Now Available: 'Young Forever' by David Sylvester ft. King Saturn

“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.”

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Hard Ton ‘We Got Luv’ EP Goes Digital

‘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:

David Sylvester - Mighty Real (David's Tribute Remix)

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.

David Sylvester on "Relight My Fire" by Dan Hartman

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 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)

"Show Me Your Dick" Music Video by Marti Gould Cummings ft. Big Dipper

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:

The music is available via Friends With Benefits Records at all digital outlets:

Buy on iTunes  
Buy on Beatport

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Google Play
Buy on Juno Download

Crosstalk Intl picks up Hard Ton 'We Got Luv' 12" for Global Distro!

We are thrilled to announce that the Hard Ton 'We Got Luv' 12" has been picked up for global distribution by Crosstalk International!

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. 


BREAKING NEWS FROM THE WAR ON FUN: Hard Ton Turned Away by U.S. Customs.

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 SueyTwo 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.

Follow us to get updates on these and future events:
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Twitter - @fwbrecords
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"James Broughton: The Music Of His Dance (Vol. 2)" out June 17

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. 

Cover art by Ultra (Comfort & Joy)

Cover art by Ultra (Comfort & Joy)

FWB #CuddleCast ep. 3: Nark

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:

FWB CuddleCast Ep. 2: Robin Simmons & Elaine Denham (Odyssey)

Friends With Benefits Records is back with episode two of our webcam cuddle puddle, featuring guest DJs Robin Malone Simmons and Elaine Denham! 

Follow us on Livestream so you'll never miss our live events. You can rewatch the 'Cast on Livestream or on YouTube. 

Two Dudes in Love played an opening set and Robin and Elaine took over the decks an hour later with their uplifting disco-influenced house sounds. 

Join us in the fun as you watch our friends (with benefits) sit, pose, kiki, cuddle, or otherwise just have a good time. Expect beardy nuzzles, friendly cuddles, and lots of LOVE. 

#CuddleCast #BonerRoom #AllCuddlesNoTroubles

This event is dedicated to the memory of Shain Alexander.

Trevor Sigler Debut LP Out Now

Although he is much younger than many other aspiring DJ/producers in San Francisco, Trevor Sigler already has a fully mature reputation for cutting-edge dance music. He’s known for seamlessly combining West Coast bass music, sultry deep house, and uninhibited techno in his DJ sets for the likes of Honey Soundsystem, Gays Hate Techno, BAAAHS (Burning Man sound car), Bubble, and his own SQURRRL crew, whose parties are notorious in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Photo by Shot in the City

Photo by Shot in the City

As an original producer, Trevor displays a fully realized and mature understanding of deep house with his self-titled, eight-track album. It delivers edgy melodic basslines, complex percussion, and deep driving rhythms. Listen and discover why Trevor has quickly established himself as a formidable DJ and producer in San Francisco's underground house and techno scene. Hear three songs from the EP right now on SoundCloud:

Cover art by Brian Mangin

Cover art by Brian Mangin

Buy Trevor’s LP now at your preferred digital music store:

This past Sunday, Trevor graced the decks for the first-ever Friends With Benefits CuddleCast. He DJed some of his favorite new tracks while our friends hugged it out in the background, and it was all broadcast live on the web via video stream. Think Boiler Room, but gay and beardy! A video highlight reel is coming soon, and you can hear the whole DJ set on SoundCloud right here:

FWB CuddleCast Ep. 1: Trevor Sigler

Trevor Sigler has a new album out on April 22nd via Friends With Benefits Records. To celebrate, we will be live-streaming Trevor's DJ set at 2pm on April 20th, and you can tune in from anywhere in the world.

The CuddleCast is our new spin on podcasts. Join us in the fun as you watch our friends (with benefits) sit, pose, kiki, cuddle, or otherwise just have a good time to the awesome soundtrack. Expect beardy nuzzles and bass-heavy dance tunes. The live broadcast starts at 2pm PT.

Pre-order Trevor's self-titled LP on iTunes now. Also available everywhere you buy music on April 22.

Tune in here! 

Robot Bomb Shelter: Beyond the Shadow EP

Robot Bomb Shelter, the production alias of Jake Brower, delivers a four-track EP of dense, dark techno for Friends With Benefits Records. Drawing on his 20+ years of experience as a fan, producer, and live performer of electronic music, the Beyond the Shadow EP evokes fantasies of nocturnal catharsis in secret, sweaty concrete bunkers equipped with brutally powerful soundsystems. For fans of Function, Perc, Sandwell District, Silent Servant, Recondite, Rødhåd, Gary Beck, Rrose, and Ben Sims.

The Beyond the Shadow EP is available April 8 at your preferred digital music store.

More about Robot Bomb Shelter: