Saturday, 14 July 2012

Words of Vjuan Allure

"What it comes down to, is that whereas before there were a number of songs to play for the dancers, when vogue fem started getting popular there were only about six that really worked," Vjuan tells me. "It was frustrating because I hate to repeat songs. So I became the first DJ to start making original tracks in that style. It just wasn't done at the time."

Dance music historians may not be surprised that there's a connection to the Motor City. "I was asked to spin in Detroit at the Post Bar. Eric Christian Bizarre was commentating a ball there," Vjuan says. "This was around 2000. I had brought all this music, and I was playing it—and in New York or DC they would have been dancing, but in Detroit they were not. They were just standing there… until I dropped the Ha. Then every kid in the building jumped up. And I was like, 'You have got to be kidding me.' And I got mad, because I had been told to bring things like 'Love Hangover'—very basic things. I got mad, and I went home, and I started to create the first remix. Something just drove me to it."

"I used the Ha for my first track because I knew that that's what they wanted to hear—because of vogue fem, everyone wanted the crash. So I gave them the crash but I changed the beat—I actually made it more dramatic. It was my own creation."

Vjuan prefers his tracks to come fast and physical, an urge cemented by his status in the House of Allure. "I have my Simian sampler workstation, my Kawaii drum machine, and some sequencers, which is how I prefer to work. I can knock out a track in 15 minutes. With a computer you'll spend 20 minutes just doing one part. It's a hassle. I like to hit that trigger, to get that timing with the cue buttons and really feel the rhythm. What you hear me doing live when I'm out, I'm actually doing live."

"One of the things that sets me apart from every other DJ who makes music is that I'm the only one who walks. I vogue. I walk Old Way, that's my category. It's natural for me, and the energy for me to dance, period, has to be high. So my tracks come out that way, not matter what kind of tracks I'm giving you—vogue fem, face tracks, Old Way songs, legends, statements, and stars songs. The energy is always high, high, high."

Full article: Strictly Ballroom (after decades in the shadow of vogue dancing and culture, ballroom beats come to the fore) at XLR8R