No 17 of our mixtape series come from Italian born / London based Techno godess – Ireen Amnes, one of London’s freshest new rising talents, we’re thrilled to have her as this months guest for our mixtape series. We had a chat with Ireen about her crossover from Rock & Metal to Techno, the music scene in her hometown Rome, her new residency at Egg and More.
Hi Ireen, thanks for the awesome mix, so before we take a listen, how would you Describe your sound in 5 words? Intense, angry, melancholic, emotional, unexpected
You’ve carved out quite a unique sound for yourself, but we hear you originally came from a Rock background and crossed over into electronic music, what was it that prompted your transition into Techno? In my opinion, moving from rock and metal into the techno world is a very small step. Both genres share heavy sounds and a big range of dynamics. After being a lead singer in heavy rock bands for years I found the same contrasting feelings of anger and calm when I am playing or producing techno.
So as well as being a DJ and producer, you’re also a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, but which of your skills did you hone in on first and how did the others feed in? I honestly don’t remember a day in my life where music hasn’t been my main passion and ambition. I probably started singing as soon as I spoke my first word and then at age 10 I began taking actual vocals lessons and later on started playing the guitar and piano. I got my first gig as a singer in a cover band at age 13 and that was how I spent every Saturday night throughout my teenage years.
You’re originally from Rome, Italy and held a residency there at the prestigious Rashomon Club, as well as appearances in other Major clubs in the city, but how is the scene in Rome? and do you go back to play in your home city very often? Italy is not as famous for its clubbing scene as its food, however I believe that cities like Rome and Turin have been developing a very interesting underground vibe with great events and bookings. On the other hand I don’t feel like Rome gives enough space to emerging artists that are not ‘in the circle’ of the same promoters and DJs that rule the scene. I hope I will be going back to play in my hometown very soon though!
You relocated from Italy and are now based here in London, how long have you been here and what bought you here to the Big Smoke? I have been living here since 2010. At that time I decided to move because I wasn’t in a very good state of mind and also because I always thought that moving to a multicultural city like London would give my music career a push.
Which it certainly has. Another string to your musical career bow is promoter and you’re one the creators of ‘Under My Feet’ tell us a bit about the night. I have never been interested in being a promoter or organising events just to make money. Under My Feet. is a project that aims to give space to new underground talents who share the same passion for arts and music, and I am not only talking about DJs. Under My Feet. involves musicians, singers, photographers and artists and the event itself is all about good vibes and sharing the moment together.
Back to your DJ-ing, you’ve just recently landed a residency at Egg London, how did this come about? And when can we catch you there? That was the biggest achievement of my career this year. My working relationship with EGG (after having spent many club nights there) came about randomly. At one event I attended almost two years ago I found one of my business cards in my pocket and I decided to give it to the DJ I liked the most during the night, EGG resident Kyle E. After a couple of days I received a text from him saying that he listened to my Soundcloud page and liked my music. After that we started working together during studio sessions and I found his talent so motivating and inspiring. My track ‘True’ was featured in an online compilation by EGG Recordings. At the launch party for the compilation I played a closing set of almost three hours, keeping the dance floor alive until 10am, and I had the luck to be noticed by the management staff who decided to offer me a residency and embrace me into the family.
Coming up is the Mobilee Records night with Anja Schneider on 30th July and after that I’ll be playing once a month. Don’t miss my favourite night on October 15th, Berlin Berlin with Sisyphos stars Fidelity Kastrow and Jonty Skrufff.
Nice! we’ll makes sure we head along to those. Now it seems more DJs and Producers are turning to creating ‘live sets’ these days, as someone who performs both DJ and live sets equally, why do you think this shift is happening? I think many DJs simply add the word ‘live’ but don’t actually play a live performance. For up-and-coming DJs there is the desire to emerge and show the audience that there is something special about them in comparison to others. An ‘actual’ live set is not only a great show to watch but it also allows the performer to jam and follow the emotions of that moment with more freedom than with a simple DJ set.
Which do you prefer to perform? Live set or DJ? I love performing live and even when I am doing a DJ set I always bring at least my drum machine and a couple of pedals. I have recently incorporated the ROLI Rise Seaboard for my live set up and I am so looking forward to showing how great and flexible that instrument is.
You’ve also been plugging away in the studio, do you have any releases or collaborations lined-up we should look out for? A lot of exciting stuff is coming up, but I have to keep it a secret for now, so stay tuned!
