Initially established in 2004 at The Eagle, an innocuous gay bar in London’s Vauxhall, Horse Meat Disco has evolved into a powerful force in queer and club culture as a whole, while staying local to its original home, each and every Sunday. Co-founded by James Hillard and Jim Stanton, and encompassing residents Severino and Luke Howards, the crew continue to maintain not only the weekly Sunday party, but a number of residencies in cities across the world, alongside a kaleidoscope of club appearances, festival dates and specially curated mixes.
Taking inspiration from a diverse, counter-cultural history of clubs and DJs, as well as from the sprawling, ever-expanding musical collections of it’s resident crew, the sound of HMD is impossible to place. Nonetheless their style is undeniable, as is a popper-scented air of sheer authenticity. Rooted in hedonism, rhythm, freedom and emotion, a Horse Meat Disco set reinforces everything invigorating about disco, as comfortable as shattering old-school mirror ball cliches as basking in their light.
A typical HMD set blends classics, italo disco, house, oddities and punk funk, to conjure their initial spirit of “a queer party for everyone”, including, but not limited to, “Homos and Heteros, club kids, bears, fashionistas, naturists, guerilla drag queens and ladies who munch.” They have made appearances on every notable club scene in the modern world, as well as those beyond, and have long been a key fixture at festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival and Festival No.6.
Outside of the club, the Horse Meat Disco train rolls across the airwaves on Rinse FM, where the crew hold down a weekly residency every Sunday afternoon, serving as a pre and post-club Sunday lunch accompaniment, often delving into the more soulful shades of their sublime taste, often encompassing rave groove, gospel and whatever they can’t get away with on the dancefloor (which, as the years have proven, isn’t much). A series of expertly curated and acclaimed compilations for reissue label Strut helped further cement HMD’s formidable but communal reputation as disco masterminds, spreading their sound and many enviable obscurities into front rooms and record bags across the world. Their latest, ‘Meat Me Down the Disco’, was released on Z Records in 2017.
After decades of crate digging, globetrotting and partying, the HMD story continues apace. 2017 also saw the crew record their long-awaited contribution to BBC Radio 1’s ‘Essential Mix’, as well as their first joint foray into production, ‘Waiting For You To Call’, featuring Roy Inc., and released on their own, self-titled imprint. They are currently working on new music to be released with Glitterbox, with the new single ‘Let’s Go Dancing’ released in December 2018.
◾️ BICEP ◾️ In 2008, Belfast natives Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar were posting 100+ tracks a week on their blog, Feel My Bicep. Now, the Irish duo have added being DJs, producers, promoters, labels owners and even live performers to their resume – but blogging remains a core part of their artistry. The two have played a crucial role in the development of house music over the past ten years and continue to be icons in the underground community.
◾️ HAAi ◾️ Australian-born London-based DJ kicked off her career throwing the Coconut Beats parties in Dalston which led to shows on Rinse FM and Worldwide FM. She landed a prestigious residency at Phonox in London where she ruled the deck Saturday nights for two years. In 2018, she won BBC Radio’s Essential Mix of the Year and now holds a monthly Radio 1 slot. Her sets are infused with heavy bass lines – from breaks to thumping techno – as well as all manner of percussive elements.
Fascinoma is excited to be launching in New York at the Knockdown Center on May 2, 2020 with two of house music’s true legends; Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers) live and Kerri Chandler.
Focused on delivering harmonious, high quality events; Fascinoma emerged in 2016 in Puebla, Mexico to great acclaim. An intimate 3 day event featuring the likes of Larry Heard, Dâm-Funk, Kode9 and DeepChord that landed Fascinoma on VICE’s list of best festivals of the year. Fascinoma now brings their ethos of celebrating great music by delivering choice line-ups across different genres of electronica to the US with the opening party on May 2nd at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, NY.
◾️ LARRY HEARD ◾️ Larry Heard, aka Mr. Fingers, lives a life that has been characterised by the kind of quiet intensity that will be instantly understable to anyone who knows his music. The Chicago native delivers music that speaks to the very deepest parts of the human condition, and as such triggers the most passionate and enduring responses in discerning listeners and dancers. He continues to be as prolific as ever, creating the kind of poised beautiful electronic music that can consistently win over the most demanding music lovers.
