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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chinatown street shops, farmers’ markets, Knickerbocker Avenue, Fulton Streetwe 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.
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.
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.
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 partyit will forever be home for us.