Midtown 120 Blues (Comatonse)
The commodification of dance music subculture is an ongoing trend, but the rise of aggro rave beats catering to lowbrow brostep culture sometimes feels like an all-out obliteration.
The idea that dance music is not escapist entertainment but a medium to project difficult emotions and evoke specific places is at the core of DJ Sprinkles’ 2008 album, now self-reissued in a deluxe CD package.
DJ Sprinkles is the deep house persona of Terre Thaemlitz, a dance-floor intellect and contrarian. Here, she transports listeners to a highly personal time and place – queer and transsexual clubs in 1980s New York City – in 80 minutes of engrossing deep house.
Voices and snippets of speech drift in and out of cascading keys and rich sub-bass, conveying a sense of loneliness and distance even as warm melodies draw the ear in deeper. This delicate push and pull culminates in a ricocheting beat on closer The Occasional Feel-Good – a reminder that fun in the club is fleeting, not forever.
Top track: Brenda’s $20 Dilemma