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DJ Sprinkles
Midtown 120 Blues
Comatonse Recordings
Catalogue Number
Release Date
February 11, 2022
  • CD

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    • Archival vinyl pouch
    • Double-sided insert card (100mm x 100mm)
    • Phonograph style anti-static inner sleeve
    • 4x4 panel poster insert printed on newsprint (472mm x 472mm)


Midtown 120 Blues is Terre Thaemlitz's house masterwork as DJ Sprinkles. Simply put, every home should own a copy of this seminal classic.

DJ Sprinkles is please to announce the re-issue of Midtown 120 Blues, self-released on Comatonse Recordings with custom packaging hand assembled by Terre herself.

First released in 2008, DJ Sprinkles' debut full length album continues with themes from 1998's "Sloppy 42nds: A tribute to the 42nd Street transsexual clubs destroyed by Walt Disney's buyout of Times Square" (a track featured on Ame's "Coast2Coast" DJ mix compilation for NRK Records in 2007). While the world celebrates the revial of New York House Music, constructing utopian fictions about the genre as it goes along, DJ Sprinkles retreats deep into the bowels of house. This is the rhythm of empty midtown dancefloors resonating with the difficulties of transgendered sex work, black market hormones, drug & alcohol addiction, racism, gender & sexual crises, unemployment, and censorship.

The audio on the 2014 CD is identical to the 2008 first edition and subsequent represses on Mule Musiq. There are no plans for a vinyl edition because the bass spatialization effects that give many of these recordings their sonic character are incompatible with vinyl mastering techniques.

House isn't so much a sound as a situation.

There must be a hundred records with voice-overs asking, "What is house?" The answer is always some greeting card bullshit about "life, love, happiiness...." The House Nation likes to pretend clubs are an oasis from suffering, but suffering is in here with us. (If you can get in, that is. I think of one time in New York when they wouldn't let me into the Loft, and I could hear they were actually playing one of my records on the dance floor at that very moment. I shit you not.)

Let's keep sight of the things you're trying to momentarily escape from. After all, it's that larger context that created the house movement and brought you here. House is not universal. House is hyper-specific: East Jersey, Loisaida, West Village, Brooklyn - places that conjure specific beats and sounds. As for the sounds of New York dance floors themselves, today's house classics might have gotten worked into a set once in a while, but the majority of music at every club was major label vocal shit. I don't care what anybody tells you. Besides, New York Deep House may have started out as minimal, mid-tempo instrumentals, but when distributors began demanding easy selling vocal tracks, even the label "Strictly Rhythm" betrayed the promise of it's own name by churning out strictly vocal after strictly vocal. Most Europeans still think "Deep House" means shitty, high energy vocal house. So what was the New York house sound? House wasn't so much a sound as a situation. The majority of DJ's - DJ's like myself - were nobody's in nowhere clubs: unheard and unpaid. In the words of Sylvester: reality was less "everybody is a star," and more "I who have nothing."

Twenty years later, major distribution gives us Classic House, the same way soundtracks in Vietnam war films gave us Classic Rock. The contexts from which the Deep House sound emerged are forgotten: sexual and gender crises, transgendered sex work, black market hormones, drug and alcohol addiction, loneliness, racism, HIV, ACT-UP, Thompkins Sq. Park, police brutality, queer-bashing, underpayment, unemployment and censorship - all at 120 beats per minute.

These are the Midtown 120 Blues.

ball'r (madonna-free zone)
When Madonna came out with her hit "Vogue" you knew it was over. She had taken a very specifically queer, transgendered, Latino and African-American phenomenon and totally erased that context with her lyrics, "It makes no difference if you're black or white, if you're a boy or a girl." Madonna was taking in tons of money, while the Queen who actually taught her how to vogue sat before me in the club, strung out, depressed and broke. So if anybody requested "Vogue" or any other Madonna track, I told them, "No, this is a Madonna-free zone! And as long as I'm DJ-ing, you will not be allowed to vogue to the decontextualized, reified, corporatized, liberalized, neutralized, asexualized, re-genderized pop reflection of this dance floor's reality!"

grand central
In 1986, at age 18, I left Missouri by train, pulling into Midtown Manhattan's Grand Central Station some 72 hours later. Until that point life had, quite frankly, been miserable, each and every day facing verbal and physical harassment as a queer-fag-pussy-AIDS bait. The climate in New York wasn't really so different. But from within my isolation I saw others isolated like myself. One of the places we met, in our self-containment, was on the dance floor. The nastiest and seediest clubs were located in Midtown. That's mostly where I DJ'ed, at tragic places like Sally's II and Club 59. In the early 1990's, Disney bought 42nd Street, closing the places around which transgendered life revolved for many of us. That "community of isolation" was scattered to other cities, other states, other countries. Isolated, still....

-Terre Thaemlitz

To preserve the full dynamic range of the original recordings, this album was mastered without compression and is intentionally quieter than some. Turn up your stereo volume for best playback.

All tracks produced and published by T. Thaemlitz (BMI), 2008. Additional sounds on 7 provided by Kuniyuki. Paintings by Laurence Rassel. Thanks to Dont Rhine of Ultra-red for guidance and support. Design and text by Terre.

The audio on this CD is identical to the 2008 first edition and subsequent represses on Mule Musiq. There are no plans for a vinyl edition because the bass spatialization effects that give many of these recordings their sonic character are incompatible with vinyl mastering techniques.

Featuring Comafidelity Multi-Channel Sound. No fucking-sucking-licking-sticking without latex. Clean your works with bleach and water. Do not attempt using any part of this product as a safer sex device.

Track List トラックリスト

  1. Midtown 120 Intro・ミッドタウン120イント
  2. Midtown 120 Blues・ミッドタウン120ブルース
  3. Ball'r (Madonna-Free Zone)・トランズジェンダー舞踏会(マドンナ・フリー・ゾーン)
  4. Brenda's $20 Dilemma・ブレンダちゃんの$20のジレンマ
  5. House Music is Conrollable Desire You Can Own・ハウスミュージックは所有することができる制御可能な要望
  6. Sisters, I Don't Know What This World is Coming To・シスターズ、この世界はどうなりましたか
  7. Reverse Rotation・後戻り
  8. Grand Central, Pt. I (Deep into the Bowel of House)・グランドセントラル駅 パート1(ハウスの腸の深い場所まで)
  9. Grand Central, Pt. II (72 hrs. by Rail from Missouri)・グランドセントラル駅 パート2(列車でミズーリ州から72時間)
  10. The Occassional Feel-Good・時たま良い感じ
  11. Vinyl Remix EP: Brenda's $20 Dilemma・ブレンダちゃんの$20のジレンマ (Kuniyuki Remix)

Comatonse Recordings

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