Issue #132 Contents Under Pressure: A (Queer) Techno Manifesto

Contents Under Pressure: A (Queer) Techno Manifesto

madison moore

madison moore, there’s always room for dancing: Performance Lecture, as part of Nightlife-in-Residence, March 3, 2022. Performance view, The Kitchen. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk. Takes place within: Sadie Barnette, The New Eagle Creek Saloon, The Kitchen, New York, January 18, 2022–March 6, 2022.

Issue #132
December 2022

Prompt: Listen to the mix while you read.



October 2014. It’s 1:30 a.m. and I’m walking through London Fields on my way to this rave in an abandoned World War II bunker in nearby Dalston. Plug the postcode into Google Maps and realize the spot is behind the Kingsland Road McDonald’s where I have consumed a thousand post-rave bacon roll sandwiches at 6, 7, 8 a.m. before wobbling home from the party, tired but feeling accomplished, sometimes opening Grindr to see who’s up.

Savage, a club in East London

Tonight I’ve already been to Savage, a fabulous, glitzy, East London queer party sensation in a multilevel strip club at the corner of Hackney Road, right where the 55 bus turns left onto Cambridge Heath Road. I love Savage because right now, it’s the queer nodal point of East London. It’s bright, it’s queer, it’s high glam. The point of going to Savage isn’t really the music, which is never risky. You go to be seen, maybe get photographed, maybe kiss a cute boy or girl, maybe rub elbows with the queer who’s who of East London, maybe hear your favorite pop song. Nothing wrong with that—it’s exciting—but I was craving something a little more intense, so I bounced.

I get to the postcode—E8 3DL—but it’s not clear where I’m supposed to go. No lines anywhere. No obvious signs of ravers gathering, but I do see lots of party people shuffling around; Kingsland Road/Shoreditch High Street is a central nightlife artery. I pace back and forth, confused and on the verge of giving up. Then a bouncer emerges from a pair of doors I hadn’t noticed. “No loitering,” he scolds, but I tell him I’m looking for the party—can’t he tell?—and he ushers me down the stairs.

The venue hides in plain sight.

A dark, cavernous tunnel pointed at a 45-degree angle spits me into a booming, concrete techno underworld. It’s all a bit different than the high-octane, jam-packed, mirror-ball glamor of Savage. For one thing, there’s not nearly as much light in here. It feels like we’re all trespassing. People dance, separated and spaced out, alone but together. Low ceilings, uneven concrete stairs—definitely a bunker. Red is the lighting color of choice. The music, mostly bass frequencies without words, strikes you in the chest.

I leave my things in the “coat check,” which is always improvised at the rave. There’s not much in here but a couple of people—maybe thirty? fifty?—and a few battery-powered up-lights tucked away in the corners. In Room One, a live act is doing modular techno. I love modular techno, but honestly, I’m not really feeling this. No groove, no sauce, so I move down the long, red, smoky corridor. That drops me off in Room Two, where DJs are pumping thunderous techno. I stay here for most of the night, the beats feeling urgent and overwhelming and galvanizing.

At some point in my queer nightlife journey, I became a techno queen. I craved it, needed it. Wherever my favorite DJs were, wherever techno was, no matter what time of day, I was there too. The ethnomusicologist Luis-Manuel Garcia calls this act of ravenously chasing electronic music “techno tourism,” pointing to music fans who return to cities “repeatedly to take in—and participate in—the city’s electronic dance music (EDM) scenes.”1 Discovering techno was eye-opening for me. Before techno, I never organized my club nights around genres of music, sounds, or even specific DJs. I never thought about the music at all. I never once woke up at 5 a.m., 7 a.m. to go to the club, let alone stayed there for more than two hours. I just went to the clubs and bars where the gay guys were, even though gay male spaces gave me a lot of anxiety.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I didn’t know anything about the New York queer underground or dance music (though in the early 2000s I was a MisShapes girlie, and Sugar Land and Metropolitan were Brooklyn staples). But I loved nightlife and going out—the ritual and spectacle of getting all dressed up, the performances of the self, the sense of not knowing what’s going to happen next, weighing whether I was only going to stay out until the last train (usually around 1 a.m.) or the first train (usually around 5 a.m.) back to New Haven, the gossip shared over pancakes at Odessa at 6 a.m., 7 a.m. As much as I loved nightlife, I hated going to big-box, marquee gay venues because I always felt outside of, even unwelcome, in the gay male sexual economy. I’m not white, I’m not particularly masculine, so I was basically invisible to the majority of those girls.