We Will!! So as you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give support and respect to other women in music, who do your shout out’s go to? Name some of your favourite fellow female artists? Last summer I got to meet Coco Cole and since then she has been the most motivating person in my career. I find her extremely talented and humble and she is such a big inspiration for me. Another couple of fellow female artists I would like to shout out to are Timanti, for her personality, style and both production and Djing skills that are very impressive and unique; and multi-task visual artist, DJ and producer Cerina who’s simply a genius!
And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice? A nice pint of Leffe.
So there you have it, go check out one of Ireens sets over at Egg, or her Under The Feet party, and be sure to buy her a pint of Leffe.
And here’s the mix. Happy listening.
No 16 of our mixtape series come from Soviet Union born / Sydney based spinerella – Sveta, a legend on the Australian Queer scene, we’re super honoured to have her contribute to our mixtape series.
She’ll also be joining our chief editor Michelle Manetti in London tomorrow night, alongside another of Sydney’s finest Estee Louder for Pitch Slap at Tipsy Dalston, check out the event on Facebook for more details:
Ahead of her set, we had a chat with Sveta about her infamous sets at Mardi Gras, her current tour, future projects and what we have in store for next Sat night.
Describe your sound in 5 words?
eclectic, bassy, sensual, spontaneous, intense
So this year you celebrated your 20th year as a club DJ, that’s pretty impressive, but where did it all start? Where was your first DJ set? How did it come about? And describe how it felt. I started on community radio 6 years before that while I was studying Communications at University. This was 1990 and the start of the House music scene in Oz. I was underage and going to the raves in the middle of my studies and decided that I needed to start playing those sounds on Breakfast radio – which had never been done at that time. Dance music was reserved for specialist music slots. The show got a lot of attention and I started getting asked to DJ. I didn’t say yes until 1996. I felt like it was a passion/ hobby that accidentally found me as a career. Apart from the mortifying moment of realising how hard beat mixing was, I felt totally alive as a person and artist. My first gig was playing at a Mardi Gras recovery party for the major girl’s night at the time. I literally got discovered that night.
You’re originally from the Soviet Union, but are known as one of Sydney’s finest and most solid DJ’s. How has the city helped shape your music career? I would say that there would never have been a music career without the city but the passion for music runs through my family. My brother is 10 years older and his collection of vinyl rivals mine. He almost got arrested at the black market in the Soviet Union before we fled while he was buying foreign records. The Sydney scene in the 90’s was up there and as diverse and eclectic and full of life as London’s and New York’s. From the techno sounds of the early Sex Subculture & Fiece parties, to early morning tribal house sets at The Phoenix Hotel (now lost to lockouts) to great House music events
Sydney Mardi Gras is renowned as being the biggest and most colourful pride event in the world and we hear you have the auspicious honour to be the DJ who has spun at the most Sydney Mardi Gras parties, which certainly makes you the Mardi Gras Queen! but tell us one of your most treasured moments from the Mardi Gras parties you’ve played? I have played at almost 20 Mardi Gras parties and about 15 Sleaze Ball’s (the costumed second Mardi Gras party in October which doesn’t exist anymore) around 15 times. There literally are too many treasured moments to single one out but I would say that the first time I opened for Boy George, my childhood idol was one of them. Also the opportunity to open/play alongside with artists that I respect & admire such as Frankie Knuckles, Derrick Carter, David Morales and Kim Ann Foxman etc. The scene in Sydney has become more segregated as the years have gone on so it’s getting harder to get support slots in the wider community with artists like these. It should be based on skill level, experience etc but it can sadly be about sexuality these days. Mardi Gras welcomes DJ’s of all sexualities.
There’s a lot of controversy at the moment surrounding the Australian lock-out laws, has this affected the nightlife and the scene a lot? and has this had a knock-on effect to your own work? There really is too much to say about this right now but it would be great if our US & European sisters & brothers supported us in protesting these laws. Our city is virtually deserted and the pool of work for not only DJ’s & other artists but also for hospitality staff, taxi drivers, food/restaurant business owners is narrowing by the minute. Over 60 clubs and bars have shut and apartments are being rapidly built and patrons are being forced into the casino,which is one of the only city venues that has no lockout. All I can definitely tell you is that there are other motives involved with these laws. Many DJ’s who have dedicated their lives to the craft have been forced to leave the industry as they cannot survive and people like myself have lost over 50% of their work and most opportunities to play the music that we are known for. Sydney is a ghost town right now and people are moving out in droves.
