Over the last few years, Toronto DJ Bambii, aka Kirsten Azan, has gone from playing local clubs to worldwide festival stages including Glastonbury, Piknic Electronik, and the upcoming Afropunk Brooklyn. In the process, she's become an unofficial ambassador for the city's dance music community through her work throwing parties, participating in DJ workshops, and tirelessly advocating for accessible and inclusive DIY spaces.
Fresh off an international tour with Mykki Blanco, today we're premiering the artist's new video mix EUTHANASIA, which she debuted live in April as part of her headlining set at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario. A 15-minute medley of clips depicting various dancing bodies set to a synthesis of ballroom, hip-hop, house, and more, the visual accompaniment explores the ways motion can be reimagined as a life-giving mechanism and a form of political resistance.
In an email to THUMP, Bambii explained her intentions with the video mix.
The DJ's fundamental concerns are dance and juxtaposition. How bodies move and meet, how songs might overlap, how cultures and histories collide—these are the things a DJ should care about. In my work, I use the space that I take up—to prioritize those bodies, songs, cultures and histories that are less seen, more obscured, and in need of exposure.
In EUTHANASIA, my focus is on the bodies of women acting within and without the male gaze, and the sounds of the global underground, decentralized, independent and free-flowing (to some extent) through the virtual world that is the internet. Just as two songs might find a sonic or rhythmic harmony through mixing, so might images of bodies, individuals moving through space, expose a common thread, a shared freedom achieved, if only momentarily, through dance.
This is agency with something at stake, maybe not life or death, but the fact of knowing or not knowing, feeling or being numb too, the proximity we share with those we call others. I hope you enjoy.
Watch EUTHANASIA above and check out her upcoming shows here.
Melissa Vincent is on Twitter.