Calamity Jade: “I was DJing in the ticket booth of the bumper car ride”

It must have been the concert of The New Mastersounds at Knust in Hamburg, where we last met. Calamity Jade, the European DJane from Milan, Italy, with a clear committment to the Funk. Oh, wait. No. More recently, at an info event in Hamburg, she also shared some insights into promoting Funk and Soul records, which she does through her WillWork4Funk business. Anyway, she is definitely a “DJ you should know“. Therefore, click the play button below and read more about this Italian turntable master.

Which style / genre do you mostly play:
Funk & disco (new and old)

Residency (current or previous):
Funk Shui at Bachelite and Kaleidoscope at Vinile

DJ gig farthest away from your home:
At the time NYC was my home, so apart from that one gig, I regularly DJ in London’s Funk Station at 229 The Venue in Great Portland Street, which isn’t that far from Milan but is probably farther than Hamburg. Hmmm, or is it? Hamburg or London, yeah I’ll go with London being the farthest away!

Most memorable DJ gig and why?
Many are memorable for different reasons. For pure scenic value I remember one during Milan Design Week a few years ago where they rented an amusement park bumper car ride and moved it in the middle of the city’s business square, Piazza Affari. I was DJing from around sunset onwards in the ticket booth of the ride, one side of the piazza now transformed into a bumper car floor with colorful lights bouncing everywhere and crowds awaiting their turn in the cars, and the other with people dancing, drinking and eating. The cherry on top was that one of the sponsors was the liquor of my favorite cocktail!

Since when have you been a DJ?
I started buying records in 1999. I started spinning them at parties around 2007. I’d say I’ve been mixing them decently since 2012.

What was your first ever record?
Henri Mancini’s soundtrack for The Pink Panther.

Favourite record of all times and why:
That’s impossible to say. But one of my all-time favorite tunes is “Summer Madness” by Kool & The Gang, preferably the version on “Light Of The Worlds”. It just gives me goosebumps each and every time. Ideal setting: sunset with a beautiful view and cool breeze.

Record that surprised you most and why:
I’m surprised by records every day, new releases or new discoveries of old records. Sometimes I’m surprised by records I find in my own record collection! One such case is a 45 called “Soul Rules OK?” by Limmie Funk Limited that I found in my box of reject records. I must have had a momentary loss of hearing when I put it there! Who knows where it came from or for how long I had overlooked it but it’s actually a really tight late 70s boogie-disco tune and super cheap and easy to find.

Record you usually play at all your DJ gigs:
Hmmm, there’s probably a number of records that stay in my record bag longer or appear more often, but definitely none I play at all gigs. One of the most recurring tunes in my DJ sets is In Deep’s “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”. A classic with all the ingredients of a party jam: a catchy beat, an irresistibly funky bass groove, some oldschool rap, a tasty break. It’s a crowd favorite and I love it.

Vinyl or other media:
Vinyl please.

Favourite club to play at:
Romandie in Lausanne during Holy Groove Festival was dope! It has high ceilings and a large dancefloor and the crowd really got down. 229 in London is another cool venue, the funk station nights always have a great lineup of bands.

Your favourite DJ:
I haven’t heard him DJ in a while, but for his balance between technique and selection, excellent musical taste, versatility, attitude and realness, I’ll go with Skeme Richards. And Eric Boss is also nuts.

Band / Musician you strongly recommend everyone should listen to:
That’s easy, check out my girl Gizelle Smith, she just released her new album “Ruthless Day” on Jalapeno Records and you can watch the video to single “Dust” online. Also, for the DJs particularly inclined towards nu disco, Dimitri From Paris did a remix of “Dust” with Cotonete band which is out on 12” vinyl too! I’ve only had that for a few weeks but I predict it will be a big recurring tune in all my future sets.

[Photo Credit: Sean Lamberth]

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