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DJ Colette 

Saturday, February 21, at Modä.

DJ Colette
  • DJ Colette

Beck may have laid claim to the expression "two turntables and a microphone," but Chicago DJ Colette Marino brought the words to life. If female DJs are no longer the gimmick they once were, female DJs who sing while they spin are still a matter of debate.

Thankfully, the actions of 28-year-old Colette have gone a long way toward silencing the novelty talk. In 1997, she banded together with fellow Chicago jocks Dayhota, Heather, and Lady T to form the Superjane collective. Colette was the least experienced of the four: She hadn't really started experimenting with mixology until she bought a pair of old Technics from DJ Sneak a few years earlier. But her singing voice -- a dreamy mezzo-soprano -- set her apart from the other 'Janes.

Over the past three years, Colette has laid her vocals down on roughly a dozen jazzy and soulful house numbers by such Chicago mainstays as Angel Alanis, Sneak, Mazi, and Tim Shumaker. Now she's assembling her own album, From the Record Player, for Nettwerk Records. A fan of freestyling from behind the decks, she rarely writes lyrics ahead of time. So if you're curious about what she'll come up with at Modä this Saturday, you'll just have to find out for yourself.

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