This year also marks your 10th consecutive annual visit to NYC, what is it about the big apple that keeps you taking the long trip from Sydney each year? NYC embraced me from the day I played my first gig there in 2006 – an absolute dream come true as I was obsessed with NYC underground House & ‘Bitch House’ – the precurser to ‘Vogue’ beats from the time I was in my teens in 1990. I was welcomed into the Houses as their Sister and Daughter after they heard me spin. I was hoping that they wouldn’t think that I was appropriating that sound but I have NEVER been met with any such attitude from any New Yorkers. They appreciate the way that I put my spin on it. I also produce music in that style. London DJ & producer Hannah Holland has been adopted there in a very similar way.
On your way from Sydney to NYC, you’ve stopped off to play some parties in Japan and have some lined up in Berlin and I’m super excited to also have you play with me here this Saturday at Pitch Slap in London too, but do you find you have to change your music style to suit the tastes of each city? Honestly, I love so many different styles – except for Trance – that I always play different styles wherever I play, in Australia or overseas, and I love that because I get to express myself in many ways. I’ma music nut. I get really scared, sometimes nauseous before I play because I don’t prepare my sets beforehand. I try to read the energy of the crowd. That can be petrifying if you have no reference for the crowd that you are about to play to. The payoff can be huge because when you’re having a good night, the crowd and you go on a journey together. It’s a mutual high.
We hear you have a new musical project you’re working on with Estée Louder, who’s also joining you to play at Pitch Slap this Saturday, tell us a little about this project? I took a little break from producing my own music three years ago after a few big events in my personal life including illness in my family. I feel like I’m ready to get fully creative again. I was commissioned last year to produce some remixes for big shows at Mardi Gras and also for the Qantas float in the parade and I got super busy so I asked Estée Louder if she could work on some of them with me. She is a professional musician in bands – rock and otherwise and also produces Techno. We found that our skills greatly complemented each other. On top of that, I was opening for David Morales that year at the party and I asked Estée Louder if she could accompany some of my set on electronic drum pads and it worked a treat and looked much more exciting on stage than just me DJing solo. We decided to that we’ll be spending the next year producing tracks in a tech/techno style, with some camp disco thrown in for good measure. We’ll also be working on incorporating some live instruments too so stay tuned!
So as you know, here at Lipstick Disco, we like to help support other musical ladies, so tell us who’s your favourite and most inspiring fellow female DJs? I admire so many of my fellow female DJ’s from all the generations for different reasons because I know how hard it is out there for us as well as rewarding. Everyone from Alinka, who is killing it right now to Kim Ann Foxman, Feral AKA MC Kinky, Hannah Holland, Ting who used to play at Fist & Torture Garden, Maya Jane Coles, Christy Love from NYC, JD Samson, Amber Valentine and Colby Bartburg also from NYC, Romy (LA via Sydney) Sydney’s Kat Du Jour and yourself (Michelle Manetti). The list is huge, I don’t have room to write everyone down & it’s mighty prestigious, unlike DJ Mag would have us believe. I admire everyone who tries to support and encourage each other.
And one final question, what’s your drink of choice? Currently, I’m absolutely obsessed with a Taiwanese drink – Bubble Tea! I love the Taro one or the jasmine green tea, both with pearls (tapioca). Lots of young kids love it as a fad in Sydney too. I wish they’d serve it at discos – it would deliver the caffeine content I love and would quench my tapioca addiction.
So if you fancy seeing Sveta on her travels over the next few weeks you can check her out at these shows:
10.06.16 Gloria Viagras Partysane @ SchwuZ Berlin with Aerea Negro
11.06.16 Pitch Slap @ Tipsy Dalston, London w. Michelle Manetti
14.06.16 Deryk Todds, Strut, NYC
15.06.16 The Mercury Lounge (The Bowery) NYC w. Shirley House
17.06.16 The Cock, NYC
19.06.16 Scissor Sunday @ Henrietta Hudson, NYC w. JD Samson
21.06.16 On Top at Le Bain The Standard, NYC w. Susanne Bartsch
>25.06.16 Hot Rabbits, Gay Pride Party, NYC
28.06.16 On Top at Le Bain The Standard, NYC w. Susanne Bartsch
01.07.16 Ladyfag’s 11:11 NYC
And listen to Sveta’s mix on Soundcloud
and make sure you follow Sveta on her socials to keep up to date with new gigs, shows, music and projects
Columbian born, Chicago based producer Ana De Irisarri has teamed up with fellow Columbian and visual artist Jessica Daza Gomez aka Jeka Daza for this awesome little audio-visual collaboration, with fantastic results. As a standalone track, Womb Introspection is top quality stuff; with obvious Chicago House influences and analogue sensibilities, it’s certainly something I’ll happily drop in a DJ set and expect to get some love for it on the dance floor. However with the addition of Jeka Daza’s DIY-style glitchy visuals that perfectly compliment the track and exemplifies precision on-the-beat editing, , the audio-visial marraige is complete, a multi-sensory gift from these two wonderful Columbian ladies.
