Since 2010 it’s been raining house music in the New York underground scene thanks to Dan Wender and Blacky II. As co-creators and resident DJs of the ever evolving RINSED parties they mix of classic New York & Chicago style house and UK influenced club music that has set the scene for many debauchery filled evenings & hazy, smoke filled mornings.
The boys are on warm up vibes for Jam City on April 8 (tickets available here). We wanted to get inside their heads ahead of the party so we asked Dan and Blacky to interview each other. The results were fascinating. Their conversation goes from existential questions about social media, to how underrated Joey Bada$$ is and workouts on the dancefloor. Enjoy!
Daniel Wender: Hey Blacky how are you doing these days? What’s got you psyched? What’s got you bummed?
Blacky: I get psyched on creation and connection, I get bummed by negativity and disconnection. I also get psyched on love, nature, the universe, a tasty dish and pretty thing. I have a question for you, do you ever think about how some peoples obsession with fairness and equality might actually drive us further apart instead of bringing us together?
Dan Wender: I think that it’s a super complicated issue. We’re just beginning to enter a new era out of the ashes of a period of tons of oppression and inequality, so it’s really important to educate people on what’s fair and right. I think when people police social media for injustice and bring the lynch mob to annihilate people’s character, it’s usually done with positive intentions, but it does seem to have the effect of actually oppressing free speech. People seem less willing to have an open-minded debate and engage with people that have different opinions than theres, and instead have a more black & white, polarized approach to communication. Another nuance is that, these public lynchings seem to drum up a ton of social media likes and comments which drive peoples egos and further disconnect an open-minded debate from the instant gratification of becoming a social media celebrity. I think that this is really shining through in the current election. People should remember that it’s still important to be a free-thinker and have an open mind, we don’t all have to share the same opinions.
With that said, do you think that there is the same potential for instantly gratifying social media celebrity status from positivity and open-ness?
Blacky: Interesting… I think there is a higher potential for higher gratification from positivity and openness without “celebrity status” – I follow this guy on Instagram named Derrence Bernard “@____derrence” – he always posts in twos. One post is always a few positive words and the other is him straight letting loose to a song. He may not have as many followers as other people, but I dare you to show me a happier person. Pure positivity and Openness.
What’s the happiest you’ve been recently?
Daniel Wender: The happiest I’ve been recently has been connecting with other promoters in NYC, and realizing that, while on the surface it may seem like we’re competing, the reality is that we’re all in this for the same thing. We’re trained to believe that business is competitive, and that other people will stomp on you and take your bread, but that’s only true if you make it true. Most of the people making nightlife happen in the scene around me are totally positive, collaborative people, and it makes me incredibly happy to be able to bring not only dancers, and party people together, but also other party crews, DJs and promoters. It really is all love if you let it be.
That’s a great meta question though, what’s the happiest you’ve been recently?
Blacky: Well, The Might Get Weird party this weekend was really fun, the nice weather last week had me super happy, and meeting my newborn little cousin was pretty great too. I’ve been pretty happy these days. The older I get the more I realize how brutally accurate and literal every corny cliché about happiness and such actually is.
Should we do a few music questions?
Daniel Wender: Sure. Have you had any moments recently where a tune or a producer has just blown your mind? I’m not talking normal great tune here, I’m talking proper mind blown. Some existential shit.
Blacky: Yes, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the repress of the Anna Homler + Steve Moshier ‘Bread Woman and Other Tales’ Record. Some really deep subconscious stuff going on here. Anna vocally taps into some deep ancient human energies layered above Steve’s abstract electronic elements it makes for a really nice existential juxtaposition. I recommend everyone give it a listen. Also, the new Light Sounds Dark record ‘Alien Galaxy Builder’.
Favorite new non-house/techno/electronic music?
Daniel Wender: When I’m at home or on the train, I’m usually listening to hip hop. New York has had a lot of loss this year, between Phife and Sean Price, we lost some of the best we’ve ever had. But I really fuck with Joey Bada$$, I feel like he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. His record that dropped at the end of last year, B4.DA.$$, is a classic New York hip hop record. The rhymes have far more substance than the typical money and hoes garbage that’s on the radio. And the beats are fucking classics.
Blacky: I feel you, I need to give that a deeper listen.
Lastly, now that summer is just around the corner. Any tips or tricks to get that summer bod ready?
Daniel Wender: HAHAHA, I’m heavily rocking that dad bod at the moment. Chalk it up to a winter of mad delivery. But I’m trying to cook as much as possible at home right now. No bad bread, no greasy shit. Got the bbq chicken going and fresh vegetables. We’ll see how it goes. How bout you, you’re looking hella-svelt these days, what’s the secret?
Blacky: Well you know I get my bulletproof coffee on every morning, then it’s farm fresh eggs and veggies after that, avocados, coconuts, rice, yoga, walking around, and of course a good sweat on the dancefloor always helps. Might do a thorough detox before the season really gets going.
Daniel Wender: The only workout I get at all these days is on the dancefloor. I don’t understand djs who schmooze behind the booth, you’re missing highly valuable exercise time, I guess they don’t eat as many sandwiches as I do.
Blacky: If you’re not dancing, you’re doing it wrong. Yea, let’s wrap it up. Dancercise Friday with Jam City! ＼(^o^)／
Daniel Wender: I’m wearing sweatpants.
Sweat it out with Blacky and Dan this Friday night at the Jam City party. Tickets available here.