CL aka Cindy Li aka force of nature is a DJ promoter living in Toronto who’s been a close friend of Discwoman’s for over a year now. She brought us up to Toronto to play her Work in Progress party when we were still considered a “risky” booking (lol still are) and it remains one of our fave parties to date. She has become an invaluable voice in the techno community championing feminist politics to ensure women are represented and booked correctly in the scene. Today she plays our two year anniversary party, and released an enigmatic mix with us to celebrate. We couldn’t be more honored. Below take a listen and read her Q&A:
tell us about this mix:
I recorded it in one take in my bedroom. It’s basically a reflection of the types of dance music I love to play the most on the dancefloor. As a DJ, I hate being restricted to a particular style in a dj set, and I play a lot of opening to close sets so it’s important to me that sets are dynamic and have movements and grow in momentum. I’m really into breaks-tinged house, acid of course (!), and trippy electro, so there’s quite a bit of that in my mix.
When did you start djing?
I bought my first mixer and a pair of super crappy Numark CDJ racks (no platters lol) during my third year in university when I first started getting into electronic music. I’d always had an insatiable appetite for weirder music of different styles so at that point I had already been a radio DJ for two years at my campus radio station (where I also had a show where I only played music made by women). Around that time, it was my foray into Kompakt and BPitch Control and a lotta minimal techno like Marc Houle and Magda (She’s a Dancing Machine is still one of my favourite mixes of all time), and I threw my first techno parties back then. I even won a campus DJ contest! But it was very much a hobby that I quickly abandoned after university when I moved to Asia. It wasn’t until 6 years later when I started DJing again, which I very much think of as a rebirth of some sort, and since getting my first residency at a techno club in spring of 2015 and starting Work In Progress around the same time, things have sort of taken off really quickly.
It’s been so long that i have a really hard time remembering but some of my earliest gigs were in campus nightclubs where i’d have to play more top 40, which was annoying, but it was also really fun to mix stuff like Justin Timberlake with Cut Copy and Miss Kittin & the Hacker.
Favorite party ever played:
Wow this is so hard to answer with just one…so I will give you a top 3 in no particular order:
1. With Volvox for Strange Allure in Buffalo this past February, it was my first U.S. show and the energy and the space were both so incredible. I still think about it all the time.
2. The first time I was booked by someone in Montreal who wasn’t a friend of mine, I played with Jayda G and R. Wong in a DIY afterhours space, definitely stands out as one of my favourite memories.
3. And this past Sunday, when I opened for DJ Sprinkles, it was hands down the best party we’ve ever thrown and that was one of the only sets I’ve played at my own parties that I felt really good about.
Impossible to pick just one…but I guess either Dan Curtin or Susumu Yokota or JTC / Tadd Mullinix
Pet peeve when DJing:
When you B2B with another DJ and they touch your EQs during your mix or they mix out of your track after it’s only been playing for like 2 minutes.
What’s best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
When women tell me that seeing me play and throw parties and do my radio show has given them the inspiration to pick up the craft themselves.
Place you’d like to play:
De School, Sustain Release & Golden Pudel
Something you want everyone to know about you:
My favourite ice cream flavour is black sesame.
1. pilgrims of the wind – loosejaw
2. cc not – wearing
3. dj xanax – ???
4. globex – untitled
5. regelbau – untitled b1
6. andras – gold coast (surfer’s paradise mix)
7. r.wong – terranium
8. metropolis – angstpolitiek
9. kat chanel – and then I met you
10. hell & jonzon – lifeform
11. peel md – muc
12. deputy dawg – gunslinger
13. credit 00 – snake charmer
14. dj nori – 80s drugs
15. damon wild – avion
16. major problems – overdose (the final trip)