Introducing Interview: Meduse MagiQ

Meduse MagiQ is an innovative arts collective and music label based in Amsterdam. It serves as a community focused on sound that supports locals bands and artists to explore music through collaboration, art, performance and exhibition.

We spoke to its founders to find out more…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears!  Can you tell us a bit about Meduse MagiQ and how it all started?
Meduse MagiQ is a sound and art collective driven by our love for music. We are a record label, a radio station and a recording studio that are located in the centre of Amsterdam in a building with a theatre, a venue and a vegetarian restaurant called ‘Plantage Dok’. We share our headquarters with 50 creatives consisting of artists, ngo’s, food waste collectives, tattoo artists and experimental composers. We started the Meduse MagiQ collective a couple of years ago when we decided it was time for a community that was about sound and only sound. We wanted to support our local bands, artists and our creative network and bring back the focus to art and music. I can see at Meduse MagiQ you are focused on giving musicians their own voice and space to explore music through collaboration, art, performance and exhibition.

What have you been most proud of so far at Meduse MagiQ?
We are dreamers. The most proud we are of daring to dream and the materialization of those dreams. All projects, collaboration and tours came from an open and curious mind. Blue Crime driving 9500km trough Canada, Spill Gold going trough Switzerland and filming in the snowy mountains, making new records in China, the Moon Festival, our research in the Sahara desert and our summer festival in a small french Village in the south are all examples and started with a simple conversation in our studio. We never say no to the possibility of a sonic adventure.

So you’re both in bands – Blue Crime and Spill Gold – can you tell me about about them?
Our bands and musical collectives are a creative group of people where everyone is equally important, whatever it is that they do in the band. We go for unity. Spill Gold is a psychedelic three-piece that unwinds vivid, spiralling stories with their eerie yet persistent songs and brings listeners into a trance-like state. They saw the sirens– and just like that, as they were sitting in the rain, daydreaming on a foggy mountain trip with Japhy Ryder, witnessed the rising of an unusual new moon. A revelation that would not be contained, an unrelenting vision that demanded to be shared. Blue Crime’s stars have a gloomy shine, inspired by myths and dreams and parallel universes. Earth felt too low; space is the place. They started out as a glowworm in a dark atom shelter, and emerged as eerie moonpop, growing grittier in time. Call it moonpsych, noisefolk, call it earthquakes with guitars and vocal eclipses. Or just feel it, and call it nothing at all. Be it love or hate, dark or light… Blue Crime shows no mercy for the sober and cold-hearted.

What are your thoughts about female representation in the music industry? 
We love females in the music industry. We love guys in the music industry too. We love genderless. It is true that at the moment the balance between men and women is rather disturbed, like in many parts of society and the world. This is why we like to support women creators and we choose to program them. We don’t think it is important to explicitly focus on gender. A musician is a musician,  whether they are man, woman, both or none. We do think it is important to bring back balance. We should all support each other and create equal chances and conditions. It’s everyone’s job to protect diversity in the music industry. The more diversity there is the more interesting it gets. Music is about free expression and that means that every musician is free to be whatever they are. We think it’s important to focus on the artists’ music instead of their appearance or gender.

If someone wanted to get involved with Meduse MagiQ, would they be able to? If so, how?
Yes they would. Come visit our headquarters. Everyone is welcome to write us if they want to get involved in any way. Mail or letter, sonically or images, feel free to connect. You can find all information on www.medusemagiq.com

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Ada Gadass is our newest project. It consists of a continuous sound wave inspired by the Desert. Spill Gold just has an EP out on our label, called Mercury that they will tour in Canada and Blue Crime is off to China to record ‘Xinshi’, their new art project with a Chinese poet and tour. Soon we’ll start our new program called ‘Melting Universe’ which consists of 5 dialogues between female experimental composers such as Jessica Moss and Baby Alien Collective.

Huge thanks to Meduse MagiQ for answering our questions! 

Spill Gold play MOTH Club on May 27th – tix here

PLAYLIST: February 2018

February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s been a near impossible task for us GIHEs girls to scale down our choices for this month’s playlist. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new music that’s been flooding our inboxes, and we’re excited to finally share some of our favourites with you. Have a listen, head down to some of the gigs we’ve mentioned, and hold tight for another month of marvelous new music.

La Lune – ‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’
‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’ is such a beautiful sentiment and such a visual image. La Lune’s email popped into my inbox and within a couple of clicks I was listening… melting into my ears with its slow electronica and gentle murmuring vocals. A big slice of me. It’s taken from La Lune’s debut EP Bliss which is out NOW. (Tash Walker)

Complicated Animals – ‘Show Me’
If you dig 80s music, David Lynch films, and “dreamy synth-pop songs” – you’re going to love Complicated Animals latest single. The Brazilian-American duo’s track is a lush electronic exploration of the magic that happens when we experience pure, genuine human emotion in a world where most of our interactions are dictated by technology. (FYI – If you’re heading to see Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird in a UK cinema this month, listen out for Monica da Silva’s song ‘Back To His Girl’, which is featured in the scene where Lady Bird is trying on prom dresses) (Kate Crudgington)

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘Pushin’
Having blown us away with their completely captivating live performance at The Finsbury last year, Norwich duo Sink Ya Teeth are fast becoming one of our favourite bands. Following the completely addictive sounds of ‘If You See Me’ and ‘Glass’, new release ‘Pushin’ is propelled by pounding beats and funk-fused bass hooks. Add Maria Uzor’s smooth, soaring vocals into the mix and the result is an utterly infectious, whirring soundscape that’ll have you up on the floor in no time. (Mari Lane)