No 15 of our mixtape series has just dropped and Slovenian-born, Glasgow-based Maya Medvesek aka Nightwave has delivered a 35 min, slick, sassy, sleazy and full of energy melting pot of techno, grime, house, rave and dirty sweaty beats. Prepare to get your heart racing and your blood pumping.
I’m also super excited she’ll be joining me on May 14th in London to headline Fèmmme Fraîche at Dalston Superstore, along with one of our previous Guest Mix DJ’s Gina Breeze. Check out the event on Facebook HERE.
Describe your sound in 5 words?
Techno, grime, housey, ravey, sleazy
You’re originally from Ljubljana (Slovenia) via London, and now living in Glasgow, what made you venture and settle up there? I moved from Ljubljana to expand my horizons, I love Slovenia but it’s too small for me. I moved to Glasgow because I love the vibe, love the people and the banter and it’s about 3 times cheaper than London and I can have a much better lifestyle up here.
And how is the music scene up in Glasgow? What’s your favourite clubs and nights up there? It’s brilliant, maybe even too good-I feel like I’m out all the time if I’m in town. There’s so much on and sometimes thats a challenge for both the clubbers and the promoters! My favourite clubs are La Cheetah where I do my night Nightrave, Sub Club, Art School and I also love The Rum Shack where I now do my night Bam Bam.
So tell us a little bit about your night Nightrave? I started Nightrave 3 years ago, mainly to be able to hear more music I love (Glasgow is heavily dominated by house and techno) like grime, booty, footwork…I also wanted to help rebalance the gender situation a bit as the line ups are severely male up here and I thought even if I help a little bit, things will start to change. It’s certainly getting better but we all have to make a lot of noise and demand more diversity in clubs.
Our thoughts exactly! So as well as being a DJ, Producer, Vocalist and promoter you’re also a label boss and run Heka Trax, what spurred you to start your own label? And how do you find juggling this with your other musical ventures? I’ve always dreamt of having a label since I was a teenager and I just love finding and sharing new music and hopefully give a start in the industry to some more unknown producers. I also hate waiting around so Heka Trax helps me to release my own music fast if I so wish. I enjoy the juggling, I drink a lot of coffee but I also wouldn’t mind an intern *hint hint*
Shout outs right there, any interns in da house?? So you also have a pretty hectic schedule of shows lined up, have you had much time to get in the studio and if so can we expect any releases from you soon? I’ve been working loads for the last year and put a lot of love, emotion, heartbreak, all sorts into my next record and I hope to release it after Summer with a club EP before that. I’ve worked with some excellent rappers as well, really excited for you all to hear it.
Awesome, we’re excited to hear it! So among your show schedule, we’re super excited to have you in London to be headlining Femmme Fraiche at Dalston Superstore Sat 14th, what kind of treats can we expect from your set? Sexy ravey party music! Dress to sweat!
Hell Yeah!! Now let’s go back to 2011, you were selected for the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy sessions, how did that come about and what did it entail. I did the dreaded 26 page questionnaire and applied and miraculously got in! It was the best and most valuable musical experience of my life and it really helped me get that final push in totally immersing myself in the industry. It gave me the courage to drop my job, take a risk and have faith in my work. And the Universe fortunes the brave!
Indeed it does. So what was it that first inspired you to become a DJ? Hmmm. I think ever since I went to my first rave back in the 90s, I even have mixtapes I did with cassettes back then… They weren’t amazing but I wanted to DJ since forever-my Dad also had a club in Switzerland and I saw him DJ and my Mum and I toured with his band since I was born. As a teenager I guess I wanted to impress some boys, it didn’t really work but I became a decent DJ haha.
Touché! So tell us, what’s been one of your most memorable DJ moments to date? Sonar 2012 is still up there as my favourite, it really felt like a breakthrough, the crowd were amazing and I cried a bit on stage at the end!! Apart from that definitely The Sub Club.
And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
I fuckin love beer and also love a Heradurra Tequila Reposado
Perfect, so there you have it, pop along to Dalston Superstore next Saturday for some sexy sweaty beats, buy Maya a Beer or Tequila and in the meantime, press play on this badboy. Enjoy.
