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The DNA of Electronic Music


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Synth Heroes create mixes of their formative electronic music influences

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LAIMA

High Frequency Priestess


This month’s mix is by the mysterious  producer, musician, artist, and activist, Laima. Surveying the relationship between domesticity, artistry and motherhood, Laima’s debut album, Home, features two records designed to be played simultaneously.

Laima’s vocal and synth tracks on the ‘TONAL’ disc alongside her husband Iggor’s beats on the ‘RHYTHMICAL’ record. Syncing two records offers an unconventional way to experience the music. Rather than passively hearing the music, the listener’s need to ritualistically sync both records makes for an immersive experience.

“It's almost like a family photo album in another format,” says Laima. “I needed to find the balance in this dichotomy, to feel good with myself in both roles, and be aware of things that really mattered to me. To be a woman, a mum and a female producer: all of these feelings were in the music.”

In keeping with the spirit of her record, Laima has delved deep into the minds and music of the female electronic musicians that have inspired her for this month’s mix. 




TRACK NOTES by LAIMA 

MARIA SABINA
CHONGA
0:00 – 0:55

Maria Sabina was a Mazatec (Mexican) healer who used magic mushrooms (which she called “holy children”) to perform healing sessions. In times of pandemic, I chose a healing chant to start the set.

NYX
VOID
0:44 – 5:55

Last year I found this group of magical women and since then this has been one of my all time favorite tracks. NYX are an UK based collaborative electronic drone choir. They build layers with voices and process it through pedals and synths. In a way, they use the waves of voice to compose beautiful synth like sounds.

KALI MALONE
HAGAKYRKA BELLS
5: 34 – 6:40

Kali is a jewel. One of the most precious people we met in 2019. She is an expert in tuning and playing church organs. We saw her live in London while performed by processing samples of church organs and bells through her modular rack.

DELIA DERBSHIRE AND MARTIN HANNET
SYNTH EXCHANGES TRACK 2
6:34 – 8:27

For me, Delia Derbshire is the mother of electronic music. Since working with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop she has produced all kinds of sounds with experimental machines. This track is a sound exchange with Martin Hannet.

JOHANNA M BEYER
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
8:28 – 14:15

Since Delia is the mother of electronic music, Johanna Beyer could be considered the grandmother. Her unique style and research with sounds was far ahead of her time, she was considered an “ultra modernist” influencing the likes of John Cage.

ALAURA
ASHITA
12:53 – 15:59

Alaura was also known as Paula P- Orridge as she was Genesis P- Orridge's partner in the 80s. Genesis influenced her to make music. Paula joined Psychic TV for some time but after living in Nepal, started producing more meditative, new age mystical music. I love the encounter of the two vibes in the track “Ashita”

PAULINE OLIVEROS
BYE BYE BUTTERFLY
15:34 – 21:40

I love Pauline Olivero's concept of “Deep Listening” where she uses music for ritual, teaching and meditation, the invitation for the listener to react as they want to sounds is what interests me, without a pre conception. Bearing in mind that she was doing this in the early 80's was pretty amazing, its so fresh and contemporary.

MIYAKO KODA
BUTTER
21:17 – 25:13

Miyako Koda is a Japanese producer and singer. This track has a mysterious feel about AI, human or maybe non human. It gives space for imagination, I always use it in my sets as it intrigues the listener.

KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH + SUZANNE CIANI
RETROGRADE 
25:06 – 32:39

Two amazing ladies that write mostly on synths. They both have a special affair for the Buchla which interests and intrigues me. Buchlas are such a mystery but whenever I've touched them I had such a magical experience. What is funny about this interlude is that I can hear exactly what parts Kathlyn is playing and what parts are Susan's by listening I can envision them performing it.

DAPHNE ORAM
WOMEN'S HOUR
27:42 – 28:46

Over Aurelia Smith's and Ciani's track I've added some of my favorite pioneer women producer's voice. Daphne Oram produced music from her home, in her living room. Love it, can totally relate with her.

RAYNA RUSSOM
FEAT. COSEY FANNI TUTTI
KEMMER 
32:01 – 39:01

Both Rayna and Cosey touch upon the questionings of gender. They also represent the amazing work they do with their bands Throbing Gristtle and LCD Soundsystem, I had to have a track of them to complete the all “female” on synths set.

CATERINA BARBIERI
INFORMATION NEEDED TO CREATE A WHOLE BODY 
38:27 – 44:52

Lately, when I was rehearsing with Soulwax, Barbieri's album kept playing in the studio, and I was always so into her sound, her magical sequences. It makes me think of blood flow, of breathing, of organic rhythms.

LAURIE SPIGEL
PATCHWORK
44:52 – 54:35

I always have Laurie Spigel in my sets, her scientific view of music is the opposite of the more holistic approach but equally strong. It fits for the balance.

LAIMA
BEFORE AMERICA
54:26 

Before America is the most intimate track from my record Home, released last year by Deewee and The Vinyl Factory. For this set I made a dub version as I really like the synth work on it.