Gavin Rayna Russom
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Russom pictured in July 2017
|Also known as|
|Born||May 1, 1974|
Providence, Rhode Island
Rayna Russom (formerly Gavin Rayna Russom) (born May 1, 1974) is an American electronic music producer, musician, and DJ. Best known as the lead synther for the band LCD Soundsystem, Russom has also released music under various names, including Black Leotard Front, Black Meteoric Star and The Crystal Ark, as well as collaborative work with Delia Gonzalez. In addition to her musical work, Russom is also a visual artist and a writer. Russom lives in New York City.
Central to Russom's aesthetic is the challenge of fixed ideas which surround gender and all of the social frameworks that accompany it. Furthermore, this idea shapes how she designs and builds her custom analog synthesizers, both for her own music and for others. Known in the electronic community as "The Wizard" for her technical prowess, she has built instruments for the likes of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), Tim Goldsworthy (Unkle, The Loving Hand) and Bjorn Copeland (Black Dice).
Russom was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1974. With an interest in music from an early age, she spent her teenage years exploring drone and feedback using tape loops and mixers and playing in psychedelic noise bands with Michael Kelley (Kelley Polar) and with Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Mindflayer). Russom went on to study computer music, theory, composition, and improvisation at Bard College from 1994 to 1996. A growing disillusionment with traditional compositional modes along with a move to New York in 1997 opened Russom's music to more experimental forms of expression. In 1998 her collaboration with Delia Gonzalez began, a project that would lead to a number of releases on DFA.
Russom moved to Berlin in 2004 where, inspired by that city's flourishing electronic music scene as well as Germany's history of psychedelic music, she produced three singles under the name Black Meteoric Star, which were collected and released as a self-titled LP in 2009. As of 2010, she had relocated to New York where she was producing music in various veins including in collaboration with Viva Ruiz as The Crystal Ark. Russom has also toured playing synths and percussion with LCD Soundsystem.
Russom came out publicly as transgender in an exclusive interview with Britt Julious on Pitchfork and in Into, an online publication run by Grindr, with a feature interview with Nico Lang published on July 6, 2017. Russom announced her first set DJing after coming out was at Femme's Room, "a popular monthly party celebrating femme and queer culture", on July 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
- The Days of Mars (with Delia Gonzalez) (DFA, 2005)
- Black Meteoric Star (as Black Meteoric Star) (DFA, 2009)
- The Xecond Xoming of Black Meteoric Star (as Black Meteoric Star) (Nation, 2016)
- The Envoy (as Gavilán Rayna Russom) (Ecstatic, 2019)
With Delia Gonzalez
- "El Monte" (DFA · 2003)
- "Casual Friday" (as Black Leotard Front) (DFA · 2004)
- "Relevee" (DFA · 2006) (featuring remixes by Carl Craig and Baby Ford)
- "Track Five" (DFA · 2010)
As Black Meteoric Star
- "Death Tunnel/World Eater" (DFA · 2009)
- "Dominatron/Anthem" (DFA · 2009)
- "Dream Catcher/Dawn" (DFA · 2009)
With The Crystal Ark
- "The City Never Sleeps" (DFA · 2010)
- "The Tangible Presence of the Miraculous" (DFA · 2010)
- "Touch" (DFA · 2011)
- "Tusk" (Just Tell Me That You Want Me (Fleetwood Mac tribute album), Hear Music · Released August 14, 2012)
- "The Crystal Ark" (DFA · 2012)
As Gavin Russom
- "Night Sky" (DFA · 2011)
- "The Purge / Enthroned" (Entropy Trax · 2014)
- "Psychic Decolonization" (Lux Rec · 2016)
- "BIO". Gavin Rayna. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- "LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Rayna Russom Shares Three Original Poems". PAPER. 2018-05-17. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- Hughes, William (2017-06-17). "LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom opens up about being transgender". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- Hart, Otis (2017-05-07). "LCD Soundsystem Brought Its New Songs To 'Saturday Night Live'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
- Julious, Britt (2017-07-06). "LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom On Coming Out as Transgender | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Lang, Nico (2017-08-15). "LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom Comes Out As Transgender". INTO. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "Femme's Room". Retrieved 2017-10-16 – via Facebook.
- "Gavilán Rayna Russom – The Envoy". Boomkat. Retrieved November 16, 2019.