Whether or not you’ve been paying attention to this year’s best rising DJs, one thing is for certain: Molly is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon capable of mixing some of the most gorgeous deep house with techno in a deeply effective fashion.
Her own recent productions have been emotional affairs, like the track “Si Seulement” from her brand new ‘Waves‘ EP on Giegling – a 5am sunrise stomper constructed in a single take as a way to process the ending of a relationship. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, Molly’s music represents the spirit of some of the most well-loved emotional electronic music of the past years, including former Giegling affiliate Traumprinz.
To celebrate the release of her new record, we caught up with the ever-personable Molly to find out more about her musical upbringing, the making-of ‘Waves’ and why she ultimately decided to release her EP on Giegling. Molly also suggests ways in which younger women can get involved with electronic music culture.
Interview by Tom Durston & Will Long
"This is a mix of deep and house-y tracks. Music that evokes emotion and inspires me"
First up please tell us about your mix, the atmosphere you have created, the tracks that you have included and where/when/how it was recorded?
The mix was recorded last week in my new home in Barcelona. My original intention was to make an ambient mix as I really love this music but at the same time there are some tunes that I love playing at the moment and thought that it was good to share them. This is a mix of deep and house-y tracks, music that evokes emotion and that inspires me… I promise next time I’ll do an ambient mix! :)
Let’s rewind to the beginning – do you remember when music was first introduced to you as a child? Was it through playing an instrument, listening to the radio or through your family?
In my family no one was into music. We were into horse riding – I was completely dedicated to that throughout my childhood, even when I was a teenager. We were mostly listening to the radio but my mum was also buying my sister and I some 45’s – the first one was “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. She also bought us a couple of CDs, and I every time we had to travel I spent days listening to the radio to make compilations on cassettes for the journey.
What records and artists first pricked your ears and provoked you to explore music further?
I come from a rock/pop music culture, so one of the first records I discovered in electronic music was Aphex Twin “Windowlicker“. There’s also this album, “Berlinette” by Ellen Allien, which was one of the first electronic music records I bought. All those sounds were completely new for me… Daft Punk of course and I must also mention “Decompression” from Mathew Jonson.
When did you first start venturing out to clubs, exploring record stores and generally getting involved with the Parisian electronic music community and culture?
It all happened at once – I was studying in Toulouse and was going to rock/pop concerts. I never went to clubs. I thought that the only music you could get in clubs or the ‘discotheque’ was commercial dance music.
Then I spent some time in London and discovered proper clubs. I fell in love with the sound and the scene instantly. When I back to France I started to collect records and bought a pair of turntables and started to explore the night scene. Then I moved to Paris for my studies and discovered the club scene there… I was going to Rex, Le Pulp, le Tryptique, Batofar etc.
At the same time I was exploring the scene as I knew that it was what I wanted to focus on. I got my masters degree in communication/PR and a few months later I was employed by Rex Club as Communications Manager. I literally jumped head first into the Parisian scene.
How did you first get into experimenting with your own music? Would you identify yourself as primarily a producer or a DJ?
I was DJing first. For the first few years I thought production wasn’t for me. I love spending time digging at records stores and markets. I was also working full time and did not have the time explore the production side.
I did a few remixes first, because I could not say no to them and for me it was way to step into production. When I stopped working two years ago it became obvious that this is what I wanted to do. So I started to take time to explore production and to find a studio. I would say that I am a DJ primarily and a producer secondly, though now I am spending most of my time in the studio.
Do you remember the first record you bought and where you purchased it from?
I think it was at this records store in Toulouse called Vicious Circle. It was Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.
Working at Rex Club must have taught you a lot about the industry and connected an abundance of likeminded people. Looking back at this time, what do you feel you learnt the most?
It is true that working in the Rex office for 10 years brought me a lot in terms of music. I had the chance to discover lots of artists and really build my electronic music culture there. But when I was working there, I separated my work from my passion for DJing. I always saw it as a passion and never planned to evolve on the other side like I do now.
I can say that being on the other side taught me about the economy of a club and what you should not do as a DJ :). It gave me the chance to meet lots of people and the chance to build a friendship with some artists who really supported me when I started my career.
But I never pushed myself – my colleagues at REX were always pushing me to play, which is how I got my residency there. So many times, DJs were discovering that I was DJing, and asking me “why didn’t you ever tell us that you also play?” I was always too shy and never thought that there were also a place for me behind the decks :)
"Corsica is where I get my inspiration from and is where I can rest my mind and escape the madness of the scene. This is why the record is named - Waves"
Lets talk about the present – you’ve just released ‘Waves’ EP on Giegling – please tell us about the music contained within it – where you wrote the tracks, how long you’ve been working on them, what you think of when you listen back to the music and anything else you’d like to share about the release.
This release contains 4 tracks. The first track, ‘FIRE‘, was produced almost 2 years ago – I was doing my first tour to Canada & USA, and spending the winter in Miami. A very good friend moved to Montreal so when I went to play there I visited her and met some of her friends. There was this woman, Do Mi, and we directly connected. She has an amazing voice and she offered me to sing on my tracks if I wanted to . Following the tour in LA, in the plane, I produced the track, sent it to her, made some edits… and there it is!!!
‘Si Seulement‘ was produced a year ago – I put a lot of my emotions in this track and it’s the one which as a very special signification to me. I was not feeling that good at that time, having a break in my relationship with my boyfriend. Everything was very confusing and every-time I went into the studio I could not focus on music at all, but then one afternoon, I don’t know how but it all came together in 3 hours. I usually rework my tracks but I did not touch this one, so when I listen to the track, all the feelings from that time flood back to me.