Olivia Nelson – ‘Hideaway’ (K, Le Maestro Remix)
‘Hideaway’ came out in the dwindling days of 2017 and now it’s been freshened up by producer K, Le Maestro. Always one to go weak at the knees at the slightest hint of a remix, I have fellow GIHEs gal Kate to thank for giving me the heads up on this one. Strong beats, strong vocals and strong samples. Needless to say we’re stoked to have Olivia as a guest on Get In Her Ears Radio Show on the 8th February, so be sure to tune into that! (TW)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’
“Your mind will fester and your head will roll” sings Black Gold Buffalo‘s front woman Keziah Stillwell on new single ‘Lay It Down,’ a song she wrote about overcoming anxiety. It’s a well-crafted, slow-burning, beautiful track that I can’t wait to hear live at The Waiting Room on February 7th (gig details here). (KC)

After London – ‘Bitter Man’
If you’re looking for a slice of anthemic, alternative indie-rock, look no further than After London’s ‘Bitter Man’. The five-piece released their eponymous debut EP last month, and it’s a record that proves they’re well-rehearsed, wickedly talented, and ready for their launch party at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 7th February (RSVP here). (KC)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Cool’
I’m trying (and failing) to play it cool whenever I hear one of Soccer Mommy’s new tunes. She released the brilliant ‘Your Dog’ a few weeks ago, and she’s followed it up with the equally impressive ‘Cool’. I can’t wait to listen to her debut album Clean in full (released via Fat Possum Records on March 2nd) and hopefully hear a few of the tracks lives when she performs at Moth Club on March 6th. (KC)

Carolyn’s Fingers – ‘Her Howl’
‘Her Howl’ is the first official release from experimental pop band Carolyn’s Fingers and I just love it’s unexpected twists and turns with the vocals & samples plucking their way throughout the track. Carolyn’s Fingers sing about love, mental health, mythology and queer and social politics – this track in particular is about depression in what they describe as a weird but hopeful way. ‘Her Howl’ is 100% DIY, recorded and produced by themselves. Enough said. Get listening. (TW)

Partner – ‘Everybody Knows’
The latest single from our favourite Canadian duo, ‘Everybody Knows’ tells of the paranoia following one too many bong hits. Filled with a jangly guitar fuzz and delightful, sparkling harmonies, it gives a nostalgic nod to ’90s punk-pop whilst maintaining its own refreshing wit and sunny energy. Complete with impressive, racing licks, it’s a wonderfully infectious offering that’ll leave you longing for another hit of Partner’s playful, uplifting sounds. (ML)

Dream Wife – ‘Act My Age’
“Do I amuse you? Do I confuse you?” – Dream Wife’s vocalist Rakel confronts her listeners in trademark sweet & shouty style on this superb new track, taken from the band’s self-titled debut album (released via Lucky Number last month). Fearless on stage and now on record; Dream Wife’s debut is a joyful declaration of defiance and self-autonomy, designed to motivate listeners in to embracing life, love, and the fires that spark when you overcome adversity. (KC)

Blue Crime – ‘TYR’
I’m a bit late to the game on this one but as they say better late than never. Born in an Amsterdam bunker, Blue Crime are an experimental doom-pop/new wave four-piece self-described as a “trip from the disarming to the wrenching”. This track is taken from their debut EP TYR, released back in 2015 on their very own Meduse MagiQ label – an all female arts/music collective. ‘TYR’ draws you in with its hazy guitar and atmospheric vocals, like slowly falling into an endless kaleidoscope of music mist. Bliss. (TW)

The Nyx – ‘Patience’
Our favourite London rockers have released another new single to coincide with the appearance of another full moon, and we’re hooked on their powerful riffs and affecting vocals. We’re 99.9% sure The Nyx will be appearing on our monthly playlists for the remainder of 2018. #sorrynotsorry (KC)

Suggested Friends – ‘Mother Fucking Tree’
Taken from their fantastic self-titled album, this track oozes the band’s uptempo, ‘tweemo’ punk-pop and twinkling charm, showcasing the band’s infectious melodies and luscious harmonies as they tell frank, witty everyday life stories. Also, with amazing lyrics like “I thought you had a halo, but it was just the backlight from your iPhone…”, what is there not to love? We cannot wait to see them live next Friday, 9th February, at The Finsbury along with LIINES, Bugeye and Duck (RSVP here). (ML)

Kesha – ‘Praying’
Though I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole of the Grammys last week, I did watch the full performance of Kesha performing ‘Praying’, taken from last year’s Rainbow. Though this song appallingly lost out to Ed Sheeran in the awards, her incredible, emotive performance of the track is the clear winner in my opinion. Surrounded by a mass of women dressed in white (including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello), it was an exceptional, empowering moment in the face of all Kesha has had to go through with Dr Luke, and the challenges women in the music industry face in general (highlighted by the lack of women winning awards at the ceremony!). (ML)

Lady Gaga – ‘John Wayne’
Lady Gaga had to cancel 10 of her upcoming tour dates last week, after announcing that she was in chronic pain due to suffering from fibromyalgia (a condition which can cause pain all over the body). I’m gutted I’ll have to wait even longer to see The Grammy award-winning singer, but I’ve got good company and good gin lined up to drink the pain away. I’ll be raising a glass to her swift recovery whilst simultaneously belting out the lyrics to this Joanne track. (KC)

EMA – ‘Breathalyzer Instrumental’
This epic track is taken from EMA’s recent EP Outtakes From Exile, and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s twenty minutes of intriguing noise which broods somewhere between intense awareness, and a need to be aurally anesthetised. An intoxicating sonic assault that should not be skipped! (KC)