Crossdressing Diogenes: Notes on reopening the Record Label


#music, #rave, #minimalism,
#subculture, #non

After taking a while to understand how best to proceed, we have decided to reopen our old record label, Crossdressing Diogenes, and integrate it into Becoming as an imprint or sublabel.

Becoming started as a sublabel to a record label called Crossdressing Diogenes. Crossdressing Diogenes was somehow a synonym of Queer Cynicism. However, Crossdressing Diogenes wasn’t really a record label, as it had started as a fanzine for Rave Culture and Electronic Music in Cyprus. Having just graduated from a Sociology of Music MA at Goldsmiths, I moved to Cyprus at 23, and devised a project that would allow me to continue my research in preparation for Ph.D, but would also allow me to have a greater participation in the community that I had moved to Cyprus to be with. The fanzine project was just a great excuse to socialise with people and to produce some kind of dignified and artistic documentation of the subculture in Cyprus.
           People genuinely appreciated the documentation, but it never really felt like the right space for writing about what I had been writing about for my MA. It might not be surprising to some, but there wasn’t much good left to say about rave from a critical theoretical perspective, it was very much seen as this kind of control system, part of the capitalist machine, or, in some more extreme cases, seen as the very model of neoliberalism (24/7, non-stop, simultaneous work and consumption). Yet, no matter what the theory would say, I seriously contend that a good rave is a place where you might actually have a good idea — in the cauldron of ecstasy and drum machines, you can become naive enough to think of something that is actually a great idea. Crossdressing Diogenes was dreamed up in the delirium of rave, Becoming too. So the fanzine became a means of recognising that, and doing what little I could to show some gratitude towards the organizers. It was a nice result for the fanzine, but it couldn’t house most of what I wanted to do, and so my mind wandered into other ideas.  
           Eventually I decided to reformat Crossdressing Diogenes, and opened two side projects, one would be the record label, the other would be an essay-zine series called On Raving. The record label would also produce a zine for every EP (the Zine-EP or ZP), so it would allow for different kinds of publishing, but all oriented around zine-making practices. Eventually this became unaffordable as the scene was too small to really sell anything and after just two ZPs, I had began to realise I needed a way to release music and articles without the hassle and expense of handmade zines and manually burned CDs. So, to make everything even more confusing, I opened a sublabel of Crossdressing Diogenes called Becoming, but my desire got the better of me, because before long I was imagining a mini-zine for the mini-label, and as soon as the words Becoming and Magazine collided in my mind, I was lost. The sublabel became a magazine, then it became independent, then it became a whole publishing platform of its own. Crossdressing Diogenes closed towards the end of the quarantine period, as it was just not viable to operate it, and all my attention was going to Becoming anyway.
           As if to complete a perfect inversion, Crossdressing Diogenes will come back as a sublabel of Becoming, acting as a field for rave oriented music. It didn’t take much time being in Berlin to become quite excited about music again, and with Becoming taking over the reigns of the radio show, now called Affects & Dreams, it makes sense to make our history as a record label a part of Becoming’s present. We still rave, and we still write, and in between we write music.
           To fully introduce Crossdressing Diogenes, and to restore the work produced there, we will share five of the essays that were written for the On Raving series.

Record Label