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Another qDJX interview with Lifepartner

DJ Lifepartner

Today I find myself waiting for the elusive LIFEPARTNER, also known as Kirk Sutherland; A timid yet charming creature. Lifepartner wears thick rimmed glasses, fitted jeans, crisp new A.D.I.D.A.S’ windbreaker & canvas shoes, and sports a full beard. He loves playing dancehall, bounce and hip hop and anything new to the underground world music market. Today he shares his thoughts, opinions and some overall realness about inspiration, music and Oregon’s Queen City…

KIRK! HOW ARE YOU?

(Kirk dives into a bagel and hummus spread) Hungry

TELL ME, WHEN DID YOU MOVE OUT HERE?

About three years ago, it will be three years in the beginning of May.

AND WHY?

I had visited this city several times and fallen in love more and more each time, I finished college; got my undergraduate degree and was ready to get out of Boston.

DO YOU MISS BOSTON?

I do. I miss the pace of life, I miss things going faster, people doing things quicker, and I miss real Jewish bagels.

I CONCUR, DO FEEL PORTLAND HAS YOU GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE YOUR CRAFT AS A DJ?

In some areas yes, some no. When I first started I got type casted as that guy who plays hip hop and top 40 at parties, and when I tried to expand my practice, people weren’t as accepting to the unrecognizable as the familiar.

WHAT IS THE UNRECOGNIZABLE, FOR YOU?

Depends on the crowd, but on “queer” nights, stuff that’s more international, things that don’t get radio play, more underground styles. Things that are going off the East Coast.

WHY DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH PORTLAND AND POSSIBLY THE WEST COAST TAKES A LITTLE MORE TIME TO REACT TO NEWER MUSIC STYLES?

I don’t think it’s west coast, in fact i know it’s not a west coast thing. People like Total Freedom and Nguzu-Nguzu in L.A throw parties like Wildness and Mustache Mondays, I feel that they’re pushing boundaries more than some parties in NYC.

IF ITS NOT A WEST COAST THING THEN WHY THE NORTHWEST? DO YOU THINK IT’S A CERTAIN COMFORT LEVEL?

Portland and Seattle are rock cities

SO YOU THINK IT’S OUR INHERENT MAKEUP?

Yea, it’s not a bad thing Portland embraces it’s indi-music, but I don’t think there’s room for more beat centric club music to be produced. Especially tacking on the gay part of it makes it even smaller.

I REALLY FEEL AS THOUGH YOU ARE THAT NICHE IN PORTLAND FOR UNDERGROUND INTL CLUB MUSIC IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY, WHEN IS THERE GOING TO BE A PARTY ABOUT IT?

Tomorrow night! It is the debut night I’m throwing with recent Brooklyn transplants Blood Hound and the Wolf.

WHATS THE NIGHT CALLED

No shade

AND I BELIEVE THAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR RECENT MIX CD?

Yes!

ALRIGHT, LET’S TALK PORTLAND, WHATS YOUR FAVORITE NIGHT?

I’d say Do the Dark with Count Fagula. I think it’s his ability to have found a spot thats’ completely unconventionally queer, I feel like it could be found in bigger cities like San Francisco or New York.  I think its his spirit and ability to just turn things out which makes it such a welcoming environment, and I’ll be there tonight! I’d say a close second is Art Party which is the most fun I had playing a party in a long time.

WHATS YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?

A clean Pilsner

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP DJING?

First and foremost is the way in which I constantly get re-inspired by people putting out new music. Also the affinity I feel with dj’s and beat-makers in others cities, which provides me with an arsenal of new and inspiring tracks to keep playing,

WELL SAID, DARE I ASK SPECIFIC NAMES?

Kingdom; my soul sister from New York. Rizzla; my Banjee borther from Boston, who still surprises me with how much he knows about dancehall. Total Freedom, from L.A. Lonewolf who also lives in LA. And people abroad like Bok Bok and L-vis 1990.

FABULOUS! WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN MUSIC YOU PLAY OUT?

Depends on the genre, I’m really interested in garage inspired stuff from the UK; two step beat patterns, strange syncopation, a powerful vocal track; Keyshia Cole, and for stuff like dancehall basement, just that perfect bass that complements a perfect 808 clap.

LOVE 808’S, I THINK THEY MAY BE THE PERFECT SYNTHESIZER.

