Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Superstar DJ
Chix In Da Mix Phenomenon
Every regular club night will once a while put on a female edition, recognising that persistent female DJ minority in the industry should be celebrated once a while. But there is one club event that is built on female DJs and artists that has been consistently delivering good music throughout 11 years on two different continents. Chix in da Mix, a brainchild of Mini Da Minx and Smokey B, was born in sunny Cape Town in 2003, where the duo resided at the time. Minxy then brought it up single handedly when she moved to London in 2006.
Many have dubbed Chix in da Mix and other nights featuring exclusively female line ups as an ultimate male fantasy – beautiful girls playing great beats. But Chix in da Mix is more than just a parade of pretty faces and sexy outfits. It is a showcase and a platform for female talent. The event’s music policy is simple: good music that will make you dance. As Minxy says, she cannot stand poses of those ladies that use their likeable complexions (she really means tits and ass) to get behind decks with no skills behind them. The duration of this event that has been going on for so long, from strength to strength, is a living proof of this statement.
The event was created as an answer to the minuscule number of female DJs and insufficient profile of female artists in Cape Town. While residing there, the night included a strong live element with DJs and live instruments jamming. To mention some outstanding shows and prime female musicians such as Heather Roth aka Fluteyloops on flute and saxophone, Rayelle Goodman on electric violin and Microstripe on bass, playing alongside Mini Da Minx supplying breaks and broken beats plus live visuals by The Grrrl. The DJ residents were the only ladies spinning at the time in city: African Dope’s Honey B, Miss H, D’nB ladies DJ Earth and Com.it and Mini Da Minx, later joined by Jetjungle and Microstripe.
After the London relocation, the event took place in several venues before it found its permanent home in Camden’s prime club bar, The Lockside Lounge. The first event was designed as a versus with club night ‘Social’ with its head honcho – Richie Balboa, continuing to front the gentlemen side for five years. By then Chix in da Mix had expanded and grown finding it’s perfect dwelling here, embracing the large canal side terrace with TCR inspired BBQs and roomy space not to mention those goddamn delicious mojitos! Presently the event takes place twice a year with one being a friendly versus battle with male friends to share the fun and the other with exclusively female line up. The line-ups over the years were star studded fronted by resident Janette Slack, the favourite French connection Flore and Odissi live, with male heavyweight industry names such as Terry (Atomic Hooligan), Soul of Man, Canadian Stickybuds. As a treat for Chix’s fans, as well as herself, Minxy put on something special for her 30th birthday – Chix with Dix. Not a transsexual night as it may sound, more so cross-dressing. Her male friends dressed up like girls for this saucy affair. Pictures speak louder than words!
Let’s have a closer look at Chix residents and regulars:
Mini Da Minx is infamous for her deep passion for a bassline, laced out through her sets blending electro and breaks. At the last three years of Glastonbury festival, Da’Minx cemented her party credentials with 6 prime time sets at the legendary Mutoid Waste Company‘s ‘The Unfair Ground’, playing sets after Rudimental, Elite Force and Mr Carl Cox. Regular to music festivals all around the UK and throughout Europe, such as the Secret Garden Party, Let It Roll and Boomtown Fair. Recently she has played Breakspoll International awards, the legendary TCR BBQ, opening and closing seasons in Chamonix, and at Krafty Kuts’ popular night in London. Picking up her production, she has some exciting projects in the pipeline.
Her debut album has been released, she’s headlined Ministry of Sound & Torture Garden, and she recently hit our screens on SKY1’s Gadget Geeks and Top Gear’s Richard Hammond’s new show on the BBC ‘Secret Service’ not to mention appearing as herself on new film ‘About Time’. This busy ‘girl in black’ has just returned from a month long DJ tour of Australia. She has finished her album ‘Torture Garden Session’, a driving dance LP of her own original tracks. Drawing influence from rock, funk, progressive house, big beat, glitch, and electro with lashes of sexy vocals, the album is a window onto the glamorous and eccentric dancefloor of London’s world-famous fantasy night Torture Garden, where Janette has rocked a seven-year residency. As Time Magazine UK described her‘‘ One of the UK’s top female DJs’’ .
In January 2010, Janette won the Pink Armada European Female DJ competition, beating out three other semi-finalists from 200. A couple months later, she starred in a short documentary on her life, filmed and aired at prime time on Hong Kong’s TVB Peal, The Pearl Report. When she’s not doing the international DJ thing, Janette stars in photoshoots with London’s edgiest independent designers, who love her Sex Pistols style and steam punk/skater chick with a dash of glam and rock attitude. As well as designers and musicians, Janette has collaborated with ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ comedian Neil Mullarkey to produce “It’s Powerful Stuff,” played on his Don’t Be Needy Be Succeedy tours.