It wasn’t until I moved to London, which was a coming of age for me, and got absorbed by the warehouse techno and queer dance music scene that I understood dancing—really dancing, sweating, WORKing—to unfamiliar music for hours on end. In the gay bars and clubs I was used to going to, cruising and Grindr chats came first, and music seemed a distant second. But in London, queer parties at Savage, or Dalston Superstore, or KAOS, or Inferno, or Adonis, or Shutdown, or Chapter 10, or BBZ, or Pussy Palace, or Dance Tunnel, or Vogue Fabrics had fashion and fabulousness, but they also had great music.

As an expat and techno tourist in London, I spent years going to warehouse techno parties throughout the UK, Europe, and London at venues stretching from Elephant and Castle to Hackney Wick, often savoring the kooky night bus journeys I took to get home. I’ve trekked to Manchester and Glasgow on a moment’s notice for a club night, and I used to love waking up at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings to go to Jaded, the techno after hours at Corsica Studios that ran from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.

My favorite, though, was stumbling out of that venue right on the Thames—what’s that place called again?—in the wee hours of the morning, the city empty and the smell of coffee from Caffè Nero starting to brew, then walking to Liverpool Street to get the 242 bus home.

I loved the way techno made me feel, the bass and the beats taking me by the bussy—a sonic pressure, urgency, and awareness of my body I wasn’t used to. The music was hot, but I wasn’t sure how to dance, how to move, what the choreography was. I watched people and copied them. I learned that this wasn’t necessarily a style of dance that mimicked sex, fucking, or being in a couple, although you could if you wanted. People mostly stood alone together as their own little pods, taking up the space around them, however small, kicking, swaying, punching, shuffling.

I can still see the blonde-haired French girl who always danced alone on a box. Her Instagram bio said, “I am techno.” She danced as if techno was an erotic release, her hair flying at least a million directions at once. She inspired me to get hair extensions so that I, too, could bring some hair choreography to the rave.

Eventually, I figured out my own style of dance. I tried to imagine that each new beat—and there are at least 130 of them per minute!—offered a new opportunity to pose.

As much as I loved techno and going to these warehouse parties, out of the dozens I went to in the four years I lived in London—except for BBZ and Pussy Palace, which were decidedly BIPOC and femme spaces—I can count on two hands the number of times the techno DJs were Black, brown, femme, or just not cis white dudes.

In a galvanizing 2014 essay on “An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture,” electronic music scholar and practitioner Luis-Manuel Garcia outlines the rich connections between club culture, dance music, and marginalized communities, signaling the erasure of queer and trans people of color from the dance floor and the DJ booth.2 The crux of the essay is that it shows that marginalized communities have played central roles in virtually all dance music. Garcia points to the now well-rehearsed narrative of techno’s Detroit origins in the Belleville Three, a story that always situates the birth of techno in the hands of three straight Black dudes: Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May. “But was Detroit such a straight scene?” he asks.3 Where are the women, the queers, and the femmes in this story? And what would it mean to theorize techno from the perspective of Black queerness?

“An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture” should be required reading for anyone engaged with nightlife because it teases out the often-erased connections and histories between queerness, race, sexuality, and dance music.4 In another important essay, ethnomusicologist Blair Black calls the vibrant wavelengths between queerness, race, sexuality, and dance music the “queer of color sound economies” of electronic dance music. In the piece, Black outlines the surgical ways that dance music, with roots in queer-of-color liberationist politics, “departed from its queer and African American sensibilities” as it made its way to Europe, resulting in a so-called “musical purism,” where dance music, politics, and race are no longer linked as they once were:

For example, DJ Mag posted a video of racially diverse demonstrators dancing to house music in solidarity with the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against the extrajudicial killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. However, some fans focused their anger towards a sign that read “House Music is Black Music.” In the comments, people expressed that “music doesn’t have a race” and called for the DJ Mag page to stop “political sh****t.” Despite others stepping in to explain how the sign serves as a reminder of house music’s history, those who were angered defaulted to the universalist rhetoric to justify their responses.5

