Typically, posts such as these are easy to come by, our guests have been big in one club or another for years, or have recently releases a club-smashing hit single or have a podcast we’ve been following for years.
DJ Sprinkles, however, is a bit different. That’s not to say you won’t shake yourself into a sweaty mess, but there will be more for your brain to do tonight than normal. Let me see if I can explain.
1. She’s less of a DJ and more of a magician
As the New Yorker put it (via “Depth on the Dancefloor”):
Usually, electronic dance music is all about the sound; songs succeed when they feel good on the dance floor. Sprinkles’s songs are more like essays—through their samples, they make an argument, usually having to do with the recent history of gender, sexuality, race, capitalism, and/or dance music.
So basically the mix turns into a speech, the EQ becomes the red pen of a dissertation and the crossfader a clapboard. Sprinkles casts a spell on the dancefloor quite like no one else.
2. She released perhaps the best deep house album of the 2000s
A lot of people say they are into deep house now, but no one did deep house quite like Midtown 120 Blues. It’s as classic of a deep house album as Moodymann’s Silentintroduction. I’ll again let someone else explain, this time over at Resident Advisor:
3. DJ Sprinkles is a veteran of the New York City house scene.
Thaemlitz treats us to well over an hour of exquisite deep house. Other than a handful of monologues and loops of vocal samples, Thaemlitz eschews vocals and keeps things instrumental—there are no wailing divas here, but instead richly textured productions that are warm and enveloping, full of gently tapped pianos and flute notes floating by. Even as the tracks groove (and they do indeed groove—many of these tracks would be quite welcome on a dance floor), there’s a gentle fluid grace to Midtown 120 Blues.
Her take on New York City house is in a first-person singular perspective. I’ll let her tell you herself.
There must be a hundred records with voice-overs asking, “What is house?” The answer is always some greeting card bullsh*t about “life, love, happiness….” … House is not universal. House is hyper-specific … The contexts from which the deep house sound emerged are forgotten: sexual and gender crises, transgendered sex work, black market hormones, drug and alcohol addiction, loneliness, racism, HIV, ACT-UP, Tompkins Square Park, police brutality, queer-bashing, underpayment, unemployment and censorship—-
all at 120 beats per minute.