It is our pleasure to welcome Bloody Mary to the Global Vibe Radio family.
Bloody Mary is a French-born, Berlin-based vinyl DJ, producer, and label owner of Dame-Music, which she founded in 2010 with a focus on raw and analog sounds.
After relocating to Berlin in 2005, it wasn’t long before Bloody Mary’s career as a DJ was put on the international stage. Nowadays, her name is easily recognizable in the worldwide electronic music scene, having performed at festivals and clubs the world over as both a DJ and live act for more than 10 years.
To this day, the label has had over 40 releases (featuring artists like KiNK, Thomas P. Heckmann, Alien Rain, Hardfloor and many more), and has hosted numerous label parties across Europe.
“This a set where ambient, broken beats and acid basslines all come together. I created a special atmosphere for 5 minutes during the intro before easing into the mix.” – Bloody Mary
As a producer, Bloody Mary has released countless records on Dame-Music over the past 10 years. Since 2017, she decided to branch out further, releasing her music on Josh Wink’s Ovum Rec., DJ Pierre’s Afro Acid, and Tim Taylor’s legendary UK techno imprint, Missile. She regularly features as part of Amsterdam’s ADE, such as being hand picked by Roland to talk about the 303, or being asked to produce and match music to an advertisement in front of a team of industry professionals as part of the Sync panel.
Her unique musical taste and elegant on-stage presence have seen her feature at festivals such as Movement Detroit, Piknic Electronik Australia and Barcelona, Intro Festival Mongolia, Epizode Vietnam, Rainbow Serpent, ADE, Sonar and WMC Miami. She has also graced the decks of world-renowned clubs like Fabric London, Space Ibiza, Panorama Bar Berlin, Smart Bar Chicago, Tresor and many more.
Thank you so much for the mix! Can you tell us a little bit about where and how you put this together, and what your mood was when doing so?
Hi Guys! It’s a pleasure, thanks for inviting me on board your mix series. The set was recorded in my studio using Ableton Live. This mix brings me joy, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did while recording it. It’s an acid journey, including mostly new releases and a couple of my own productions.
Is it a dancefloor-oriented mix? If so, what inspiration and memories did you draw from given that we have been away from the dance floor for so long?
It’s not a dancefloor-oriented mix. My inspiration came from the records I’ve been listening to while I’m at home during lockdown, and from the mood in the studio at the moment where I’ve been working on a few projects with this similar vibe. It’s a set where ambient, broken beats and acid basslines all come together. I created a special atmosphere for 5 minutes during the intro before easing into the mix.
I am sure the entire mix is full of great tracks, but is there a gem or two in particular we should keep an eye and ear out for?
It would be hard to pick just one or two as I love them all. A track worth mentioning though is the one I finished the set with. It’s by John Beltran under his other alias Placid Angles. He just released a magnificent album on Figure last month.
By the way, congratulations on your label turning 10! Can you remember what your goals were when you first created the label? How do you think you did in these 10 years?
Thank you! The main reason I started my own label was to be able to be independent as a producer and for my love of vinyl. I also wanted to create a platform where I could promote new talent and work with my favorite artists. Fast forward to today, 11 years on and we’re a big label family with 44 releases in the back catalogue. I’m grateful for all the support over the years and I’m looking forward to the future.
What has been the biggest lesson (or two) you’ve learned as a label boss in these 10 years?
I’ve learned so much with the label over the past 11 years, and I still continue to learn even to this day. Looking back, the biggest take away is probably to follow your instinct and always believe in the music you put out on the label. Take your time with the A&R process, it’s better to release a great record with quality music that will stand the test of time.
While we are on the subject of record labels, can you share with us some labels (and I guess artists) you’re really liking in this past year? Would love to know about artists and labels that have in particular inspired you and your music!
One thing I really admire is artists who create their own label and work hard to keep the label’s own identity over so many years, like Steffi with Klakson or Ellen Allien with BPitch.
