SA / 039: aunteesam
Based in the Bay Area, aunteesam of Club Pansy got their start DJing relatively recently. With their storytelling background as a filmmaker/editor and their strong sense for what it means to get lost in the emotions of a dancefloor, it feels like they could have been DJing for years. Viewing music as a universal language, their mixes are jubilant and connective — this is music for smiling at your neighbor through the fog, for uplifting one another, for heading home with a full heart and a changed mind.
About the mix:
Music to smize to. As a filmmaker/editor by day, I really enjoy storytelling, evoking feeling, and creating a sense of warmth through the art. It’s not a perfect story, but it has a beginning, an arc, and a resolution.
This mix is bright, has some tight hugs of acid, and groovy bass lines to get your feet kickin’. I’m sharing music that combines my love of dancing and feeling sanguine - This mix is full of tunes that please my soul. I recorded this using an XDJ-RX2 and some studio monitors.
To what extent is your music tied to community, and to what extent is it about individual expression? Can those things intersect?
My short answer is that they influence each other. It’s inspiring to be around different creative communities that share their art in different ways. I recently heard from my good friend, “Two people can have the exact same materials to work with, but the individual is always going to have their own way of doing it. Like, if two people have the same 20 songs in a track list, they definitely won’t mix it in the same way.”
I’ve always understood music as a universal language. Growing up in the south, music and community gathered under a different ideology (more like theology if you will). It was less about individual expression, more denying oneself for the service of others and a deity. Using my music, I want to bridge people together, share experiences, and understand how to love themselves more.
Having found the broader dance community in the Bay Area and the underground that is seemingly everywhere, I feel even more connected to people through dance music. I see a lot of compassion and human commonality in queer spaces around the bay. I’ve enjoyed finding more places where music, self-expression, and mutual-aid can thrive.
What was the first dance music experience that really stuck with you?
The sense of autonomy and freedom in these spaces was tangible. If it wasn’t the fog machines or lights, it was the people forming parallel lines in front of the DJ or twirling their sequins under a disco-ball. People buddying up to get each other water, have a cig outside, or packing 6 people into a tiny bathroom. People wiggling about in their kundles to new sounds that unified us together over and over again into the early morning. This gave me comfort and the safety I needed, to drop my ego and be present.
Another pinnacle moment for me in the dance community was my experience at Gays Hate Techno in 2019.
I really didn’t realize it until a several months later, but what happened to me there was the defiguring of my male bodied gender to the brightly, aunt-like, non-binary identity, that was birthed at the magical land of Saratoga Springs. It was the collective representation of genuine expression (and cute trans folk) that helped me discover myself. I felt euphoria, comfort, and support. I couldn’t be more grateful for this experience that truly raised my frequency. It all ended on Easter Sunday, and that morning I kept noodling around the grounds saying “she has risen” as a joke, but the truth was I found myself in my own body for the first time, and it was beautiful. ;’)
Another pinnacle life moment I wanted to include is my favorite moment from Honcho 2021 featuring Mutualism (Sherri Miller). This campount was transcendent on so many levels. I could say so much, but the main takeaway for me was the music I had in common with the artists that played. The more track IDs I heard, and have also collected since that wet weekend in August, the more it gave me confidence to share my music taste with others. It's the most passionate I've ever felt with any medium of art that I've tried, and Honcho gave me even more love & inspiration for the craft.
To what extent is utopia possible, and does dance music help us get there?
I think resistance to the norms of our current society is the closest to utopia we can strive for... I want to cultivate spaces where people treat each other like they want to be treated. Learning that house music and techno, at its roots, were founded by black communities in Detroit, is a resistance I still see in America. It is still very racist, and oppressive of intersectionality, even in popular dance music. With all respect and gratitude to its past, I see the underground community as a force to that same political resistance.
The community I know and look for marches to a beat of a different drum than the rest of the world. In order to move forward, we have to focus on supporting each other in our small communities, and finding love & compassion at the center of what we do. A utopia to me looks like amplifying voices of the oppressed, teaching everyone how to DJ, sharing our music, and dancing all-day every day, but that’s just me. There’s a lot of work to do.
Can you share any tracks or mixes created by someone else that really bring you back to a time or place?
Just to keep the nostalgia of GHT 2019 going, I don’t think I need to say much about this Deezy mix that speaks for itself, but I completely melted onto the gravel of this set from our lovely SF-based, Detroit legend. It’s powerful.
Share a video or photo that you recorded that takes you back to a moment, and tell us a bit about that moment.
A short video for you, but this is probably the most powerful moment I witnessed and had the pleasure of dancing to at The Stud. T4TLUVNRG is a party they threw for us back in January 2019 and again in February 2020 before the shutdown. The magic and love that exudes from Maya & Eris when they play is truly unlike ANYTHING you can witness from other DJs. They individually and collectively have the power to make you fall in love with a dance floor, it basically transcends time and space.
- Youandewan - Dolphin Splash Keyboards
- Key Tronics Ensemble - Calypso of House (Paradise Mix)
- Bullion - Muy Quimeda
- Mr. Ho + Mogwaa - Bail-E
- Oleg Poliakov - Midnight Vultures
- Roy of The Ravers - Emotinium (Secret Mix)
- Kalahari Oyster Cult - Helium - Try Me (More Mix)
- Von GDK - Namek 3000
- Von GDK - Hallowed Be Thy Name
- Abstraxion - Nietzsche's Future
- DeFeKT - Split My Mind
- Chrissy - So Electrifying (VONDA7 Remix)
- Sarah McLachlan - Sweet Surrender (Überzone Remix)
- Octo Octa - Goddess Calling
- Doc Sleep - Crème Fraîche
- Youandewan - Cola Beach
- DJ Seinfeld - U
Published October 2021.