Today, straight white men overwhelmingly call the shots in techno, as they sit in positions as executives, editors, journalists, and label heads, a structure media theorist and sound artist DeForrest Brown, Jr. tackles in an important Mixmag feature.6 “In turn,” Blair Black tells us, “straight, cis-gendered white DJs are disproportionally hired and praised compared to their queer and non-white counterparts.”7 Here’s DJ Derrick Carter from Chicago adding his piece: “Something that started as gay black/Latino club music is now sold, shuffled and packaged as having very little to do with either.”8

There has long been something of an anxiety or battle to recognize techno as Black—even to see it as music. “They don’t know it’s black music,” Carl Craig told the New York Times in May 2000 on the occasion of the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), now known as the Movement. “[Techno] was created by young black men in the same way hip-hop was.”9 In many ways, the goal of DEMF was to attract young Black folks to techno music because at the time, electronic music was broadly associated with white suburban youth, illegal raves, and club drugs. Black teenagers scoffed at techno as suburban noise.10

The problem for techno was—and to some extent still is now—its enormous popularity and commercialization in Europe, but lack of interest, sales, and radio play in the US. “Carl Craig is an international music star,” the Times wrote.

Every weekend he is somewhere in the world performing before sold-out crowds of swooning teenagers and twenty-somethings. In Belgium and Australia, fans clamor for his autograph and a glimpse of his hazel eyes. In London and Paris, they wait hours to tell him how his music has changed their lives. But here in his hometown, the place that spawned the sound known as Detroit techno, the thirty-year-old Mr. Craig remains an unknown.11

Even within contemporary writing about Black popular music, little attention is paid to Black electronic dance music.12 Paul Gilroy has famously lamented the “deskilling” of Black music, where “dehumanized technologies … along with indifference, laziness, and disregard” have “reduced” the genius of the Black musical tradition, which he calls the Marsalis or Lincoln Center option, to “a tame lexicon of preconstituted fragments.”13 DJ culture, and dance music for that matter, are all about these preconfigured fragments of loops and samples. Adding to the lack of critical attention paid to Black electronic dance music, there’s also no “techno studies” or “house music studies” in the same way there is a rich intellectual tradition of “jazz studies” or “hip-hop studies” within Black studies, echoing Alexander G. Weheliye’s early critique on the paucity of attention paid to R&B music.14 This is not to valorize the “studies-ification” or institutionalization of subcultural practices, sounds, and communities, but it is to point out the gap, and serve as a call to think capaciously about what the Black frequencies of dance music might teach us about togetherness, queerness, and practices of refusal.

Discwoman is a New York–based talent agency that showcases and represents artists in electronic music.

There’s a new energy in contemporary techno and dance music that’s zeroed in on snatching the music back from the fist-pumping, black t-shirt–wearing “business techno” bros. A crucial piece of this new focus is Black to Techno, a film by Jenn Nkiru that offers a gorgeous portrait of the Detroit techno scene and its legacy.15 This new techno and dance music universe includes efforts by NON Worldwide and parties like Black Techno Matters in DC as well as Rave Reparations and Hood Rave, two LA parties with specific aims to center Black and brown people on the dance floor.16 It includes DISCWOMAN and the galvanizing work of Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, a major voice in creating another dynamic in dance music. The new face of techno includes festivals like Dweller, dedicated wholly to celebrating Black electronic artists. And that’s to say nothing of parties like Mamba Negra in Brazil, Noxeema Jackson in Washington, DC, GHE20G0TH1K, Dick Appointment, New World Dysorder, GUSH, and Papi Juice in New York, Legendary in Chicago—all parties led by queer people of color telling a different story about dance music.

The late vogue and ballroom legend Vjuan Allure used to talk about bringing “the beats!” to the ball. That’s the way he used to say it: “the beats!” The beats as a kind of Black queer frequency: the star of the show, the life of the ball, the energy on any dance floor. They compel you out of your seat, to the dance floor, get you to move, tap your foot, vogue. The beats wash over you, WORK you, possess you, fuck you. If you vogued and somehow you weren’t on beat, it’s never the beat: it’s you. That’s what Vjuan used to say—even had it printed on a red wrist band.