There is something special about artists who are determined with their own projects and keep the fire burning for years. These two women are the best examples that comes to mind.
I have spoken to so many artists over the last year, and there have been mixed responses to this question so would love to know from you also: have you felt less or more inspired as a music producer since COVID?
Covid is affecting all of us and we all react differently. I haven’t exactly felt less or more inspired, but I’ve definitely had a huge amount of time that I can spend in my studio while I’m not travelling. So to answer to your question, yes, I’ve been producing more music during this difficult time.
I know it’s been tough on all of us in the music industry. How have you coped with being away from the dance floor during these strange months? Did you pick up any new interests and hobbies or did you double down on ones you already have?
To be honest most of my time during the week has been spent in the studio. I’ve tried to use the spare time to be creative. Apart from that, I’ve had more time to focus on my health, particularly diet and how what we eat affects not only our body but also the environment around us.
I’ve practiced yoga for years, but unfortunately with all fitness centres being closed at the moment I had to readapt so I do it at home instead. I also make sure I get outside every day for some kind of physical activity too. That’s super important for my mental health, especially being in lockdown.
While on the subject, can we expect some Bloody Mary releases in the next coming months?
Yes definitely! Here’s a few that I can announce already as they will be out in the next couple of months:
I will be part of a new series on Dame-Music called The Paradigm Shift, alongside artists Millimetric, Meshes and Delectro. The vinyl will be out on July 2nd. As well as this, I contributed a track to the label of Berlin collective Gegen, and will feature alongside a bunch of other great artists. I will also be part of a white label vinyl only release from a label in the USA, which is due out before summer. On top of this, I’m part of a V/A for a new label created by my booking agency, Source Artists.
I’m also currently working on more music for other labels, but I can’t say more at the moment because it’s all still in the works.
I know you love playing Live as well as DJ sets, but do you have a preference?
I enjoy both, as they really complement each other. Performing live, I get the chance to present all the music I produce in the studio, and I can also give a new life to tracks I’ve already released because I’m able to arrange them differently on the fly. It’s nice to play tracks that sounds familiar but always different.
Perhaps DJing allows me to be more versatile – for example I can drop a classic that everyone knows in the middle of the set, whereas with a live set it could be an hour of unreleased music, so I have to work differently on stage.
I started playing live to keep challenging myself, after being exclusively a DJ for so many years. So now it’s a nice to be able to do both.
What’s your favorite piece of hardware?
It’s a bit of cliché but I would say my TR-909.
How different do a Bloody Mary DJ set and Live set sound?
With a live set I’m usually limited to 1 hour. As I’ve produced a lot of acid, my current live set is pretty… acidic.
During the pandemic I’ve been working on a completely new live set full of unreleased music, so I can’t wait to play it out when things open up again. My DJ sets on the other hand can cross genres depending on the vibe, time and location of the party. DJ sets also allow me to play for hours which means I have more time to connect with the crowd.
What’s your favorite food?
I love Mexican food and anything that’s spicy. I’m also addicted to avocado.
And here is a Q I am sure you’ve been asked countless times… is Bloody Mary your favorite drink?
Maybe if you had have asked me years ago, I would’ve probably answered that a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning isn’t a crime, is it? But at the moment, to be honest my favorite drink in the morning is a big green juice!
Ok, one last question about a return to the dance floor. How are things looking there and how hopeful do you feel about being able to make people dance at a club or warehouse in 2021?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been fortunate to be able to host my Dame-Music showcases at HÖR radio here in Berlin. The next one will be on 25th May where I’ve invited my friend Alienata for a special b2b.
I’ve also done a couple of streams for United We Stream and Room Trax, which has allowed me to keep reaching my community while being in lockdown. I’m really grateful for all these opportunities.
In Berlin we’re still in lockdown, at the time of answering these questions there’s still no fixed date about when clubs and events can start up again. I’m keeping positive and of course we all want to be back in the clubs as soon as possible, but for the moment health is the priority and we all need to take care and keep safe