Having quickly risen as one of the most dyamic woman artists within the Techno scene thanks to her voice, unique style, and explosive DJ sets, Louisaaah has collaborated with Maelstrom releasing three EPs while creating her RAAR imprint with a steady stream of releases. Louisahhh’s prolific activities also include a BBC1 residence, solo output, and a steady hand in virtually every facet of her own output.
Now, with the remix package “IVT?” available and featuring diverse interpretations from France’s Chloé and pioneering dub Producer Mad Professor, Louisaaah expands on “The Poetics of Relation,” giving insight into her own collaborative approach, as well as an exclusive (and highly personal) playlist describing how music and relationships have been intertwined in her own life.
Here, we’re discussing the “poetics if relation” within artistic collaboration. For your recent collaboration with Dave Clarke, ‘Is Vic There,’ how would you describe this dynamic between Dave and yourself?
I find that I often naturally arrive in a challenging dynamic, especially with people whom I respect, like Dave, where I both seek and combat authority. I want to be given direction, but I am hyper-resistant when it comes. We have managed to work through this as friends, and it’s been a lot of growth and learning from each other in terms of both music and human interaction. I am super grateful for a friend like him.
Roughly, how do you approach the potential of artistic collaboration? Do you actively seek to incorporate collaborative pieces in your overall body of work?
I love collaboration; it’s quite necessary for me, actually; I find my best work happens when I focus on my strengths and ask for help with my weaknesses. I’ve been lucky to have some truly fantastic creative partners without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today.
For you as an artist, what kind of effect has Dave Clarke’s body of work and presence within the industry has on your own career/approach to art?
I’ve been a fan of Dave since I first heard ‘She’s in Parties’ in 2003, when I was first starting to DJ. This sweet spot of techno-punk that Dave has occupied – dare I say created – has been really inspiring for a lot of my work, and his general attitude as an artist is really admirable, really forging his own way since day one. It’s been interesting, because he has been so lovely and personable since the beginning of our friendship that I often forget that he’s ‘quite a big deal’, but I know my 17 year old self would explode with delight at the opportunity to work with him.
‘Is Vic There’ is a cover of a Department S song, which had been important to Dave growing up. What was your familiarity with the artist and track prior to this collaboration?
I was unfamiliar with the track and the artist, though I have a strong interest in punk and post punk, this one slipped by me. I was introduced to it when Dave sent a youtube clip of the ‘Top of the Pops’ performance of the song.
On the latest EP, the track is also remixed from Mad Professor and Chloe, two artists very diverse in their own respective “scenes”. As a remixer, there is a different kind of artistic relationship there, given that it’s more an interpretation than a direct collaboration. How do you see the role of the remixer within the wider artistic ecosystem?
Again, in terms of playing to my own strengths, I prefer to approach remixes as covers of songs, and I appreciate when other artists do the same. Interpretation, appropriation, I like when an artist is taken enough by a track that they want to make it their own. This is actually how Dave and I met – on ‘Rough and Tender’ from me and Maelstrom, Dave left ‘this needs a remix J ‘ in the DJ feedback, so we asked him for a remix. He did a killer job, that song ended up being on his ‘Charcoal Eyes’ remix compilation.
Can you describe a bit about the playlist you have put together? How are you defining the “poetics of relation? Is this an idea you have considered in the past?
The title ‘Poetics of Relation’ actually came from a book by Creole writer, Edouard Glissant, in which the author articulates that the key to reshaping societies and transforming mentalities lies in playing with, exploring and understanding relationship to and between self and surroundings. This resonates with the fact that these songs in the playlist have both informed and changed my relationships, and the relationships have transformed the way I hear the songs to which they are attached. Hence, both the way I exist in the present, relate to the past, move into the future is affected by the music and the people described in some kind of infinite ripple effect. Wild, that.
Louisahhh’s “Poetics of Relation” Playlist continues on next page