‘Where It Never Ends‘ and ‘Calypso‘ were produced later this year, mostly in Corsica where I spend a lot of time during the summer. Corsica is where I get my inspiration from and is where I can rest my mind and escape the madness of the scene. This is why the record is named ‘Waves‘. I really love to watch and listen to the waves, it gives me lots of energy and relief. There are also some waves sound recordings in the tracks.
Let’s talk about the artwork – I understand that it is customary for you to design your own artwork for the release – what was your concept behind it?
I really loved the idea – and the record has even more value to you if you design your own cover. The theme was to draw a pattern, so I chose to make a pattern with those little waves. I took me several hours to do it but I’m super excited to have it in my mind now!
How would you say Waves EP differs to your previous ‘Needs’ EP released on Groovement?
I put a lot of myself in each track and the one on Groovement also has its own story, this release on Giegling is a lot more personal and deeper too. This is not a “club” release but something you can listen to at home.
Giegling has quite the tarnished reputation – specifically with women in music. Deciding to release music on the label must have been a difficult one to make. Please can you tell us your reasoning behind this and for being affiliated with the label?
Well, I was expecting this question… :)
I first met Konstantin 2 years ago at a festival at which we were both performing. We made an instant connection over music and he soon invited me to play at Giegling events. Soon I met the other artists from the Giegling family and from those first meetings onwards I was always made to feel entirely welcome – I have counted them as true friends and genuine supporters of my career ever since.
All of this was before last year’s Groove interview. Just before that happened, I had sent Konstantin some tracks I had been working on and he expressed a wish to release them on the label. When the Groove interview and reaction to it happened, Konstantin and the label were scared that the decision to release my record on the label at that time would be seen as a reaction to the controversy, and not the genuine support of me as an artist.
But then we decided to do it, no matter what people might say. I know for a fact that my record was signed to the label on musical merit alone. For anyone to think otherwise would be enormously sexist.
"In order to inspire younger women we need to share our knowledge and experiences"
What do you think should be done to further the discourse and get more women involved with electronic music culture?
In order to get more women involve in the music industry we should develop education and workshops for younger women to get into the electronic music scene. In order to inspire younger women we need to share our knowledge and experiences.
This is how I see it. I’m supporting women in the scene and still think that there are not enough, but I have the feeling that it’s getting better. But I am also conflicted when I see posts from activists demanding festivals book 50% of women on their line-up.
As someone who programs her own events I do not feel programming for festivals or events should be based primarily on gender and not the quality of the artists. That’s not an evolution for me – it’s the opposite. I always prefer to be booked on the strength of my music, not my gender.
Let’s focus on education. I currently teach electronic music production to 14 years old kids. And this is for me, as a woman, is the way to show these teenage girls that woman can do it ;)
Can you recommend any under the radar DJs and producers that we should check out?
Sadly I don’t go out so much at the moment to discover new DJs but for producers I can name Modern House Quintet, a French and super-talented producer. He is actually doing the next release on my label, RDV…
Looking at the year ahead, you’re scheduled to deejay at Waking Life 2019 in Portugal – I’m guessing you’ve been in attendance since the first edition of the festival. For those that have not attended – what is it that makes Waking Life such a unique experience?
I only experienced Waking Life last summer, in 2018 and it was one of the highlights of the year. At other festivals where we play, we don’t normally take the time to stay and enjoy the festival and other acts. I heard such good feedback about Waking Life and the lineup was fantastic – so I took the weekend off to stay there and to get into this unique and very special Waking Life atmosphere.
The location is perfect, it’s by the lake and it is also an eco-responsible festival – all stages and decorations are handmade, and on each stage, you can find very high quality acts. The festival has a bit of a “hippy” vibe that takes you from the beginning. Everyone is super nice, and you spend 3 days with the sensation of floating. I’m super happy to be back and I really recommend this special experience to anyone!
When can we expect an album release from you?
It’s on the plan – I’m starting to work on it this winter. I don’t have any specific plans for it yet – I just want to lock myself in the studio and let my emotions & feelings talk through the music.
What was your top album / EP from 2018?
There are a lot, but i would name a few:
– Vril – Haus
– Magnetophonique – une cartographie idéale
– Shinichi Atobe – Heat
– Grand River – Pineapple
– Lawrence – Illusion
– Wbeeza – The OD ep
– Roman Flugel – Themes
– The Sea & Cake – Any day
– Dominique Fils-Aimé – Nameless
Finally is there anything else that you would like to share?
‘Waves’ EP is out now on Giegling, order a copy from Phonica.
Cover photo by Flavien Prioreau
1. Dj Normal – Aeo Ft Aenx (Ottertasia Mix)
2. Dj Assam – Banana Split
3. Seb Wildblood – Landing
4. Molly – Si Seulement
5. Christopher Rau – Utoplateau
6. Abacus – Basic Amounts
7. Map.ache – Moment of Youth
8. Motorbass – Ezio
9. Lake People – It’s World is one we seldom visit
10. Carl Craig – Crackdown
11. Nature Boy – The Major Enemy
12. Aril Brikha – Departure time
13. Seb Wildblood – Bad Space habits
14. V.A Bjorn Borg
15. Vanity Press – R.E.M Dance
16. Romanthony – Ministry of Love (Andres version)