Him Self Her - Lauren Flax

Based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Lauren Flax is a talented artist who along with being one half of the duo CREEP, also releases solo music under her own name.

Under her CREEP alias she has featured on heavyweight labels such as Kitsuné, plus Young Turks, and under her own name has done EP’s for imprints such as Nervous Records.

Lauren Flax latest release was recently put out on Apollo Music Group and features vocals from DJ Heather who along with Dan X and Lil’ Mark, heads up the label.

We caught up with Lauren to chat about her latest release, and find out what separates her solo music from the sound of CREEP.

> For the people reading this who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style, and the key elements that define it?

I’ve made some big shifts these past for or five years in how and what I’m making. I took the jump to work mostly out of the box which has essentially limited my sound options. This was a really good thing for me because I wouldn’t get overwhelmed and I could get to the depth with these pieces of gear. I like the perforative aspect of writing music now with hardware, and I think that comes across in all of my new music. Everything is constantly moving. I would classify my dance music as jackin’. Some call it house, others techno. I’ll leave it up to the individual to decide.

> Your most recent release is on Apollo Music Group which is a label run by DJ Heather, Dan X and Lil’ Mark, is there a story behind how the release came to fruition?

Heather and I have been friends for coming up on 20 years now and we have always really vibed musically, whether it was house music, industrial or trip-hop – we were always on the same wavelength. We actually worked on some music together a few years back, but we never completely anything. This year we both decided this was the time to really get some shit done. I was in the right headspace for it with how i changed how i produce. I basically wrote the track in the first half of a day and heather came over to my place and laid down a bunch of vocals before heading back to Chicago that night. I sussed out the rest of the track the next day. It came together quick but we are both so happy with the results.

> As you say, DJ Heather features vocals on your new release; did she help with any of the tracks other elements?

Just the vocals! I think mostly because I tore through this one pretty quickly. It doesn’t always happen like that.

> Could you talk us through the creative process of putting a track together, and list any specific equipment used to bring your sound to life?

Yeah! I basically pick and tune the drum elements in my TR-8 for the track, write some patterns and then I will literally go start to finish for its structure. So what I record from the TR-8 will be the skeleton to which I build upon. Of course the structure may change later, but getting it to 90% right off the bat really cuts my production time down. Structuring used to take me the longest! Now I just go with vibe from start to finish for about 6 or 7 minutes or so. For this one, I think I hopped on the TB-03 after and wrote the acid line. after I recorded that part and its laid down in Logic, I’ll hop over to the Prophet 6 for other big synth parts, which you hear in the build ups. Threw some pads in there as well from the prophet 6.

> I also understand that you are part of a duo called CREEP, how does the sound of that project differ from your solo music?

CREEP is my trip-hop outlet. Its a very necessary, important and special thing for me. It’s a place where I can play my instruments and move outside of any boundaries. Its a bit more free.

> Following your new Apollo Music Group release do you have any other new music or forthcoming gigs we should be keeping an eye out for?

Yes! I have a 4 track EP coming out on the Dancetrax Series for DJ Haus’ Unknown to the Unknown. The vinyl comes out July 27th, digital August 31st. I have another single coming as well on Hannah Hollands Batty Bass Records featuring vocals by the Goddess Viva Ruiz. Viva’s vocals and message on this are so powerful and needed, I am gagging for it to come out. I’m also releasing another record with Nervous. The song is called Thinking of You and features vocals from London’s Michelle Manetti. It’s absolutely filthy. As for gigs, I head back to the EU this month and stay through July and August, then back home for a couple months before I head back to Europe.

> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?

Collaborate. Its essential to growth. Always be transparent about who you are working with as well. When you’re starting out, its ok to imitate others as a form of learning. You will in time grow to find your own voice, which is the most essential part of this business. Finding your SELF. And don’t let anyone else steal your light! This is a tough business, so be sure to surround yourself with like minded individuals who will support you through the thick and thin. And be sure to do the same for them.

> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light hearted… without getting to personal, could you tell us something many don’t know about you?

When I was little I wanted to be Don Johnson. I dressed like him with the penny loafers with no socks, the pink shirt and light suit jacket, and pants too obviously. Clearly I was gay at birth.

> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have ever seen happen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with his elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunk person urinating on the dancefloor?

I have literally seen it all at Berghain… so nothing really shocks me anymore.

> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and all the best for 2018.

Thank you, you too!

> You can pick up a copy of Lauren Flax’s new release featuring DJ Heather from …HERE…