Music

Fashion pins pro wrestling to the mat with DC clothing line DURKL’s new mixtape

by Marcus K. Dowling

DOWNLOAD MIX HERE, tracklist after jump

DC fashion line DURKL marches to the beat of a different drummer by comparison to the rest of the city. But they’re not about to change. Thery’re in the process of molding the city to meet them. Having existed for three years in relative anonymity, 2009 has been the year of DURKL in the Capital City. Having moved headquarters from a top floor loft just three blocks from Union Station to a spacious showroom/headquarters/retail space near Gallery Place in the shadows of Capitol Hill, DURKL is now prepared for their most audacious step forward into branding not just themselves, but the entire city in a movement towards creating a revised culture and feel.

DURKL’s latest mix, the Survivor Series Volume One Mixtape, was feted with an amazing blowout affair at their new space at 443 I St., NW in DC on Saturday evening, an event that bridged gaps racially, culturally and socially, all in the name of local music, and yes, professional wrestling.

Produced by Judah (“on the best, sound so sweet,” as Wale would say), and mixed by DJ Maf, this latest DURKL foray into the mixtape is the most DURKL specific of them all so far (the brand has available for download two dance music mixtape creations on their website), as it involves drops from the Ultimate Warrior and the “Macho Man” Randy Savage all over the place, in reference to the “Thanksgiving tradition” of the former World Wrestling Federation (WWF), current World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The creative vision of DURKL, namely that of Will Sharp, on some level, actually has a lot to do with pro wrestling. The heroic iconography of pro wrestling fashion designs of the early 1990s have crept into numerous DURKL fashions, including Bret “The Hitman” Hart’s silver sunglasses, Hulk Hogan’s “Hulk Rules” t-shirt, posters of the Ultimate Warrior ending up on tees, and the use of absurdly bright neon graphics all owe their history to Vince McMahon’s juggernaut promotion.

Featuring a multitude of various local DMV rap acts from DC’s Tabi Bonney, Phil Ade and RA the MC to Baltimore’s Greenspan, to dance music creators Nouveau Riche’s Gavin Holland and disco mastermind Chris Burns as the “Party Bros,” the dance pop of Exactly (featuring DURKL’s Cole Sharp), Suckers’ low-fi, even the ridiculous yet thrashing hair metal of Rattler, you get a sense of the DMV’s intellect, skill and on the rap level, lyrical depth (June Lova’s “LA Sex Scandal” deserves a lot of love in the wordplay department). This compares favorably, in what we could call the “Survivor Series battle,” against the international acts on the mixtape, as Skream’s #1 International hit remix of La Roux’s “In for the Kill,” is here, alongside Sweden’s hottest emcee Adam Tensta, and Australian alt dance rockers Empire of the Sun all make appearances.

If looking for the best representation of what DC brings to the national table, this mixtape allows one to believe that DURKL is indeed on that level.

TRACKLIST
1.  Intro/ Sneak Chamber – Milly July
2. Fag it Up – Exactly
3. Party All the Time – Luther Vandraws aka Kenny Burns
4. Colous – Greenspan
5. Material Girls – Trey R feat. Simplex
6. B-Boy – RA the MC
7. Dopeboy – Adam Tensta feat. Eboi
8. LA Sex Scandal – June Luva
9. Beach Queen – Suckers
10. Kick Rocks Again – Tabi Bonney
11. The Grind – Party Bros feat. KLM
12. Homegrown – See-I
13. Shoot to Kill – Rattler
14. In for the Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix) – La Roux
15. Swordfish Hotkiss Night – Empire of the Sun
16. Honesty – Phil Ade