Manchester’s Hidden is gearing up for a very special guest in the new year, with the spectacular DJ Sprinkles joining on the 21st January. A unique DJ not just in her distinctly philosophical and political understanding of dance music, but also in her approach to mixing, Terre Thaemlitz is a strong proponent of the need for house music’s roots to be acknowledged, her cerebral approach summed up by her 2014 suggestion that “Music is usually one of the least interesting things about clubs.”
A veteran of the house music scene, Thaemlitz cut her teeth as a DJ in New York during the 80s, becoming immersed in the LGBT house scene. A resident at Sallly’s II, a haven for the transgender community, she became interested in the social and political side of dance music, something which is often ignored in vacuous descriptions of dancefloors as apolitical or inherently inclusive places. Seeking to challenge conceptions which have all but airbrushed out the sexual and racial character of dance music, her music has aimed to re-politicise and redefine her art, also showing disregard for immediacy or impact in favour of subtlety, repetition and immersion. Mixing under her DJ Sprinkles alias, which, when gender is assigned, should be known as masculine, Thaemlitz prefers to play songs at length, often reverting to DIY edits which extend tracks far beyond their initial timespan. A specialist in deep, emotive and indefinable house, Thaemlitz is not understood by all, but for those that can connect with her loaded art and choose to do so, she is an extraordinary and captivating musician.
Head into a DJ Sprinkles set wanting to take home track IDs or remark on individual tracks and you’re missing the point. This is one for open minds and nothing less.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photo courtesy of Hyponik