Friends With Benefits Records is doing a DJ showcase on March 26 at SchwuZ in Berlin!
“Young Forever” by producer David Sylvester and vocalist/dancer/performance artist Saturn Rising (aka King Saturn) gets seven all-new remixes by a diverse group of outstanding producers. The remixers are Eddie Gessford, vainhein, Cid & Fancy, Vincent Parker, Normaling, ONE55, and Lady Fingers. The seven new mixes, plus remastered versions of the original, will be available digitally on February 1.
The EP takes its name from the staghorn sumac tree. This invasive species grows in the open air spaces of Berlin’s clubs and unlicensed parties, and the hardy trees became as inextricable from La Fraicheur’s rave experience as they are from the soil in which they grow.
Friends With Benefits Records is expanding into the world of radio!
The Friends With Benefits show brings you house, techno, and disco, mixed continuously by DJs of the queer underground scene. The two-hour broadcast is hosted by David Sylvester and airs Saturday nights at 11pm PT on Wild Planet Radio, KPQR 99.1 FM in Portland, Oregon and online at WildPlanetRadio.com. All episodes will be archived at fwbrecords.com/radio.
Friends With Benefits strives to carry the torch lit by dance music’s founders: the queers and people of color whose innovative productions provided escape from the oppression of everyday life. Their music is the heartbeat of nightclubs that serve as safe havens for community building and authentic self-expression.
FWB stands in opposition to the whitewashing, commoditization, and appropriation of dance music culture. Our mission is to deliver techno and house music that creates joy, nourishes community, confronts systemic oppression, and inspires you to jack your body.
Host David Sylvester is one of the founders of FWB Records. Although his adopted surname honors the queer disco legend Sylvester, David’s style synthesizes dance music’s past and present while always looking to the future. In addition to DJing, David is working in the studio on several remixes and original material for his debut EP.
Wild Planet Radio is the United States’ first full-time FM radio station devoted entirely to queer programming, and it’s a nonprofit supported by community members. Visit WildPlanetRadio.com to learn how you can help KPQR bring the voices of the queer community to the airwaves.
“Hold me down and make me better.” This is the command King Saturn issues at the beginning of “Young Forever,” a collaboration with producer David Sylvester.
Exploring lust, romance, loss and courage, King Saturn tells a tale of finding everlasting love. David Sylvester’s production captures the melancholy and euphoria of this emotional journey with sweeping synths, soulful keys, and an insistent, cathartic house beat.
The song climaxes with King Saturn’s declaration of eternal love: “I’ll be yours and we’ll be young forever.”
‘We Got Luv,’ the feel-good piano house jam by Italian disco-duo Hard Ton, is now available digitally. Previously available only on vinyl, the release features remixes by Matrixxman (Ghostly International, Spectral Sound, Ultramajic, Soo Wavvy), Up Yours (Southern Fried Records, Get Up Recordings), and Rotciv (Unterton, Luv Shack).
Hard Ton are known their incredible, high-energy live shows that meld the fashion of Leigh Bowrey, the audacity of Divine, and the voice of Sylvester. Their productions have previously appeared on legendary labels including Killekill House Trax, Toy Tonics, Rekids, Snuff Trax, and Bpitch Control.
The 'We Got Luv' EP was originally released in 2014 as a hand-stamped, limited-edition 12" single. Matrixxman delivers a submerged reimagining that transforms the playful original into a hypnotic throb. Severino and HiFi Sean deliver a galloping 'Up Yours' remix, and Rotciv adds funky basslines to his 'Outta Sight' version.
Now, Hard Ton lovers everywhere can finally download these ecstatic tracks from their favorite digital music store. Superfans can still score the vinyl at the FWB Records Store, but only a handful of copies remain.
Buy ‘We Got Luv’ by Hard Ton:
I’m obsessed with educating myself about the origins of dance music. I'm not the first to say this, but it’s so important to remember that all of house and techno is derived from disco, which evolved out of soul and RnB. All of these genres were pioneered by people who dared to express themselves in defiance of the immense oppression and persecution they faced in their daily lives.
And who dared express himself more flamboyantly than Sylvester? A soul singer at heart, he and Patrick Cowley revolutionized the sound of disco in San Francisco. Sylvester is inspirational to me because in art and in life, he fearlessly embraced his authentic self: black, effeminate, and extremely homosexual.
When I found the acapella for “Mighty Real” at Streetlight Records in the Castro, I knew I wanted to do something special with it. By setting Sylvester’s timeless vocal to searing, full-throttle techno, I aspire to honor his legacy and also look to the future of dance music.
I chose the surname Sylvester in tribute to the Queen of Disco (and, by extension, to all the originators of dance music). The name reminds me that all dance music is rooted in disco. It reminds me of the past and present pioneers of civil rights. It reminds me to check my privileges—to examine myself in relation to the people who lived and created (dance music’s) history. Most importantly, it reminds me that all art must help make the world a better place: by spreading joy, by undermining hate, and by challenging expectations.
