Photo: Press (Nightwave)
If you ever feel tired of raving, there’s a remedy for that and it’s called Nightwave. Having grown up in Slovenia, Maya Medvešek absorbed every possible dance music style and refined her craft as a DJ and producer after moving to Glasgow, where her versatile sets were greeted with just the right amount of excitement. For the Heka Trax founder, contributing a mix to our Groove podcast means coming full circle, having read the magazine “religiously” as a budding DJ, as she says herself.
You’ve recently pondered on Twitter whether or not to start a podcast in which you’d talk ” consciousness, shamanism, spirituality, magic” with other musicians. What draws you to these topics – and why discuss them specifically with musicians?
These studies are big part of my life and a lot of other artists I know but it’s rarely explored more publicly. I feel music is a healer and goes hand in hand with spirituality and consciousness, both for creators and the audience and the lack of that aspect creates imbalance. Perhaps that’s why mental illness is a big problem in our community. It’s heavily focused on escapism, hedonism, achievement and that only leads to burn out. I’ve made some big changes in my life a few years ago with shamanic and Buddhist practices and would love to share these amazing tools with everyone – I’ve started organising retreats and workshops, too.
A lot of your releases and tracks like “Wavejumper” or “Fantazia” and “Limelight” on Sanctuary, refer to seminal projects like Drexciya or certain institutions that played a big role in the development of dance music. Which importance does this scene’s history have for you as a DJ and, more importantly, producer? Would you consider yourself a sort of mediator of this history for your audience?
Those particular tracks were indeed meant as paying direct homage, I love going back to to music that inspired me from the beginning and the euphoria I felt when I first heard it. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug! I need to feel those emotions to really get started on a track. Don’t think this music needs any mediation though, Detroit, Chicago and rave legacy is always thriving and morphing into new things as it evolves.
With your new EP Rainbow Body, you have inaugurated Dixon Avenue Basement Jams‘ new Neutralizer imprint. It includes a track featuring ghetto house revivalist Martyn Bootyspoon and an electro cut recorded together with Marnie. What draws you to collaborating with others?
I love working with vocalists and see my production come alive! It’s a challenge I’ve always enjoyed but working with another producer is a bit more difficult, maybe I live in my own world too much. I wanted to add an inspiring “Transition” dimension to “Quadratic Mind” and Jason aka Bootyspoon did an amazing job, he’s just a brilliant producer and vocalist. It’s been an honour to have Marnie from Ladytron add some vocals to “Transmute”, she’s a real legend.
Your Nightrave series in Glasgow’s La Cheetah Club puts a heavy emphasis on British club sounds. What’s important to you when programming those events, which occasionally have a certain style or label as their focus?
Nightrave is in its 6th year residency now, I work closely with La Cheetah Club to bring over different artists we love. I love high energy music so we always try and create a bit of a rave, as the name suggests. We’ve had all sorts of people play over the years-Lone, DJ Deeon, Laurel Halo, DJ Bone, Ikonika… and sometimes it’s my friends and me or me all night. It’s just an excuse for a party, really!
Apart from your work as a producer, DJ and event organiser, you and others also host the Producergirls workshops aimed at young women. What do these workshops usually focus on in terms of music production?
Producergirls workshops mainly focus on encouraging and inspiring beginners – often the challenge is to keep that inspiration running once they’ve learned the basics. Ableton is a brilliant and intuitive program, so that really helps but production is not always fun and can be very frustrating so people give up – I’ve been there so many times myself! We teach them how to build a track but it’s not exclusive to electronic music, we teach them how to record instruments, vocals and a bit of engineering, so it’s quite versatile.
What was the idea behind your contribution to our Groove podcast?
This podcast is a big deal for me as I read Groove mag religiously as a budding DJ in late 90s Slovenia. We had no internet obviously so I relied on Groove to see what’s up! It’s a full circle for me to now be contributing a mix to the Groove podcast! The mix is my usual mix of new and old stuff but a bit more percussive, trippy and driving, with my usual ravey finish at the end. There’s so much good music out now so I always try and share new promos I get.
Your own Heka Trax label has been silent since last year, however you have talked about launching a new. How far have those plans progressed?
The last Heka Trax release was with the fabulous Schlachthofbronx and Gappy Ranks in June 2018 but I’ve released nothing since, mainly because I really had to choose how to spend my energy, it’s just become impossible to do so many things at once as much as I love running a label and I’m proud of all the varied music Heka Trax released. There is a new project waiting to be launched but I’m taking my time.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer?
I have an EP for Musar coming out in Autumn and there’s a couple others waiting to be released. I’ve got Kelburn and TRNSMT festivals coming up and I’m coming over to Australia and Asia again later in the year.
Stream: Nightwave – Groove Podcast 214
01. Lone – How Can You Tell
02. Ronan – Surface Dive
03. Nightwave – Dakini Dance
04. Spencer Parker – When You Gonna Learn (Mella Dee Mix)
05. Kamu – Spanka Clawz
06. Maelstrom – Mine
07. Shedbug – Aciidmuzik
08. Photonz – Emerald City
09. UK Gold – Agent Wood (Get Fucked Mix)
10. Falcon Black Ops – Five
11. Gunnar Haslam – Seasick Version
12. Oli Furness – Roll That Booty
13. Rozski – Midwest
14. AISHA – Soft Grey Trackie
15. Dead Letter Drop #1
16. Chrissy – Hold On Tight