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No School Like the Old Skool: Soul Slinger

Learn up on NYC's original junglist—and listen to a mix from 1994.
December 19, 2013, 10:00pm

DJ DB has been a fixture in dance music through every renaissance it has has experienced. His archive of DJ mixes and flyers from the 90s rave era are a time capsule of electronic music's first worldwide explosion, in NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SKOOL he shares some of these treasures. Hear new shit he likes here, or connect with him here.


Above is a mix from 1994 that's classic Soul Slinger!

If you were a junglist and you lived in NYC in the 90s or early 00s, you know Soul Slinger. My early history in rave culture is irrefutably entangled with his, but while I'm pretty much retired as a DJ, Soul Slinger still soldiers on!

Once upon a time I threw parties every weekend. One event that ran for about a year was called Orange (I have no memory of why I called it that, other than perhaps I thought it had psychedelic ring to it, and I really do love the color when it's florescent). In 1990 the club now called Drom on Avenue A in the East Village was a cavernous rock bar under Kim's Video store called Beowulf, and and for a couple of months my partners and I would build a psychedelic wonderland in there every Friday.

As a DJ and promoter, Orange was a turning point for me. I was fed up with the established downtown hipster crowd of the day, wanting me to play the same club and house hits every week, plus the Hip Hop in my in my sets, was attracting knuckleheads that would pretty much start fights every week. I wanted to play more new music (aka Rave) but the old guard weren't having it.

So when Soul Slinger (who introduced himself as Carlos) and his wife Rey walked into the club looking like they had beamed in from an alternative futuristic reality, I instantly made a beeline to find out where they were from.

Soul Slinger and his partner REY in 1988.

If memory serves, they told me they had just arrived from Brazil by way of London, and were setting up their various fashion and music projects in New York. A few months later I started hearing about a shop called Liquid Sky. The store was literally ground zero for a burgeoning new community of kids interested in the new rave culture, and Soul Slinger and REY were behind it.

Carlos suggested that I sell my mixtapes at the shop, and I was psyched by how often I had to re-up the stock. By the time we started the NASA parties, Soul Slinger had established himself as a credible pusher of jungle and techno, and an absolutely vital part of what was happening in the city. He offered to host the chill-out room at NASA, which became known as the Liquid Sky lounge, bringing in the best ambient and downtempo DJs of the day.

As I mentioned in the Air Liqude post, I was parters with them in the record shop Temple Records, which was in the basement of Soul Slinger and REY's shop Liquid Sky—I know it gets confusing.

Here's a flyer from Liquid Sky's long running EGG party:

This might have been the first time we played together—pre-NASA, pre-jungle:

An integral part of the appeal of Liquid Sky Designs (aka LSD) was the visual presentation of all aspects, created by REY, and later by Gabriel Hunter. Here are a collection of their designs turned into stickers and included in my book:

Here's Milla Jovovich rocking REY's design as jewelry:

Along with Sm:)e Communications, Liquid Sky was the only other label in the US pushing jungle music in the early & mid-90s. Here's a lovely bit of square vinyl from them:

Soul Slinger's sister Ruth Slinger is a documentary film maker, and back in the day she carried a video camera with her at all times. Below are some video stills from her. That's Carlos below:

Still almost a child, here's Chloë Sevigny working in the shop:

Carlos patiently amused by the tourists checking out the shop:

Kids in the shop. A big Rita Ackermann art work hangs in the back:

Carlos on stage in some warehouse:

Some Liquid Sky/NASA kids—photo nicked from Jens Rocker's Facebook. Thanks Jens!

The Liquid Sky Design was influential across a number of media:

Connect with him here: https://www.facebook.com/SOULSLINGER
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/artist/DJ+Soul+Slinger