It’s never the beat: it’s you!

When I think about my love of techno, I’m cueing up the juicy vibrations of techno as Black queer frequency—“the beats!” as conjured by folks like TYGAPAW, Juliana Huxtable, NKISI, Lotic, DJ Holographic, DJ Delish, Authentically Plastic, LSDXOXO, Jasmine Infiniti, Juana, Rroxymore, br0nz3_g0dd3ss, Honey Dijon, Femanyst, MORENXXX, AKUA, Goth Jafar, Yazzus, Daiyah, Shyboi, and Shaun J. Wright, just to name these few. These are the Black, queer, femme, and trans girls who are at the forefront of contemporary techno and dance music.

In 2018, DeForrest Brown, Jr., in collaboration with HECHA / 做, launched a simple black hat with white lettering: “Make Techno Black Again.” The hat’s aim was to celebrate “the origins of Techno and its roots in cities like Detroit and the African-American working-class experience.”17 Out in the wild, I can tell you the hat causes quite the stir. When I wear it, people smile, or give me the thumbs up, or say “right on!” or they’ll be like, “Hey, I like your hat!”

Make Techno Black Again: a dynamic call to action, if not a clarion call. But it also makes me wonder this: Once we’ve proved techno is Black, and once we’ve repaired the narrative, and once we know about the clubs and the parties and the DJs, and once we’ve made techno Black again, what happens next?


There’s nothing like the thrill of walking up to a dark, foggy techno dance floor as an anonymous flow of beats surrounds you at 133, 135, 140 beats per minute. The same beats, over and over, hypnotizing. The slightest change in melody, tempo.


A new sample; a new loop. Intensity. The music wraps itself around you, takes you, and constantly brings you to the edge, a reminder of our capacity for feeling, as Audre Lorde says of the erotic.18 The philosopher Robin James describes techno as music that “intensifies repetition to the limit of aural perception; the climax or musical ‘money shot’ comes when this limit is reached or crossed”—that is, the money shot or relief comes when the beat drops.19

But techno is much kinkier than that. This is a music of endurance, of going and going and going. That’s why I’ve always thought that techno was sort of like edge play. Edging—“getting seconds away from climax and stopping, waiting for a few more seconds then start[ing] again.”20 Sonic edge play: dance music that takes you to a peak, puts you on the edge, and holds you captive in the pleasure over and over for extended periods of time. The final release occurs when the night ends.

Vision is the first sense that goes on the techno dance floor. Most nightlife spaces are dark on purpose, both to expand the room, make it feel limitless, and then to hide the imperfections. Shadows, impressions, glimpses.


Techno spaces take darkness to a new level: with vision removed, and lighting that doesn’t really help you see, and fog that obfuscates your vision even further, all you’re left with are the sounds and impressions of what’s around you. The room is filtered, the sound is not.

Intensity, redaction, sonic edge play, impressions—this is the galvanizing allure of techno.

“Frequencies of Blackness: A Listening Session,” led by Tina Campt in November 2020, featured Zara Julius, Jenn Nkiru, and Alexander Weheliye, who all responded to the question “What does frequency offer us as a framework for understanding Black life?” No other question has shaped my thinking about queer nightlife as much as this one, and since tuning into this listening session I have loved thinking through Black frequency—and Black queer frequency specifically—as it relates to the allure, dynamics, and textures of techno, dance music, and foggy queer dance floors.

For Campt, “Black frequency,” this practice of refusal, is

a sonic space [that] ranges from silence to deafening, dissonant noise; as a register of rapture and spirituality; as a temporal feedback loop of memory, repetition, and renewal; as a dynamic relation of call and response or chorus and verse; as a haptic and kinetic space of contact and connection across the African continent and its various diasporas.”21

The logics of frequency as a practice of refusal can be traced to and across a range of Black cultural productions, from music and noise, to memory and repetition, as well as through performances of call and response.

