The 34th edition of our exclusive mix series comes from the genre-bending Stefanie Chew, who explores multiple styles in her contribution. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Ste Knight talks to Stefanie about switching from Logic to Ableton, compelling remix opportunities, and Piknic Electronik.
It is always exciting for us feature local DJs on our pages, and this edition comes from one of Merseyside’s most promising emerging talents; Stefanie Chew. Despite its MANY drawbacks, social media and its associated facets have one particularly useful advantage – they constantly drop neat little surprises in our laps, so we were delighted we we caught Stefanie‘s Boiler Roof Manchester set while scrolling through our Facebook feed. We enjoyed the set massively, so it is with great pleasure that we present her contribution to our mix series.
Stefanie is not an artist to be pigeonholed, which is why her mixes tread through a number of different genres. Acid meets house meets techno meets rave, all in a wonderfully mellifluous manner. Also obvious is her support of emerging artists, as her mixes tend to be liberally peppered with plenty of underground vibes; grass-roots DJing at its finest, then.
We’ve got a great mix lined up for you, but first, lets see what Stefanie had to say for herself when she spoke to our editor, Ste Knight.
Waveform: Hi Stefanie. Thank you for taking time out to chat with us! First things first, tell us a little about yourself for those who aren’t in the know.
Stefanie: I’m a female DJ and producer originally from Wirral but now living in Manchester. My DJ sets tend to encompass an eclectic mix of techno, acid and rave, whilst they also offer up a side serving of experimental finds. I aim to champion new music in my mixes and I’m always on the lookout for underground upcoming talent to feature in my sets. I’m currently working on a new EP which I’m hoping to release early next year.
Waveform: You recently delivered an accomplished remix of Mike Simonetti’s track The Edge, from his Solipsism long-player. You certainly cranked the energy up with a killer electro workout on this one. How did the remix come about and what was your approach to remixing the track?
Stefanie: I spend a lot of time listening to radio shows and I heard this track one Friday night whilst listening to the Nemone show on BBC 6 Music. The french vocals immediately caught my attention and I loved the electronic melody that followed. I made a note of the track and the next day sat down ready to make a more upbeat version that people could dance to. It was just one of those moments when I heard a track that on first listen I felt compelled to remix.
Waveform: Does the Simonetti remix offer a taste of things to come from your own productions? We believe you have an EP in the pipeline, would you like to give us the lowdown on where you are up to with that?
Stefanie: I made the switch from Logic to Ableton in August, around the same time that I started to DJ and I feel that both different activities have really complemented each other. From my experience, Ableton is a lot more beat-led than Logic and DJing has helped me get better acquainted with the structure of a beat-led track. I have 3 completed tracks that I’m very happy with right now but I’m going to continue to write over Christmas and re-evaluate in the new year. I love techno and acid music and that’s heavily influencing my tracks at the moment however, I don’t like to pigeonhole my music and I’m quite open to experimenting with different styles, so this could potentially change.
Waveform: Speaking of processes, you have put together a contribution to our Waveform Mix series which covers a wide range of sounds from the electronic spectrum. You clearly have an excellent taste in music, so can you tell us a bit about how you put this mix together?
Stefanie: I like my mixes to cover the spectrum. I want the listener to go on a bit of a journey so I always try to mix things up. I also try to make each of my mixes different from my last and really put a lot of time into scouring the web, listening to radio shows and reading blogs to help me discover new (and old) tracks that I could potentially play. One of my recent finds was Auto Sound City, I’d never heard his music until about a week ago when I heard him on the NTS radio show ‘Mint Condition’. I listened to a few of his tracks and really liked ‘Modality’ therefore used this as the opener to my mix. As a music producer myself, I’m passionate about playing music by upcoming artists and I aim to play as much underground music as possible in my mixes.
Waveform: Given your musical tastes, can you tell us a little about what started it all for you? Were there any particular club nights that you would religiously attend? What about influences from other artists? Who inspired you to get involved in the music industry?
Stefanie: My introduction to electronic music and the live DJ scene came whilst I was living in Montreal back in 2010. I started going to ‘Piknic Electronik’ events which were large outdoor DJ parties that took place every Sunday throughout the summer. Whilst I was there they hosted names such as Paul Kalkbrenner, Ellen Allien, Green Velvet, Popof and many more . I think I went to Piknic nearly every Sunday that summer. I loved the energy at the events and it gave me the desire to get out there and start performing myself.
It wasn’t until I started to DJ and got my hands on a copy of Ableton earlier this year that I really started to get hands on with heavier electronic music. Prior to this I was making and performing ambient music under the name ‘Faded Gold’. I’ve always been into heavier bands that cross the line between rock and electronic music, bands such as Fuck Buttons and Holy Fuck are two that particularly stand out and I knew eventually that I wanted my music to move in that direction. Recently I saw Vladimir Ivkovic DJ which was particularly great and I’m also loving the new remix album of The Soft Moon’s ‘Criminal’ which walks the fine line between techno and EBM.
Waveform: You’ve played at Manchester’s cheekily-named Boiler Roof and Indigo’s Koupe Sauvage. Where can we catch you playing next?
Stefanie: I haven’t really lined up any confirmed future dates as yet, but hopefully I’ll get some soon!
Waveform: Thanks again Stef, for taking the time to talk to us, and best of luck with your future ventures!
So, there we have it! We look forward to hearing Stefanie‘s forthcoming EP, and we hope you get the chance to catch her playing at a nightclub near you, very soon. In the meantime, get a load of her killer Waveform Mix 034, below. In the spirit of the underground, there is no track list here, just let the music do the work.