Photo by Black Plastica
Oakland has always been a hotbed of radical musics and movements and the city’s changing landscape has only made its current set of artists, producers and performers all the more vital. 8ULENTINA and FOOZOOL’s Club Chai is the entry point for many into Oakland’s varied scenes and 2017’s Club Chai Vol. 1 compilation offers an expansive roadmap to what the East Bay has to offer. Jasmine Infiniti contributed the powerful “Hapocalypse” to that compilation and has stood out from the jump, approaching both real and digital spaces with a frantic, often unmatched, energy.
After years spent in the Bay Area, the self-dubbed Queen of Hell now lives in New York (she grew up in the Bronx) and has been turning out original music and mixes at a remarkable rate. September saw the release of the sound defining SiS EP on Club Chai and Infiniti’s Soundcloud offers a deep dive into her works in progress, home recorded mixes and insanely creative edit work. Infiniti also puts a ton of effort into reposting inspiring work from other artists, an often misused tool, but a valuable one in the right hands. Beyond her original work, Infiniti is a also a member of the New World Dysorder collective and House of Infiniti, playing an important role in Oakland’s trans community and the ballroom community at large.
Infiniti’s sound is exploratory and often hard to define, but the six tracks on SiS are a good place to start. Elementally concise, the EP has a spiritual air to it with sparse drum arrangements accompanied by expansive, dissociative sound design. It’s at times forceful, but more often the mood is meditative, distinct without proffering easily graspable melodic or emotional motifs. If you followed Infiniti closely in the months before its release, you’ll have heard different versions of tracks like “Inside Me”, giving off the impression that, although SiS is an incredibly thorough, final body of work, future mutations are potentially in the works.
For many, Infiniti is a DJ first and foremost and official mixes for the likes of Boiler Room, Discwoman and FADER have put her on the map as an incisive, boundary pushing mixer. Once again though, it’s Infiniti’s Soundcloud where some of her most exciting material finds its home. Live recordings of sets from across the U.S. and beyond are a constant in the feed while mixes like “Stream of Consciousness” (a personal favorite), “Industrial Cunt” and “Voltage Drop” show a passion for the form and some of the slickest mixing around. We were lucky to grab Infiniti for a 30 minute session and the result doesn’t disappoint. Situating her own tunes in a collage of cavernous techno, cerebral house and bubbly club tracks, the mix is both extension of the SiS EP and a fitting example of Infiniti’s prowess behind the decks. It’s only one part of a larger map of material in that sense, but those new to Infiniti are in for a treat and longtime followers certainly already know what’s up. Grab a download of Astral Plane Mix 173 here and get SiS straight from Club Chai here.