I hope this song helps to make the world a better place.
David Sylvester, April 7, 2015, San Francisco, CA.
I wanted to share some thoughts about the song that I consider the climax of my set at Portland's Pride kickoff party, Queerlandia: "Relight My Fire" by Dan Hartman.
Although he was considered something of a bubblegum-pop disco crossover during his time (a lot of queens who lived through the 70s are still sick of his songs!) Dan was an undeniable part of the soundtrack of disco-as-gay-liberation. He died of AIDS in 1994 and his music seems to have been overlooked during all the subsequent disco-revival trends. (Everyone has heard "Stayin' Alive" played to death, but you don't hear Dan at weddings or bar mitzvahs.) I suspect this might be because many of his original fans were probably casualties of the AIDS crisis themselves.
I first heard "Relight My Fire" about five years ago when Steve Fabus (veteran disco and house DJ since the 70s, current resident at Go Bang!) played it at a disco party called SPKR that sought to recreate the heyday of gay disco in San Francisco, and I could feel the magic in the room as the crowd (mostly people who had lived through the era) experienced a collective orgasm of recognition and remembrance. I was totally carried along on that wave - I mean, the song just builds and builds and builds into the most ecstatic climax. And the lyrics perfectly embody both the hope of gay liberation and the struggles of the AIDS crisis (cue Loleatta Holloway's "You got to be strong enough to walk on through the night / there's a new day on the other side").
At the peak of the AIDS crisis, I bet "Relight My Fire's" optimism rang hollow to some, which makes perfect sense. If it weren't for the anger and action of groups like Act Up a lot of people wouldn't be alive today; you can't just dance your problems away. But still...like Harvey Milk said, you've got to have hope. And that's literally what Loleatta sings. It very well could be a direct reference to Milk's speech.
Playing this song today makes me feel connected to our queer past in a very significant way. It is a privilege to be able to share it today.
- David Sylvester (FWB Records, Two Dudes in Love)
This Pride season, Marti Gould Cummings and Big Dipper hit the clubs with their infectious single “Show Me Your Dick!” Marti knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it. Come along as Marti and Dipper cruise for big, thick man meat in the hilarious music video produced by Stevie Hannigan:
New York queen Marti Gould Cummings knows what she wants: DICK! And she knows how to get it. Come along as Marti and Big Dipper hit the club cruising for big, thick man meat! The “Original Mix” is a high-energy club banger serving super-sized house beats and a hilarious, irresistible hook. The “Fish Mix” is all Marti all the time, and FWB label-head David Sylvester brings the party to a Berlin sex dungeon with a heavy techno remix that features churning synth stabs and a commanding snare rush.
Credits: Produced by Two Dudes in Love; Mastered by Trevor Sigler; Cover Art by Stevie Hannigan.
Based in Chicago, Crosstalk has been distributing electronic music on vinyl for over two decades. They are the exclusive worldwide distributor for labels like Argot, Dance Mania, Pittsburgh Track Authority and more.
On this special EP, Matrixman (Spectral Sound/Dekmantel/Ultramajic) delivers a submerged reimagining that world-premiered on XLR8R. Severino (of Horse Meat Disco) and Hifi Sean deliver a galloping "Up Yours" remix, and Rotciv (Unterton/Luv Shack) adds funky basslines to his "Outta Sight" version.
The limited-edition 12" is hand stamped and hand numbered, and a large, heart-shaped Hard Ton sticker is included with every copy.
Fueled by an enigmatic mystique, DJ Jenö has remained one of San Francisco's most beloved and sought after DJs for over two decades. Developing a passionate love for music from an early age he spent several years as a punk musician & songwriter, before discovering djing and falling into the vibrant London warehouse party scene of the mid 80s. Once Acid House fever hit the UK, Jenö never looked back, becoming known for his heady Whoosh parties, and his involvement in the early days of the notorious Tonka Sound System.
Jenö’s mythical mixing talents have translated far and wide with a diverse international cult following. He has demonstrated these talents on the decks in the premier clubs across the globe, including the legendary Twilo in NYC, The End, Fabric & Ministry of Sound in London, Unit in Tokyo and the Rex Club in Paris. Jenö continues to perform & present music with a unique and psychedelic perspective, djing regularly again across the US, as well as hosting his own musically mischievous cult radio show - Noise from the Void, on http://mixlr.com/jenovoid/
Carlos Souffront is a music gourmet, a true DJ's DJ. His taste is rich and vast and he has the unique ability to create deeply rhythmic narratives that offer unexpected and exotic spices. He mastered his deep mixing skills with a cassette deck and a belt drive turntable in his father's den in Troy, home of contemporaries such as Mike Servito, Tadd Mullinex and Matthew Dear. Equally entrenched in indie rock, post punk, experimental music, ambient, rock, house, and techno, Carlos was always a man of many worlds - with an ability to traverse though them with an unique imagination. There is a mood to his search within sound, something that is heavy, deep yet gritty. Like many Caribbean transplants that ends up in northern colder climates, he wonders where our rhythmic complexity is. For him it is effortless and endlessly surprising to the listener.