◾️ KERRI CHANDLER ◾️ New Jersey native Kerri Chandler has unquestionably helped shape the house landscape. His Kaoz Theory label has worked with massive modern artists such as Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, and The Martinez Brother and his MadHouse Records has been setting releases for 25+ years. His life-long obsession with sound makes him famously meticulous about the setups of the clubs he plays, and that always results in electrifying sets of soulful, authentic, positive house music.
◾️ FASCINOMA ◾️ While a relatively new name, Fascinoma is led by veteran Rene Gelston, founder of London‘s legendary Black Market Records; a name now synonymous with modern dance music and urban culture for over 30 years.
◾️ CHRIS LIEBING ◾️ The German DJ, producer, radio host, and label head has pioneered the European techno scene for over a decade whilst always staying true to himself. His DJ sets are immersive, physical workouts which draw from an encyclopedic knowledge of the techno genre. His record labels, technical collaborations and radio shows have in turn provided a platform for many of techno’s current stars and showed Liebing to be a tireless, masterful curator which makes it easy to see why Liebing remains so popular and at the forefront of the techno scene.
◾️ ANTHONY PARASOLE ◾️ Born and raised in Brooklyn, Anthony Parasole is no stranger to the dancers of New York. Holding residencies at both Berghain and Output for multiple years, Anthony has garnered praise both domestic and international. A former Halcyon employee, Anthony is a proficient digger, with vast knowledge and selection of dance floor weapons.
Due to rising concerns amid the COVID-19 virus, the Disease Thrower performance has been postponed. It is with a heavy heart that we announce this news, however, we hope that this measure will ensure the safety of our staff and guests. Please check the website for updates on the rescheduling of Maravilla’s performance. The wellbeing of our guests and staff is our top priority as we continuously monitor the situation.
Knockdown Center is pleased to present Disease Thrower, a newly commissioned performance by Guadalupe Maravilla, presented in partnership with The Chocolate Factory Theater. Maravilla’s practice, which spans sculpture, drawing, and performance, draws heavily on autobiography to address the larger context of the immigrant experience within increasingly repressive and abusive systems. Disease Thrower lives between an immersive mini-opera and an invented healing ritual, and addresses the artist’s experience as an unaccompanied child immigrant escaping El Salvador to the United States, the subsequent intestinal cancer he endured, and his healing methods. For this performance, new mythologies will be created as the artist transforms Knockdown Center into a space for storytelling, choreographed rituals, and healing.
Under the embrace of a purple cloud, Knockdown Center’s expansive Main Space will be populated by totemic objects, a suite of gongs, a revving motorcycle, and a cast of otherworldly characters. The performance will incorporate one of Maravilla’s signature Disease Thrower shrine sculptures that operate simultaneously as an artwork, an instrument, and, for the first time as part of this performance, as a headdress worn by the artist. A mix of returning and new characters conceived by Maravilla — from metaphysical snail border crossers and an operatic singer named La Momia to a troupe of masked, mourning quinceañerxs — will fill the Main Space. Disease Thrower is accompanied by a live score by the Mexico City-based electro-drama band La Rubia te Besa, composed in collaboration with Maravilla. Following the performance, the audience will have an opportunity to commune and dance to a concert-style show by La Rubia te Besa.
Disease Thrower is the third and final work of a performance trilogy based on Maravilla’s autobiography. The first chapter, titled The OG of Undocumented Children, performed at the Whitney Museum, NY, in 2018, relayed the story of how Maravilla became an undocumented and unaccompanied child immigrant. The second chapter, Walk on Water, performed at the Queens Museum, NY, in 2019, focused on Maravilla’s past as an undocumented immigrant, the deportations his family endured, and his methods for healing.
The personal experience Maravilla details in Disease Thrower echoes that of many immigrants, and highlights the lingering and internalized effects of this kind of journey and lived reality, calling attention to the body as a site where systemic abuse manifests. Sonic elements will envelop the audience within a resonant environment of collective ritual intended to help cleanse the body of phobias and create a space for healing. Knockdown Center will vibrate with the sounds of gongs and motorcycle engines, reverberations intended to shake free the audience members’ bodies of their own invisible, deep-seated traumas.
Disease Thrower marks the inaugural commission in the Knockdown Center Propeller series, which supports artists in the production of ambitious new works made specifically for Knockdown Center’s unique spatial context.
