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May 17 2023

Panel on Recovering Los Angeles’ Hidden Music Histories: Electronic Dance Music, Space & Place

lectures-symposia, talks
Room B544, Schoenberg Music Building

Hear and learn the hidden queer histories of L.A.’s electronic/dance music (EDM) cultural geographies. Scholarship on Los Angeles’s EDM community started with Simon Reynold’s (1999) ethnography of the 1990s Rave scenes. However, missing from this historical account are the stories of Black, brown, and queer communities who participated in and created EDM events throughout the Los Angeles area. The panelists will discuss their experiences of how electronic dance music helped them navigate the underground and mainstream spaces in the Metropolitan area.

Panel Moderator: Blair Black


Kumi James, Ph.D. Candidate & Cultural Event Producer:

Kumi James, aka BAE BAE, is a DJ/producer, sound artist, and filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. Her sound design practice explores the permeability of identity, the liberatory potential of Black culture(s), and possibilities for personal and collective healing. James’ uncanny sonic assemblages and DJ mixes provoke muddy flows of knowing through the body, senses, and memory. She curates LA's beloved underground party, Hood Rave, and hosts a monthly radio show on NTS Radio called Hypersensitivity.

Irene Urías, Cultural Event Producer

Irene Urías, aka Your Muther, is a multifaceted mystical mastermind who not only DJs and serves as the prototype of that girl on your 90’s mood board, but is also a community builder and devoted steward of safe spaces for the queer and underground communities of Los Angeles and beyond. As a self proclaimed club mom, rave mom, and stage mom, her journey started in the 90’s rave scene of Southern California, where her love for music and innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life led her to become a seminal figure of the nightlife scene. As a co-founder of Homoccult, Lez Croix, and 42Q, she has played a crucial role in shaping and promoting events that shake up the homogeneity of the scene by consciously moving away from centering cis-men and actively working to create more inclusive spaces.

The panel will address how they came to EDM, create safer spaces for their communities, negotiate the line between visibility and surveillance of queer and people of color, and how club spaces foster creative communities.

The intention of the panel is to raise awareness about the aesthetic contributions of Los Angeles’s queer and communities of color to EDM, archiving marginalized communities, and the praxis of carving out space in hostile terrains.

Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, this event is sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology, with support from the Dean of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.