illustration with people looking at art and a dj

Inside Out — Hot Mass + Friends

On Thursday, June 24, enjoy happy hour in the museum's outdoor sculpture courtyard with tunes provided by DJs and friends of the popular Pittsburgh after-hours party, Hot Mass.

Bring your appetite, too! Regional food trucks and a bar created by Café Carnegie offering custom snacks, kid-friendly treats, local beers, delicious wines, and more will be on-site.

While you’re at Inside Out, participate in art-making activities for all ages.

Inside Out events are FREE, open to all ages, have limited capacity, and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make a day of it and reserve your timed tickets to visit the museum before or after you enjoy Inside Out!

June 24 - Hot Mass
Co-Producer, Lauren Goshinski
Hot Mass DJs: Boo Lean, Hibiskiss, Davis Galvin

Well, this is an interesting edition of Liner Notes! As a resident DJ of Hot Mass and someone who’s playing tonight with y’all, I’ll join the interview. So let’s open up the convo and ask each other some questions about clubs, community, and our creative output.

HOT MASS is an after-hours club and collectively-run space since 2012. Hot Mass has gained a worldwide reputation as a taste-making electronic music club, with its resident DJs and “crews” who dive deep into curating local talent alongside high caliber national and international acts. The club’s No Photos policy means that when they reopen you’ll just have to go feel it to believe it.
Boo Lean (BL) aka Lauren Goshinski is a DJ and audio-visual curator. Projects include being a resident at Hot Mass, co-directing the 2019 New Forms Festival in Vancouver Canada, and co-founding/directing Pittsburgh’s VIA Festival 2010-2018. During Covid she helped launch Pittsburgh’s Night Life Line and local chapter of the National Independent Venue Association to advocate for the importance of nightlife and provide direct aid to artists & workers.
Davis Galvin (DG) is a music producer and DJ who operates in a school of thought that focuses on feeling and community. Nomadic in nature, they span across and operate within healing environments, conjuring moods of catharsis within the listener-participant. Anything and everything can and will be used to create a restorative and invigorating sound-field.
Hibiskiss (H) is a black, queer and non-binary artist in Pittsburgh working in sound and printmaking. Two years ago is when the musical journey started. During the pandemic it has been a goal to develop a knowledge base of various sound, artistry and connecting with artists local and internationally . While learning you begin to see the community differently and how playing a role in the community unfolds. It comes naturally that in the realms of djing/music amplifying the voices of black queer, trans and non-binary folk would be key in creating not only a rememberable experience but one that is more inclusive in the booth and on the dancefloor.

LG: Folks often develop a dynamic relationship with club spaces that go beyond just a fun night out. What has a space like Hot Mass done for Pittsburgh or dance music at large in your opinion? What do you bring to the space and its community?

H: Hot Mass is a hub for artists just developing and for artists that are more seasoned. It has been great to see the two meet and conjoin in a way that meets the needs of the djing community. It’s encouraging. I find that as the demographic of the scene expands Hot Mass has been making strides to do the same. It makes you wonder what can come next, turning your attention towards that growth and how it’s impacting you as a DJ or an attendee.

DG: Pittsburgh is full of people who have great ideas that become greater when they are gathered around a shared goal or ideal. I personally am constantly inspired and influenced by my friends who are also musicians - I feel pushed to be the best I can be when I see them creating and succeeding, and I hope that I do this in turn for others.

BL: Hot Mass has helped put a lot of Pittsburgh and national DJs on the map, in a space that is queer centered but not exclusive to anyone. Spaces like these are only as strong as the community relationships that drive them. It’s a special balance I don’t take for granted. Folks booking these nights each bring something different to the table, but since many of us have been working together since before Hot Mass, there is a shared lizard brain around curation where to push the edges. There is room to evolve post-Covid that really excites me. The nights I curate have been focused on amplifying women/non-binary/trans artists. I can’t wait to see who busts this soundsystem open again. :)

DG: What's something that's helped center you over the past year?

H: I would say my collective family. Being in quarantine has taught me how to nurture myself while being alone but when you are met with those feelings of isolation also remembering that you are a part of a broader community that is also trying to take care and that maybe you aren’t really alone, just incubating.

DG: For me it's been diverting my creative energies to aspects other than music. Really been enjoying cooking new recipes and writing.

BL: I don’t know if this counts as centering, but I went off the deep end with Zillow and started collecting photos of the most extreme and weird homes and writing little quips about them. Humoring myself is essential, lol. The little things have meant a lot to me, too. A text checking in, an invitation to make a mix, or celebrating something we each made. A little reciprocity goes a long way to keeping you whole.

H: When working on sets or mixes what is your process to get the creative juices moving?

BL: Oh gosh, it’s so dramatic. I have to be in some kind of fugue state. Then finally, at some godforsaken hour between midnight and 9am, it just flows out of me in one take.

H: I would say that I definitely need to be fed and hydrated. It’s hard for me to binge and be in the flow if I have not done so.

LG: Like most folks who contribute to Hot Mass, we have our own projects going on and circulate through different scenes. What have you been working on, or what are you looking forward to as we emerge from Covid?

