We're still waiting for the day when an American techno bill featuring two female performers isn't an anomaly. (Luckily, we're patient.) But the Sweatbox crew's Devil's Night event on Friday is a power move in the right direction, as it features quality selectors Julietta (of Munich, Germany) and local up-and-comer Miss Shelrawka.
Julietta will be making her Emerald City debut this week, but she's rocked decks at some of the world's most revered clubs—including Berlin's Panorama Bar, Munich's Ultraschall, Frankfurt's Robert Johnson and Cocoon, Paris's Rex, and London's T Bar (she's a resident at Munich's Harry Klein)—while also playing massive outdoor parties such as Love Parade and SonneMondSterne, and sharing a stage in Thailand with Ricardo Villalobos.
Julietta initially drew inspiration from German dub-techno pioneer Maurizio (one of the Basic Channel label's stars) and Detroit techno soul-inflator Moodymann. Their influence manifests in Julietta's understated yet eminently danceable selections that pull from techno's top-shelf producers. She knows how to build tension and then release it without being crassly obvious about it. Her sets, which lately have included tracks by Deetron, Luciano, Lee Curtiss, Kai Alcé, and Sascha Dive, prove that you can lose yourself in bliss without having the urge to thrust your arms heavenward—your hips are another story, though.
Miss Shelrawka (aka Michele Kinsey) elbowed her way into the techno boy's club by showcasing a similar sound to Julietta's. Shelrawka doesn't cane the most banging tracks out there, nor the most experimental cuts, but she does explore her niche—a low-slung, funky, tribal strain of minimal techno—with excellent aesthetics and technique (and, bless her heart, she spins only vinyl).
Kinsey lived in New York and New Jersey before moving west, and she brings an East Coast energy and grittiness to her techno and house mixes. They're also incredibly sexy, featuring much percolating hand percussion; swiveling, loin-engorging bass lines; cooing, groaning, and sighing vocals; and ass-smacking beats. Cold, clinical minimalism ain't Shelrawka's bag (not that there's anything wrong with cold, clinical minimalism—that shit's some of my favorite music). Rather, she's in the booth to warm up the club to steamy temperatures, but via measured, well-considered methods rather than the trite anthems to which less discerning DJs resort. Shelrawka may be playing Devil's Night, but don't expect a disco inferno.
You can check out several mixes by Miss Shelrawka at www.soundcloud.com/miss-shelrawka.
DJ Julietta, Miss Shelrawka, DJ Shift, Jonny Romero, and Ctrl_Alt_Dlt perform Fri Oct 30, Electric Tea Garden, 1402 E Pike St, 10 pm, $10 before midnight/$13 after, 21+.