Djs and curators, open your ears wide open because you’re in for a treat. Not ten, not twenty, but thirty-two fresh cuts for your sets, mixes, and radio shows. If you’re into dance music, TRANS PRIDE DUB WAR has something in store for you. From liquid drum & bass to jungle, from dancefloor hitters to quirky electronic experiments, it’s a rollercoaster ride through the wild and varied world of electronic music.
But let’s take a step back. What is TRANS PRIDE DUB WAR? It’s a compilation ideated and curated by Hallow which features tracks produced during a month-long dub war between transgender and nonbinary musicians from across the world. An album that aims to act as a bridge between trans people to make them feel less alone in the music scene, a place that in contrast with its own root, it’s still far from being a safe and welcoming environment for trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people.
“I first got the idea to start a dub war between trans DnB producers in the summer of 2020, around when I first started a tiny Discord server for the few that I knew to hang out and connect with each other. At the time the server only had around a dozen members and many of them were busy, so I shelved the idea indefinitely,” Hallow explains about the birth of the project. “The concept for the dub war was reignited in my mind after reading a recent UKF interview with gyrofield where they asked Kiana a couple of questions about her identity. We’ve known each other for a long time and have talked at length about gender and DnB over the years, but her answers in the interview really resonated a lot with my own experiences and made me think a lot about some of the issues facing the scene”.
While the initial focus of the initiative was the D&B scene, which lineups, Hallow points out “are very often comprised of cisgender heterosexual men with the occasional cis woman (not to mention that the majority these days are white)” causing a strong feeling of alienation, the war dub quickly became a multi-genre affair. As they report, “it took like, a few hours and about three sends for it to expand far beyond that into the dance music scene as a whole. It was really incredible to watch a bunch of producers making so many different genres just pop up with their replies to a send. There were even people who weren’t the target of any sends just jumping in on the fun!”Among my favorite songs from TRANS PRIDE DUB WAR I need to mention Hallow and gyrofiled‘s contributions, ARIA VEIL stomping banger ‘NEONANGEL,’ the angelic ‘Procyon B’ by Vaque, telemist’s happy hardcore edition of ‘the veldt’ and the ethereal ‘Space FM’ by Kelbin. You can stream the full compilation (with all the dub war sends) on SoundCloud and purchase it on Bandcamp. All proceeds from sales will be donated to Mermaids, a charity dedicated to supporting young transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people in the United Kingdom.
“To cisgender listeners: buy this compilation. Play the tunes in your DJ sets. Support transgender artists whenever and wherever you can. If you see anyone being unwelcoming to a trans person, step in. Feeling supported and welcome can be life-changing for many people.”