The thrill of techno and beat-driven dance music is its Black frequency, a frequency of intensity, of rupture and refusal, of rapture and rage. Beat-driven dance music is uniquely able to situate you right here, right now, with an urgency, potency, and intensity that powerful sound systems make possible. Bass-driven music, cultural critic Paul C. Jasen writes, relies “on felt vibration. [It has] a more explicitly material aim, being designed to modulate flesh and space.”22 For Jasen, the reason bass-driven music makes us feel good is because “when bass permeates and modulates, it binds bodies together (putting them literally on the same wavelength.23 Frequency, in other words, binds bodies together.

Techno has been variously theorized as cold, futuristic music that alienates itself from the human—“synthesizers generating a parallel universe in sound,” as Kodwo Eshun said.24 In 1992, Jon Pareles of the New York Times described techno as a kind of Morse code, a music with minimal lyrics that ignores familiar song structures like verses, choruses, and bridges in favor of rhythm, repetition, and the endless configuration of loops, all clocking in at 130 beats per minute or faster. But techno is also a music of endurance, of going and going and going; tracks don’t necessarily have an end because they are always unfinished. They are produced not necessarily for the radio but specifically to be mixed and combined into one another by DJs, creating infinite, endless combinations and opportunities to expand for as long as the DJ can last.

The kind of techno I like to play uses vocals to sass up the mix, taking the waveform and making it bitchier. Think of it as sprinkling the beats with charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Techno is often disconnected from human voices, from singing and melodies. When there are vocals, these are typically used to punctuate or add another sonic texture to the mix. Importantly, Pareles notes that techno is a “music that thrives on its anonymity”; this refers to the stealth methods techno producers use to release tracks under a range of aliases, sometimes changing names between releases or releasing tracks as a white label, with no artist name whatsoever.

Kodwo Eshun, an early theorist of Black electronic music, points out in More Brilliant Than the Sun that because of its reliance on machines, as well as its quantized, gridded repetition, techno suggests a kind of sonic brutalism, a “music to riot with.” It’s this brutalism I find really fascinating for thinking through the queer demands of techno. For Eshun, listening to techno is “like being sprayed full in the face with CS gas,” the high-octane Black frequencies of techno becoming an “immersion in insurrection”—frequencies that inflict “an insurrectionary voltage.”25

But an insurrection of what?


Deep in the 2020 lockdown of the pandemic, OPULENCE, a queer techno party crew I was a part of in London, launched a series of virtual dance parties on Zoom. Ah, the era of the Zoom party. Instead of all of us being based in London as we were before, we now found ourselves distributed in Richmond, Virginia, Berlin, Switzerland, and London. But we still had a desire to create queer space, even across multiple time zones and internet connections. For the July 2020 virtual party, we worked with Byron Edge, a Black queer femme graphic designer, to make a three-hour movie with visuals set to three different, hour long prerecorded DJ mixes featuring Karen Wilkins (RIP), myself, and the headliner: Femanyst, a Black trans DJ based in Berlin by way of Oakland, California. When Femanyst first started making music in the mid-2000s, she performed under the alias Lady Blacktronika and focused more on house music because that felt more cathartic, even as she initially intended to release hardcore music as The Transexual Terrorist.


Femanyst Opulence

The second track in Femanyst’s mix for this virtual OPULENCE was “The Marching Beast,” an intense, forward-moving industrial track produced by Vishscale, a London-based techno producer who releases on the harder edge of dance music. I found the track striking in its severity. This was music at high intensity, as an urgent demand for something else. Coming in hot at nearly seven minutes long and 148 beats per minute, “The Marching Beast” grabs your attention immediately as the fog of an ominous, cinematic bass synthesizer floats in lightly underneath a voice-over by Gia ExMachina. There’s no kick drum, but the tension and feelings of danger and suspense warn you that it’s coming, and when it does, it’s going to be severe. After nearly a minute of teasing moans and percussive rifts—sonic edge play—the seismic kick drum drops and the track explodes into an intensity of queer sound, raising heart rates, and calling bodies into action.

