Introduce yourself? Preferred pronouns? Where do you currently reside? 1 fun fact about yourself?
My name’s Carly Barton > generally androgynous and fine with they or she > Portland, OR > I beat The Binding of Isaac (1000000%)—possibly my greatest achievement.
How is everything going with you right now?
I’d love to submit a research paper for this answer, but the succinct version is that I’ve been struggling to navigate through some rough circumstances health-wise. I’ve been disabled with very limited mobility + suffering from chronic pain for the last year and that’s pretty much been my day-to-day. I’m a notorious workaholic, so not being able to produce at my usual productivity level has been beyond frustrating to say the least. So…¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Other than that, I have the most wonderful partner in the world and some exciting opportunities that I’m dying to dive into if/when I get better.
Who/what currently inspires your music-wise that has nothing to do with music?
Thinking a lot about medieval weapons and goblins—will have to do something about that soon. Also been wanting to make a Jake the Alligator Man video game/OST (if you’re not familiar with Jake you gotta visit Marsh’s Free Museum in Washington).
Favorite musical memory in deep description?
Tough question. I had the extreme privilege of witnessing a solo multimedia performance by Takako Minekawa at Nationale—an art space in Portland, OR (courtesy of tone poem). Minekawa is an experienced composer, but I did not expect such an ethereal creature. It was so dialed, naked, honest, revealing, and expertly crafted. It’s like she was capturing magic out of thin air. It felt like everyone in attendance was sharing a buzzing electricity, hyper aware of how fragile the room was—like it was breathing. You could sense that everyone was having their own internal journey, as she demanded you to. Afterward, I went across the street with my friend and we probably talked about it for at least an hour; this was before lockdown, but honestly, I still feel like I’m processing it—very dreamy indeed.
What was your silver lining for the year 2020?
I really don’t know.
Favorite thing to cook currently?
I made the most fucked up chicken pot pies over lockdown, but not really a summer dish. Lengthy recipe though—email me if you want it (email@example.com)
Most underrated artist of 2020?
I barely listened to any music (especially new music) in 2020 so I feel like I can’t really answer this properly since I didn’t dig much.
If you had to score one movie what would it be?
Most of my favorite movies are because of the soundtrack and it would feel illegal to redo them. I’m really pulling at nothing here…maybe Fern Gully.
Let’s play a pipipi game… I give you a situation & you give me a track
Blizzard in Ibiza fur swimsuits
Lizard birthday party
2069 high fashion runway show apocalypse vibes
If you had to describe yourself as a liquid,what would it be and why?
Kombucha / Sun
Milk Tea / Moon
Paloma / Rising
Favorite weird drug/mind altering experience?
Sunrise at a forest rave campout/ecstasy mushroom situation – there was a fire going and we had regular firewood available but of course, in my mushroom mind, I’m wandering around and see a forest log that was emanating some crazy energy + basically saying “pick me!” It was covered in white fungus and rot and the way it was split looked like a vagina. Naturally, I was convinced it was an omen and thought it represented the negative poison tar gooped on my soul. When it went into the fire, the flames turned neon orange and let off this thick black smoke that looked like a writhing demon spewing out huge white clouds. It was very dramatic, definitely ~a moment~ like I literally let this creature escape its vessel but hopefully in a good way.
What is your most recent favorite DJ mix and why?
Same as above, I’ve barely listened to anything so maybe it’s unfair/limited to pick something. But what I do listen to I usually very much enjoy. Traxx did an 8+ hour live stream of rare/unreleased Prince records that blew my goddamn mind. Horny and happy and just, wow, transcendent.
What was your first gig? How did it go?
First unofficial gig–basement house show situation; it was super fun and I got a free weed plant. First official gig–after hours rave, I was so nervous, but I think I do best when I’m nervous. There was a rotary mixer which I hadn’t used before, but I had so much fun, it was like driving a spaceship. I definitely surprised myself + gained some confidence.
Any advice to upcoming producers/djs?
Wooooof. Hmm. I really do have a lot of thoughts on this, maybe the biggest thing is these things take TIME and practice, you’re not gonna be good if you don’t do the work—there are no shortcuts to finding your own voice or becoming skilled. Don’t make excuses and don’t limit yourself to what other people are doing. It’s good if it’s honest. You’re also never done, you’ll always get better, so don’t be upset if you fuck up or don’t like it or it feels unfinished. ALSO, nice gear doesn’t mean shit; I always liken it to visual artists—yes, it’s very nice to have expensive oil paints to command as you wish, but you can still make something beautiful with a pencil on printer paper.
And most importantly, do it because you love it.
Do you have any upcoming releases/gigs?
I have quite a few projects pending…have I started them? No.
No gigs because I basically can’t sit or stand for more than thirty minutes. Been thinking a lot about accessibility…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a club DJ sitting or in a wheelchair. That’s probably a good segue into the next question.
What would you like to see in the future for the dance community?
I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about disability, and I hope to see that become more normal in venues. You always see people with canes/in wheelchairs your whole life and empathize, but it becomes so noticeable/in your face once that becomes your everyday. And besides what I’ve seen most people discuss about dancefloor politics, I’d like to see sincere/open conversations about expectations and intentions become the standard. It is 1000% not okay to demonize people, specifically POC + women, for expecting certain needs to be met regarding inclusion, accessibility, payment, harassment, etc. It’s very hard for “SEE something SAY something” to work if nobody believes you or does anything about it…like, obviously no one’s gonna feel seen or protected when they put themselves in a vulnerable position only to be completely ignored or shit on. P.L.U.R.?!!? It’s a pretty simple concept.