Tel Aviv born & Berlin based Magit Cacoon released her latest five track EP ‘Subterranean Fiction’ on Crosstown Rebels last week, which is a “voyage through a complex underground universe, where one has the opportunity to immerse himself omnisciently in the sounds and vibrations” This is sophisticated, late-night Techno at it’s finest, with delicate ethereal sounds, submerged in layers of textural effects. Each track has it’s own emotional vibrance, from the melancholic mood of ‘Mostly Translucent‘ the eery and nervous energy of ‘Zone 21‘ the delicately patient ‘Endless‘ and the dreamy yet driving ‘Journey to Venus‘ but its the bouncing steadfastness of the EP’s title track ‘Subterranean Fiction‘ that I warm to most. Each of the five tracks on the EP are certainly worth taking for a spin.
I thought I’d bring you some tasty Techno treats to see you through to the early hours of Thursday morning, this one comes from Mars Bill on Unrilis Records and in particular its Dutch based Shindoe’s remix were digging. Deep seductive Techno grooves to keep you going through the afterhours. This one drops May 30th.
No 14 of our mixtape series comes from LA’s sassiest multi-talented DJ / Vocalist / Producer / Promoter Kim Anh, whos just delivered this little mini-mix to warm us up for her UK arrival, as she’ll be in town playing with me 2moro night (02/04/16) at Dick and Fanny VS Yowsah at the Arch Galleries, check out the party HERE for sure this is one not to be missed, last time she ripped the place up and tore the house down and if this mix is anything to go by, they’ll be a repeat performance in store for sure. So I caught up with Kim Anh in transit, to see what’s in store for this weekend, what treats she has in store for the forthcoming months and life in LA.
Describe your sound in 5 words?
New York City 1994.
You’re currently living in LA, how’s the House music scene out there right now and how do you see it evolving?
House music is more accessible than ever in LA; for party people and djs alike. There are more warehouse parties than one can attend each weekend. It always felt like house music parties in LA were for the “heads”… but I think that’s changed a lot. The new generation of ravers are discovering house and techno for the first time and they’re embracing it wildly. I think it has opened up new opportunities for djs to share their sound and diversify nightlife.
You run a couple of your own parties in LA, tell us a bit about these.
YOWSAH, named as an homage to Chic, is my main residency in Los Angeles now. The sound of YOWSAH is very rooted in groove tracks. Classic jackin’ house, gospel influences, deep disco and bits of low slung funk and disco. I play long sets there and often play to back to back with my guests. It’s just an all around good vibe. One of my favorite things about YOWSAH is that it gives me to opportunity to invite my favorite artists to dj with me. I love being able to support other djs, especially other women and my LGBTQ family.
We’re super excited that you’re bringing YOWSAH to London this weekend for a little one-off special (and I get the pleasure to play with you for the third time) how did this come about, and what treats do we have in store?
I’m thrilled that Dick And Fanny has been resurrected for this event. They’re one of the best parties in London and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me and my work for years. I really wanted to host a YOWSAH outside of Los Angeles and when DAF came onto the table in support it was like YASSSS <death drop>.
There are so many treats in store. Last time you booked me for Pitch Slap Vula and Brendan Reilly came through and tore the roof off with their surprise live vocals. Since then Vula and I have been on a rager, with me on decks and her on the mic. So we’ve made it official this time. But as you know, we won’t stop there. That’s all I’ll say for now. I have a surprise guest dj in store. The confirmed secret guest is an immense talent based here in the UK. I can’t really say much else at the moment. But I promise those who don’t make it will have severe fomo on Sunday 😛
I’m really looking forward to dj’ing with you again. You have fabulous talent and I love your sound.
#blush# thanks, ditto for sure! So as well as running nights, being a DJ and generally being the sassy girl about town, you’re also a pretty slick producer, last time we spoke to you, you’d just released your first solo EP Shadows (CHECK THIS HERE), is there a follow up to come soon?
Yes! I’ve been writing lots since the release and have been in the studio working on some collaborations and features. I will definitely have more releases featuring my vocals. Vula and I have also cowritten a track together that features her incredible vocals. Look out for us come summer
Yesss, exciting, killer combo, we’ll def be suporting that one! So we also hear you’ve just done a remix for Peaches, how did this come about and when’s the official release?
I met Peaches years ago at a dinner in Berlin and we realized we both had a flight at the same time the day after. We met for coffee and shared a car and stories up until our flights left. I’m lucky to say she has been a friend ever since. How often does a muse become a friend? I ran into her last year at a Grace Jones concert and amidst all the screaming she asked me if I would remix for her new album and that she’d already picked a track for me. I think I literally replied “DUH!!”… It was just after “Shadows” came out and she expressed how much she liked the track.
Throughout your musical career so far, describe one of your most magical musical moments, a favourite memory from one of your gigs.
