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No Skool Like the Old Skool: Star Eyes

Some stories you may not have heard about the Trouble & Bass mastermind, plus a flashback 2-step mix from Syrup Girls.
September 26, 2013, 8:00pm

Get out your notepads…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.

Honestly it's hard for me to imagine anyone referring to Star Eyes as "old school." Most people know her as one of New York's hardest-working DJs and an integral part of the hugely popular, ultra-hip rave crew Trouble & Bass. But she's been behind the scenes for longer than that. I know her as Vivian Host: a sharp intellect, a serious music nerd, and for many years, editor of XLR8R Magazine (during its heydey as a print publication). While she may not be the most "old skool" selector in this series, she certainly knows a fuckload more about electronic music, new and old, than 99% of her contemporaries.


You may not know that she was partners in a rebellious and rambunctious DJ duo called Syrup Girls alongside fellow Breakbeat Scientist DJ Siren. (Full disclosure: I should also mention that she's my editor at THUMP.) It's thanks to Siren and Trouble & Bass that I was able to put this post together without her getting any wind of it. Side note: I've also always admired her and her crew's sticker game—as you may know I'm a bit of asticker nut.

Check this eclectic Syrup Girls mixtape from 2000:

Vivian is a wicked wordsmith. One of my favorite passages of hers is from a write-up of her fellow Trouble & Bass partner Drop The Lime. She described his sound as "chopped-up breaks making hairpin turns, breakdowns coming out of nowhere, a foundation of wobbling goblin bass often cut in with tropical, clacking snares." Love it!

This is her with the whole T&B crew—Drop The Lime, AC Slater & The Captain:

This is a crazy photo I nicked from her Facebook—it's her with Genesis P-Orridge, famous to me because of his/her (not sure) involvement with Throbbing Gristle first, and then Psychic TV, who claim to have released the first British acid house record. You can hear a Psychic TV mix she did with Dust La Rock and Mishka clothing company here.

I love this photo!

These are three great mixtape covers from her Syrup Girls project.

This shot came direct from Siren, Vivian's Syrup Girls partner—it's "graffiti from when we thought we were street smart" from NYC's Lower East Side.