This week Resonance co-founder, Disgrays (Grayson) takes the FROCKUP mix series in an exciting new direction. Keeping things extra turbo at a cruising altitude of 160+++BPM, Grayson negotiates all areas of hard dance – making us long for the club just that little bit more. Grayson has had an exceptionally busy year; slinging out unreal mixes for Metroscape Music, Backpocket Slammers and Selfness while playing mind-bending sets across Haptic and Al Gharib events to name a few. We’re all very excited to see her continue this trajectory post lockdown.
In the meantime, we had the pleasure of chatting to Grayson about the mix, Resonance and her favourite lockdown tracks below – we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Hi Grayson, thanks so much for being a part of the FROCKUP mix series. How’ve you been over the last year with everything going on?
Thank you for having me! This past year has been a roller coaster to say the least, so many highs and lows. I’ve been so lucky to have a really great home environment over all these lockdowns and uni has kept me super busy as well. The quiet times have also given me the time to practice djing and to dig and listen to SO much music and discover the sound that makes the most sense to me.
Can you tell us a bit about the direction you went in with this mix? And are there any special tracks we should look out for?
I decided to go a bit extra wild for this mix and chose a whole lot of deliciously fast tracks sitting around 160-165bpm. Usually, I’d start a little slower and move up, but I have so many tracks on this level and really needed to put them in a mix together.
Like It Like That by Venskapsföreningen – it has a really fun vocal sample that has been sticking in my head.
High Speed Magic by Aesztetik – it comes from a compilation called Transcendence which I highly recommend.
Fix Pula by Pneumatix – its bouncy and fun and the title reminds me of my mum.
Alongside Djane, C8 and Flura (as well as many others) you’re a member of Resonance, a femme-fronted collective based in Naarm with a focus on inclusion, playfulness, and unbridled expression. What led you to becoming a co founding member of this exciting new collective?
Well, the answer to this kinda turns into a first gig story/the first time I met Jane.
For context, I think it was about 2 years ago, I came home from Europe, had just bought a controller and a friend asked me and Britt to DJ at this random house party, which we of course said yes to.
I had absolutely no idea that beat matching was a thing, I was so nervous and to top it off we were playing on an archaic pair of cdj400s. The set would’ve been a train wreck... But Jane, who I think(?) was playing later liked what she saw and asked if we'd be keen to be a part of her little collective. I am so grateful for it because especially back then, I knew only a handful of other DJs, let alone femme ones. It gave me more of a sense of community and led me to meeting so many great people. Resonance has been a slow burn and has had a few different names, but we've got some sexy things in the works that we will announce soon!
You seem pretty drawn to hard dance and trance sounds while djing, what is it about the higher bpms and trancey euphoria that appeals to you?
I definitely am, hard dance just sits so well with me. I literally listen to it when I wake up in the morning, haha I am obsessed. It is so high energy and intense but also calm and warm. I really enjoy sprinkles of hard techno with trance breakdowns that give you a chance to disappear or recentre, especially on the dancefloor. As for the trancey euphoria, I love how it can transport you to another place, it's a brief, uplifting escape from reality.
You’ve recently featured on some unreal line-ups, including the recent Al Gharib party at 524 as well as the upcoming Haptic event. What was the experience like closing such an iconic event as Al Gharib?
Wow, I actually still don’t believe that it was real, and it happened. There are no words to describe how that felt, but that feeling is definitely addictive. Playing an Al Gharib party was something that I thought was so out of reach and the fact that I got to do the closing set is just out of this world.
The whole night, and the next few days really, were such a blur of emotion. I’ll never forget the lights coming on at the end and seeing so many people dancing to the music that is so precious to me, it’s unreal.
What track/s have really resonated or inspired you over the last year?
It’s so hard to pick only a few but...
Fuck Me Moon by Marilao - I was on the tram home a pretty yuck day at uni when I found this and it’s the perfect blend of speed and dreamy vocals. I also played it at the Haptic rave a few months ago so it has precious memories attached.
Volt by Yung Lean (DEV EDIT) - for me, DEV is one of those artists where you love literally every single track they release, and who doesn’t love a sad boy edit.
Positive Energy by Mall Grab - this track got me through the big lockdown last year.
Cups by Underworld - I watched an old documentary about the original Tresor Club in Berlin and they played it when the club had its final party, it looked like a very special time.
I also must give a shoutout to Anywhere by the Presets because I ended my set with it on CD at Al Gharib and that moment forever lives in my heart.
Are there any local artists or crews you’ve been loving lately? Or any parties you’re keen to check out in the coming months?
I’m really keen to check out anything at Miscellania when they open, the next Bunker and le Fag events at Sub Club, Warg’s event Closer a bit later in the year, and of course cannot wait for Inner Varnika. Fingers and toes are crossed they can all go ahead!!
What’s next for you?
I think the next big thing for me is the Haptic launch at 524 where I’m doing a b2b with KTH. Other than that, I’ve got a couple more gigs that haven’t been announced yet and I can’t give away all my secrets.
My friend Austen(KTH) and I are in the process of starting a club night that will focus on hard dance and beyond so stay tuned!
Artwork by Ivy Rose
Photography by Ginger Diddle
Words + Interview by James Morgan