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Fresh Kicks 179: THC

THC by studioreyesisraela

THC delivers a vinyl-only mix of high-energy house and classic rave thumpers for the Fresh Kicks mix series, and chats to Eoin Murray about her love for ‘90s dance music, the Venus Vessels non-profit collective, and building her name during the pandemic

Surprising as it may seem, THC made her name during the pandemic. While clubs were shut, the Bogotá-born, Berlin-based DJ’s regular sets on the HÖR YouTube channel conjured dancefloor euphoria in its purest form. Pulling from a record bag filled with old-skool trance, techno, hard house and ‘90s prog, her punchy, fast-paced mixes are imbued with ravey nostalgia. In days of silence and gloom, they went off like fireworks in the chest. 

Since, she’s brought that same ecstatic NRG to clubs across Berlin and beyond, from Berghain’s Panorama Bar to London’s Corsica Studios. She’s a resident at the popular Berlin rave Radiant Love, and recently played a string of b2b sets with co-founder Byron Yeates in Vilnius and Amsterdam. She also co-founded the Venus Vessels non-profit music collective, who, like Radiant Love, “aim to make an impact not only in changing the musical landscape, but in community building, creating safer spaces and raising money for charity,” she says. In short, she’s busy — but with laser focus and a collaborative spirit she makes it look easy.

THC — real name Tania Humeres Correa — and her family moved from Colombia to Bonn, Germany when she was three months old. As a ‘90s kid, it was through MTV and its German counterpart VIVA that she first encountered dance music. “The hype at the time was so big that I was gifted compilations of Euro house and club anthems by my parents,” she remembers. Music was a big deal at home, and she spent her childhood learning to play the drums and listening to hip-hop and R&B, as well as her parents’ salsa, merengue and bossa nova records. It was only in 2013, after a “short electro phase”, that she fully connected with house music and tried her hand at DJing. Before long, she was buying her own records and playing gigs across the North Rhine Westphalia.

THC moved to Berlin six years ago with her brother, the DJ DHC. While she hadn’t gone with the intention of pursuing DJing, the city and its clubs made it hard to resist. Gradually, she was pulled back in. She took a job at a record store, which helped shape her sound further. By 2019 she was gigging again, and taking root within the scene with sets that “celebrate the queer history of dance music and clubbing”.

The dance music she heard first as a child — that heart-tickling, hard-hitting ‘90s gear — stuck with her, whether she knew it at the time or not. It’s the trademark of her DJ sets today, and is something she feels other people her age are craving more of now — rave pumpers with a Proustian rush tacked on. “It’s the music that makes me feel alive,” she says. “There is an emotional connection [with this music], especially for people who grew up during that time. Most of the music that I play has a nostalgic feeling to it that makes it easy to reconnect with.”

THC and DHC DJ together as S-candalo. The vibe is much the same as in THC’s solo sets — destination: bliss —  but with a proggier, trancier slant, and the occasional addition of Spanish vocals and Latin influences. “I love DJing with my brother,” she says. “I feel like we share a telepathic connection, which makes it really easy and fun to play together. Our musical journey has been tightly intertwined. We got our first setup together, shared favourite tracks with each other and always dreamt of being a DJ duo.”

It was alongside her brother and some close friends that THC co-founded Venus Vessels, which “serves as a platform for creative exchange while redistributing revenue to various charities,” she says. The collective also holds a residency on Munich’s Radio 80000, and runs a mix series geared toward emerging talent. Right now, they’re organising their first party in Berlin. 

Since January, THC has hosted her own show on HÖR, HOT BOX, where her euphoric sound is hitting harder than ever. She’ll play her first festival shows this summer at Lighthouse Festival and Nachtiville, and will join her brother at Whole Festival and Panorama Bar. With b2b sets lined up with DJ Mag favourites CCL and Sedef Adasi, it seems there’s nothing stopping the fireworks THC is setting off at every turn. 

THC describes her vinyl-only Fresh Kicks mix as an embodiment of the “quintessential THC house sound: high-energy without a loss of soul; hard hitting and still very playful. For people who don’t know me this is the perfect introduction. It’s a mix that showcases all of my signature sounds: punch, euphoria and streaks of vocal samples intoning the classic dancefloor theme of unity, be it political, sexual, spiritual or some sweaty mixture of it all.”