After several years of heating up dancefloors from behind the DJ booth, Val York has stepped into the world of production with her debut release, the Berlin Remix EP. The title track, Berlin is a minimalistic cut of deep house; a shuffling drum groove is peppered with sonar-like plucks which bounce through the song’s space and give it an amazing sense of depth. This is all topped off with York’s own vocals, which cycle through the commanding and hypnotic mantra, ‘I want to live in Berlin‘. It has made quite the splash since its release, racking up over 10k SoundCloud plays in just over one month. We caught up with Val to hear about transitioning into production, and where she plans on taking her music after graduating from Liveschool.
You’ve just put out the Berlin remix EP, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Berlin was a little project I was working on earlier in the year, but then my vocal tracks got accidentally deleted just when I was on the verge of completing it so I put it to rest whilst working on other little projects. For some reason I had this pull towards it and felt that this is a chapter that needed closing, so I sat down, re-recorded my vocals, changed a few sounds and alas Berlin was officially formed.
Phew! Nice recovery It’s got a real deep and moody flavour to it, what sort of vibe are you trying to bring to the dancefloor with this one?
Deep and moody is definitely a great way to describe it I like to bring a bit of mystery and curiosity to the listener, as I’m not fond of music that’s so obvious and in your face. What I’m trying to achieve is a sound that can be listened to during the day, and also in the late hours of the night.
So were you DJing before starting at Liveschool and before you started producing?
Correct! I was DJing around Sydney and sort of started making sounds before Liveschool, but knew that it was the right step for me in order to accelerate my learning and general productivity.
What made you want to move from DJing to producing?
I guess it’s just a different type of connection when you’re writing your own music. I used to play bass, sing, and write poetry here and there when I was younger, then my love of synthesisers got the better of me and I naturally moved onto producing with the somewhat limited knowledge that I had.
What course did you do at Liveschool? What do you feel you got out of it?
I did the full Produce Music course at Liveschool and I loved every second of it. Just being in that environment and having knowledgeable people to give you a hand and support you is the most rewarding thing anyone can do for themselves as a producer.
Your EP came out through Deeper Than House, which seems like a really great local match for your sound. How did the connection there come about?
I was one of the original residents at Deeper Than House from when it began, then I sort of took a little break from playing any big shows to focus more on producing and sculpting a sound, then once I was done with Berlin I showed it to some friends who were super into it and wanted to remix it (that’s how the remix EP came about), and Deeper Than House heard it and decided to release it.
If I came to a Deeper Than House party, what would I see and hear?
You would hear a wide range of house and techno music from up and coming local artists! It’s such a great little family and everyone’s so nice to each other, it’s quite wonderful.
It seems like you’ve found such a great crew that are interested in the same things musically. Any tips for producers trying to seek out and make connections with the music communities around them?
This is going to sound quite cliche, but it’s honestly all about getting out there and seeing what’s on offer in your city, and having an inner sense of knowing of what you as an artist can bring to the table. Always be true to who you are, and have fun making friends who have common interests as you, and in no time something magical happens and you find your place
Anyone locally that you’re particularly excited about right now?
SPACIE!!! She just dropped a killer EP that I had the pleasure of listening to at Jam Gallery for her launch, I was so pleasantly surprised and instantly sucked in!
What’s coming up for you as far as releases, gigs, dreams for the future?
So I’m currently working on a new EP that will be part audio, part visual. It’s a little bit different to Berlin, although still quite dark & moody, and the release will be in September.
As far as gigs go, I have my debut at People’s Club, have teamed up with Dreamscape from Wollongong to do a live arts party, and will be making an appearance at Chinese Laundry again quite soon.
In future I dream to play in Paris, Bucharest, and Berlin, but that’s a working progress in itself!
Keep up with Val York
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