In a town where so many musicians and DJs are enjoying full-bore, media-driven hype, don’t you wonder where all the chicks are? We’ve got the Emsters, the Kid Rocks, the Carl Craigs — and don’t make me utter again the name that ends in “ipes.” Aren’t we even curious about the whereabouts of the gal-fronted outfits in this filthy little whorehouse called the music business? Is there some sort of inherent breast-to-success failure rate?
In fact, some women are taking responsibility for getting themselves and their peers noticed in a male-dominated pop culture. If the walls of the cavernous downtown Irish bar-cum-electronic music venue Foran’s could talk, for instance, they might just fill us in on some little-known X-chromosomed talent that lurks within. It is called FLOW, and, well, it’s just as good a place as any to begin our search for the talented goddesses of the “here today, made fun of in an upcoming VH1 episode of ‘I Love the ’00s’ tomorrow.”
As she takes a break from a Sunday afternoon barbecue with pals, Jan Dijkers, (or Jan D as she is known in the world of electronic music) takes a moment to chat about one of her more impressive PR successes, FLOW. Birthed in February from the womb of her one-gal promotions operation, the House of PR, this monthly DJ event was dubbed cagily after another (albeit less fun … ahem) monthly event.
Smirk now or forever hold your peace.
Alabaster-skinned and slight, Dijkers is unassuming as she talks about her accomplishments with FLOW. Her ethereal appearance is more the stuff of a young model than of a promotions flack. And while her cuteness might throw off the average Joe and Jolene, Dijkers’ prowess as the organizer of cool events and as a five-year veteran of the DJ world precedes her. She knows what she is talking about.
“One of the owners of Foran’s [John Foran] approached me about the possibility of putting together an event that featured all female DJs,” she explains. “I was immediately into it.” She organized a lineup of DJs including herself and DJ Minx, a rad chick in her own right and creator of Detroit all-girl DJ conglomerate Women on Wax. FLOW quickly took on a life of its own. From house to techno to electro to drum and bass to hip hop, the talents run the gamut.
“It’s a pretty progressive format,” says Dijkers. “It’s open to everyone.” In fact, she hopes that a forum like FLOW will bring young hopefuls out of their shells. “It is the perfect way for women who want to be involved in this kind of thing, but just may not know how to go about doing it.”
“It’s really a great place to catch what is going on,” says one avid FLOW attendee. “I have learned a lot just by watching.”
Women of all races, colors and creeds are taking FLOW’s stage and mixing it up on the turntables. And each month, as the word of mouth spreads, the dance floor fills up a wee bit more. Men and women alike have grown to look forward to this event as one of the few places to check out fresh, new talent. Without big names or trendy advertising, the grass roots ethos of FLOW has evolved into an important part of what it means to be a female DJ in Detroit.
Sadly, the DJs of FLOW were left out of this year’s troubled electronic music fest, Movement — but that’s OK. “Maybe next year,” says Dijkers.
She’s got nothing to prove, FLOW speaks for itself.
Enjoy FLOW with DJs Emily Ransom and Christina Cooper at Foran’s Irish Pub (612 Woodward Ave., Detroit), Thursday, Aug. 7. Call 313-961-3043. Don’t miss DJ Minx’s birthday celebration at next month’s FLOW, Thursday, Sept. 4.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]