Electric Forest’s Maya Solstice Festival is the culmination of many years of refining the essence of authentic community dance events in the Byron Bay region. This mini-festival aims to bring the community together to celebrate unity and diversity and to promote and encourage local artists while featuring some of our best-loved DJs and some outstanding new talent. One such featured performer is solo artist Sorceress. She spoke with The Echo about her unique craft.
How would you describe the kind of music that you play?
It’s always hard to define my exact style, as a lot of my music is cross genre varying across deep house, tech house and techno. All of these styles warm beautifully to each other and I like to pick the best elements from each to create my sets. I really like the vocals, warm chords and deep sub-bass of underground deep house and I often start or end my sets with this style. I really get into quality production and sound that’s been run through top-notch equipment, so it’s always exciting finding another unknown producer who blows you away with their creativity and depth of sound. I love going on journeys of finding and sourcing the best tracks that I can and playing them over and over until I hear them in my sleep. Tech house is probably my favourite style, as it’s so varied, and I suppose the majority of the music that I play and write sits somewhere fairly comfortably between techno and house. I love my sound to be melodic and soulful and I love harmonic chords with warmth, which is really prominent in a lot of good production heard today.
What do you think sets your style apart from other artists?
My method is probably not so different, but it does really help to refine my individual style, with the end result of a full set sounding recognisable to people who appreciate my music. I think it’s because I particularly aim to find similarities among my tracks and put a lot of emphasis into good flow within sets. It results in an overall unique collaboration. I key mix by ear and choose my track order based on a track maintaining a good frequency into the next. I have a lot of classic favourite combinations that I pull out of the box on random occasions, and I know that the particular mix of the two tracks will be seamless, as it’s worked so well in the past. I also love finding new combinations. Good track matches make me super excited, it’s quite funny. I guess that’s why I love being a DJ.
I suppose you would describe my sets overall as melodic.
Who has influenced you the most along the way?
I’ve always been into outdoors, so the festival scene is close to my heart. If it sounded good outdoors then I would be on a mission to find out everything I could about that sound. I would somehow meet the artist personally, which would always help to deepen my understanding of their music. When I first started going to festivals I loved anything progressive. That usually incorporated house, techno and trance within the one producer. I really liked to bring the nightclub outside. These days Sam Paganini, Christian Smith and Paride Saracini feature prominently in my box, as well as deeper styled artists such as Oliver Shories, Gorge, Tube and Berger and Ibiza’s Josep Maria Ramon with his excellent ear for track selection. There’re too many to mention of course, there’s so much incredible music out there. It’s a good time. Someone who inspires me the most is my partner Marta Kodo. It’s been a great journey making music together.
What you do is unique. Can you describe your creative journey?
My creative journey started way back when I was young, playing tracks such as Rhythm is a Dancer outside in my backyard on a ghetto blaster and making dance routines to it. I started listening to electronic music in the early 90s and making my own sets on tapes, putting tracks next to each other that I thought sounded good.
My journey in the dance community began in year 2000 when I moved to Melbourne from the country and was pretty quick to join the outdoor and warehouse scenes. I got some decks in 2001 from a scratch-vinyl guy and then CDJs in 2002 and from then on it’s been one fun ride!
What experience do you want to give your audience?
I guess the same that I’ve had over the years at parties where you can really lose yourself in the music and go on the journey with the artist.
Is there something particularly significant for you having an event like this on the winter solstice?
It’s a really energetic time of year, so it’s a real honour to be asked as an interstate artist to perform for Duncan and his crew. There’s a lot of collective energy in the atmosphere for the solstice and it’s an old tradition for tribes to gather and celebrate this through dance. It’s a special occasion in modern times to hear good electronic music, and of course a good excuse for a party! I’m looking forward to performing alongside some excellent artists at this event.
What should people expect for your set at Durrumbul Hall on the 25th?
A damn good dance!
Maya Winter Solstice Festival – cyber tribal gathering. 6.30pm–12 midnight Saturday 25 June, Kohinur Hall, Upper Main Arm.