There’s a lot of love flowing through New York’s freak scene right now. I’ve written a lot over the last few months about the community of outsiders and noiseniks who call themselves “mutants,” and the many experimentally minded electronic musicians who orbit around them. And still, every time I end up at a show that features a few of these acts, I’m taken aback by the sense there that everyone’s on the same page, united in this strange cathartic spirit—whether that’s in the form of blistering noise sets or slivered remixes of “Barbie Girl” (shoutout to Nurse, who fucked up the basement at the Brooklyn Bazaar with that a couple of weeks ago).
The easiest way to get plugged in to this world, and to find the people who embody this communitarian spirit, is still through the blog/label/platform Sermon 3, run by an artist called The 83rd. He’s a giving booster of the scene, dedicated to the weirdos from all corners of the underground; in his coverage and promotions, he seems equally inclined to support rappers with dizzying flows, cybernetic folk artists, and straight-up noise shows. He’s clearly incredibly open-minded, which is part of what makes this whole thing work—there are people like him who are genuinely curious and want to support stuff just because it’s out of the ordinary.
It’s because of this openness that we tapped The 83rd for this week’s Noisey Mix. I figured a man with his hand in that many pots would turn in a pretty wild set, and he really delivered—cramming 30 songs into 30 minutes, making hard and fast cuts from frenetic footwork and club tracks to totally blown-out raps to glitchy M.I.A. remixes and back again. It’s head-spinning, brilliant, and full of the sort of ascendant but fucked-up energy that his scene thrives on.
As another window into this world, he’s also sharing a video for the untitled track off his recent EP patricia, which features freaky footage of many of the major players of this mutant scene, including Eartheater (who’s featured on the song) as well as Dreamcrusher, Bonnie Baxter, MoMa Ready, Tommi Kelly and Danny Orlowski of Deli Girls, and a whole lot more. You can watch that above alongside the mix below and an interview with The 83rd, both about this project and a new initiative he’s undertaken with some other members of the scene to make nightlife a safer place for everyone.
Noisey: How are we meant to enjoy the mix? What's the perfect setting?
The 83rd: The clerbbbb. Or getting ready for the clerrrrb, or atcho friend’s crib afta the clerrrrb. The whole time I was working on this mix I was imagining DJing it out. There's all different parts to my creative outlets—experimental solo work, recording/mix/master engineer, songwriting and production with major labels, etc.. But when someone asks me for a mix?! Shiiit, we ‘ bout to dance. You're bearing witness to what my identity as a DJ looks like.
Was there any specific concept to the mix?
The mix is a sonic document of the underground. From the past three years of curating Sermon 3 Recordings along with 15 years as a record producer, I've heard so many dope records, a lot of them extremely underexposed. It’s why I started Sermon 3, to give a platform to the hyper creative that weren't being covered on a mass level. So this is me taking all these dope records I've covered, released, playlisted, and just wish more people knew about, and being able to put them together in a mix, hopefully bringing them an even greater reach.
Do you have a favorite moment on this mix?
I got a top three.
That rap section with BbyMutha to WIFIGAWD X TRiPP JONES back to Gangsta Boo… whew! I can’t stay still whenever that comes on. Something on a core level gets me hyped and moves me everytime.
Pauli Cakes's acappella expression going into NEVE - “Hardcore Appeal.“ My god. Run that back when you get a chance. Dead beautiful. Those screams were very personal to Pauli, and I knew I definitely wanted to use them in the mix, but didn't want to force it. Then I accidentally sped up the NEVE hardcore record like 30 bpm and grabbed a mid-verse part of their song that sounded sick in conjunction with what Pauli was already was referring to in “VOYEUR FUCK SHIT,” and the rest is history. I know that moment was meant to be; it was drawn from the greater energy that connects me and Pauli on a core level, I believe.
Lastly, VICEVRSA. Yo, so VICEVRSA is a talented rapper and is tearing up NYC on his own wave. But you ready for it? You ready… That's my nephew, man. Like, my blood, my sister's child, ya dig? The reason this was so special for me was that VICE never asks me to plug him, list him for anything, or feature him at Sermon 3. We're a supportive family and leave it on a genuine level, holing up at my mama's house on the holidays or my sister's whenever I can make it out to see her, and that's that.
So fast forward to me digging out records for this mix. As I was listening to a lot of cuts I planned on using, I start to realize they ultimately just didn't have the energy I was looking for in this scenario.
I decided to go to VICE's soundcloud page and re-listen a little deeper to some of his cuts. I WAS blown away. His music, regardless of being my nephew or not, was knocking. I had to double check myself to make sure I wasn't being partial and stayed honest with what worked. And yep, not only did it work, but it took the whole energy of the mix to another level. VICEVRSA is a legitimate problem. He just happens to be my nephew. (I ain't never been so genuinely proud to click and drag audio files into an Ableton live session.)
Is synesthesia a real thing? If so, what color is this mix?
Of course! With this mix, it’s more like ever-changing objects. It’s all moving so quickly—each record has its own vibe and sparks different associations. Like for instance, with Dani Rev's hard techno “CAGEMATCH” record? I see this spiral[ing] nebulous object that keeps rotating and morphing in a user;s hand.
