Imagine you’re sweaty, out of breath and shuffling toward the bar while the DJ is giving the dancers a rest with a slow jam. You’re gathering your wind, maybe ordering vodka lemonade or getting a vital drink of water and then Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine” creeps into the mix. It’s subtle at first, and then all-encompassing, and revives you like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

When you turn to the DJ booth, there is a small blonde person with a sharp bob having the time of her life. It’s DJ Amsies, aka Amy Reid.

Reid has been creating magical dance spaces in Baltimore for years. She’s a member of the band Chiffon, which has been creating electronic pop music and touring since around 2014. She supports other musicians like Ami Dang with keyboard, background vocals and synths. She will DJ your wedding, party, or b’nai mitzvah. She’s also released three projects as a solo artist. “Utopia,” her most recent EP, dropped in early September.

Reid’s voice is powerfully delicate. In Utopia, her voice glides over the beats. Conjuring up old disco excitement and a warm sunny morning, the EP is ideal for a walk in the neighborhood as the seasons are changing. Maybe there are trees in bloom; the friend you haven’t seen in a long time notices you across the street and you pause the EP just long enough to convey how grateful you are to see them on this beautiful day.

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One could call that Utopia.

Reid’s solo career has been a labor of love. She records her work at Moose Records and her home in Better Waverly, using synths, keyboards and her voice to create a robust sound. Listening to the single “Shadow Bath,” it’s clear that Reid’s pen is deft. While shadows evoke an image of darkness, or at least something blocking the light, “Shadow Bath” is an invitation to bathe in this darkness.

While Reid’s DJ sets are often wide-ranging and high-energy, “Utopia” is more mellow. Her last album, “Hirsute,” was darker, and she’s happy to serve up a more upbeat offering this time. She played parts of the album for her dance party, Butch Gardens, and played Baltimore’s Boiler Room. That’s enough promo for Reid, she said; there’s no big tour in the works.

Reid grew up just outside the city with a piano teacher for a mom. Once she got to Parkville High, Reid fell in love with hardcore and punk shows. Living in the burbs, she knew that she’d end up making art in the city. Surrounded by music, it was natural that she would want to start a band in high school. She and her friend Chase O’Hara started making all kinds of music together. O’Hara and Reid were making experimental hardcore music as early as 17 years old — exactly half of Reid’s life.

About seven or eight years ago, Reid and O’Hara cemented their working relationship by creating the band Chiffon. The band makes dreamy electronic music, with the keys reminiscent of smooth jazz. In their early years, Auto-Tune and some vocal distortion gave their sound whimsy, but now they have stripped back on the vocals to fill the instrumentals. Their song “Keep Shining” has artist Josh Stokes on the drums while Reid croons, “Let the music play/ Remember us that way.”

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In Chiffon, both O’Hara and Reid produce, sing and play keyboard. Their collaboration has always felt “pretty natural and easy,” said O’Hara. Of course, they have been making music for over 10 years, so there were “plenty of young times of fighting,” he said.

Even with conflict, Chiffon has been able to tour and make music without a manager by splitting their work load 50/50. The band used to tour about 2 to 3 months out of every year. They began as a duo but added Will Ryerson, who went to school for music and has helped add depth to the band.

“Those early tours were pure chaos,” Reid remembered. One year O’Hara’s minivan died on a tour, she said, and they had to rent a van for the the rest. Even before the pandemic, it was difficult to tour without someone getting sick and having to cancel shows.

Their touring has dwindled in recent years. “I’m so grateful for everyone we toured with, but it just hasn’t seemed worth it recently,” Reid said. Chiffon still plays shows together, with an upcoming gig in November) but the hustle and stress of touring has made it less appealing. O’Hara said he really appreciates the band’s flexibility, because “it’s never been possessive in a toxic or shitty way … if your solo stuff takes off it’ll only be better for [Chiffon] if we’re doing well.”

The tours were still fertile ground for experimentation and exposure. Musician Abdu Aliremembered their first tour supporting Chiffon, where they got to see the inner workings of an underground tour scene that “doesn’t really exist anymore.”

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“Touring with Chiffon was like a big class for me. As a Black queer artist just from West Baltimore, that type of access to the music world definitely felt like a far reach,” Ali said. That master class has helped Ali as their career blossomed to include international and domestic tours.

Reid and Ali have continued to support each others’ work as friends and collaborators. Reid plays keys in Ali’s band and sometimes opens their shows as DJ. Their relationship opened the doors for many others Reid has worked with.

Through Ali, Reid met Pangelica. Pangelica is a musician and now co-director of GRL PWR, a “collective based in Baltimore curating events that serve as a platform for female identifying people.”

“I started GRL PWR because I felt like there were a lot of lineups that were just dudes,” Reid said. The punk and hardcore shows that she loved going to when she was growing up were often sullied by a deeply masculine energy that she felt was exclusionary. With GRL PWR, Reid’s goal was to have more lineups that didn’t feature cis dudes.

GRL PWR took off. In Reid’s words, it became “a monster” and she needed help. That’s where Pangelica came in. After Ali’s linking of the two, Reid and Pangelica soon realized they had a lot in common. They’re both Aquariuses (an astrological trait Ali says helps them curate events together), both grew up in Baltimore and they love the power of a good party. As a duo, they’ve tamed the GRL PWR beast together.

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They host the dance party Butch Gardens, catering to a queer audience, every month (until November) at Peabody Heights Brewery. The party is always packed with every person you’ve ever seen on Hinge/Tinder/Feeld and even that crush from high school you didn’t know was gay. Because there’s so much outdoor space, the party never feels claustrophobic.

Butch Gardens has also built a reputation for being accessible. Peabody Heights accommodates families, so it’s not uncommon to see a rogue child careening through the bar or dance floor and bringing a youthfulness to the party’s vibe. People are free to bring their canes and Rollators onto the dance floor, too.

It’s rare that a monthly party keeps its roots. There are rarely guests at Butch Gardens. Recently, Reid had to DJ a wedding, so partygoer DJ Pancakes filled in. The party allows both Reid and Pangelica to DJ while bringing in queer people and families to the space. Before they were at Peabody Heights, they were at Charm City Meadworks — proof that wherever they lead, people will follow.

It was important for Reid to make Butch Gardens an “intergenerational event.” Pangelica makes it plain when saying, “We’re getting older and we don’t want to have to do all-night parties forever.” The party is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., leaving plenty of time to hit another party or get the babies to bed.

With GRL PWR’s events, Reid can flex her organizational skills while also building a deeper Baltimore community. “Baltimore’s more like a village, it’s not really a city,” Reid said. Both Reid and Pangelica admit that their Butch Garden sets are more experimental.

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“For me, it’s all about making the music and sharing it ... that’s really where my enjoyment comes,” Reid said.