This question is so difficult! Can I say a few? Playing at Berghain. Supporting The Knife for one of their last shows ever (let’s hope they have a reunion tour). Playing back to back with Roy Davis Jr. Crying at sunrise playing Orbital’s Belfast open air… well because sometimes the sky is overwhelmingly beautiful.
Among your many multifaceted musical talents, as you’ve already mentioned you’re also a vocalist, so if your friends were to drag you down to the local Kareoke bar, what’s your guilty pleasure song you’d choose to sing?
Definitely tons of 90s rnb, Donna Summer, Evelyn Champagne King … I would sing more Chaka if I had the chops. I mean who can hit those notes?!
As you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to support the musical ladies doing their thing, so tell us who your favourite fellow female DJ / musicians are.
I just had the pleasure of playing with Joyce Muniz last weekend. She’s amazing. Magda, Ellen Allien, Black Madonna, Honey Dijon, Alinka, Kim Ann Foxman, Venus X … to name a few .
And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
Tomorrow night it will be tequila.
So there you are, come down tomorrow night to Dick and Fanny VS YOWSAH, to catch Kim Anh, Vula, Me + some other special treats, buy Kim Anh a Tequila and in the meantime, press play on this badboy to get you in the mood.
Maya Schenk is no stranger to Lipstick Disco, we’ve had her as one of our guest DJ’s for the mixtape series, as well as supporting many of her releases and Maya is about to embark on a new journey as she launches her new label Henri. We had a quick chat with Maya about the labels debut EP ‘Rigmarole’ and the new label.
So congratulations on the launch of your new label Henri, what’s the official release date for the first EP? Thank you! The official release is the 6th of May – very exciting!
What was the inspiration behind the label’s name?
It’s based on an artist I love called Henri Rousseau. I love his work and what he stood for. Look him up, especially the picture called ‘Surprised!’ of which I’ve got a print hanging in my bedroom. And this is how it came about, lying in bed looking at this print, thinking ‘Yeah! HENRI!’
What spurred you to create your own label? And what are your future intentions with it?
I basically wanted to create a small label on which artists have the possibility to bring out their music and still be in control. I signed with bigger labels and am very happy to do so in the future, but then there are those tracks you want to come out but don’t want to loose all control over (especially when they’re released, for example!). That is what HENRI is for! I will never take any decisions for any artists who sign to HENRI – all decisions will always be run by them. I am looking for melodic, driving electronica, techno and deep house tracks for HENRI.
The first EP is two of your own tracks, which are a slightly different musical direction since your previous releases, is this going to resonate throughout the label and your own forthcoming productions?
These tracks are very much the vibe I’m going for with HENRI. I will also sign deep house tracks with vocals on a sub-label, HENRI Deep. And for my personal productions I am still producing the kind of house music I love to play… but now with HENRI I can flex my deeper, more tech muscles! Ha!
Check out the EP here:
This months guest mix comes from fresh-faced Berlin-based DJ and vocalist Meggy, whose collaborations with RE.You, Till Von Sein and Rampa bought her to our attention. I get the pleasure of sharing the decks with her next Saturday night at my party Femmme Fraiche over at Dalston Superstore, she’ll be playing in the basement from 1-3, check out the details on our facebook event HERE. In the meantime, I caught up with Meggy to ask her about life as a DJ in Berlin, her vocal collabs and inspirations.
Describe your sound in 5 words?
cautious rakish urban deep diverse
You’re currently based in Berlin, a Mecca for music, particularly well known for it’s Techno scene, has the city influenced your sound?
If I hadn’t been living in Berlin my whole life, I don’t know if I’d have ever understood Techno music and fell in love with it the way I did. The kind of Techno they played at old Tresor or the other clubs I went to when I was a teenager influenced my style of djing in the beginning, but now it’s more a big mix of all the music I like and I would dance to in the first place.
Berlin is said to be over-saturated with DJ’s and musicians trying to make their mark, have you found it found it a struggle to break through all the other noise?
Not really. Aquiring dj gigs as a girl wasn’t so hard, plus I could use my singing and writing to stand out I guess. Despite all that I don’t think I’ve had my big break through yet though..
As well as being a DJ, you’re also a vocalist, but which came first and how did it feed into the other?
Singing always was my first love. When I was little I always wanted to be a well-known singer and performer. My first song I wrote at the age of 12, still remembering every word of it. But I just wasn’t so comfortable with myself or outgoing enough to present myself to others. This also has to do with a few experiences I made when I was a young girl where I had to sing in front of others. I couldn’t deal with rejection yet, so I kinda gave up on my dream making a living out of it. At the age of 17 or something some friends teached me how to mix records, quite quickly afterwards I bought a pair of turntables and after a while was able to make music in front of strangers again. I guess this eventually made me sing and write again. I believe as a musician you keep making music your whole life through, whatever way you do it.
