Dennis “Citizen” Kane has been a seminal and iconic figure in contemporary dance music culture since his emergence in the mid 90′s NYC downtown scene. A former disco and old school buyer for the infamous A1 records, Kane has been digging and collecting since his early teens in Philadelphia.
He’s also established a pair of respected record labels in Disques Sinthomme, which has released a wide range of work featuring the likes of Max Essa, the Beat Broker and Richard “Padded Cell” Sen, and an edit imprint, Ghost Town, which has seen contributions from Brennan Green and Bicep, among many other notables.
Keeping people dancing for more than 20 years, Dennis is making his Good Room debut on June 25. He’s joining Billy Caldwell in the Bad Room for Love Tempo (buy your tickets here) We asked Dennis to share some of his thoughts and favorites ahead of the party.
What is your holy grail of records?
This always changes, I have been digging for so long and I really have too many records. I’m trying to get my collection down to a small efficient number thats more easily manageable. A couple records that really have thrilled me:
Penny Goodwin with the Ray Tabs Orchestra – Too Soon You’re Old
“Drop some acid go to paradise – live your life the way it happens”
There is so much moral depth in her voice, this isn’t a rehearsal baby.
Flowers – For real
“Every time I kiss your lips I know that what I’ve waited for is finally here”
This song melts me every time, and the ride out on part II is epic.
TC James and the Fist O Funk Orchestra – Get up on your feet (Walter Gibbons mix)
“Keep on dancing, keep on dancing…”
Amazing jam and really brilliant work by the great Walter Gibbons.
Dead or alive, if you could pick anyone to dance to one of your sets who would it be?
Anybody really, I recently played a rooftop party for a neighbor who is a sculptor and was moving back to Durban. It was a spur of the moment thing and I didn’t prep that much. I took records that I had on hand atmy home. There were about 75 people there, I only knew 1 or 2 outside of the host, but it was an amazing night.
I played African, Latin, Disco and House – whatever – the key was you could feel real emotions and the sense that getting down was essential – it turned into a crazy sweaty night. The crowd was giving off a lot of energy and it was fun to respond and build off of that. I really think people should throw a lot more parties and that dancing should happen way more often.
Has the music industry changed for better or worse since you started DJing/making music?
Ugh Capitalism has pretty much ravaged all aspects of youth and underground culture, DJ’ing has become a lifestyle trope for affected upper middle class white guys (and that sucks big time). What always appealed and attracted me to dance music was that it was black and gay and anyone on the margins had a place, class structure didn’t matter, it was about style and taste and a kind of private joy and affirmation of difference.
Now there are a lot of future marketing execs with attitude who see it as a “career” – thats depressing. People want to have a good time – people want to let loose and transform, it’s our job to find a form and context to make that happen and to be as inclusive as possible. It’s not easy though as things become more codified and attenuated.
The goal is to get a place and a vibe that helps people and i think to have it happen in as many different places as possible. Have the neighbors over, move the furniture, open some wine and get down. You don’t need to spend a lot of money at the mega club to hear some trite resident advisor sanctioned “dance music”.
What would be your last meal and to what soundtrack?
Jesus this is a morbid question! (laughs) well if it’s my final meal I’m going for some high quality heroin and perhaps a shot of a proper single malt. A pal recently took me for an insane omakase meal – perhaps that before the H! As for a soundtrack I’ll leave the planet to Alice Coltrane – Turiya And Ramakrishna.
Could you share five tunes with us that you’ve been digging lately.
These aren’t necessarily all new jams just 5 I have been enjoying.
Valerie Carter – Crazy (Dan Tyler edit)
Dan of Idjut Boys fame sent me a ton of stuff he had been working on – as usual it was all high quality this edit has become an early evening fav – lyric and haunting.
***Editor’s note – we couldn’t find a clip for this one***
Obas Nenor – Ceaper Buing EP
Nice dirty Detroit house, very loose production, easy funky feel – shake your ass baby.
Diesel – Vehement (edit)
Drum machine madness from the Moton and Xpress 2 honcho. Darren has great taste, this is a stripped down and pulsing jam that gets to it with the quickness.
Disconnection – Bali Ha’i
This is a jam from 1982 that gets put in the post punk disco/not disco bin. The good folks at Optimo Music have reissued it, a delightfully bizarre cover of a Rodgers and Hammerstein tune. It’s dubby and tripped out with a great baseline.
Junktion – Monologue EP
Swinging sample based house vibes here, come on sugar let’s dance.
Dennis Kane is playing with Billy Caldwell at the Love Tempo party in the Bad Room on June 25. Grab your tickets here.