It’s no secret that Bristol’s dance music community is thriving. It’s comprised of many different friend groups who are in turn, part of various collectives, promoters, houses and even – dare I say it – social media groups. Daisy Moon has been here for four years and is a name synonymous with all the top-drawer parties worth going to, as well as being someone everyone knows. She’s been DJing for at least half that time and producing since before she got here and now runs the Housework parties with Bristol expats Shanti Celeste, Gramrcy and Golesworthy. She’s also helped set up the Mix Night sessions for Bristol Women In Music, a night that sets women up with the skills necessary to make the hugely important step into what is a very male-dominated sphere. In her first online interview, we spoke to her about her many projects as well as get some thoughts on Bristol music, which accompanies an hour mix.
Housework welcome Fit Siegel to Bristol on 8th April.
First, our usual ice-breaker. What’s your first musical memory?
I believe my first musical memory was my mum singing lullabies to me when I was really young. I remember this one time when I didn’t get invited to my next door neighbours birthday party. They had a bouncy castle in the garden and all I could hear was the sound of children playing. It was a summer night, light outside, my mum sang to help me sleep. A hazy soundscape of softly sung lullabies and children laughing.
Obviously, Idle Hands and much of the music community that surrounds it has changed a lot in the last few years. When did you first arrive in Bristol, and how has it changed – if at all – in that time, music wise for you?
I came to Bristol 4 years ago as a music graduate from Dartington College of Arts, and was very much into experimental sound, site-specific work and creating live electronic soundscapes for dance and performance.
I think that rather than feeling like the musical community has changed, I just feel like I’m more involved. My knowledge of dance music has expanded, and I know more about what is happening in the city and further afield. The music that I listen to and create has been influenced by the city that I live in, the people that I surround myself with and the networks that come with that community.
I am still very much influenced by performance and the collaboration between music and moving image, and I’m still making experimental sound with field recordings, but I also have a studio with synths and drum machines now, and I have more records, too!
It’s a boring cliché for interviewers to ask, “how has Bristol influenced your sound?” when talking about productions. When I interviewed Shanti she was quick to bring it up as common question, so instead, how bout I ask if living with Shanti influenced your production sounds at all?
I lived with Shanti for 3 years and being in that house definitely had an impact on the kind of music that I was making. It was a combination of everyone there though – Rich Carnes who runs Freehouse, and Graeme (Gramrcy) too – there was a great musical vibe there, we’d play records every night together and I was introduced to a lot of new music. I used to make tunes that were layered with recordings that I’d manipulated and the beats were kinda broken and followed more of a hip-hop vibe.
Shanti influenced me to strip things back and to make tunes with hardware and synths.
It would be strange for me to not mention the influence of the 4/4 kick here also…
How and when did you start DJing and what prompted you to get involved with Bristol Women In Music? How long have you been a mentor, and how has that been going?
I started Djing about 2 years ago. I was gradually building up my record collection so that I had some records to put on in the house and one day Shanti and Chris (Farrell) asked me to play the BRSTL party. I had two months til the date of my first gig wihtout a clue how to mix, so I came home every night from work and practiced.
Shanti started conversations with Bristol Women in Music about teaching women how to DJ. There were a few of us that ran some informal DJ workshops – and it sort of just took off from there. The Bristol Women in Music ladies are doing such interesting, important work in Bristol. The Mix Night sessions are now ran more formally by me, Em Williams and Danielle. We run 6 week courses and then everyone has their first gig in a club on the 7th week. There is nothing more rewarding than watching the women develop throughout the course and to see their transformation into DJs.
There have been a number of collectives and groups popping up directly promoting women and other marginalised groups in dance music. From your perspective, has there been a change or an increase in regards to women playing and producing? Do you think there is a steady trend and what could you see as being the next step for increasing the number of women in dance music?
I don’t nesecarily feel that there are more women playing and producing now than there were a few years ago, but I do think that there has been a shift in recognising the importance of women in electronic music. I think that the awareness has been highlited by these collectives and people seem to be paying more attention.
As for the next steps, I think that the recognisation of underrepresentation of women in electronic music needs to be filtered into schools and youth groups, and that more young girls should be encouraged to give something a go, to make mistakes, and to really make some noise.
When did Housework start and how has it been with several of its residents moving to Berlin? Do you plan in following the rest of Housework to Berlin? (Please don’t!)
Housework was started by Alex and Shanti in October 2010, Graeme joined a few years later and then I joined a few years after that. In regards to the other residents moving away, it’s been quite peaceful! Ha, no I guess it hasn’t felt like a huge change for me, we’re still very much in contact and connected with each other. If anything it can be seen as a bonus as it just gives us the additional platform to host more parties in Berlin too (…another Berlin Housework incoming, details will be announced soon!)
I’ve no plans to move from Bristol just yet!
Where’s your favourite place to buy records in Bristol?
Idle Hands thru & thru.
And your favourite parties?
Rough Draft / Bodygurn / Dirtytalk / Noods
What new / young talent should we be keeping an eye on at the moment?
Kinlaw – he co-runs the Ceramics label. I like what he is doing at the moment, and I think that he’s one to watch.
My sister put me onto this Bianca Scout album on bandcamp released last year called Voyager which is really good. She did a remix of Drake called Hot Blinging, as a collab with Klein.
I saw Harry Wright (one half of Giant Swan) play a live set as Agatha in January which was really great, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for his movements.
Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us [where and how you recorded it, the idea behind the mix and any standout tracks you’d like to mention]
I recorded the mix in my studio at home, with a pair of technics and an Allen and Heath Xone 22 mixer. For the mix, I just selected some of the records that I’ve been listening to recently.
Tracks that stand out for me:
Ewan Jansen – Dark Jazz Delay
Telephones – Untitled (The Island)
Soofle – Away
What’s next for you? Do you plan on releasing music in the future? You must have quite the backlog of material.
I have a lot of unfinished material, but I’ve been in the studio a lot recently, so we shall see…