Omnipresent since the early 2000s and pillar of the bass music scene in France, DJ and producer Flore occupies a central place in the panorama of electronic music in Lyon. Both studio and stage artist, this self-made woman acquired an excellent reputation notably because of her wicked performances at some of the major French festivals like les Nuits Sonores or les Transmusicales, and even her own POLAAR events, held both in Paris and Lyon. First spotted on the drum’n’bass scene in the early 2000s, Flore became known to the general public by her selection in 2003 to the Pintemps of Bourges, a massive festival in France. That same year, she released her first EP and did the opening of the first edition of the festival les Nuits Sonores in Lyon, with a huge success… a dozen Eps later, it was in 2010 that Flore released her first album “Raw” on UK label Botchit & Scarper, supported by a who’s who of the most influential djs around (Plump djs, Freq Nasty etc.) & radio shows (BBC1, Galaxy FM etc to name a few). Always containing thousands of projects in mind, Flore has just finished creating a new musical / video live show together with the VJ collective WSK, for which a new direction has been especially created, sounding like something between uk bass and techno, with tribal energy and psychedelic accents.
This must be one of the longest playing ladies on the scene, spinning since the tender age 13, eclectic style, beginnings of her career alongside legends such as Carl Cox and Pete Tong. As an original member of the Fresh and Funky crew with Brian Norman and Femi, she played a hybrid mix of Hip-Hop, funk and house which led her into the emerging rave scene of the late eighties. Progressing to DnB she played at original jungle nights, and then moved to production, resulting in partnership with Guy Called Gerald’s label, Juice Box, Tamsin remixed Reverence for the seminal Insomnia album by Faithless and has since been signed to Rennie Pilgrims TCR label as part of BREAKNECK. Still going strong playing and broadcasting on Kool FM, this lady is a true legend.
To put it simply, Toni Jarvis (AKA Sacha Schwarz) deals in fun. And not just any old fun, either. She pushes the type of unrestrained fun that wobbles, bounces and thumps around a dance floor all night long. After grabbing the attention of Utah Saints, who signed her up to become a resident at their Sugarbeat Club, Toni has been perfecting the craft of blowing a crowd away using nothing but wonky basslines and crazy samples. She’s played at festivals and clubs across Europe and also has a few tricks up here sleeve when it comes to production. ‘Boxed Off’ is the title of Toni’s three track EP for Utah Saints’ Sugarbeat label and she remixed Mark Knight’s club hit ‘Party Animal’. Toolroom offered her a job and the rest is history.
Following the release of her debut album ‘Mellowdrama’, available for online download, Fae exploded onto the London underground scene performing & hosting for Spredluv & Chix in da Mix. Since then she has collaborated with artists at home & abroad, from the ‘Timeless’ remix with Jehst & the powerful thought-provoking smash ‘The World You Know’ with Ramson Badbonez to ‘Drop My Dub’ with Athens’ own heavyweight dub duo AMP Outernational.
Runner up for the most eclectic music styles of Chix in da Mix is Fifties. Djing since 2004, her training ground was the ‘The Cell’ in Lincoln where Andy George & Jaymo’s ‘Moda’ night began and she became a favorite with her warm up skills. Also experienced as a peak time player, her genre defying sets have taken her across the UK and Northern Ireland. Receiving high praise from both DJ Mag and featuring in iDJ’s Raw Talent before she had even played a gig plus hitting over 35,000 plays on Soundcloud, this isn’t just any dolly dj!
During playtime, this talented dj and designer has carved a name for herself as the prolific journalist on the blog scene as ‘Reviews Editor’ for music blog LifeSupportMachine.co.uk. Having her own show on NSB Radio keeps her at the forefront of the scene.
An exciting new edition Mary Miss Fairy has the reputation for unleashing some seriously crunching basslines on unsuspecting dance floors across the UK and Europe. Equally content behind the decks as she is in the studio, her desire for all things bass is as contagious as it is compelling! This UK based mixtress is a label DJ for Broken Records and Wonk#ay Records and as a regular on the UK festival and club scene, she has played at countless events including Lovebox, Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Glade, and Boomtown Fair, and in venues such as SE1, Matter, The Scala, Cafe 1001, The Coronet and Concorde 2. With regular bookings in France, Italy, Spain and Prague, Mary has been busy setting the dance floor on fire across Europe with her undeniable energy and presence behind the decks.