Which excites you more, being in the DJ booth or recording in the studio?
Recording in a studio is actually not always an exciting thing to do. It can be frustrating or nerve racking even, you sometimes get stuck with one part in a song you just don’t get the way you want it to be. When your work was worth it in the end, that’s what the exciting part is. But surely I always enjoy singing and working on my own music. Djing is just another way of expressing myself. The feedback you receive as a DJ is so damn pure and honest, that’s what I love about it the most.
We caught a snippet on Pururave.com for your boiler room set HERE of you singing vocals over your DJ set, is this something you try to do in every set, or just a one-off?
This I keep for the special occasions like Boiler Room for example. Mostly the sound I like to play today does not really fit my souly rnb vocals anymore, that’s why I stopped doing it regularly. Another reason is that I want it to sound as “perfect“ as possible when I present myself musically, especially my singing, but unfortunately on a usual club PA that often didn’t work out that well. I’m such a critical consumer of live music myself. This is not something you incidentally let just happen.
You’ve had some pretty exciting collabs so far, including Pete Tong, Till von Sein, Rampa and Re.You, do you have anything lined up you can tell us about?
I’m still doing features here and there, but thankfully I’m in a position now where I can be a lot more picky. You’re able to hear my voice on Matador’s debut album, which will be out soon. I also started to write in German for the first time in my life, there are a few things coming up I don’t wanna get concrete about yet. Mainly I am working on my very own stuff at the moment which is very different from the things I did in the past. I finally feel like I’m creating the music that is natural to me and that is currently making me very very happy. That’s all I can tell right now about it, but there is a lot to come, I can promise that.
What’s been your most memorable gig to date? And what made it so special?
The most memorable dj gig would be probably my first and last performance at Bar25 closing party with my friend Sven Jozwiak. I overslept, had no money for a cab. So I called a friend there who gave me money to come by taxi. When I arrived there was time left to play two records, Sven has been playin all by himself. Anyway, I stayed a whole day partying afterwards.
What’s the one party, or club or festival you haven’t yet, but really want to play and why?
I’d love to play Panorama Bar some time. I think people would feel me there.
As you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give shouts out to the ladies, so tell us who’s your favourite fellow female DJ?
There are a few to be honest. If they’re not only talented, but have sweet personality as well I respect that very much, such as La Fleur, Magit Cacoon or Mira. Big ups!
And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
Water, Wodka…all I need.
So there you are, sit back and enjoy the mix and don’t forget to head down to Dalston Superstore to catch her playing in London, and grab her a Vodka while you’re there.
Listen to the mix now:
Describe your sound in 5 words?
Raw, Worldly, Deep, Mirthful, Provocative
We hear you’ve backpacked through nine countries, lived over seas as well as both coasts of the states, now currently living between LA & NYC. but but what is it about these citie that’s keeping you pinned there right now?
I love both New York and LA. While I’m constantly back and forth between the two, I spend more time in the City of Angels. I love the space and sun, and I’m constantly inspired and energized. The multiculturalism that makes up LA is enlivening. I can feel like I’m in a different country within a couple of blocks, and that really influences and motivates what I’ve been doing musically. I’ve been working to create a melange of sounds that reflects my experiences and desires, and LA’s diversity informs that. Plus I can run off to the desert and feel like I’m on Mars any day of the week.
The US, is of course the birthplace of House music, but how is the underground House music scene looking like in the States at the moment?
I feel like the underground house music scene in The States is finally maturing. We definitely had some rough times in the past decade, with “EDM” which I would argue is the worst thing to have ever happened to dance music, especially of the electronic nature. People, it seems, are beginning to appreciate and seek out sounds that are more refined, or deep, or techy, or just generally less shitty. And I can appreciate that.
You’re quite the multi-talented creative, from model to magazine editor, fashion entrepreneur to cultural curator and photographer, but what’s made you settle into the music side of things?
Thank you for your kind words, those are all definitely facets of my past; but to be fair, they’re not entirely different than DJing. DJing is live curation of sound, taking a snapshot of the crowd and editing tunes accordingly. Making music and fashion aren’t wildly divided either, you have a particular aesthetic and strive to make the best version of that, with your own personal style. Music has been an ongoing thread through my entire life, having begun classical piano lessons at the age of 6, and I’ve always reacted emotionally to sound and dance (I spent a good 12 years of my life in a dance studio). Music is the thread that also ties all of my interests together, and I get to use this weapon (of mass seduction, ha) to make people happy, to escape, to feel better, or to just feel, and that is what I love to do.
