story by Mark Chittom
photo by Linny Morris Cunningham
Chia, Toki, Marloca and Ms. Angel may sound like a band of Saturday morning superheroes, but don’t be fooled: Truth is, they’re Hawaii’s first female club DJ collective. Power, yes. Puff, no. Pioneers, definitely.
DJs Chia, Ms. Angel, Toki and
Marloca (left to right) in the
Opium Den at Indigo.
Known collectively as Sisters in Sound, the group formed in response to the boys’ club atmosphere of Honolulu’s DJ scene and played their first gig in a Chinatown art gallery in January 2002. The Sisters’ first party, Luna, at Auntie Pasto’s on Kapahulu, drew over 300 curious revelers. According to DJ Chia, who trained as a classical pianist and took to the turntables during a stint in London, "People would come to our parties to see whether a group of women could put a party together. Since then, we’ve proven ourselves." Thanks to the equalizing power of the turntable, the emphasis on gender has been replaced by an emphasis on the four’s undeniable skill on the decks. These women rock. And they also set a definite "estrogen-inspired" mood: Gigs feature scented candles, soft lights and fresh flowers.
Today the Sisters in Sound crew has a devoted following of hundreds of young, hip, enthusiastic clubbers. One reason the collective’s events attract such a following is the group’s eclecticism. Chia is a connoisseur of sunny house and hip-hop; Toki, who spent several years in San Francisco, is a virtuoso of drum and bass; Ms. Angel is the resident deep house guru; and Marloca, who got her start at a Santa Barbara radio station, is a scholar of classic vinyl whose democratic tastes run from funky rock to obscure disco. What ultimately unites the Sisters? According to Chia, it’s the love of sharing a good groove: "It’s opening the crowd to the music you love to play, feeling that energy, that vibe."
Sisters in Sound performs at the Escape party, held the second Saturday of each month at Indigo in downtown Honolulu at 1121 Nu‘uanu Ave. They also host regular ISIS parties: Check out their website, www.sisters insound.com, for all happenings.
Sisters in Sound