Truancy Sessions S01 E04: Kuscheln

Kuscheln | Soundcloud | Instagram | Resident Advisor

Locking in with a new episode of our Truancy Sessions series with a mix of hi-energy hypnotics from Toronto-based DJ and tastemaker Kuscheln. An all-round purveyor of playful, thought-provoking dance music, he has become a staple figure in the Toronto underground, with his Klub Ferret parties offering nights of steamy dance-offs and queer revelry to a soundtrack of the hottest house and bubbling bass. His mix for us today is party perfection, rolling through with an infectious palette of late night mind twisters, soaring grooves and big room breaks. As the curveball-loving fans that we are at Truants too, we’ve completely lost count of the amount of times we’ve wheeled up the Spice Girls remix in this mix. An unreal statement of flow and taste over 100 glorious minutes.

Hey Matt! So what can you tell us about the mix you’ve recorded? “This mix is a pretty good representation of what you’ll get from a peak-time Kuscheln DJ set. I’ve always had a tough time sticking to a particular one style—in the words of the legendary DJ Voices, “energy and drama over genre”. There’s lots of wiggly tech-house, emotional breakbeat, bass bombs, early 2000s prog, and I even had the courage to include a few of my own productions for the first time.”

Where did you grow up? How did that shape your sound or the way you relate with music? “I grew up in a suburb north of Toronto so I didn’t really have any exposure to electronic music until i got deep into Ed Banger and Boys Noize in high school. I think I followed a pretty stereotypical trajectory of people getting into clubbing in the early 2010s through the blog-house to tech-house/Innervisions pipeline. I’m embarrassed to say I did the cliche “gay guy who likes clubbing” move and took off to Berlin for a few years after my undergrad. I think living there I grew really tired of the techno/house binary and I started longing for any music that sat outside of those labels. It wasn’t until I moved back to Toronto in 2017 that I really appreciated the diversity of nightlife here. So I think all these factors make up the mess of a musical identity I have as a DJ now.”

Can you tell us a little bit about your night ‘Klub Ferret’? When and why did you start throwing them, what is ethos behind the night and how have they all gone so far? “I’ve always wanted to create a party series in Toronto, one that focuses more on local talent. There’s so much hype on big international bookings and I feel a lot of local DJs get overlooked, so it’s been a great way to book friends, up-and-comers, and talent I look up to at one of the last remaining clubs left in the gay village. It’s also a continuing experiment for me to push more left-field dance music in queer nightlife in Toronto which can feel challenging sometimes (most particularly with gay men).” They’ve been really well received and it’s always a fun mix of village regulars and my pals in the West side of the city.”

How is Toronto nightlife at the moment too? Are there lots of events to attend outside of your own party? “I’m optimistic about nightlife in Toronto right now. There’s a surplus of really sick DJs and collectives throwing parties (Reconstructed Club, Veneno, Metamorphosis, Best in Town, Work That, Pucker Up, Freqz, Rusted, Pep Rally, For The Lovers, NuNu) who are booking great talent, but I think everybody is collectively exhausted from the venue crisis and restrictive licensing laws that makes throwing events such a challenge.”

Beyond music, what inspires you day-to-day? “I’m currently in grad school at the University of Toronto doing neuroscience research on pain. I don’t really talk about it on social media, but a lot of my adult life I’ve struggled with chronic pain. It’s been really inspiring leato learn about how pain works in the nervous system through my research, and it’s allowed me to get to a point where my symptoms are relatively well managed. Things like spa dates with pals in the winter and beach hangs in the summer are deeply therapeutic and inspiring for me. As much as I love a good bender, my nervous system requires a lot of down-time and maintenance. Oh, and capybaras. I love capybaras.”

Photo 1: Toronto silly squad beach day Photo 2: Vape break with my bestie Tomas in Brooklyn 

Photo 3: Honcho campout molly magic Photo 4: Serena’s record twink in Lisbon Photo 5: A very relatable pooch

Photo 6: Sunbathing from my crypt Photo 7: Love in the quasi-circuit club

You can download Truancy Sessions S01 E04: Kuscheln in 320 kbps and view the full tracklist on Patreon here. Two tracks are unreleased Kuscheln tunes. Your support helps cover all our costs and allows Truants to continue running as a non-profit and ad-free platform. Members will receive exclusive access to mixes, tracklists, and discounts off future merchandise. If money is tight however and you’re desperately after any ID, please leave us a comment over on the Soundcloud link and either us or Kuscheln will get back to you :)


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