About Guadalupe Maravilla
Guadalupe Maravilla was part of the first wave of undocumented children to come to the US from Central America. The artist immigrated from El Salvador alone at age eight to escape the Salvadorian Civil War, and became a US citizen at twenty-seven. In 2016, as a gesture of solidarity with his undocumented father, who uses Maravilla as a last name in his fake identity, Maravilla changed his birth name Irvin Morazan to Guadalupe Maravilla.
Maravilla creates fictionalized performances, videos, sculptures and drawings that incorporate his pre-colonial Central American ancestry, personal mythology, and autobiography. Through a multidisciplinary studio practice, Maravilla traces the history of his own displacement, interrogates the parallels between pre-Columbian cultures and our border politics.
Maravilla has performed and presented work extensively in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, MARTE (El Salvador), Central America Biennial X (Costa Rica), XI Nicaragua Biennial, Performa 11 & 13, Fuse-Box Festival, Exit Art, Smack Mellon, Rubin Foundation, the Drawing Center and the ICA/VCU in Richmond, Virginia. Maravilla has upcoming projects at the 2020 Guatemala Biennial, Site Santa Fe, Phoenix Art Museum, and São Paulo Museum of Art (Brazil). Maravilla has been awarded the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map fund 2019, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Franklin Furnace 2018, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, among many others. Maravilla has been featured in the NY Times, Brooklyn Rail, the Guardian, Art Forum and many other publications. Maravilla’s work has been collected privately and by the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Deutsche Bank, MoMA, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
About La Rubia te Besa
La Rubia te Besa is a multifaceted music project proclaimed as ‘electrodrama’, where keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion and digital sound processors propose a pastiche of prominent references to instrumental pop culture (soundtracks, hymns, popular melodies, ringtones, etc.). The band, formed in 2013 (Mexico City) by members of different creative profiles (not formally trained musicians), bases its name on an imaginary aphorism that comes from an inescapable unconscious voice, an eternal submission to the canonical seduction.
About Knockdown Center Propeller Series Guadalupe Maravilla: Disease Thrower is the inaugural commission of the Knockdown Center Propeller series, a commissioning program designed to support artists in the production and presentation of ambitious new works in Knockdown Center’s expansive Main Space. Responding to Knockdown Center’s unique architectural context and programmatic mission, the series is designed to support new site-specific work by artists who have not yet had the opportunity to extend their practice by significantly scaling up. The program furthers Knockdown Center’s mission to present innovative new projects by artists making ambitious, risk-taking, and boundary-crossing work.
About The Chocolate Factory Theater
Since its first season in 2005, The Chocolate Factory Theater has supported the development and presentation of new work by a community of local, national and international artists working in dance, theater, and interdisciplinary performance. The Chocolate Factory’s programs have drawn many thousands of new visitors to its 5,000 square foot industrial facility in Long Island City, Queens. The organization recently purchased a permanent facility in the neighborhood.
Disease Thrower is commissioned by Knockdown Center and presented in partnership with The Chocolate Factory Theater. Commissioning support also provided by The MAP Fund. Support also provided by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation, The SHS Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The tale begins in Milan, Italy where Carmine Conte aka Karm and Matteo Milleri first met while studying music production at SAE Institute. Their ever-changing sound has resulted in a vast collection of music which has been released across numerous world renowned labels such as Visionquest, Crosstown Rebels, and R&S Records. The two have created their own record label, Afterlife, which has been a massive success since its launch in 2016.
◾️ AMELIE LENS ◾️ The Belgian DJ and producer has been DJing since she was 18 years old and since has become one of the most celebrated artists in the world of electronic music. Lens tours worldwide but still has time to run her popular party series, Exhale, and her own record label, Lenske. She’s known for her full throttle sets where she unloads her techno skills and sheer love for the genre on her crowd of fans.
◾️ FARRAGO ◾️ Farrago creates arpeggiated melodies that reverberate endlessly to the point where they are deemed tangible and are driven by the resonating sound of a classic 4/4 kickdrum, it’s the perfect marriage between body and soul.
◾️ RACHEL NOON ◾️ Noon who began crafting her sound in the 90s, credits New York’s underground queer dance scene for her accelerated growth over the last few years. As the founder of the queer, trans and non-binary focused platform Large Marge, she has become a pillar in the scene where her roots lie. Noon is also a resident of Unter. Her sets focus on creativity and structure while pushing the boundaries of sound.