Süz, a human girl, was manufactured sometime in the early Eighties. Some experts claim 1981 as an exact year. Early on it was decided by persons unknown that she would be continually programmed in the ways of music. Some of her first exposures to..
Süz, a human girl, was manufactured sometime in the early Eighties. Some experts claim 1981 as an exact year. Early on it was decided by persons unknown that she would be continually programmed in the ways of music. Some of her first exposures to rhythmic sound were her older brother's dancehall and gritty pop-noir records. She would later be inspired by his turntables and mixing at the age of 8. Playing with records was not enough however. She moved onto instruments, such as the piano, and would recreate melodies she heard buzzing on the radio.
After hearing electronic music in 1994 on a community radio program, she found the type of music that she was the most excited about playing herself. After years of immersing herself in the music and learning its language, in 2000 she was presenting the sounds to new ears herself on two decks, four decks, in Traktor, and now LIVE in Ableton.
With her name officially selected and refined turntable skills, in 2004 she co-founded O2 in the Basement, a regular event that happens on moonlit Friday and Saturday nights. This event also services as the perfect excuse for her to get together with her fellow hooligans to break things and heckle attendees. In addition to the regular appearances, she manages to have irregular appearances across North America. To further satisfy her need to provide wonderful sounds to the masses, she also co-hosts a regular radio show on 101.5 UMFM. The show entitled Alter Ego Radio has been broadcasting since 2001, and has won awards for strong characters such as Charisma.
By 2005 this feminine misfit was constructing her own original compositions, You can find Süz's remixes and original material on labels like: Archipel, de'fchild, Pinksilver, Produkt Schallplatten, Italo Business, and Unfoundsound, to name a few.
Oh, and if you happen to bump into her on some foggy evening, just pray that you are armed with a gin and soda. Then perhaps she will leave you alone and play your favorite song at one of her events.
URBNET: Since your growth in Winnipeg has expanded past Canada's borders what musical knowledge and worldly ties have you gained from that?
Süz: It has been a real honor working with various artists locally and from all over the globe. Experiencing different people from all cultures has been rewarding in all ways, musically, and for personal growth and development. I find that although the world is a huge place, upon my encounters, it didn’t seem as large as anticipated. A part of my growth as an artist stemmed from my realization that the world is indeed a “small world.” I have discovered that people have so many similarities (small and large) no matter how many miles of ocean are in-between or if they are only a few feet away. It didn’t matter. This demonstrated that our environment, education systems, social class, race, sex, the media, etc – do not compromise who we are as an entirety, and are certainly not the inevitable influence on our identities. I’ve always loved music for the following reason: It can be the tie when everything else fails. I say Potato, you say Potaaaahto, I say it in English, and you say it in French -- who cares!! You are still able to communicate because of music. There is unity in music, man or monster. It’s a place to feel home. We tend to think that we have to travel the world for personal growth and development, or to find ourselves – I say, open up an album or attend a festival – Never have those failed me.
Your first 12” release was with your studio mate Layborn on De'fchild. When the word came did you think it was going to continue on with more vinyl releases or were you focusing on net lebals?
Releasing music in any form to me is an honor. You can’t kill the classics made from wax, and you cant deny the Mp3 movement. I plan to venture into both, and contribute my work for vinyl and Mp3. I look at all labels who approach me as a whole and dig to discover whether they have integrity, are quality, and are molded by the very same aesthetics that I stand for. If all adds up, I participate. Wax… Digi... I don’t see one being higher or mightier, therefore, they are both equal catalysts.
Working with De'fchild spawn some ties with the Mutek promotion crew in Montreal, is this how your relationship evolved with them to play at their festival?
In 07 I was given the opportunity to perform at Piknic Electronik for an Archipel Showcase. Each artist on the roster is a member of the Archipel Family (and who all love the label dearly). I’ve been a supporter of Mutek as a Media Representative, and as an aural participant for the past 5 years, so I was ecstatic when I was asked by Pheek (founder of Archipel) to perform. Piknic was always my favorite event at Mutek year after year. In my own head I always had a vision of playing for them and knew that one day I would get to experience it. I am patient when it comes to music, and I feel that when I receive a booking it’s because I earned it through hard work, and through my love and dedication to music, and not because I knew the right people or had inside connections. I rather NOT play if the latter half was the case. Anyhoo, why I’m ranting oh so much about Montreal and Piknic and even Mutek is because there is something endearing and almost surreal about the crowd that I’ve never encountered before. I’ve never experienced such a vast amount of people who are simply there because of the music. They embraced it like it was their last dance. That’s how it should be ALL THE TIME. I think I’m still buzzing, and I hope to return soon.
How was your experience performing Live and what feedback you got were you able to take it home and utilize it for future performances & studio work?
I’ve Dj’d the old 1’s and 2’s for many many years. I hold nothing against it. However it wasn’t doing anything for me anymore. I really felt like I wanted to manipulate my music more than a simple tweak and twiddle on a mixer. A bored performer is not good for anyone, the crowd nor herself. So I decided to change it up. At the time I was producing in Ableton and was considering using its Dj capabilities but decided against it. Eventually I want to do my own Live PA sets with only my own music and something told me that I should save that particular program for when I was ready to embark on that adventure. SO, I was shown Traktor, which I (before) held a torch and pitchfork to. It wasn’t until I started to really understand it, is when I finally developed a real appreciation and an excitement for it. Traktor allows me to DJ 4 decks all at one time, using Fx chains and looping techniques. It also allows me to personalize each set so that it’s always an exciting experience. The “on the fly” or semi-live quality enhanced my improvisation skills, which I feel is essential in any performance. My production has also changed slightly, catering to what I would play in Traktor. With all the commotion going on right now about digital vs analogue– I humbly praise the Mp3 age and I support any program that allows the artist to perform to his maximum capabilities…. and that’s all I’m going to say about that because we’ll never get through this interview.
Seeing how programs like Traktor & Ableton's Live has been your backbone to creating your sounds and sets where do you think software like this will head in the future?
So, it looks like I’m still required to talk about the digital age. Sighs ;) Honestly it’s a topic that annoys me half to death. I will leave it at this: It boils down to a few things. It’s a matter of preference and keeping a forward momentum in musical development. I don’t care about the means anyone uses to showcase their talents. However, I’m also not saying that I will clap to a pre-recorded set either (because some artists somehow do get away with that). We are all different, so we should all respect our unique and subjective ways to communicate what is essentially our soul. Albeit records or Ableton Live, show me what you got (and make it good) ;) Evolution and technology IS going to keep on happening, so the “Long Live Wax and Say Nope to Mp3’s” picketers might find more comfort saving their breath. No one really knocks the DJ for playing records, so in all fairness, no one should knock someone for experimenting with new technology. Keep it fun, keep it endearing, and keep it about music (and shut up already, sheesh!) ;);)
I wanna ask another question re yer minimal sounds/roots and now yer…as you mentioned the track isn’t minimal
When I started to produce my own music, the only concern I had was to make what was Me. I have no boundaries or no rules that I follow to fit in any specific genre. I’ve dabbled into downtempo, Dub Step, Minimal, and some House. People will call my music many things, and I actually enjoy hearing the vast differences in description and categorization, but I smile when they always finish with “it still has that Suz sound.” Every day I feel specific to that day alone, and I make what I feel. My inspirations are my experiences and like the weather, it can be anything. On days I feel disconnected, and creations are at a halt, I like to repeat the words: “Don’t spend your time finding your sound, allow the sound to find you.” Shortly after hearing and believing these small yet powerful words, my receptors are instantly back on track and the notes begin to fly.