- 30 club bangers from the popular London party.
- PDA, an East London club night launched six years ago by Mischa Mafia, Ms. Carrie Stacks and Crackstevens, recently threw what was likely the last of its regular parties. It was a dance floor for queer and non-binary POC clubbers that promised absolute freedom of expression. Amidst the glamour and sweat, vogue anthems were heard, along with the occasional rendition of Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." The founders have referred to PDA as a place of worship and togetherness, with inclusivity at its heart. "It's given a host of young queer DJs and artists of colour their first opportunities [to] play packed dance floors," Crackstevens wrote recently on Instagram.
To immortalise the party, PDA Compilation Vol. 1: And The Beat Goes On, a compilation featuring artists who played at PDA and those they admire. Its 30 tracks, a combination of original cuts and edits, are "for people to either reminisce or experience the sounds of PDA for the first time." While the compilation features exciting artists pushing the limits of experimental club sounds—including Arca, Klein and LSDXOXO—it also sheds light on promising newcomers like the London rapper Elheist.
The compilation spans UK garage, reggaeton, pop and techno, all executed with a giddy, chaotic attitude. There are also some wild mashups, especially Free At Last's "I'm Sorry (I Don't Want To Know)," an unlikely combination of UK garage and Coldplay. But there are also tracks like Harthill & Darkstar's "Escalators" that are tender, almost wholesome. Experimental dance music often gets couched in vaguely technical terms like "deconstructed club music" and "post-internet music," but the compilation transcends the cold, conceptual futurism those phrases evoke. Instead, these tracks are rooted in personal expression, experiences and solidarity. Artists like Arca, Lotic, Yves Tumour and Klein have all paved the way for this kind of music, emotionally explicit and politically charged.
The compilation doubles as a fundraiser for AQEM, a charity co-founded by Stacks. AQEM, or Association Of Queer Ethnic Minorities, aims to create opportunities and spaces for "social cohesion among queer ethnic minorities in the UK and beyond." In recent months, we've seen similar gestures of solidarity in the form of dance music compilations. Last year, NON Worldwide released one comprising African and African-diasporic artists, with all proceeds going to the Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Allergy Season and Discwoman together released two large compilations that raised funds for the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Planned Parenthood and other charities. Rave Tuga, a forthcoming compilation showcasing Portugal's blooming rave scene, will donate to Casa Qui, an LGBTQ mental health organisation. It's heartening to see collectives like these offering more than lip service to solidarity.
01. Door Girl - Door Girl Interlude I
02. Cõvco - She Hung Up Her Ego! Feel Gorgeous'n'vulnerable Hot Mess
03. Shygirl - Beauts
04. Suutoo - Tru Colors (Spread Your Wings Edit)
05. Lolo - Last Chance 1st Taste Fiona Edit
06. Pandora's Jukebox - Let The Right One In
07. Door Girl - Door Girl Interlude II
08. Von Blu (Yayoyanoh Edit)
09. Kesh - Twisted Dream
10. LSDXOXO - Hateshopping
11. Coucou Chloe - 2000
12. Manara - Traitor Meets Taal
13. James Massiah - Shall We Start A Family?
14. Door Girl - Door Girl Interlude III
15. Asmara - God Is A Woman Ma Live Blend
16. Elheist - Matter Of Fact / Not That Easy
17. Total Freedom - High Song Tf Scrape
18. On Me - Meek Mill feat. Cardi B (Btg Rmx)
19. Free At Last - I'm Sorry (I Don't Want To Know)
20. Door Girl - Door Girl Interlude IV
21. Arca - Ladies Llorando 150 Bpm
22. Joey Labeija - Regret Me
23. Sweyn X Bok - Lessons Down Low
24. Lord Tusk - Celestial
25. Door Girl - Door Girl Interlude V
26. Ms. Boogie - Morphin Time
27. cktrl - Got Til It's Gone
28. Klein - Homecoming
29. Harthill & Darkstar - Escalators
30. Ms. Carrie Stacks - Dilemma On A Sweet Day