I’ve wondered how and why these harsh, aggressive sounds, these contents under pressure, speak to queer-of-color DJs and dance floors. On the release of her 2020 album BXTCH SLÄP, a gorgeous, writhing sonic exploration of rave culture, DJ and producer Jasmine Infiniti theorized the hellscape of existing in this world as a Black trans woman, contents under pressure, telling i-D magazine:

As a Black trans woman, often just existing in this world feels hellish. The things that I have personally had to go through and that many other black trans women endure, it’s almost as if we are existing in hell already. It’s kind of like, well I’m already here, I might as well live it up and find the best parts of this existence that I can. It’s about embracing that hell vibe. If I’m already here then I’m gonna be debaucherous and party to all hours of the morning. I want it to reflect that.26

Infiniti’s description of moving through the demonic grounds of the here and now points to the lasting urgency of techno, as well as its queerness. Techno is the sound of queer insurrection. A queer insurrectionist sonic; a sonic refusal, following Tina Campt, “of the status quo as livable … a refusal to recognize a social order that renders you fundamentally illegible and unintelligible.”27

The beats, weaponry, the disused warehouse spaces, seized, even if only for a little while.28 Outside: noise, disorder. Inside: sweat, erotic release, other beginnings. Refusal. For queer-of-color life, these practices of refusal work as a fire alarm system that signals the state of emergency of Black and brown people, a sonic resistance to life as contents under pressure.

In an essay on the queerness of industrial music, cultural critic Yetta Howard brilliantly uses the metaphor of an aerosol can to tease out “queerness’s disruptive force.”29 The phrase “do not puncture or incinerate,” Howard writes, “generally appears as a warning on aerosol cans or other items that have ‘contents under pressure,’” a telling phrase I’m sampling to illustrate the five-alarm fire of queer-of-color life.30 In her view, this hazardous threat of incineration, disruption, and puncture is the queerness of industrial music. Call it an antagonism rooted largely in the danger of volume, of pushing the mixer seriously into the red—“the literal dangers associated with puncturing the eardrum or damaging the levels of hearing, but also the exhilarating, prurient dangers that exceed the impositions of amplified volume.”31

The rave is loud. Earplugs anyone? Techno, the sound of queer insurrection, this dramaturgy of discontent, needs to be loud to make sense because it is music that happens to you, mediated by speaker towers and subwoofers. But techno is perhaps less about puncture or discomfort and more about immediacy—the immediacy of sweating, feeling, vibrating, touching, dancing. Fast, energetic, joyous techno at 148 beats per minute is still unruly and carries an insurrectionary voltage. Here’s DJ and producer Yazzus describing her 2022 track “Mythrill”: “It’s giving hypnotic, crystallised, 90s ibiza [heart-eyes emoji] (2090s though).”32

Punk music has a direct throughline to contemporary techno culture. José Esteban Munõz describes “punk” as a “potentially insurrectionist mode of being in the world”—a space where “matter, sound and people collide.”33 The location-TBA warehouse rave is the temporary autonomous zone where we create spaces of release—not utopia, not freedom, not safety. Release. The soundtrack of this insurrectionist refusal highlights the discontent, or disgust, with the here and now, using sound to usher in a demand for something, anything “that is not the holding pattern of a devastated present.”34

Insurrection: a charged word to use in the wake of the right-wing attack on the US Capitol in January 2021. In 2010, another group of insurrectionists called The WhoreDykeBlackTransFeminist Network published “A Manifesto for the Trans-Feminist Insurrection,” where they made an urgent call to action:

We are the dykes, the whores, the trans, the immigrants, the blacks, the hetero dissidents … We are the rage of the feminist revolution and we want to bear our teeth … We call for insurrection, for the occupation of the streets, to the blogs, to disobedience, to not ask for permission, to generate alliances and structures of our own: let’s not defend ourselves, make them fear us!35

They said what they said.

As right-wing attacks on LGBTQ life grow, and as “gay rights” leaves the most marginalized in the dust, and as Republicans shrug away gun violence, and as the heath system fails to protect, and as police killings of Black people become a state norm, and as “No Fats, No Femmes, and No Blacks or Asians” still rules the day, and as the guy who currently owns Grindr voted for Trump, and as drag queens are weaponized, and as queer nightlife venues are literally shot up, techno as queer insurrectionist sonic, made Black again by Black, queer, trans, and femme DJs and party crews, is the soundtrack to our emergency demand for something else.


