Henry Johnstone, Sydney - Australia - on 12/12/11
Kim Ann Foxman might be best known as the singer for New York disco outfit Hercules and Love Affair, however more recently the Hawaiian born and raised gal has been making a name for herself as an accomplished DJ and producer of that classic late 80s/90s house sound. To accompany her exclusive podcast for Pulse, Foxman reveals to us a little bit about her tastes, influences, her opinion on the current American dance scene and what the deal is with gay handshakes.
Pulse: You fell in love with 90s house as a teen growing up in Hawaii. How does it feel to be DJing and performing that same sound which has now made a ‘comeback’ a good 15 years later? Is it the ultimate nostalgic high? Kim Ann Foxman: I love it. It feels really good to do something I’ve always loved and having it now as my profession. It is the ultimate nostalgia really, but this time from the other side of the fence.
Who were some of your favourite house producers back then and who tickles your ear drums today? I love both house as well as techno producers. Some of my favourite old school producers are Kevin Saunderson, MK, Murk, Derrick May, DJ Duke, Larry Heard, Todd Terry. Some new artists that I’m really liking right now are Omar S, Steffi, Azari & III, Kink & Neville Watson, Maya Jane Coles, Snuff Crew and Tuff City Kids to name a few.
Your recent ‘touring scenes’ article for Resident Advisor was a nice little insight into your life as a traveling performer. What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t a DJ/singer? A full time jewellery designer, perhaps? I really can’t imagine not having dance music as an outlet - I think I’d poke my eyes out! If I weren’t doing that, then I would be doing something creative, yes - probably doing more jewels or maybe accessories.
During your time touring so far, whom have you met that has made you feel truly star-struck? Grace Jones. Technically I didn't actually meet her, but I was quite close and I was really starstruck by her. Her presence is just beyond.
Tell us about your relationship with vinyl. How and why is it still very important to you, both as a DJ and as a music lover? My experience in dance music, going out, collecting records, watching DJs and learning how to DJ was all vinyl, so it does mean a lot to me. I love collecting records. Nowadays you can find more and more classics online which definitely has its benefits, but there are so many gems that you just can't download. Those gems can make sets really special.
Name two of your most treasured records from your collection. Hmm, I treasure different ones on different days for different reasons. Kevin Saunderson - The Sound (Power Remix) release which includes the track Tranzistor, and Coco Steel & Lovebomb’s Feel It - that one I named because it’s personally one of my all time favorite jams.
It’s a bit removed from where you’re at musically, but being an American, what do you make of the whole ‘rave’ scene that is currently blowing up in the U.S. mainstream, i.e.; Skrillex, Deadmau5 and the Electric Daisy Carnival? I think it’s really gross. America is so late on the dance music tip. I don't know why this is happening and it’s not my thing at all. It makes me worried for the future of dance music. And the people that go to those events just look ridiculous. Like are you and all your friends really wearing furry boots with a belly ring and a mini backpack and pig tails, hooch shorts and a bikini top with a day glow trucker hat right now? I’m running the other way. I feel like it’s geared towards jocks and people that are like the characters of Jersey Shore, the reality show. It’s so weird.
You released a nice little EP with Andy Butler on his Mr. International label late last year. Were you involved in any of the production of those tracks as well as the singing and vocals? Yes, I was very involved. I came to Andy with the backbone and skeletal structure of the track, as well as the bassline, a lot of the melodies, piano and the backing vocals. But he helped me really bring them to life. We replaced most of the sounds in his studio with analogue gear and replicated my bassline as well. He also added his own SH101 line that floats over at the end, which I love. The lyrics were inspired by my girlfriend Silvia, as I call her my creature, because I think she is exotic and rare and special. Andy helped me edit my lyrics and he helped a lot with my delivery.
You’ve got another EP due out sometime soon too, right? I have recorded some stuff, but not sure when it will be released. I'm also working on some collaborations with others and doing a bunch of remixes and really concentrating on my own stuff now more too.
What are ‘gay handshakes’ and how do they differ from heterosexual ones? Oh that was kinda an inside joke between a bunch of us when I was DJing in Moscow for Denis Simachev Shop and Bar. It’s about having gaydar and how it works. Someone asked me how I can tell if someone is gay and if there are gay handshakes or something. That turned into something sexual of course but too silly to explain. Straight handshakes can be really sexual too though, I’m sure.
Can you tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve done for Pulse? It’s a nice mixture of new and old school jams. It evolves into a pretty deep groove, including some things I’ve worked on recently… a collaboration I did with Kink & Neville Watson called A Saturday In November, my remix for International, River Seine. Also another remix I did for the Opiates called Jalousies and Jealousies. Enjoy!
Pulse.054 - Tracklisting
A Saturday In November- Kink & Neville Watson feat. Kim Ann Foxman-Hour House is Your Rush
River Seine- International (Kim Ann Foxman remix)- relish recordings
Clarity (instrumental) -Snuff Crew Feat. Robert Owens- snufftrax
Love Is The Message- LFO- Warp
Dream 17- Annette- Deconstruction
Passion- Gat Decor- Addictive
What They Say (original mix) -Maya Jane Coles- Real Tone Records
Pure (Journey Mix) - G.T.O- Go Bang! Records
Jalousies & Jealousies - The Opiates (Kim Ann Foxman remix) -Disco Activisto
All Alone (Direct Hit mix) -Deep Voyage- Direct Hit Entertainment Inc.
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