Lauryn, meanwhile, grew up in Detroit, the birthplace of techno. “I have an older sister who was part of the late ’90s rave culture there, and I was the younger sister tagging along with her, going to parties,” she says.
Aged 21, she moved to Atlanta in a bid to escape Detroit suburbia. Her entry point into club culture was through the city’s revered House in the Park festival, where she was struck by the tight-knit community of people enjoying classic house and techno. “I collected as many business cards as I could – this was when people still had them,” she remembers, “mix CDs, flyers – anything I could to connect”.
Like many other major cities around the globe, Atlanta is rapidly gentrifying. This – coupled with the pandemic – means there are no longer any venues dedicated to authentic, underground electronic music. The Sound Table, a club where Ash and Stefan previously held their Expressions residency, was sadly forced to shutter after a ten-year run. “I definitely cried when it closed,” Lauryn says. “But that’s what this culture was founded upon – underground, DIY. We’re gonna make it happen either way!”
The pair explain that, in comparison to London, ATL lacks dance-music orientated record stores to support crate-digging culture. But the community spirit keeps the scene going. “What I was initially attracted to was [that] there were a lot of Black people involved, it was like a family,” Ash says of her decision to move there. “A lot of people here are from other cities, it was a melting pot of people.”