Self-Portrait: Jennifer Loveless

A core part of Australia’s thriving dance music scene, Jennifer Loveless’ influence and has spread far and wide through her indisputable talents behind the decks, her transmissions on the Skylab radio waves and her work within the community.

Having cemented her position as one of the country’s foremost selectors – with sets for Australia’s Discwoman Showcase Boiler Room and tours across North America and Asia – she’s focusing on her own productions, with her debut outing, the emotive and nostalgic Hard/Soft, coming out on Andy Garvey’s Pure Space imprint.

She describes her Self-Portrait mix as “a bit of Internet ADHD, a bit of introspection and a tinge of commerce”, characteristics she says could apply to herself personally. Alongside the original material mix, we chat to Jenn about her musical background and her production process…

Let’s start with an ice breaker, what’s your earliest musical memory?

Hmm, I think there are a few that come to mind. Playing piano, performing with my brothers, my old purple and silver RCA stereo system, where I would listen to cassettes and stay up to record new tracks from my favourite radio shows.

Did you have a particularly musical upbringing?

Yes, me and my whole family did. We were all classically trained in piano from a young age, but we really lived for doing renditions of pop and r&b songs together. I have to give it up to my father who put in his savings and time, and pushed us to perform at every opportunity. He often mentioned that he wished for us to be a version of the Jackson 5… Definitely a pipe dream but his obsession made for an interesting upbringing.

What led you into music production?

Natural progression I guess, I started writing poetry as a form of expression and therapy from a young age and music provided a similar outlet for me.

Are there any producers or artists who have inspired your production?

It’s hard to put inspiration down to just producers and artists. I think experience is a large source of inspiration, as are stories both fiction and non. The tracks in this mix have been written over a large span of time, so to that, there have been many.

Are there any particular rituals you go through before you head into the studio?

The studio is my bedroom, so I wake up here and I fall asleep here. I am often anxious about time and there not being a lot of it. When I’m in that head space I can’t seem to write anything – I need to feel like time is infinite. To remedy that, I try to set aside whole days where I can be in my room without being disturbed or scheduled for anything.

Do you come in with a destination in mind before starting a jam?

Not at all.

Are you the type of producer to work on a track until it’s perfect, or are you more of an impulsive creator, happy with first takes and sketches?

A bit of both. I like to only do one take of whatever I’m recording in analog into my DAW, and from there I rearrange, warp, and mix. Only recently have I started going back and re-recording drum tracks in separately because my girlfriend wouldn’t leave it alone, and she has a point.  

This mix is comprised of 100% original Jennifer Loveless material. Could you tell us a bit about it? Any tracks that are particularly special to you?

My debut release, ‘Hard/Soft’ was actually meant to be a double-sided cassette with three tracks on each side, mixed into one seamless listen. An introverted listening experience aimed at bringing forward nostalgia and a light heaviness. We scrapped the cassette idea somewhere in the process and only one side of the tape was released. This mix includes all of the tracks intended for that original cassette, both released and unreleased. The mix begins with a soundscape I produced for the opening of IAM-Internet Festival 2019 in Barcelona, and ends with a track I made for a friend’s yoga class that was later commissioned for use in a Lee Australia commercial in 2019.

Having now actually explained my mix, it’s basically a bit of Internet ADHD, a bit of introspection and a tinge of commerce…  I wouldn’t correct someone if they decided to also summarise me in that way.

Anything on the horizon for you? Any releases we should know about?

There’s a new one out on Kate Miller’s new label, Bodyverse. It’s a compilation with all funds to lgbtqi+ and womxn affected by COVID-19 in Berlin. A really good mix of artists on that one, definitely worth checking out.

Hard/Soft is out now on Pure Space.

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