. It’s a glorious return to a sound I haven’t heard in too long. If 2015 brings back the world of funky deep house, I’d be a very happy man indeed. Check it out and don’t forget to give FNT some love for the pick up a month ago.

Unearthed Carl Cox Mix At Twilo. For Serious.

Something like this doesn’t come back very often. My boy Agent Orange found this & it’s crazy good. This was recorded at one of the dopest places to exist in NYC. Twilo will never come again, and with the current legal infrastructure in NYC, there is very little any of us can do to change that. However, we can enjoy two hours of some of the best music spun on the island of Manhattan, ever. This mix spans easily a dozen subgenres, with some great gems that will bring you back. If you’re a geezer like me, this mix is going to bring you back to a simpler time. And if you’re a youngling, this is what music sounded like when people could still acquire MDMA in pill form. It was still cut with stuff, but that stuff was like, Stacker 2 & Dexatrim, not Methylone & Face Eating Salts.

via Agent Orange

Midnight Music: Junkie XL vs. Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation [Funky Pop]

Throwback Thursday this week is getting a little love from Junkie XL. This hit was all over the place back in 2010, and it still gets me going to this day. The music video has a significant focus on the totally different styles of dance that Americans have been known to employ on the floor. This visual assistance in differentiating parts of the track allow for some fun back and forth with the different movers & shakers. Musically, Junkie XL did an exquisite job staying true to the original, respecting Elvis’ perfect vocals, while adding a bunch of rock-infused kicks that amp up the energy even further. If you’ve not heard this, you owe it to yourself, so get on with it, shut up and dance.

Midnight Music: Kid Beyond – I Shall Be Free

This is a big throwback for Thursday, coming to you all the way from 2006. Kid Beyond‘s soulful anthem, I Shall Be Free. The amazing message is as true now as it was when I first heard it after this pixie of a girl sent it to me after attending one of my parties. The combination of funky vocals, powerful chords and a whole lot of groovy vibes blend in a way that was more modern than I expected, especially for a message this hopeful.

George Clinton And Parliament Funkadelic To Record Direct-to-Vinyl Live LP & Teach Funk Master Class

The God of Funk & his Pantheon, Parliament Funkadelic blew minds when they announced their latest creative gambit. At Metropolis, one of the sacred spaces in recording/production, George Clinton will be recording a “super limited edition album” direct to vinyl for a very select group of mega-fans. Metropolis in the UK is one of the only studios in the world equipped to do this, and if you’re into it, you can not only attend recording sessions, but also a master class by Clinton himself, The Vinyl Factory reports. This is probably going to raise the general funk quotient of the planet by an order of magnitude or two, so hit up PledgeMusic if you’re interested in attending. As, 150 sterling for a class with the p-funk impresario himself is a freaking steal.