DJ NJ Drone has been occupying precarious borderspace for some time, tip-toeing around genre in his production of frantic, hi-speed abstractions. Overdriven, overloaded, NJ Drone is like déjà vu, an anomaly simultaneously familiar and distant. Travelling through his ‘mind club’ at 150+ bpm gives the sense of breaking through space-time, of continuous momentum accompanied by bizarre vocal incantations that affect the mind like the hideous but kinda cute soundworld of Fitch and Trecartin. But at the end of the day, we break through the mind to find a body lurking beneath, we find embodied ritual beyond weltschmerz, beyond acidic regurgitations of technological positivism. While NJ Drone’s speed may lend itself as a metonym for accelerationism’s privileged desires for cyber-disembodiment, ultimately we are directed towards a firmer politics of the body as resistance in real space (that some of the more optimistic amongst us might hope to find on the dancefloor). In the words of Laboria Cuboniks: “no more futureless repetition on the treadmill of capital, no more submission to the drudgery of labour, productive and reproductive alike, no more reification of the given masked as critique.” Rediscover yr bod with DJ NJ Drone!
As always we have some recommendations from the ether, though it’s been hard to detach from listening to Piteous Gate on repeat. One vital new presence is NON records, a collective of artists from Africa and the diaspora engaged in anti colonial dialogue through music. Between Chino Amobi, Nkisi and Angel-Ho there has been a constant flow of demolished sound files and remarkable mixes: most visibly via Angel-Ho’s recent Fader mix and interview. Elsewhere, Visionist’s Lost Codes gets resurrected as Pan imprint Codes: the first release from Filter Dread and Acre is a tour de force of warped and gritty bangers. Stockholm’s Staycore collective released a new free compilation SUMMER JAMS 2k15, which features many of the TT mansion’s faves and is well worth checking out if you’ve been as enthralled as we are by the scenes emerging around nights like Janus and Endless. Equally essential is the NAAFI crew’s latest bootleg compilation Pirata 2, effortlessly transforming everything from Lotic to Nicki into percussive heaters primed to do deadly things to any dancefloor worth its salt.
We also caught up with NJ Drone for a brief email interview, which hints at some of the functions lurking behind this singular music.
You’re based in NYC? What’s the vibe around you at the moment? Yes, I am Brooklyn. The vibe is mostly claustrophobic with a hint of Acids. What’s your response to the current political/social environment there? There are so many different things going on, mostly bad. I make music to try to help heal the wounds :/
Something that seems really central is Speed, I’m reminded of that Facebook ‘little red book’ (l0l) with really dark but poignant start-up quips like “the quick shall inherit the earth.” Do you feel like you’re inheriting the earth? Hehe I think Sounds find their way into the mainstream, whether the sound is “quick” ,”Liquid” or “hot” the world will take it and manipulate it and make it the opposite.
How and under what circumstances do you make music? Sometimes I will stare at device in my ‘studio’ such as a SPeaker, Mixer, backwoods, CONEs. I try to sample these things and then throw into the MIND OScillator so it can interact with Body Filters and the NErvous System modulator. Most of my time is spent on creating single samples. I like to reuse the samples in different situations to see how they interact.
A lot of yr stuff sounds super ravey, can you let us in a little about the influence of hardcore styles of dance music that are maybe left by the wayside? I have heard this comparison before but I can honestly say I don’t really know anything about the many styles of dance music. I starting making music thinking I could take the parts of a song that I enjoy and repeat them to infinity. The Rave thing is sort of just a coincidence.
How does mind club materially manifest? Like what happens 2 the body in mind clubb? Mind Club is all about walking into a Plain square room only to find 2 speakers playing the audio of a Nudist Colony Promo vid on loop until a 152 bpm kick comes screaming that he is on THELIST +1 (for SYN???). You will most likely walk out of the Emergency Exit Door, leaving room for everyone walking in the Entrance yiffing w/ Tom Noook.
Artwork: Joe Jackson