Photo: Press (La Fleur)
La Fleur been busy for almost a decade now and shows no signs of stopping. When the Berlin-based Swede is not maintaining her residency at Watergate or touring the world, she is also running her own Power Plant label. Having just debuted on Truesoul with a new two-track EP, her contribution to our Groove podcast seamlessly brings together old gems and new favourites.
You’ve held a residency at Watergate for quite some time now. In your opinion, what is the main responsibility of a good resident DJ and how do you try to keep things interesting for the Watergate crowd?
The main responsibility or maybe the advantage of a resident DJ is that you get to know the club, the rooms, the sound system, the crowd (even if it may vary on nights) very well. It feels like your living room and you learn how to work the rooms. Your job is also often to do warm up sets, which is an very important job and part of the evening. A good warm up DJ sets the mood right, preparing the crowd for the main act to be able to their best job.
After re-releasing your 2010 debut single “Flowerhead” the year after it came out, you reworked your breakthrough track again in 2016. What made you come back to it?
First time I released, in 2010, it was vinyl only. The distributor WordAndSound was starting a new label and wanted to license the Flowerhead track and suggested Spencer Parker do a remix. Funnily enough Spencer had already finished a remix for me, we weren’t planning to release it but he just loved the track so much he wanted to do his version of it. So it all came together very nicely and that’s why it got re-released also digitally in 2011. Why I came back to it again in 2016 was because I wanted to celebrate the label turning five years and for me Flowerhead meant a lot, it was my first release and it was the track that initiated the start of Power Plant. So I released it on vinyl and digitally with remixes by Cassy and Dana Ruh as part of the 5 year celebration.
“Flowerhead” also marked the beginning of your Power Plant label, where since 2010 you have released several of your own EPs and two of Jesper Ryom’s, as well as a mini compilation. Which role does the label play in your career, what’s the concept behind it?
Power Plant is a platform for creative freedom, a breeding ground for different creative projects I want to do, with music always at its core and with a strong visual side to it. On Power Plant I can release when I want, what I want.
Power Planet’s releases all have very distinct artworks and you have worked with different illustrators for them, even launching a fashion line some years ago. How do you choose your collaborators and what’s important to you when it comes to the records’ designs?
For me the visual part of things always has been very important. When I started the label I wanted to have artwork on the covers, that I could see hanging on my wall as well. For every release I try to find a connection between the music and the artwork. It’s time consuming and sometimes frustrating but, also I find a lot of pleasure in searching for the artwork for each release. I have many stories from these searches, from being invited to the gallery opening to see the painting ‘live’ to be invited to their home for dinner and afterwards going through thousands of negatives searching for the picture. All these things and the reward when I find what I was looking for makes it all worth it double fold. PPR001 – PPR007 somehow had a similar style to them, I found a red thread, although made by different illustrators. PPR008 started a new chapter and a new era of the artworks which I’m excited to show you more of in 2018.
For “Exhaust” on your new Truesoul single, you have sampled a video by the German-born author Eckhart Tolle whose work is dedicated to questions of spirituality. How did you come across that section and which function does it play in the track?
Browsing the world wide web can take you places… and the woman asking the question was intriguing and it is an interesting question. I would say the track is build around the sample and I wanted to let her question be free in the music.
In your contribution to our Groove mix, you also work with some other prominent spoken word bits and and tracks that rely on vocal samples. How did you select the tracks for the mix and what was your idea behind it?
I actually had in mind and thought I would end up somewhere else with the mix, it became much softer than I thought it would be when I was thinking about it and starting it. But then these tracks fell into place quite naturally and I let them. It’s a mixture of new and old, how I usually play, some favourites just now and some old gems and the message is to feel it. Whatever it makes you feel.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer and label owner?
I’m going to Paraguay first weekend in February which is exciting because I have never been. Then also travel some more with a long-haul flight to Buenos Aires, also for the first time. I’m going back for some Miami Music Week madness in March too. European key shows are at Tobacco Dock in London, Copenhagen’s Culture Box and Snowbombing to mention some. I’m working on an album, but I don’t want to stress it, it’s ready when it’s ready. Also in the pipeline is to finish the long overdue collab track with Sasha. Will release an EP on Watergate in spring as well as I working on music for my label Power Plant and we might see the return of Jesper Ryom as well as a new face on the label. This year will hopefully see the fruits of a lot of hard work done in 2017 and I’m not planning on slowing down in 2018.
Stream: La Fleur – Groove Podcast 143
01. Arkajo – Groove Ett (Aniara Recordings)
02. Peace Division – Feel It (Peace Division Re-issues)
03. Genious Of Times – Netscape (Aniara Recordings)
04. Bugsy ft Astroloop – Ghost Song (Boo Williams Chicago Ghost Mix) (Freerange)
05. Mathias Kaden – Nova (Atmospheric Version) (Ovum)
06. La Fleur – Exhaust (Truesoul)
07. Manpower – El Mago Del Tiempo (DGTL Records)
08. Knutsson & Berg – Taggen (Idle Hands)
09. La Fleur – Fish Truck (Truesoul)
10. DK8 – Murder Was the Bass (DK Records)
11. Hans Berg – Bubbel Trubbel (Silvershower Remix) (Montage)
12. Alexi Delano – Slam That Bass Baby (SVEK)