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: Kito & Reija Lee ft. Zebra Katz – WORD$ (DJ Slink Remix) [Sick Jersey Club]

Jersey Club is evolving right in front of us. The genre that is best known for bed squeak noises and confusing R&B sample usage has begun to mature & blossom. This DJ Slink remix of WORD$ is a potent turn of events when it comes to the use of irregular beats, as we’ve seen in the genre. Vocal work on point, balanced against an evolving soundscape, it almost seems like an indie infusion into the genre, which is a fantastic development. The almost-rock beats push against a rhythm that smells of R&B, but only just so. DJ Slink has my attention & kudos to Kito, Reija Lee & Zebra Katz for an amazing original track. (via Stoney Roads)

Midnight Music: Saint – Tamagotchi ft. Dai Burger (Jesse Slayter Remix) [Jersey Club/Lovetrap]

I’m going to be talking about a lot more stuff like this, so get ready. The combination of lady vocal hip hop majesty, the perfectly mastered synths, the irregular but glorious beat & the signature squeaky toy sound fuse into some of the best Jersey Club and triumphant love/chilltrap that I’ve seen to date. I’m excited for the genre if it’s all going to sound like driving around Los Angeles in the late afternoon sun with a smart but foxy lady riding shotgun checking her smartphone as you go from party to party.