Baltimore based producer TRNSGNDR/VHS aka Alexandra Brandon, who typically plays live, has been confronting the underground scene with her thought-provoking noise sets this past year. We ran into her in Boston and were very very excited she wanted to do a mix for us as this is an area she’s explored relatively less. This mix is beautiful, therapeutic and gave us goosebumps: get ready to cry, heal and absorb this session. Listen and read Q&A below:
tell us about this mix
I feel it reflects a lot of what I’m influenced by right now. I wanted to give people a mix that was more therapeutic and brief.
when did you start djing?
In public…near the beginning of 2016. Very recent but that feels like forever ago.
I’ve been playing instruments since I was 11. I played saxophone while I was in middle and high school but my first time doing electronic music was when I was 18. I was making witch hop type stuff at the time with a friend. I started doing TRNSGNDR/VHS in late 2014. I look back at everything with a very cringing sense.
Favorite party ever played:
My most memorable experiences are performing for people who haven’t seen you before. I went on tour this summer and my favorite stops were Chicago, Montreal, and Atlanta; in a way it’s more about making friends, connections, and acquaintances than just displaying yourself. I currently live in Baltimore and my favorite events here this year were opening for Hatis Noit (this amazing avant-garde performer from Japan), and getting commissioned to perform at the Walter’s Art Museum. Another highlight is that I played in New York City at Ende Tymes Festival, that was special.
I try not to make any favorites, I think most of the DJs I admire are club music and EDM DJs. The nature of it requires a lot of dynamics and stability. There’s a sizeable scene of people in Philadelphia and New York City doing that who are amazing. Some of them blur the line between DJ’ing and sound art, especially the ATM and KUNQ associated stuff.
Changes every month. Lately I’ve been getting into Elysia Crampton’s music.
Pet peeve when DJing:
A lot of things. I’ve gotten entire genre requests. Being able to watch an entire room of people interact after dark can enter weird territory. DJing makes me study the audience in a way that I don’t get when I actually perform music.
What’s best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
Anyone who takes it a step further than “I like your stuff”. I like getting advice, constructive criticism, or when people go into detail about how what I do impacts them. It’s nice to know people have thought enough about your art enough that they can respond to it constructively.
Place you’d like to play:
Anywhere outside of the United States.
Something you want everyone to know about you:
I suck at getting back to people on social media, but a lot of people have DM’d or commented a lot of nice things and I’m thankful for that <3
Hatis Noit – “Illogical Lullaby” (Matmos Edit)
Oneohtrix Point Never – “Sdfk”
Embaci – “Flight and Destruction”
CMOV – “Twins of Eternity”
Moro – “Libres”
Swan Meat & ssaliva – “Nightmare Fuel”
Laurel Halo – “Oneiroi”
Balasa – “Teri Duniya” (Drum Mix)
Puce Mary – “No Memory”
Holly Herndon – “An Exit”
Yatta – “Summertime”
James Ferraro – ‘Vanity”