Or Hatechild's “I blame u” conjures up long sharp needles pinning and jarring thru the air. There's textural layers and associative images and colors with each song.
Tell me a bit about the video you’re releasing as well. The song has such a fractured energy, how did you try to capture that visually?
The song reminds me of a dark dollhouse, jovially manic with a child-like frenzy. I was picturing kids bouncing up and down, playing amongst themselves, in a tinted, cavernous environment. To them, that's simply their environment, their daily standard. It may look darker, more fringe to others from the outside looking in, but to them, it’s simply where their community resides—it’s their home. I think it’s representative of me and the rest of the homies in New York's underground. A lot of normies don't understand [what] we operate on, the way we identify in a variety of fashions and lifestyle choices we choose to make. We understand musically, creative[ly] and communally, we're mutants, and we own that shit. We get it, we get each other, and we choose each other, which makes it the most special.
Me, Alex (Eartheater) and one of the directors, Daniel Mangosing, (shoutout to Tomy), were brainstorming this concept for the video and thought, why don't just ask the homies to all be in the dollhouse with us, literally? Cause we're all actually friends and connected IRL, it was only a few texts away, and within a week we all pulled up to Pauli and Marley's crib and shot this epic-ass music video as a community. To me, we're acting as a small representation as to what's happening in NYC right now… the top's off, the young, vibrant, experimental, DIY mutant gang-up energy is too real, too powerful. There's hundreds of mutants, don't get it twisted—way more than made it in this video. We're just acting as a small portal into our world.
Since we last spoke, you and Pauli Cakes have been working on a guide to safer nightlife spaces . Can you tell me generally about that project?
For too long, music, art, and nightlife industries have profited off the culture of POC, queer, and trans people while not actually prioritizing them; instead, using their lifestyle as a buzzword for more money, clout, and opportunity for their own personal gain.
The culture creators, content curators; the musicians, artists, dancers; the black, gay, femme, punk and queer, are taking back what is owed to us by developing our own community spaces and digital platforms where we can excel and be exposed, not exploited.
Our heart isn’t just for our personal spaces to have transparency and a revolution within them, but for a culture of respect, safety, and community to transcend established clubs, venues, and the art industry as a whole.
Pauli Cakes had a revolutionary idea, and then Sermon 3 Recordings came on board to collaborate with them. It’s an editable community Word document that rewrites the rules of nightlife and our expectations for one another. This Securing Nightlife Info Exchange is an open-documented declaration for how we will run our DIY platforms and how we want established venues to run their spaces if they want us involved. Club kids, performing talent, and the community in general have an opportunity to write down what they want to see changed and enacted in the spaces they inhabit. It’s still open to collab now. Reach out to me, or Pauli or She Marley Marl of Discakes, and we'll send you the link if you wanna help shape policy in NYC nightlife and community spaces.
This is maybe self-evident, but can you talk about the ways that having safe nightlife spaces contributes to the health of the community at large?
Yeah. If we feel safer, more respected and appreciated, everything changes. The output, the work, the art, the expression, the conversations all change. They become healthier, more inclusive—the one thing I’ve learned is mob mentality is real. So if that mob mentality is toward equality, social equity, and respect for all and is prioritized, watch how that sentiment snowballs. And watch those that come after us only be able to be bigger, stronger, more tolerant, and [more] loving; have a greater reach; and do more because of it.
Odetta - Another Man Done Gone
4.A.M. (4 All Mississippi - Backed Up (The 83rd's Edit)
DJ Spinn Teklife - Old English Spinn/Nick Hook/Scatta VIP
Sliink x Dj Taj x Big O - Best Friend Anthem (Jersey Version)
Baltimore Club Music Doo Doo Brown Drumline
Skepta_/TAD IQ/NA_/MC Kauan Laugh - Man (Putaria Maxima edit)
Anna Latautua - Twwth
Réelle - amethyst (other mix)
Dwizz - Salt Pepper Ketchup and Hotsauce
Joey Labieja - Death Before Dishonor ft. BbyMutha
WIFIGAWD X TRiPP JONES - CARLITOS WAY (PRO.OOGIEMANE)
Gangsta Boo - Walk
M.I.A. - Paper Planes (osno1 i Want The Laugh Cry Emoji On My Tombstone Remix)
DaniRev - 0-GRAV MECH DIGITAL CAGEMATCH
Grooming - Big Gun Have Fun
Hatechild - I blame u
48 Phantom - Skin
Youngster jiji - DEVILMAN ft. CIDVSHZ (prod. prxz x the virus + antidote)
lil yung ssj3 - hollows (prod. LAVISH JAX)
Omerettà The Great - For What
Tommy Wright III Ft. Princess Loko- Still Pimpin
VICEVRSA - ADVISORY
VICEVRSA - ERROR ft LEED
BbyMutha - Rules
PAULI CAKES - VOYEUR FUCK SHIT
NEVE - Hardcore Appeal
Dreshon - Twerk (REMIX)
Bunny Michael - They
Ella Mai - Boo'd Up (New Orleans Bounce Mix)