One of our favorite albums of the past decade, Hercules + Love Affair's self titled debut, came in like a big gay lion in 2008. Primarily the solo project of the stunningly sexy Andrew Butler with guest vocals by Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, H+LA was a one-man band taking us back to New York house and disco of old. But a one-man band with a vocalist already tied to his own popular band doesn't much of a tour make. So when embarking on dates, Andy recruited old his friend DJ/Vocalist Kim Ann Foxman to help him out. Since then, Kim Ann has worked with Andy on her own material as well as the new Hercules + Love Affair CD, Blue Songs, hitting stores January 31. As Kim Ann heads to Berlin on Thursday, January 13 to DJ the gala premier of the new documentary, Strange Music: Stephen Merritt and Magnetic Fields (playing this week at Gene Siskel Film Center), we caught up with her for a little geek music talk:
Marc "Moose" Moder: Hi Kim. We know Andy Butler as being the machinations of the band, but what do you consider your role in Hercules + Love Affair to be?
Kim Ann Foxman: I am a vocalist and permanent member of the band. The first album was really a studio project that took Andy a long time to complete. Now there is a second album coming out, and there is an exciting new line up for this record and everyone that is touring is also on the album.
I had been working with Andy for years before Hercules and Love Affair was born. We have a great working relationship. Now Andy also has a record label called Mr. Intl. I am a solo artist on his label. Andy is producing a whole bunch of great things.
M: You have an EP out on Beatport called Creature/What You Need, and both are listed elsewhere as Kim Ann Foxman and Andrew Butler. Was there ever talk of these being H+LA tracks since you're both on them?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: They are not Hercules and Love Affair Songs, but they are written by both myself and Andrew Butler. They are songs for my solo project. So Andy is helping me produce my songs; it's all geared towards my vision. He is really helping me facilitate that and make it sound amazing. He is my producer. Lucky me!
M: Will you be working these tracks into your set list on the 13th?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: Yes, I'll probably play them on the 13th as well as a bunch of other amazing tracks coming out on Mr. Intl records. I may play the remixes ... We'll see how I feel during the time. I don't plan my sets. I like to go with the flow.
M: Both of these new tracks have a late freestyle, early Deeelite sort of vibe to them: sexy, laid back, but still danceable. Is this indicitive of your DJ sets?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: Sexy yes, but my DJ sets are actually quite jacking and deep. I play a lot of acid house, classic house, techno, and new stuff that sounds old. So, there are endless possibilities to mix it with. I'd mix it up with some Andrew Butler, Jason Kendig tracks, MK, Kevin Saunderson, Kink & Neville Watson, Maurice Joshua, DJ Duke, Blake Baxter, too many to name really, Azari & iii, some obscure classics ... basically that kind of vibe.
M: It sounds like you do some crate digging. Where's your favorite place to shop for rare vinyl?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: Yes I do lots of crate digging. Well I used to a lot. I used to go to The Thing in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) and score lots of rad music. Now I usually just go to discogs.com . If you know what you want, then it's a great place to find it, and also discover new stuff too.
M: And what do you look for when looking for great obscure tracks?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: The year it was made, where it came from, and the record label.
M: What's the last great find that blew your mind?
KIM ANN FOXMAN: I found an old Keynotes record/Kevin Saunderson called Let's Let's Let's Dance, and a record on Hubba Hubba Records called Tribal Tone (Ohm). I remember that from my rave days.
Kim Ann Foxman will be spinnig a special DJ set at Berlin on Thursday, January 13 to celebrate gala premier of the new documentary, Strange Music: Stephen Merritt and Magnetic Fields (playing this week at Gene Siskel Film Center). For more information, go to www.berlinchicago.com .