Rare DM

Brooklyn

Thursday 16th May 2019

Photo: @lissyellelaricchia

Name, where are you from?
Erin aka Rare DM. These days I am from Brooklyn, New York, though I was born in Baltimore, and raised in Traverse City, Michigan.

Describe your style in three words?
Avant-garde, meticulous, mono-chrome.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
That is a hard one. I saw Container at Market Hotel a while back and was super inspired - I wrote 'Almost a Year' the next day. More recently seeing Lizzo and Yaeji at MoMA PS1 was incredible. It was crazy packed and everyone was singing along. I wanna make people dance like they do!! Lizzo’s charisma is outta control. 'Fitness' is a bop among many bops. Her music makes me feel strong. Yaeji would be a dream to tour with - I love her music and she makes me feel optimistic about being independent/unsigned. She is an amazing producer and seems genuine AF. They both work extremely hard and that’s what I am trying to do too.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Ideally Kraftwerk and Front 242 in their heyday. Honestly, I wanna scope their gear. Really though. Amazing synths and drum machines. I would very much like to nerd out about sounds and see their process. They are both stellar composers and obviously amazing live. It’d be a sick lineup I think I’d make a good compliment. 

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Antiquing!!!! Everything about antique stores and vintage shopping. Soooooo influential to me. The treasure hunting element of it. The bartering, the people. Is Craigslist a subculture? If that counts, that’s my #1 influencer right now. It’s gotten me all my apartments, some close friends, some of my best gear, and definitely my favourite furniture. I met one of my best friends via apartment hunting on there and another from buying a Simmons drum machine.

Also ‘swing kid’ culture - I am low key super HI Key into partner dancing. I took partner dancing lessons since I was 14 so I can swing dance, Argentinian tango, salsa, mambo, Charleston, blues dance, etc. Favourites being the tango and swing. I love an excuse to be fancy and it’s cool to be able to dance with people outside of expectation of anything. Dancing has made me a better musician and is probably responsible for me getting the confidence to sing.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Maybe I would spend it dancing with Fred Astaire or Danny Kaye. For conversation, Jane Austen would be excellent company. I would like to see Billie Holiday sing live also though. I could say, Einstein or Stephen Hawking, though an hour doesn’t give you much time to dissect the universe.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
285 Kent (RIP) was always a great time, but since it’s not around now, Berghain. Definitely. I went to Europe / Berlin for the first time last year, and they have the most incredible sound system I have ever heard. The entire place is magic, great dancing, the best jams. The space itself is pretty awe-inspiring with how huge and endless it is. For a variety of reasons, you can lose yourself there. Best Sunday I’ve ever had.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Ann Steel, fashion icon, lyrical genius. I’m working on a cover of 'My Time'.


Rare DM is an avant-garde electronic musician based in New York, drawing on the underground influences of post-punk and new-wave. Her debut LP 'Vanta Black' is out now.

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