Tony Y Not: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix
Fun is the name of the game when Tony Y Not‘s in charge.
The German-born, Brooklyn-based DJ and producer lives and breathes the mantra that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously – you’ll find no chin stroking round here we assure you.
Her musical selections are evidence of that. Leaning towards cosmic synths, dark rhythms and acid-laced disco, her sets navigate all kinds of grooves while drawing inspiration from the sounds associated with the places and spaces she’s lived.
A co-founder of NYC club night Front Left, which concerns itself with artists treading similar sonic terrain, and a member of Collective BAE, she’s on a mission to nurture and foster connections in the world of music and on the dance floor.
The sounds that inform her DJ sets also filter into her own productions, which have so far been released on the likes of Trampoliner, Me Me Me, NEIN and Critical Monday. Her latest production came as part of Ombra International’s recent VA, alongside other offerings from Rees, Kimshies, Endrik Schroeder and H.L.M., so in celebration of the release we asked her to give us a taste of what Tony Y Not is all about.
Synth excursions drive her mix forward, while she makes pitstops at chugging indie disco and cosmic Italo-tinged sounds along the way…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
My name is Tony y Not and I am a musician / DJ from Germany living in Brooklyn. I am currently on my couch in Brooklyn and eating my delicious breakfast.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
I am supposed to be a creative person but when you ask an artist to describe their work that is probably the hardest question to answer because all the feelings, emotions and constructive thoughts are meshed together in an artwork. But simply put, I think of my music being somewhere between acid disco-y, synth wavy, emotional club bangers, up-beat happy but also dark. It is hard because this year I am releasing a lot of things that are very different from each other, including an album that is mostly indie synth pop with me singing.
Where was the mix recorded?
Here in my home in New York.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Sunny spring afternoon, being together with some mates all squished together on the grass in the garden or the park. This is definitely more of a ready-to-dance mix than a home listening, emo, being alone in your head type of mix – which I also love.
What should we be wearing?
The most colourful piece you have in your closet!
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I like the idea of artists going somewhere for a creative stay. We all have dreamed of a rainy forest and a little hut with a sick DJ / studio setup and a hot coffee early in the morning. There is something about early morning energy that captures the depth of another world, still half asleep in your dreams.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Actually, my own track How About Lily that just got released on Ombra International. It is probably the best I have yet released in my opinion. It is dark and mysterious but with a dreamy twist, trying to figure out what it is about Lily.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
There is a quite old Richard Rossa mix for his label Tom Tom Disco. I love that mix so much because it’s so funky, groovy but relatively slow a la Tom Tom Disco. Hard to describe. Just brings up all the feelings I love.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
That is such a hard question. There are so many but I love to play b2b with other women because there is something about sisterhood female energy behind the decks that is nowhere else to be found. HAAi would be an absolute dream – if you read this! Hit me up!
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I had a Traktor Controller and one Audio-Technica turntable. I also bought my friend’s old pair of CDJ 850 and put stickers on the screen to learn how to beat-match together with the turntable. It was definitely a jank set up but we all gotta start somewhere. Now my setup is a completely different story. Two Technics SL-1200MK2, two CDJ-2000NX2 and a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Absolutely the track that I am starting with. In a set or in a mix, it is always the first impression, the first glance. I try to open it really slow and sometimes with an ambient track to lure in the listener in that way.
What were the first and last records you bought?
My first record I bought was Miss Kittin’s Happy Valentine from 2005 at Spacehall in Berlin. The last record I bought was Boy Harshers latest album The Runner.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
A sweet, juicy fruit juice with a bunch of ginger in it.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A groovy fat bumble bee.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Discomix by Danny Boy. I have yet to find the perfect placement.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Well I want to say how important the topic of mental health in nightlife is for me and how the hard times of war and everything else cannot be ignored. I started a little series on my Instagram where I give people the platform to openly talk about their mental state. I think it is really important to talk about how we feel, what bothers us and if we need help we ask for it. You are not alone!