AYLI Ground Level shines a light on artists that create the fabric of our community: City by city, state by state, country by country. Washington, D.C.’s Jacq Jill AKA Lauren Wright’s contribution to their local community have ramped up in recent years, with regular gigs alongside international heavy hitters and the launch of the “Hothouse” warehouse series with Shyboi. Those dates have been paired with releases on a who’s who’s of podcasts and an appearance representing D.C on Boiler Room. That energy has lead to headliner appearances at the leading queer underground parties in North America. Jacq Jill’s best know for bringing that same energy to the party. Their energy on the decks is captivating. Their drive is to build community through the creation safe spaces. It’s impossible not to be pulled in. We’re excited to shine a light on Jacq Jill. Take a moment to listen to the mix, read the interview and send Lauren a few bucks or more. Last weekend we showcased the Washington, D.C community, in collaboration with Fault Radio, for our monthly Coast to Coast broadcast. Get ready for a release. Quality.
Venmo is @Jacq-Jill
1. Tell us about who you are as a DJ. What kind of music do you play and what was your inspiration behind the mix?
Selection is so important, as is energy. As much as I work hard to be a diverse and conscience selector, I work twice as hard to be an energy provider and community organizer. My goal is always to elevate a room whether that be through having a wide soundscape or creating a space that welcomes the outsiders. A friendly face bringing you disrupting rhythms, old school rave and trance infused sounds, anything techno or techno adjacent, with a healthy respect for queer underground history.
“Release’ is the inspiration for this mix. Individually, globally, we are coming to a head. I wanted to create a blip of time where people can feel liberated and connect outside of this time of isolation. Release that anger, anxiety, sadness, if only for a bit, then let’s get back to work.
2. What local projects (events, crews, labels, and beyond) are you involved with?
I am a cofounder of Hothouse, a strictly warehouse series that brings subcultures and genres that have been diluted back to the forefront of underground. Think Detroit techno meets Baltimore queer underground. Our first rooms included Shyboi (Discwoman, NYC) and Jasmine Infiniti (New World Dysorder, NYC.)
3. What makes your local community special?
The political world and general unrest of the country feels concentrated in DC. The local underground is directly connected to this. The more unrest above ground, the more necessary the underground becomes. DC’s underground has always served as a release and safe space for those swimming against the daily bureaucracy that excludes too many. A Black city, DC has a distinct musical history rooted in soul, funk, house, and it’s own original genre, go-go. Combine these with a powerful hard core punk history and the DC underground sound is unparalleled. Punk techno meets Chuck Brown swing, every sound has a purpose and a message.
4. With the Covid-19 virus impacting society, an activated social justice movement, and the economy in tatters, there’s so much uncertainty in the air. What do you hope to see happen going forward?
Specifically, in our music world, I hope to see more about the long overdue discussion that explores the appropriation, commodification, and commercialization of techno music. We need to address the white-washing of black genres, house and techno specifically. There is truly no shortage of talented BIPOC, women, trans, non-binary artists out there, but we need to see more of these populations in high places and positions. To reach this decolonization, it also requires the calling out and calling in of those with power. Platforms are meant to be shared and so let’s not tolerate spaces that make a profit solely on homogeneous art.
I am excited seeing all the creative ways we are connecting in the new virtual world. I’ve witnessed more community support and mutual aid given freely this year without question. At the same time, I can’t wait for when we get to gather. I’ll never take a rave for granted again <3
5. Would you mind sharing the tracklist for your mix?