It’s not often that you run into a DJ who is also a VJ, though VJ definitely falls short when describing EMPlicit’s visual work. Seriously, this woman is multi-dimensional. A University of Victoria Fine Arts student, who practices business and DJing in her spare time. What caught our attention is her ethereal approach to dance floor ready bass music. That, along with the otherworldly 3D animated immersive displays she crafts, which are unique to say the least.
She’s also a sweetheart, who would have thought?!
So EMPlicit, what’s with the name? I know there’s some meaning in there that might escape the casual reader.
When I first started, doing sound and light art a couple years ago I did this one project with contact mics. Attaching them to slide projectors, the name was “Emplicit
Rhythm in Shades of Blue”. I ended up spelling “implicit” wrong, someone pointed that out to me and after looking it up I found out that EMP was short for Electro Magnetic Pulse, which actually fit in with the work I was doing with various lightwaves and soundwaves at the time. It all fit together. It came out of fluke but it ended up fitting really well with what I do.
What got you into mixing?
I started out being in a band, for like 9 years and I did art in school. I ended up going to school for art, because I didn’t want to go to school for the contemporary side of music. I thought art would be a bit broader but that wasn’t the case. A few years ago I had stopped the whole music side completely. Then a professor of mine suggested I start recombining with music and a lot of that was electronically in terms of making sounds and soundscapes. I then met Kevin Green
who egged me into mixing. Having always been in rock bands, playing bass guitar and stuff, I just started doing it and it felt really natural. In band there were all these parts that I couldn’t control, you know, but with mixing I could control everything.
Total control, that’s powerful. Can you share some highlights from your general experience in this new role ?
Finding out that mixing is about more the in-between section for me, where the two songs are mixing and drawing that out, making something new with those sounds, you know taking out things, filtering elements in. Adding effects and stuff. Making a whole new section that wouldn’t have existed otherwise if I hadn’t mixed those two songs. Playing shows too, like opening for Kahn
was awesome, even tho I was a total fan girl about it. Also, Bonodo
. All very great.
How did you prep for these?
My playlists would always be super broad, I would have 3 different
playlists. 300 songs each, of different genres and I would just play out of that, which is why my sets sometimes were all over the place. I would just go and feel out the evening. I’m really into everyone feeling what you’re playing, but I think the best way you can produce a set is to just play what you play, if you produce it properly, people will enjoy the feeling with you. So prep was just gathering all these songs and stuff. Though for Kahn I narrowed it down to about 100 songs and just went with that.
Nice. You’re also popping up all over town with visual installations for club nights? Can you tell me a bit about that as well? And where you plan on going from here with it?
Well through school it was all about making environments for people, overstimulating environments that are still really beautiful. Now working in clubs I’m allowed to do that to a better extent. it’s the same experience and even better since I have all the supplies I want to do it properly. It’s been awesome to be able to do that because I’ve been able to work with everything I’ve been wanting to work with. It heightens everything a bit, it’s a lot different to have a DJ on-stage or to have a DJ in an environment that has been specifically created for the event. I think it’s really important to have visual aspects.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s super tricky cuz I’m always drawn more to dark dubstep, which has a consistent timing, but I’m drawn to these off tempo, pushing movements that I really like to play but I just haven’t figure out how to mix them yet. I go for things that are really emotional and heartfelt, I really like natural sounds echoing around and stuff…
You’re a sweetheart. So, does the topic of being a woman in scene come up much? Do you think you’re viewed any differently as a female in the scene?
Not really. I’ve thought about it a little, at the beginning I thought like I hope I’m getting these gigs because people actually like what they are hearing, not just because it’s a male dominated scene and im a fresh female face in the scene. At the same time, this sounds weird and feminist, but I don’t associate myself as a woman. The question is kinda strange for me because I just don’t know, I hope people just see me as a musician.
Lastly, if you were a meal and drink to pair, what would you be?
I’m grazer, I like eating a bunch of little portions of different things. Like fresh sprouts, carrots, veggies and like a really good cheese, a really really good cheese, and something falafel-esq. Pair with a water, with lemon in it, and a really good Cab-Sauv.
meow, you’re the first person to say water, everyone else is just all about the booz.