Luis-Manuel Garcia, “Techno-Tourism and Post-industrial Neo-romanticism in Berlin’s Electronic Dance Music Scenes,” Tourist Studies 16, no. 3 (2016): 277.


Luis-Manuel Garcia, “An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture,” Resident Advisor, January 28, 2014 .


Garcia, “An Alternate History.”


For more scholarship on marginalized communities and dance music, see Micah Salkind, Do You Remember House?: Chicagos Queer of Color Undergrounds (Oxford University Press, 2019), which offers a rich, layered narrative of the racial dynamics of dance music. See also Dhanveer Singh Brar, Teklife / Ghettoville / Eski: The Sonic Ecologies of Black Music in the Early 21st Century (Goldsmiths Press, 2021), which offers a critical history of Black electronic dance music.


Blair Black, “The Queer of Color Sound Economy in Electronic Dance Music,” Current Musicology, no. 106 (2020): 12.


DeForrest Brown, Jr., “How the Dance Music Industry Failed Black Artists,” Mixmag, October 21, 2020 .


Black, “Queer of Color Sound Economy,” 13.


André Wheeler, “Make Techno Black Again: A Social Experiment Subverts Whitewashing in Clubs,” The Guardian, March 18, 2020 .


Nichole N. Christian, “Introducing Techno to the City That Spawned Motown,” New York Times, May 29, 2000.


Christian, “Introducing Techno.”


Christian, “Introducing Techno.”


See DeForrest Brown, Jr, Assembling a Black Counter Culture (Primary Information, 2022).


Paul Gilroy, Darker than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture (Harvard University Press, 2010), 128.


Alexander G. Wehelieye, “Feenin: Posthuman Voices in Contemporary Black Popular Music,” Social Text 71 (vol. 20, no. 2, 2002): 22.


Black to Techno, directed by Jenn Nkiru (commissioned by Frieze and Gucci, 2019).


See Kevin Lozano, “An Introduction to NON Worldwide,” Red Bull Music Academy, May 17, 2016 .


“Make Techno Black Again,” September 28, 2020 . See also .


Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” in Zami, Sister Outsider, Undersong (Quality Paperback Book Club, 1993), 327.


Robin James, “Loving the Alien,” The New Inquiry, October 2022, 2012 .


“Edging,” Urban Dictionary .


“Frequencies of Blackness: A Listening Session,” The Sojourner Project (Practicing Refusal Collective, 2020) .


Paul C. Jasen, Low End Theory: Bass, Bodies, and the Materiality of Sonic Experience (Bloomsbury, 2016), 152.


Jasen, Low End Theory, 22.


Kodwo Eshun, “Carl Craig: Listen To The Future,” i-D, April 1995 .


Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (Quartet Books, 1998), 118.


Quoted in Nick Fulton, “Jasmine Infiniti Makes Deliciously Dark, Apocalyptic Rave Music,” i-D, April 2, 2020 .


Tina Campt, “The Visual Frequency of Black Life: Love, Labor, and the Practice of Refusal,” Social Text 140 (vol. 37, no. 3, 2019): 25.


For more on the connection between sound, noise, and disorder, see Steve Goodman, Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear (MIT Press, 2012) and Brandon LaBelle, Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance (Goldsmiths Press, 2018).


Yetta Howard, “The Queerness of Industrial Music,” Social Text 133 (vol. 35, no. 4, 2017): 47.


Howard, “The Queerness of Industrial Music,” 34.


Howard, “The Queerness of Industrial Music,” 37.


See .


José Esteban Munõz, “‘Gimme Gimme This … Gimme Gimme That’: Annihilation and Innovation in the Punk Rock Commons,” Social Text 116 (vol. 31, no.3, 2013): 97.


Munõz, “‘Gimme Gimme This,’” 98.


The WhoreDykeBlackTransFeminist Network, “A Manifesto for the Trans-Feminist Insurrection,” October 20, 2010 .

Music, Gender
Queer Art & Theory, Blackness, Transgender
Return to Issue #132

madison moore is an artist-scholar, DJ, and assistant professor of Critical Studies in the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California and the author of Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric (Yale University Press, 2018). They are currently writing a book about rave scenes and queer-of-color undergrounds.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.