(Lifepartner nods)

WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU EVER DJ’D?

Oh my god, It was a house party in Boston in 2006, I didn’t even use turntables.

DID YOU START OUT ON VINYL?

(Street name: Cutes Mc Sutherland)

The first time I “DJ’d” I used iTunes and a mixer. I taught myself how to DJ on dancehall 45’s, I’d  definitely say dance hall is my primary reason for becoming a  DJ and still remains my favorite genre.

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM PARTY/EVENT TO DJ?

Ohhh goooood, I don’t know, I feel like it would actually be a warehouse style UK rave. As cliche as it sounds.

I DONT THINK THATS SOUNDS CLICHE, JUST A LITTLE FUNNY. WHERE YOU EVER A RAVER?

Not really, I attended a few raves, but for the most part I was pretty crusty.

DEFINE CRUSTY? WHAT ARE SOME CRUSTY ACTIVITIES?

Unkempt; dumpster diving, animal rights protests, etc.

I THINK WE’VE HEARD ENOUGH. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN TO PDX IN THE NEXT 3 YEARS?

An expansion in what’s thought of as acceptable on the dance floor as far as music. And I think there’s people who are pushing that.

PORTLAND, I THINK, IS GOING TO BE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLACE IN 3 YEARS

Ya it’s gonna grow, it’s getting bigger. I think that’s a big issue people have. Myself included, in thinking that PDX is a bigger city than it really is.

WHERE JUST A BIG TOWN!

There’s only so many people that can go out on so many nights

TELL ME ABOUT IT SISTA!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MIX TAPE

I’d say it an amalgamation of my favorite beat makers, producers and remixers, both domestically and abroad.  I tired to incorporate styles like Funky, Cumbia, Ragga House and Puerto Bass.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE TO FEEL WHEN THEY LISTEN TO IT?

When I was making it, I wanted to exemplify the styles that I play instead of flashy mixes. I wanted it to sound like one of my DJ sets. I want people to listen to it and know that they can come to No Shade and hear those tracks and ones like them.

WELL, I FOR ONE AM EXCITED TO ATTEND HOLOCENE TOMORROW NIGHT FOR YOUR MAIDEN VOYAGE. (Into a shadeless sea)

SPEAKING OF WHICH, WHERE DID YOU DECIDE ON THE NAME NO SHADE.

I’ve been dwelling on trying to throw a party called No Shade since I moved out here. No shade to me means to be without shade, to  literally not throw shade.

AND FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT AN URBAN DICTIONARY???

To leave their attitudes at home and just forget your troubles.

BEAUTIFUL

Leave it on the floor.

WHAT A NICE IMAGE TO DEPICT FOR A CLUB NIGHT! IT’S LIKE UTOPIA. LAST THING, IS YOUR NIGHT QUEER IDENTIFIED?

It is, but I don’t want it to feel exclusive.

WELL KIRK THANK YOU FOR YOU.R TIME, ENEGY AND SENTIMENTS TOWARDS RIP CITY

It’s the Queen City, well it is its larger than the capital, thus making it the Queen City.

I LOVE IT! SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, LIFEPARTNER THUS CONCLUDING ANOTHER CHAPTER IN THE QDJX SERIES AND AFFIRMING HOW GAY OUR CITY REALLY IS!

No Shade debuts Tomorrow night at Holocene, Doors at 9pm , free before 11, 3 dollars after.

Do the Dark TONIGHT! @ Tonic Lounge, 30th and NE Sandy, Free before 10, 3 dollars after.

No Shade mixtape available for wide download HERE!

5 comments to Another qDJX interview with Lifepartner

  • Trish

    will you please branch out and interview other DJs? There are a ton in this town! The last two were clearly an exploit of resources to promote your family and friends.

  • don’t rag, brag!

    which of this city’s DJs are the best – who do you want to see up here?
    we don’t exploit, we just show off 🙂

  • seth

    Don’t worry the next one will be someone you’ve never even heard of.

  • centergravity

    ditto trish. for starters:

    DJs linoleum, beyonda, airick, trans fat, moisti, rhienna, freddie fagula, yer momm…

  • CharlesB.

    ya no offense. but the dj thing is way over done. both the ww and mercury have done this as well as just out. might be better with more pictures or some video! Some live footage perhaps an audio interview? but i agree with trish.