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Come as you are

Interview with Sandrien & Carlos Valdes about Is Burning

Come as you are

13-04-2014 | 17.33

It’s kind of odd that a city as big as Amsterdam doesn’t have that many gay oriented events focussed on qualitative electronic music. “Time to change all at”, according to Sandrien and Carlos Valdes. Together they came to us with a proposal to organize a gaynight here in Trouw; an idea which we embraced with all the love in the world. We asked Sandrien and Carlos some questions about the current gay scene and the sources of inspiration for their new night Is Burning, of which the first edition will take place in De Verdieping on Sunday April 20th. 

What was the reason for you guys to start Is Burning?
"We were missing a gaynight in Amsterdam where music was being played that we truly like. The most gay and lesbian parties usually play a mixture of pop, commercial house and R&B, with the odd exception of course. At the same time, we felt like the club scene was lacking a good representation of the gay community. The public attending most club nights is fairly straight. On this night, we can bring everything and everyone together."
 
You’ve told us that your night is inspired by the early days of the gay / LGBT parties that used to be held in Chicago & New York. Where did you feel that atmosphere for the first time yourself?
C: "Unfortunately I didn’t attend a lot of gay parties in the Netherlands where I felt that vibe; either the sound is way too soft, or music is being played that I don’t really like. My first visit to Berghain in 2007 really blew me away, you get the sensation that everything is perfectly acceptable and nothing is out of bounds."
"I also feel that sense of freedom in my favorite gay spot De Trut, where everything is possible and multiple generations of people are just having a good time. But there isn’t that much house of techno being played when I’m around."
S: "There aren’t that many lesbian parties in Amsterdam to begin with, definitely when you compare it with the number of gay parties. And again, never with the music I like. I would love to visit a party with a exuberant, loose and free atmosphere combined with the music that makes me so happy. Including plenty of beautiful women of course!"
 
The name for your night is a reference to the iconic 90’s film Paris Is Burning. Does this movie have a special kind of significance to you?
"In that documentary it's heartwarming to see that there was a place for people to be themselves and together in a time of gay oppression. This usually didn’t happen out in the open and there were few straight people there. Outside those walls, it was much more difficult to be yourself. The documentary shows the gay and transgender scene in the age of the emergence of house, including some very distinctive characters."
 
Your first guest is Virginia. Can you tell us something more about her?
"Virginia is a great DJ and on top of that wonderful a person. She has released on labels like Ostgut Ton and is a very skilled vocalist. She also did the vocals for the 2012 hit Yours, produced by Steffi."
 
What will set Is Burning aside from the other nights in De Verdieping?
"We especially looked how we get achieve the atmosphere we want by the usage of different sets of lighting. Furthermore, we want to tell everyone to get comfortable and come as you are, which means that if you want to put on glitters, fake eyelashes and big heels, you’re more than welcome!"