A longtime fixture of Detroit’s club scene, DJ Minx is often referred to as the First Lady of Wax.Her mix sets as well as her productions range from deep and minimal to boisterous and funky, and she’s earned respect throughout the techno and house scenes. Active as a DJ since the early 1990s, she formed the Women on Wax collective and label, and started releasing tracks in the early 2000s, scoring an underground hit with the 2003 minimal house track “A Walk in the Park.” She continued honing her craft over the years and began receiving more widespread recognition during the 2010s, as her international bookings increased and she released further singles, like 2022’s “Do It All Night.”
Jennifer Damaris was born in Detroit in 1967. She began to DJ after a friend took her to see Derrick May spin at a club called the Music Institute in 1989. As DJ Minx, she started playing sets at another Detroit club, the Loft, and other parties in the city. She became close friends with Kevin Saunderson during the mid-’90s, and he gave her some guidance and encouraged her to develop her own style. Minx hosted a program called Deep Space Radio on Detroit station WGPR, and she provided voice overs on Saunderson’s X-Mix: Transmission from Deep Space Radio, a 1997 mix CD modeled after the show. Minx hosted another show called Steamy
Windows on CJAM, broadcasting from the University of Windsor, and she became a resident DJ at Club Motor in Hamtramck, Michigan, where she opened for established DJs from Detroit and abroad. She performed at the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000 and continued to play the festival annually, including its subsequent iterations as Movement and Fuse-In.
Minx formed Women on Wax, a collective of female DJs and producers from the Detroit area, in late 1996, and she launched the label Women on Wax Recordings in 2001. Her debut EP, Introduction, was released as a white-label 12″ that year, and it was followed by Airborne in 2003. One of the record’s tracks, “A Walk in the Park,” became a hit among minimal techno DJs, and Richie Hawtin re-released it on his M_nus imprint, with remixes by producers like Ricardo Villalobos and Matthew Dear. Minx released the EP Fuzzy Navel in 2004 and collaborated with fellow Detroit house producer Pirahnahead as Animal Trax. Minx’s Midnite Bullet EP appeared
in 2008, and she made a brief appearance on Andrés’ 2009 album II.
More than two decades after she began her career in the club scene, DJ Minx finally started receiving recognition as a dance music legend during the 2010s. In 2015, Mixmag named her as one of the 20 women who shaped the history of dance music, and Time Out New York included her in a list of the Top Ten house DJs of all time in 2016. She was awarded the Spirit of Detroit award by the city council in 2018, along with Stacey Hotwaxx Hale, Underground Resistance’s Bridgette Banks, and other women who played a major role in Detroit’s dance scene. Minx left her job in the Detroit auto industry and pursued music full-time. She released several singles and EPs during the early 2020s, including Violet Groove, which featured an updated version of “A Walk in the Park.”
Minx came out as a lesbian in 2021, during Pride Month. Soon after, her image was featured in a mural on the side of Detroit’s Ruth Ellis Center dedicated to the city’s queer community, and her single “Purse First ” was released, with proceeds benefiting the LGBTQ+ community center. She also released an EP titled Queendom on London-based HE.SHE.THEY. and shared a split EP with another veteran Detroit producer, Gari Romalis. In 2022, Minx made her first appearance on BBC Radio 1’s long-running Essential Mix. Her song “Do It All Night,” previously featured on Carl Craig’s 2019 mix Detroit Love, Vol. 2, was given a full release on Planet E, with remixes by Craig and Honey Dijon. Minx continued playing at clubs and festivals around the world, and she was asked to curate her own stage at the 2022 edition of Movement. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi
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