H: I’m looking forward to connecting with the local artist here in Pittsburgh. I feel that we have all been waiting. Some of us that probably had to step away from music but are coming back to it. I want to have those conversations and create ideas. I also want to spin more.

DG: I really focused in on writing a lot of music over the past year and change. I did a handful of remixes and released eight of my own projects. You can find them all on my bandcamp page :) While I love writing music, I really miss the human connection of sharing music with others, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of that. Book me for your events!!

BL: I helped start and run 2 Covid recovery projects: Night Life Line and the Pgh Chapter of the National Independent Venue Association. I’m so impressed by the work and care our volunteer groups put in, who honestly had the least to give. We all deserve a thriving time after this. Right before Covid hit, I got signed to an agency to tour as a DJ, which came crashing down and I felt hopeless. I made visual albums and AV mixes instead. They are time capsules that I cherish because they are honest homages and stories that also show the sensitive, weird, visual sides of me as an artist. I’m looking forward to feeling a subwoofer in my chest, and DJing for smiling dancing people. It’s my love language.

LG: Drop some knowledge. What are the sources of your music inspiration? Or, is there anything you wish people knew more about Pittsburgh music & nightlife?

DG: I make a point to try and pull inspiration from as many sources as possible - lately it's been from Kobo Abe & Jorge Luis Borges, Ahmad Jamal & Burnt Friedman, and nice long walks in the parks & cemetery.

BL: I love when sets are blended in such a way that the music becomes genre-less. My collection is so broad, you only hear a small slice on the dancefloor, but I’m often inspired by non-dance artists like Yves Tumor, Dean Blunt, CURL / Tirzah. Vocals and surprising time signatures get my brain and body at the same time. I dropped one of Davis’ tracks in a mix recently — their latest release is incredible. Local folks like W00dy, Samira Mendoza, XC17, FANA, VRBA, Gladstone Delux, Yessi, Charlie Scott, Ali Berger, Mx Silkman, 0h85 push electronic music forward. I put tracks by my peers into mixes because that helps get their work out, and I can share my appreciation in a creative way.

H: I just want people to remember that we are in a thriving community. It’s important to be open to any possibility here as things are always changing. I have experienced this as an attendee and striving artist. When an opportunity comes I want to encourage artists to take it on. It’s the community welcoming you.

LG: How can people help music & nightlife in Pittsburgh recover from Covid, and come back better? Anything on the horizon folks should attend or support?

H: I would say attending shows and buying locally. That’s being a part of the vision. The more people that do this the more successful.

DG: Support artists by buying their music as opposed to just streaming, and go to their shows as they start to happen again!! The music industry is hurting right now, and the best thing you can do is give artists money and share the music you care about with those around you. Bandcamp not Spotify. Or better yet just give them cash.

BL: Attend non-traditional venues, pop-ups, and new formats by independents not corporations. We lost so many venues to Covid, people are going to need to break the mold together. Music is an adventure! Try new things and feel yourself expand :)

LG: For you, why is music & nightlife an essential part of culture at large?

H: Music and nightlife is important because we are basically a sounding board of anything that could and will happen. If it’s a political stance, gender equality, or race ... all of it comes to a head from a cultural point of view. It is essential that the scene is making space for these conversations. Music is a conversation.

DG: Nightlife is essential as the most communal handhold of tangible current culture. Experiencing community in a physical space is very important to me, as the immediacy of interaction & reaction adds a viscerality to musical experiences that are absent from online culture.

BL: Clubs and music gatherings are like ephemeral museums of the present. So many cultural movements are born and sustained by these environments because they are a leveling agent between people from different walks of life. The circulation of DJs and musicians around the world helps spread culture, link communities, and tap into a language people can each find their voice in.

LG: TRACK ID. Name a track you’re rinsing right now, that we might hear at CMOA.

H: 3:lon - Hyper/Stimulation (self release, 2020)

DG: Gavsborg - Domestic Termites Love Rock Music (Equinoxx Music, 2021)

BL: MoMA Ready - Shooters (self release, 2021)

LG: Describe a Hot Mass night or your sound in 5 words or less :)

H: Making it to Six AM

DG: Connective, Cathartic, Caring, Fun, :)

BL: Endless rhythms in the dark

About the Artists:

Hot Mass is an electronic music dance party held weekly since December 2012 below Club Pittsburgh. The event indirectly grew out of Pittsburgh's LGBT, disco, and electronic music subcultures of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Critics have noted the experience and quality of music at Hot Mass is difficult to find elsewhere in the United States, comparing it favorably to European nightclubs and parties, including Berghain.

About Inside Out:

Inside Out is Carnegie Museum of Art’s new outdoor summer event series celebrating and supporting Pittsburgh’s rich cultural landscape. Running from June 5 through September 4 on Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m., the museum is partnering with over 28 regional artists and small arts organizations to transform the museum’s outdoor Sculpture Courtyard into the season’s go-to destination with a robust schedule of pop-up performances, DJs, art-making activities, local food trucks and beverages, kid-friendly treats, and more. See the full schedule of events here.