As well as being a DJ and Producer, you’re also a vocalist, which seems to be quite a trend among female DJ’s, (Maya Jane Coles, Joyce Muniz, Kim Ann Foxman, Virgina to name a few!) why do you think this is?
It’s not hard to see that the dance music world is dominated by males, but it seems everyone’s looking for a female vocalist. The community is pretty tight knit and if you can call up a friend who would mutually benefit from collaborating on a track, be it vocally or otherwise, why not? Also we’re all super awesome, and have our own flair, technique and phrasing — PLUS we all already know dance music, so that’s helpful 😉
You were vocalist for Hercules & Love Affair for a while, well known for it’s interchangeable line-ups, how did your involvement come about? and tell us your favourite memory from your time with them.
Andy (Butler) and I met playing together in a basement Paris many years ago. We had mutual admiration and became fast friends, as I did with the rest of the band. Andy had originally approached me about collaborating on a solo project EP, but when we got in the studio, it became obvious that I would become part of the HALA family. It’s hard to pick favorites, as the whole time we were together was pretty amazing. We were always lucky to play amazing shows and festivals all over the world. Perhaps my favorite moment offstage with the band was visiting the Batu Caves in Malaysia, a truly beautiful experience. Onstage, I think I might say Exit Festival in Serbia.
You are also the tour DJ for New Order, how does being a tour DJ for a band differ from DJ-ing in clubs?
I am lucky enough to be part of the New Order family too, and it’s amazing that the band and their whole team are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They encourage me to play what I want, and Bernard educates me on songs and artists that inspired him and the band, which is cool because so many acts post New Order, look to them for inspiration. Being on stage, often dozens of feet from your audience is strange. They are not there to party all night (especially to the DJ), and often, they’re just having their first drink. Many shows are seated as well, which is something that you’re not dealing with in a club. People will get up and dance, but it’s definitely a process. What I play is somewhat different than the band, and I love to be able to musically educate the crowd. But when it comes down to it, and I think this goes for all heritage acts, everyone is there to see the headliner, and you are there to make them less bored on the way. (Which I’m absolutely honored to do.)
We hear you have your own single due for release in March on RIS Labs, what can we expect to hear?
You can expect to hear a really fun dance jam (if I do say so myself), that empowers women to do what they want. It directly battles slut shaming in a super fucking fun way. Because, as the song says, “The idea of a slut is a useless social construct that doesn’t mean shit.” AND OH MY GOD IT’S TRUE. It’s upbeat and features a lot of ethnic drums. I’m probably more excited about this than any other track I’ve made. While getting people on the real, it gets bodies in motion. Could I ask for anything more? Maybe. But I’m not going to.
You pride yourself on playing non-shitty tunes, but what’s the shittiest tune you’ve had to drop and when was it?
The beauty of how I work, is that I never have to play anything. It would cost a pretty penny to buy my artistic integrity.
What’s your guilty pleasure song?
I actually added one of my favorite guilty pleasures in this mix. Mine Bengidzakiwe by Sabside Feat. Deborah is a jam that was super hot when I was living in East Africa in 2007. I’ve just rediscovered it and am absolutely in love. Like how does a song feel that good? SERIOUSLY?!
As you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give the musical ladies a shout out, so tell us who’s your favourite fellow female DJ?
So this is a funny question, as I like what I like based on music and not gender. Obviously, that’s not particularly mind blowing. While people will say “I don’t see color” which is questionable, I really don’t see gender in music. While I do recognize that female DJs and producers are wildly underrepresented, it’s never my aim to get into stuff based on the fact that we have the same reproductive parts. THAT BEING SAID, there are some seriously sick ladies out there, but not because they’re women, but because they can put most boys to shame, and give heavy hitters a run for their money. I’d say that Francesca Lombardo is one of my top picks and of course Kim Ann Foxman, and I’m so lucky to know both of these incredible humans.
And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
My favorite drink is called “The origin of love” — It has mezcal, chartreuse, lemon, and honey. It’ll make you believe in love, but a much better version than you’ve ever known before.
So there you have it, sit back, press play and if you ever catch Whitney behind tge deck, her’s is The Origin of Love.
Killer track from the Audiojack duo along with the hypnotic vox of Kevin Knapp. The word ‘Vibrate’ resonates throughout, with a variation of different delay effects making it swirl in and out of the track in pulsating rhythms; this sits nicely over punchy percussions, pounding beats underpinned with a steady pulsing bass. Heavy club weapon. Out on Hot Creations Today.