Known for delivering a torrent of sizzling tunes every time she plays, she guarantees a mind melting experience for the Electro connoisseur. However, she is no one trick pony, and loves to incorporate techno and progressive house into her sets, as well as Dubstep, Glitch hop and Drum &bass when the mood and the crowd takes her! Mary has more than held her own with opening sets for mammoth artists such as Miles Dyson, Camea, Far Too Loud, Elite Force, Lenkemz and Atomic Drop, and played alongside the likes of Goldierocks, Electrixx, Lady Waks, Baby G, Tom Real, Lt J Bukem and Gaudi to name but a few. This fairy has released some scorchers through collaborations, both vocally and in the producers chair and with a residency with GoForward events and Bearded Kitten, as well as more international bookings racked up for the new year, this clearly establishes Mary’s position as Queen consort to the beats of filth.
She has her own deep atmospheric style, which draws together Deep/Progressive House, Techno, Breakbeat, Broken Beat, Garage, Dub, Electronica and film soundtrack sounds. Not afraid to play underrated breakbeat jems and timeless classics of the past, with present forward thinking tracks, the emphasis is always on groovy, organic sounding beats and melody. B:Unit, aka Anna Bahow has gone back to her roots as a vocalist and will be presenting a new live show this summer, incorporating both electronic and live instrumentation. With influences ranging from Massive Attack, Submotion Orchestra, Thom Yorke, SBTRKT Rachelle Ferrell, Djrum and many more, expect deep musical grooves combined with jazz-style vocals.
Kate and Zoe hail from opposite ends of the country and decided to team up after meeting at Snowbombing in 2010. Gigging (and partying) their way around London and the globe, DJ sets will get the party started whether on a reggae, jungle, deep house or ghetto funk tip! The production side is warming up nicely too; for a flavor check out:
We have a wife and husband team – Moniker and Rebel Sonix! Originally hailing from Australia where she has earned most of her DJing brownie points, Moniker has setup camp in London where she’s here to stay. Moniker is a female DJ that has been playing for over 10 years around Australia, UK and Canada. Her musical style spans bass, breaks, funk, house and hip hop more often all in one set.
Microstripe likes to mash it up between trip hop, drumstep, breaks, dubstep, glitch hop and drum n bass. You can expect to hear melodic sounds contrasted with deep dark basslines. Presenter for the weekly XXXL Bass show on Mutha FM Internet Radio since 2006, she now resides in Singapore and heads up the Bassjump events at Home Club. She is a founding member of Big Love Events – hosting the Groove Projects, Sofa Surfing, and numerous other parties. She also co-founded Sound Squad Events, which brought the New Years Revolutions Outdoor Electronic music festivals to South Africa for four years.
Flange vs Battenberg
(F**k the Beatmatching) started out as a ridiculous joke between two friends who love music, cake and being extremely silly. As the opening act for the inaugural Flangestock music festival the duo quickly found that their unique skills were actually in great demand, and received booking requests from some of London’s best loved party promoters (famously FvB have turned down more gigs than they’ve played). Being woefully underprepared FvB began to teach themselves the very basics of DJing (on and off buttons, location and purpose of the cross fader, rider negotiation), armed themselves with a few boxes of Mr Kipling and got on the decks. Having warmed up numerous parties around the capital FvB took a 2 year hiatus to pursue travel ambitions and media careers, but luckily for everyone they are now back with their trademark sounds. Expect to hear everything from The Clash to Dizee Rascal via Jive Bunny and A Guy called Gerald. DJ skills optional. Vodka essential.
Last but not least….
In a bid to bring back the live music element from its origins, artists completing the line up as a cherry on the metaphorical cake we have Kathika Rabbit de Slamboree freestyling, Natasha Fox on drums and last but not least Radimo from Spreadluv on sax.
Looking at this line up, it becomes clear that apart from quality music, one unifying element is heavy, in many cases filthy, bassline, regardless what music genre. All hail to the power of ladies dropping heavy bass!
Next Chix In Da Mix will be on 19th September, before the night takes a break for couple/few years. For full info click HERE.
Over the years Chix had the pleasure to feature DJs such as 10 Sui, Miss Monument, Miss Max, Manchester representatives such as Lowdown n Dirty’s resident Misstickle and Steph Higgins, NSB’s Julie-Anne, Squeeks, Waxjellyfish, Honeycombe, Tiddles, Ugg
Male guests included Terry Hooligan, Soul of Man, Peo de Pitte, Spanish Peter Paul, Def Inc, Diverted, Kid Chameleon, Rebel Sonix, Move Ya, Sick Rick, FFS, Country Cockney, Sticky Buds, Ladykilla, Blunted Stuntman, Gella, Big Nick D, Force of Habit, 101 connection, Berries, Czech representatives: john weah and DJ Sens.