The Carry Nation, a Downtown DJ Duo, Drums Up a Hypnotic Beat – New York Times

They cull their music from the internet, record promos and from tracks sent by producer friends. Current favorites include “Move Your Body” by Christy Love and “Body Bold” by Hannah Holland featuring Mama.

Mr. Aviance was born in Rochester and went to New York University. He paraded around clubs in drag as part of the House of Aviance, an informal drag family, before becoming a full-time D.J.

Mr. Automagic, 43, said he came to New York from Austin, Tex., when he was 17, and studied psychology at Columbia University. When the autism research project he was working on was scuttled for a lack of government funding, it cemented his switch to a musical career, which also resulted in his leaving his given name, William Lynn, behind.

The pair met in 2003 at Opaline, a club on Avenue A that is now defunct, through the drag performer Mistress Formika.

“Nita had a ponytail on top of her head and was playing ‘Din Daa Daa’ by George Kranz,” Mr. Automagic said. He said he thought: “She’s really good. I’m going to stay on top of her.”

They started asking each other to guest-D.J. gigs, and in 2012, Mr. Aviance suggested they make a record together. They came up with a percolating dance track called “This Bitch Is Alive,” which led to a recording deal with Batty Bass, based in London.

The Carry Nation’s “This Bitch Is Alive,” featuring Viva Ruiz. Video by Subvoyant

They named themselves the Carry Nation (partly after the girl group in the 1970 cult film “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” as well as the temperance activist Carrie Nation) and were flown around the country and Europe to D.J. “We kind of became sisters on that first tour,” Mr. Aviance said. “It sealed our friendship.”

Their D.J. style is to let each one take turns behind the turntables, but they also indulge in what they call “octopus style” spinning, with their hands all over the place. “I might say: ‘I’ve got an a cappella, you’ve got a beat. Let’s do two things at once,’” Mr. Automagic said.

For several years, they have played in larger Brooklyn clubs like Good Room, Output and Analog BKNY, and have recently started playing more in Manhattan.

“There’s right now a major return to gay dance,” Mr. Aviance said. “People now have so much ability to listen to what they want to at home that they should go out and listen to something new to them. That’s the attraction of a club: having another experience.”

When the crowd gets into a groove, the two D.J.s admit, they get a heady rush. “It’s about losing yourself for a minute and being able to shake off the woes of the day,” Mr. Aviance said.

Mr. Automagic added: “It’s inherently sexy. Looking across the dance floor, watching someone’s body move, even if you’ve never met them, you connect with them. We call it ‘dance-floor crushes.’”


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