AIDA (RU), Weng Weng, Jamaica Suk
A lifelong musician and experimenter, Jamaica Suk has fused her jazz and metal roots from the Bay Area California with a feel for soulful techno, a combination that makes her at home leading driving dancefloor workouts across Europe. With her own vinyl label Gradient and accompanying event series, atop extensive activity as DJ and producer, she has found in Berlin a platform for the breadth of her musical versatility.
In her signature distorted melodies and hints of melancholic bass guitar, you might hear where Jamaica started - studying bass guitar in her teens, playing in jazz and grindcore, math rock and shoegaze bands, before getting deep into the Bay Area’s house and techno underground. Jazz musician by day, DJ by night, she quickly became established throwing monthly parties at 222 Hyde Street and in grimy area warehouses. Technology was an early passion, too, including completing an Audio Engineering program at San Francisco’s respected Pyramid. That combination of technology and musical chops, meeting with an intuition for minimalism and repetition from Reich and Pan Sonic to techno classics, perfectly set up the move to Berlin.
Based in the German capital since 2012, Jamaica has honed her pro- duction language, working in a studio tucked above the hedonistic dance labyrinths of the Wilden Renate club. And with equal parts German and Pacific, her music has earned a following for its postmodern, melodic narratives, soul and industrial sounds in balance.
On the production side, that’s meant a steady stream of releases on some revered boutique labels, including for Face to Face, Sub tl, and on vinyl for L.A.G. Keeping with the milieu of producing for the discerning digger, she now turns her aesthetic perfectionism to her vinyl-only Gradient, debuting with her own music and remixes, and the paired Gradient Nights club series.
Fresh from a 2018 US tour, Jamaica continues to be a headline mainstay on the club circuit, including being a regular anchor of the kinky, red-hot Pornceptual party. Look out for her upcoming shows for Feel Festival, Milkshake Festival in Amsterdam, and Warsaw, Smolna.
2018 promises a packed calendar, plus new releases on Gradient and Establishment. Jamaica’s musical wellspring looks deep, indeed.