By Jacob Katel
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She's the queen of the darker scene," promoter Notorious Nastie says of DJ Lady Anime, the copper-maned head spinner for some of the Black Magic City's more shadowy evenings. See, Nastie and Lady Anime go back, all the way to Hialeah in fact, where both self-dubbed "ghetto goths" grew to be good and dear friends.
One suspects, though, that their friendship was more than a matter of geography or convenience. Like Nastie, Lady Anime is terrifically, well, animated about things — specifically music and the effects it can have on a throng. "Of all the many DJs I've worked with over the years," Nastie continues, "I've never met a DJ who's so capable of reading a crowd."
He should know. He has tapped her to spin at PS14 for Flamingo Fridays, the weekly throwdown he and audio gadabout Otto Von Schirach just so happen to host. Technically, the party is an adrenalin-soaked amalgam of loud music, fast art, and mad chatter. In this particular hyper-reality, however, it's more akin to a collision of the unhinged. Picture Nero fiddling while Rome burned, if the tyrant's tune were turned into some darkwave remix.
And in the center of it all is Lady Anime. But though she's got goth bona fides and can be wickedly quick with a song from some of the world's more sinister sound tacticians, this deadly DJ is not just another gloom-grooved turntablist. "I'd say it's eclectic," she replies when asked to define her sound. "I'll go from darkwave to freestyle, punk to '80s, metal to Miami Bass. There really isn't much I won't play to make a party." And if you've never heard Nice & Wild's "Diamond Girl" up against Motörhead's "Ace of Spades," or 2 Live Crew cracking alongside the Cramps, well, you've just not heard Lady Anime.
Born in New York, raised in Puerto Rico, but truly made right here in Miami, Lady Anime came into the DJ game a little later than most. Still, she came strong. Her first gig was at a night called Electro-a-Go-Go, which began in the old Boom Boom Room (now Bella Rose) and two years later ended up at a now-defunct German joint called Edelweiss. That first run led to stints everywhere from O-zone, when that now-razed club hosted the Morgue, to gigs at two of our town's most lamentably lost venues, Soho Lounge and Studio A.
These days, in addition to PS14, Anime is in residence at South Beach's Black Sheep (Wednesday's Mausoleum party) and now also at Temple Ultra Lounge, in the Grove, for the Saturday bash called Bunkergate. Every "once in a blue moon" she'll also drop a track or three for Fetish Factory, though with weekends on lock, her schedule hardly leaves room for any additions.
So, if you're sick of the same ol' house and hip-hop hits that permeate most of the South Florida night, slip away and listen in on Lady Anime. Steeped as she is in some of music's most memorable moments, her set might not be the newest thing under the bright, red sun. But it's damn good fun. And it'll easily eclipse just about any other thing you're hearing right now. Just don't forget to wear protective gear.
DJ Lady Anime's all-time top ten:
1. "Ace of Spades," Motörhead
2. "Me So Horny," 2 Live Crew
3. "Strange Love," Depeche Mode
4. "Last Caress," the Misfits
5. "So What," Ministry
6. "Tainted Love," Soft Cell
7. "Spitfire," the Prodigy
8. "Stop," Jane's Addiction
9. "Digital," Joy Division
10. "Just Like Heaven," the Cure