Ahead of our secret location rave in London tonight(!!!), we organised an interview with the live performer from the line-up, the incredible Shelley Parker, a previous LL label releasee. After two decades of electronic experimentation, Shelley Parker has recently found even more acclaim, after releasing a totally unique, joyfully twisted release on Hessle Audio that filtered field recordings of Notting Hill Carnival (recorded at her own flat) into jilted Techno. We're enormously excited to watch her slice up the dancefloor.
Your Hessle EP was extremely well received and threw your name out to a wider and younger audience. Has it increased your desire to make more records or are you happy to sit back and produce dancefloor-aligned stuff if/when you feel like it? Have any responses particularly excited you?
Thanks yes it did seem to be well received which was great! Yes still keeping busy and I’m always writing new stuff. I suppose to see more mainstream producers and DJ’s like my work can only be a good thing as before my work has occupied a more experimental space.
During all the years as a DJ/Producer/Live Act, what venue have you most enjoyed playing?
Gah there’s loads! Okay this year: Ombre Lunghe in Bologna was great! No “live AV sets” just a thumping sound system and great people. Djing at Tresor was really fun too. I played pretty much vinyl for 5 hours and people still seemed to like all the old tunes and a variety rather than only techno which was a nice surprise. It was really special playing at Reconstruct in Brooklyn in Feb with Boofy, Karim Maas, Laksa. They honestly rocked it! Also playing live at Fabric with Hessle was a bit bonkers. The system there in Room 1 is incredible.
A lot of producers spend days ‘in the lab’ grinding out tracks. Do you have a regular process that you stick to? Is there a ‘golden hour’ where you tend to be at your most productive?
There’s no set process or particular time of day/night. My best tracks are ones I’ve written in a day or something. If you spend too long you just kill it. Deadlines help or I meander about a bit.
We know you studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, but do you consider yourself an artist or a musician? People often get hung up on labels especially regarding their life’s work, so how would your epitaph read?
I used to get a bit hung up on this but now I just ignore it! I trained as an artist at art school for 4 years plus a Masters in Photography so I suppose you could say my thinking is of an artist, but when I'm making club music I don’t really think about those things.
What is your favourite source of sound outside of music (cars, yawns, flowing rivers, etc)?
Air vents, building/construction work
What have you been reacting to - or affected by - recently in your music?
Working with contemporary dancers has hugely affected my music production. I’ve spent most of my professional life either as a photographer taking pictures of dancers in clubs or playing music for people to dance to so working with professional dancers and observing how they move/react to my music has changed everything for me.
What’s your opinion on laptop producers? Are you impressed with some people’s ability to churn out music with no hardware, or do you think such methods are missing something?
I AM a laptop producer! I make most of my tracks on a laptop and only perform using hardware (MPC 2500). Some tracks have been recordings/edits of live sets. I don’t have a preference for how people make music as long as it’s good.
If you had been born later, such that you started making music in 2019, what do you think it would sound like?
I’d like to say it would be the same but I think without the experience of DJing years and also working with sound for gallery/dance/theatre projects I think all of those things inform the general sound of my music so I have no idea!
If you could switch bodies with anyone a la Freaky Friday, who would it be and why? You would have access to their skills and talents too.
As a Londoner, you’ve seen the scene gradually shift and change over the years. Would you say its current climate is better or worse than it used to be, in terms of inclusivity? Where do you feel most comfortable in the city?
I think ten years ago scenes were more separate. I found it was difficult to find nights where you could play different types of dance music. Usually it was either techno or dubstep. Now things seem more diverse – both musically and also in terms of a range of performers. Things could still improve though!
What sort of work do you have coming up, in the way of releases, installations and performances? Are we going to see anything forthcoming on your label, Structure?
I continually work on projects with contemporary dance so I’m either writing the score or perform with the dancers. Over the next few months, I have two remixes and one joint EP coming out and a track on a VA. My remix for Test Dept’s track Debris has also just been released on One Little Indian. For the label I never know what I’m doing with it! Probably things with other people but that’s all I know for now … (!)
Finally how excited are you on a scale of -2 to ‘FUCK YEAH” for our event on the 29th November?!
100% up for it!