Gay Marvine (aka Chuck Hampton), a creepy campy shadowy hedonist. Maybe he's a gay vampire or something. Gay Marvine's years of experience in the most underground of night clubs and the seediest of continental bath houses makes him the most qualified editor / rearranger.
Chuck Hampton has been a DJ in the Detroit undergound scene since '92. Personally picked by Richie Hawtin to play at several of his parties, Chuck has appeared on bills with Derrick May, Juan Atkins, DWynn, Stacey Pullen, and many noted others. He was the resident DJ for the now legendary Friday nights in the basement of the Nectarine Ballroom (the club where Jeff Mills got his start) throughout the 90's and early 2000's. He's been a guest DJ for several of the Macho City parties as well as the Menergy party. He is honored to have played the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (Movement). Known for his enthusiactic, intense and diverse sets that span genres and decades, Chuck is now an accomplished remixer and editor under the guise of "Gay Marvine" on the Detroit based labels "Secret Mixes Fixes" and "Bath House Etiquette". House, Acid, Techno, Disco, New Wave, Industrial, Hi-NRG and even Classic Rock have all been known to make their ways into Chuck's sets. His focus is always on the dance floor. For this special set, Chuck will be focusing on his favorite House tracks.
Two Dudes in Love, San Francisco based producer/DJ couple Mat dos Santos and David Sternesky, wield their musical and emotional chemistry in equal measure whether they are producing original songs, remixing another artist, or DJing to an audience of happy dancers. San Francisco Bay Guardian selected Two Dudes in Love for their 2014 'Hot Pink List', the annual Pride-month round up of "the people who have inspired us with their unique approaches to queer life."
Trevor Sigler is a young Idaho transplant living in San Francisco. He has quickly established himself as a talented producer and engineer with a unique ear for sounds, with numerous remixes and a full length album already under his belt. As a DJ, he is consistently in demand for guest appearances as well as holding down a residency with SQURRRL (San Francisco/Los Angeles). His debut self-titled LP was released on April 22nd via Friends With Benefits Records.
The Hard Ton 'We Got Luv' EP will be released September 1 on a 12" single limited to 300 copies with remixes by Matrixxman (Spectral Sound, Ultramajic, Soo Wavvy), Up Yours (Southern Fried Records, Get Up Recordings), and Rotciv (Unterton). A limited number of copies will be available for purchase at the San Francisco party. A digital version featuring Hard Ton's "Blame It On The E" and additional remixes by Matrixxman and Two Dudes in Love will be released later in the year.
After a grueling 8-hour detention in Seattle, the U.S. government successfully stopped the queer XXL disco queen, Hard Ton, from entering the United States on Wednesday, July 30. To say that we are crushed is an understatement. Hard Ton is everything Friends With Benefits Records stands for: beautiful music, fabulous outfits, and the celebration of being your own authentic self. Hard Ton was so excited to play the West Coast – and we will bring them back someday. We promise.
What now? The show must go on. It’s what Hard Ton wants us to do.
July 31, 2014 – Seattle: Ononos and The Tempers will be rocking the stage at Chop Suey. Two Dudes in Love and Nark Magazine will bring you groovy beats in the side room. Tickets will be $10 at the door—we’ve also released more $8 tickets for presale. Come party with us!
August 3, 2014 – Vancouver: Truckerdisco will be on fire with Two Dudes in Love, Futurewife, and DJ Taffi Louis. Celebrate Vancouver Pride Sunday at *the* best house and techno party Vancouver Pride Sunday has to offer.
August 7, 2014 – Los Angeles: Bears in Space and Friends With Benefits will be rescheduled for a later date.
August 9, 2014 – San Francisco: Come dance the night away with an amazing DJ line up, transformative visual installations, and fierce interpretations of Hard Ton’s music. More details soon.
We will reach out to people who have bought presale tickets and issue refunds for anyone who wants one for Seattle, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.
San Francisco-based dance label Friends With Benefits Records today releases James Broughton: The Music Of His Dance (Vol. 2). The compilation is presented in conjunction with the award winning documentary film Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton.
Seven dance music artists—including Heartthrob (Isnisnt, Minus), Hard Ton (Killekill House Trax, Toy Tonics) and Lady Blacktronika (Sound Black Recordings)—created new, original songs that incorporate archival audio of James Broughton reading his poetry. By bringing Broughton's poetry from the page to the dance floor, this unique compilation carries the message of Big Joy to an entirely new audience.
Mastered by Trevor Sigler.
The third FWB #CuddleCast features Nark from Seattle!
Watch all the cuddly action on our YouTube Channel:
Play and Download the audio file on our SoundCloud: