Object Blue by Eleanor Hardwick

how to become a producer

Lessons from Coucou Chloe, Laurel Halo and Object Blue.

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Jul 23 2018, 8:56pm

Object Blue by Eleanor Hardwick

Perched on the edge of the London's Thames river, the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall is a spacious late-night Brutalist club space currently hosting a Concrete Lates series that celebrates female-identifying electronic dance music producers. On 5 July, Laurel Halo, Coucou Chloe and Object Blue were among the first to play the event. It ruled.

Something is happening to electronic music, you see. Genre-defying, mind-bending experimental takes on techno and trap are being dreamed up by young creators across the world -- including this lot. Object Blue, Coucou Chloe and Laurel Halo are originally from Beijing, Antibes and Michigan respectively. Object Blue and Coucou Chloe now call London home, while Laurel resides in Berlin. Taking influences from their various cultural upbringings, these artists are part of a generation hitting the reset on conventional club music.

Get to know them, their best advice for fellow producers, thoughts on the future of the music industry, and their songs of the summer below.

Coucou Chloe by Eleanor Hardwick

Coucou Chloe
French art school dropout Coucou Chloe has only been making music for a couple of years but has already managed to soundtrack Riri’s Fenty runway show. Casual. In 2017 she released her debut EP, Erika Jane (her real name), through NUXXE, the London label and collective she’s a part of with Sega Bodega, Shygirl and Oklou. Throughout the industrial electronic production, her distorted rap-style spoken word vocal gives way to visceral samples of children crying. It sounds kind of possessed, and totally awesome.

What's your earliest musical memory?
The sound the Playstation does when you turn it on. Then the OST of those video games --Pandemonium, Crash Bandicoot, Croc and Bloody Roar. All of those sounded so special and precious to me. They all had such a strong identity. I was absolutely fascinated.

Which city did you grow up in and how did it influence your relationship with music?
I grew up in Biot and Antibes, in the south of France. They weren’t big cities, so I spent a lot of my time at home with my brother, playing video games and listening to music. It was a real nest where not a lot of things from the outside could enter. Listening to music was a way to create a whole world. You know, the way you can invent a story when you're a child, so each artist and track had their own universe, story and characters I built around them. I really lived all of those songs I was listening to. I don't know how to say this without it sounding terrible, but I think I have a strong and intimate relation to music. Maybe everybody does, idk.

When somebody asks what kind of music you make, what do you tell them?
I have two answers depending my mood: "It's a kind of hip-hop/trap-inspired club music," or "Just listen to it."

What advice would you offer to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Do what you want and don't question yourself.

What movie do you think your discography would be the best soundtrack for?
I don't know the movie yet, but hopefully it will be a movie you can laugh to, cry to -- suspense, sexy, action, drama, romance, death, life, sugar, salt, I don't know, everything! Love Island?

How do you feel about women-only line-ups?
Ok, I'm going to be totally honest: for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable to be on an all female line-up claiming "girl power". It's obviously very important to give visibility to women because it's hard around here. But I don't think it's right to extra push the 'all female line-up'. I don't feel like it's the right way to do things. It just encourages people to keep compartmentalizing, so it doesn't feel very natural to me. Just put women alongside other guys on the line-up and let them show everybody what they can do! I just work hard and then your bro ends up asking me for a beat, for example.

Do you feel hopeful about the future of the music industry?
Let's see how it goes, but things are definitely moving -- very fast.

What are your survival tactics for the rest of 2018?
Allow more time to think about yourself.

What’s your song of the summer?
I can't choose so here are five: D.I.M & TAI, Lyposuct, Smokepurpp (feat. Lil Pump), Broke My Wrist, Zola, Bernard Tapie, Mc Buseta, Growing up and A$AP Rocky, Purity (feat. Frank Ocean).

Laurel Halo by Eleanor Hardwick

Laurel Halo
Berlin-based Laurel Halo is pretty damn established in the industry, having released three critically-acclaimed experimental electronic albums on Hyperdub, and touring the world extensively. Her new EP, Raw Silk Uncut Wood -- a sparse instrumental odyssey -- just dropped. One for the post-dancefloor meditative moments and an ideal traveling companion.

What's your earliest musical memory?
Phantom of the Opera.

Which city did you grow up in and how did it influence your relationship with music?
I was born in the Detroit area and later moved to Ann Arbor, which are both in Michigan in the midwest of the USA. Detroit has a storied and essential music lineage, as well as Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

When somebody asks what kind of music you make, what do you tell them?
Experimental, sometimes it's easiest to say 'techno' in the security line at airports.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t worry about impostor syndrome, as it never goes away.

What movie do you think your discography would be the best soundtrack for?
What kind of movie would be that long?

How do you feel about women-only line-ups?
I’ve written essays on the subject.

Do you feel hopeful about the future of the music industry?
Good music continues to come out despite streaming demanding melodies starting at 0:00.

What are your survival tactics for the rest of 2018?
Eating well, exercise, Love Island.

What’s your song of the summer?
Yung Hurn, Fühlen

Object Blue wearing custom Dimitra Petra by Eleanor Hardwick

Object Blue
Object Blue has seriously great taste. On her debut, Do You Plan to End a Siege EP (“dedicated to all the women on the dancefloor”), the Beijing-born, London-based techno-feminist references Joan of Arc and samples Cardi B alongside the sounds of women warriors from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. If this is our 2018 techno battlecry, then Object Blue is our mighty leader.

What's your earliest musical memory?
A piano piece in A minor my sister was learning.

Which city did you grow up in and how did it influence your relationship with music?
Growing up in 2000s suburban Beijing didn't give me a community or an easy way to dig for music, so every year when I visited grandma in Tokyo I would buy at least a dozen CDs at Tower Records to take back home. But Beijing's relentless construction sounds and the punk atmosphere influenced my music positively for sure.

When somebody asks what kind of music you make, what do you tell them?
"Experimental and techno," while apologizing for how much I sound like an asshole.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Trust your taste.

What movie do you think your discography would be the best soundtrack for?
I make dance music precisely because I'm aware of how terrible I am at scoring sound to video. I'd like to do theatre sound design one day though.

How do you feel about women-only line-ups?
I think it's necessary until one day it's so normalized that the concept doesn't even occur to anyone anymore.

Do you feel hopeful about the future of the music industry?
Yes. Music technology has become more accessible than ever. Contrary to what the big boys up there are warbling about, this is a good thing.

What are your survival tactics for the rest of 2018?
Strategic sleep schedule, not accepting any more eggs until I finish all the eggs currently in my basket.

What’s your song of the summer?
Patrice Rushen, Haven't you heard?

We'll see you at the next instalment of Concrete Lates on 30 August -- Discwoman presents: Umfang, Shyboi, Peach & Kamixlo

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.