As a music journalist, music blogger and as a native Queens NYC resident, it has frequently appeared to even the most casual observer that my home borough is some sort of a creative and artistic wasteland. And strangely enough, this is despite the fact that some of the world’s most beloved and influential acts have claimed Queens as their home at some point or another, including the likes of The Ramones, who all grew up in Forest Hills; Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were from Kew Garden Hills; Run DMC, LL Cool J and 50 Cent among a list of others have come out of South Jamaica and/or Hollis; Nas, Mobb Deep, MC Shan, Cormega, Tragedy Khadafi and others came out of Queensbridge; Akineyele and Kool G. Rap, the emcee’s emcee came out of my hometown of Corona; Homeboy Sandman, one of contemporary hip-hop’s best talents came out of nearby Elmhurst; John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley both spent time in Hollis; Louis Armstrong and Madonna both spent time in Corona – with Louis Armstrong spending the last 30 plus years of his life over on 107th Street; and we can’t forget that Jack Kerouac spent significant periods of his life living in Richmond Hill and Ozone Park; in fact, a number of his novels mention commuting back and forth from Queens to Greenwich Village to hang out with the Beatniks.
Queens-based DJ producer and remixer, Dart Party adds to the list of artists who have claimed my home borough as their home. And interestingly, he has received international attention for a sound that’s largely been influenced by pop music, house music, nu-disco and trance, and for remixes of Lemonade’s “Softkiss,” Ghost Beach’s “Moon Over Japan” and Step Rocket’s “Kisser;” in fact, his remixes of “Moon Over Japan” and “Kisser” landed on Hype Machine’s Top 20 Remixes chart.
Dart Party’s latest single “Are You In” feat. Govales is a warm, sensual, summery blast consisting of layers of shimmering and propulsive synths, room rocking bass and Govales’ seductive coos about just wanting to spend time on a beach with his baby. Although the song’s slick production reveals its contemporary nature, sonically and thematically the song sounds as though it could have easily been released in the early 90s – I can’t help but think of C&C Music Factory, Snap! and countless others.