Haiiiiiii. How are you? How's your spring been? More Vitamin D and sleep I hope. I've been looking for a good moment to pause and let that sun sink in, which is coming up soon. A few things too -- I'll be in Detroit May 25-29 for (shocking no one) Movement, so if you're around, give me a shout.
GOOD NEWS TOO: Merch is here. For you $20 bbs, we'll be shipping soon. For the rest of y'all, I'll be giving it to you at a nice ol' discount ;) a post on that to come.
IN THE MEANTIME, I'm honored to present our Monthly May Mood MC, Khlonez. The name (pronounced "clones") belongs to none other than Kayla Hensley, most known for her work as a radio station host across Southeastern Michigan (she's hosted dozens of shows on WCBN and in collaboration with past Moods Mixers like Lavici and fabi0la), a member of the female- and feminist-identifying DJ collective Seraphine, and more recently as an emerging techno and disco DJ.
Hensley's mix is hearty: it takes you to dinner, swings you through a shared milkshake, stops by a karaoke bar, then ends with chocolate in bed. We're talking a strong showing of 2000s experimental R&B and rap from Earl Sweatshirt to Onra to K Murdock. She also doesn't shy away from giving us softer moments to balance us out with Quadron, Little Dragon, Four Tet, and Charlotte Dos Santos.
Hensley's tastes, on the other hand, were founded by her mother, father, aunt, and her first gig at a record store. From Toledo, Ohio to Ypsilanti, Michigan, immersion into rap, jazz, soul, and electronic worlds were innate, if not required. “When your boss has a collection of 20,000 records,” she notes, “it’s easy to feel like you don't have a clue... so I listened a lot in those years.”
Living in Ypsilanti now offers a chance to live in a city that has space to breathe creatively. “I'm constantly inspired by the do-it-yourself mentality that takes place in this community. Punk shows in basements, Totally Awesome Fest, art shows, porch shows—Ypsi really uses the people and resources in a really tactful way. I've been so lucky every year since I moved away from home to find groups of people who live for the scene that happens on the weekends and who find joy in going dancing til whatever time our bodies give out. This has been a common thread no matter where I am or who I’m with.”
On Detroit, Hensley notes that techno is starting to come back to its early black- and queer-centered roots. But there’s still a long way to go for the city to actually come together as a family. “So much of what exists right now is because of what was fought for in the late 80's, early 90's. I see clubs coming to life with both new sounds and paying homage to why they exist. But pockets and groups of people who know each other still stick together based only on their friendships. We aren’t disconnecting enough from technology to fully let lose and really be our full selves. I still don't know if this is a genre, societal, or class problem... [but] I do hope we can have more safe and open spaces for people that are affordable and bring together different stories here.”
1. Dam Funk- I appreciate my life
2. Onra- Porn
3. Elaquent- Neon Glow (Turquoise)
4. Eric Lau- Begin
5. K Murdock- Coin Toss
6. Madlib- Pyramids
7. James Pants- Now, Let me brush you
8. Shalamar- Night to Remember
9. Little Dragon- Constant Surprises
10. Video 7- The Lab w/ Asya IzMe, Omar Aragones and Veniece Sessions
11. Oddisee- Boston
12. Vanity 6- Nasty Girl
13. ESG- Moody
14.Contact Lens- STEPPING
15. Raj Mahal- Rario
16. Ohbliv- Tanta Master (Morning Sex)
17. Toro y Moi- Room for 1zone
18. Four Tet- Kool FM
19. ghostwerk- DANGER
20. AshTreJinkins- JemEnEye
21. LoVibe- Let Me Know
22. CHALK.- Sum1likeu ft.Lofty 305
23. James Blake- Buzzard and Kestrel
24. SWV- Use Your Heart
25. Samiyam- Mirror (ft. Earl Sweatshirt)
26. Quadron- Sea Salt
27. Charlotte Dos Santos- Take It Slow
ARTWORK + LINKS
Kayla and I picked Lauren Halsey together to pair her mix with her work that's up at MOCA in Los Angeles right now. Halsey's work activates black narratives, stories, and artifacts that reflect South Central LA where Halsey has lived since birth. This particular work is rooted not only in engagement with its visitors (people can literally walk in and around) but also in elevating the everyday black cultural experience. It's a fitting parallel to Kayla's work, mix, and method of approaching music culture, and it's an honor to have them both here on Drip.