TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOP TEN

Discwoman

Founded by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, Emma Burgess-Olson (aka Umfang), and Christine McCharen-Tran in 2014, Discwoman is a New York–based collective and booking agency that showcases woman-identified and genderqueer DJs and producers. Discwoman has organized events in some fifteen cities, working with more than 150 DJs and producers to date.

  1. SOUTH PARK (1997–)

    This cartoon, besides her mum, brought Frankie up to be honest in the world. She has the title tattooed on the backs of her legs.

    *_South Park_, 1997–*, still from a TV show on Comedy Central. Season 13, episode 14. South Park, 1997–, still from a TV show on Comedy Central. Season 13, episode 14.
  2. BELL HOOKS

    Her book Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies (1996) teaches you how being an onlooker or spectator can be a position of power, one from which you can effect change. By maintaining a critical outlook and objecting to the status quo, you can carve out new spaces and new languages.

    *Cover of bell hooks’s _Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies_* (Routledge, 1996). Cover of bell hooks’s Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies (Routledge, 1996).
  3. NEW YORK CITY

    We’ve met so many people here who live life in exactly the way they dreamed up, and we encourage others to dream as limitlessly.

    *Souvenir shop on 32nd Street, New York, 2008.* Photo: Tomás Fano/Flickr. Souvenir shop on 32nd Street, New York, 2008. Photo: Tomás Fano/Flickr.
  4. POLYRHYTHMS

    The foundation of rhythmic music across all cultures. Genre is an unnecessary classification, and the most inspiring music makers and DJs interlace multiple rhythms and tones simultaneously. Breaking down genre is a kind of peacemaking. There is so much crossover in footwork, electro, techno, hip-hop. Simple compositions can be blended to create new rhythms for bodies to respond to.

  5. HARDWARE INSTRUMENTS

    Drum machines and synthesizers: tools that connect people with sound, or ready-made objects through which artists can communicate ideas. For Emma, access to these machines has enabled her to learn, experiment, and express herself in ways she didn’t know she could.

    *Boss DR-202 Dr. Groove drum machine, 1998.* Boss DR-202 Dr. Groove drum machine, 1998.
  6. TANDEM BAR, NEW YORK

    A Bushwick venue (RIP) where Christine ran her first monthly party, and where she got to work with so many DJs and artists she admires. She’ll never forget the morning her friend Abby Fiscus, who was bartending there at the time, introduced her to Total Freedom and Nguzunguzu over biscuits and gravy.

  7. MARKETS

    Chinatown street shops, farmers’ markets, Knickerbocker Avenue, Fulton Street—we find nothing more stimulating than walking through a crowded marketplace. The sheer number of ideas, sounds, and colors contained within those tiny spaces is electric. As Discwoman has been traveling more and more, Emma has felt marketplaces to be particularly grounding in the cities we’ve landed in. Though it may seem paradoxical, she derives a real sense of safety from being nestled among all those strangers.

    *Fruit market, Chinatown, New York, June 22, 2009.* Photo: Estitxu Carton/Flickr. Fruit market, Chinatown, New York, June 22, 2009. Photo: Estitxu Carton/Flickr.
  8. JEFF MILLS

    Frankie learned about Detroit legend Jeff Mills only recently, which is a shame because she really could’ve done with knowing from a younger age that black folks created a whole genre of music. She always felt like an alien growing up, not quite fitting in, not sure if she even wanted to fit in, and Mills provided a model for diverging from what’s considered “normal” or acceptable for black folks to do. That, and he makes the best techno on the planet.

    *Jeff Mills performing at the 16th Sónar International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art, Barcelona, June 18, 2009.* Photo: nudevinyl/Flickr. Jeff Mills performing at the 16th Sónar International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art, Barcelona, June 18, 2009. Photo: nudevinyl/Flickr.
  9. COMPUTER PROGRAMMING

    Coming to understand how coding is a form of weaving was a really important mental bridge for Emma to cross. The concept that you can build something expansive from a simple pattern of binary numbers is very techno.

    *Screen capture of a synthesizer patch built with the program Max 7.* Screen capture of a synthesizer patch built with the program Max 7.
  10. BOSSA NOVA CIVIC CLUB, NEW YORK

    The progenitor of the contemporary techno and house scene in Brooklyn, this Myrtle Avenue club has springboarded the careers of so many local DJs and producers onto the global stage, and it continues to nurture up-and-coming talent. Bossa is where we held our first DW party—it will forever be home for us.

    *Debut Discwoman party, Bossa Nova Civic Club, Brooklyn, NY, September 19, 2014.* Photo: Kelly Kai. Debut Discwoman party, Bossa Nova Civic Club, Brooklyn, NY, September 19, 2014. Photo: Kelly Kai.