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The Scarlet & Black

Vogueing fills Gardner once again

Mike Q is a DJ from New Jersey who makes underground club music that will get Gardner bumpin’ tonight, Friday April 26. His music combines ballroom sensibilities with chopped stylings to make electrifying music that will have you jerkin’ the dance floor.
On his Facebook, his influences include “The Art of Vogue,” “The Girls” and “Being in The Club Nailed and Hearing Some Hot Beats.” The influence of the last one is something that frequent Gardner attendees can attest to. Mike Q’s music was meant for the runway of ballrooms and has gotten him noticed by high-profile females from Missy Elliott to Azealia Banks.
On a remix of Bauuer’s “Harlem Shake,” Mike Q turns the club banger into a track perfect for queens ready to throw down the gauntlet on the dance floor. He snatches snippets of the original Harlem Shake and places them amidst a quick drumbeat and the classic symbol crash of ballroom music, the perfect sound to dip and drop to. For those who haven’t heard this classic ballroom sound, it sounds like a cymbal being crashed, and for those who haven’t seen this vogueing move, dips and drops are staples of the vogue dance scene, in which the voguer bends backwards onto one knee, back on the ground while the other foot stands trumphantly in the air. I saw the move for the first time last Saturday during Mykki Blanco’s opening DJ, and Mike Q is sure to bring it out again. Let me spell it out for you: if you are a vogue diva, this show is for you!
Elsewhere on his soundcloud, Mike Q has a track called “Ursula” with a picture of the octo-queen herself. This track is much more bouncy, featuring a beat that’s almost moombahton with how upbeat it is, but still incorporating the ballroom standard crashing. The bounce of the track itself actually complements any grooving. Interspersed throughout the track is a sample of Ursula yelling out “Keep singing!” and partway through the song, vocals shout out “This is a DJ Mike Q production!” Clearly, Mike Q is a showman who wants theatrics not only on the dance floor, but in his music too.
Another one of Mike Q’s tracks is called “nuC*nt.” Now, if there was any doubt that this DJ is a ballroom child, this track stands as proof. The song makes the most of Mike Q’s chopped style, scrapping together quotes of queens whispering “C*nt” so that they’re “C-c-c-c-c-c-c*nt to that c-c-c-c*nt” creates a spoken beat rhythm that’s sure to get the shyest of them all flailing about with all sorts of rhythm.
The thousand dollar ruby of Mike Q’s work, however, would have to be his music/video collaboration with DJ Sliink to create “WERK’D.” Tantalizingly short, the song relies on Sliink’s speedy Emceeing to take Mike Q’s chopped style into overdrive, with a madly stuttering beat backed by vocals of “Werk!” The video features the beautiful black men of the ballroom scene, in an enclosed square in the foreground, on their hands and intense concentration painted on their faces. All manners of queens lay it out on the dance floor. The traditional ballroom “crash” is instead a twang in the back, making for a ballroom track high paced yet understated enough that it wouldn’t be surprising to hear it on actual runways. If you’re feeling hot tonight, make your way to Gardner and bask in the runway realness.

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