Our (really!) last mix before a hibernation slumber comes courtesy of Rachael. Part of the brilliant team behind Rye Wax and creator of the killer Ambient Babestation Meltdown, she wastes no time in making her intentions clear with a mix that speaks to the current state of society and all of the frustration that brings with it.
Quite frankly the mix is a bruiser, driving headfirst into a dark fog and emerging with grimly defiant energy. Electro, EBM, and classic techno meld into the fringes of new wave and beat. It's a journey to the other side of complacency, with the accompanying realisation that the worst is yet to come.
What were your ideas or plans going into the mix?
It’s changed shape so much from my original idea, to recording it in lockdown. The first and last track though, I’d always intended to include. I mean who opens a mix with the words “Adolf Hitler” hahahaha. And Atari Teenage Riot was a big influence on me when I was younger. I’d sort of forgotten how much I loved them until I heard DJ Mooncup on NTS playing a really Digital Hardcore sounding set and it inspired me to pick it up on vinyl.
Tell us a bit about your other alias, Ambient Babestation Meltdown – how did that project come about?
It is the most insane thing I’ve done, and that’s saying something. Basically about a decade ago I used to work in the office of an adult entertainment channel and I’d very occasionally record the voice-overs for the adverts that went out on Sky. Fast forward to a few years ago and I made an off-hand joke to Sam from X-Kalay that I’d do a set at his ambient night and do the voice over ambient and drone records. Despite it being a joke I somehow ended up on the poster, and thought fuck it. It continues to spiral wildly out of control every time I perform it.
What have been your favourite recent releases and events?
Actually a couple records on the mix! The Ian Martin record on Pinkman I picked up ahead of a gig I was due to play at The Cause supporting AnD and Cera Khin that was sadly cancelled. Also the YS record I got a test pressing of from the lovely Pace Yourself lads.
In terms of events, the best party I’ve played lately was a NYE party at Dare2 in Bristol. Dare2 is normally a sex club, and I played just after midnight in the dungeon surrounded by fetish furniture that had been crammed in the DJ booth. It was the Bristol lineup of dreams too… Anina, Chris from Idle Hands, Daisy Moon, Gramrcy… the vibe was the closest I’ve come to how it feels at Field Manuevers in terms of everyone being a babe and sort of somehow knowing each other.
Have your listening habits changed since the coronavirus lockdown started? Are there any styles you’ve been listening to more or less?
I’ve mostly got Noods Radio on. And I’ve been listening to loads of mixes by friends. The DJ Keyhole mix on Crack Magazine is perfect sunny lockdown vibes.
How has working at Rye Wax changed over the years? Are independent record stores facing different kinds of challenges as time goes by?
I don’t think Rye Wax is like other record stores haha. We’ve always lent more towards stocking bits by our mates. And now we’ve got a banger second hand section thanks to our buyer Brian Not Brian.
The Apollo lacquer factory fire will have a big impact no doubt.
In terms of the club, it’s just getting harder. We’re a really small cap venue and I think sometimes promoters book by capacity, but it just can’t work like that with us. We’ve got a reputation for having much bigger acts. So it can’t really run as a “residents” vibe for a clubnight. And you have to promote so much more now. Some promoters still have what I call a “field of dreams” approach to booking, like “if we book it, they will come” and then they just don’t promote it.
Your favourite club?
I have a real affection for Crofters Rights in Bristol. I used to go to punk gigs there when I was 18 and it was called The Croft. I love playing there cos sometimes the crowds are really cute and enthusiastic.
Dalston Superstore will forever be the Mothership. Working there has had an indelible effect on me.
My favourite DJ booth to play in is the Rye Wax one. It’s massive and the green room is right next to it haha.
Your dancefloor saver?
I always say if you play the 12” dance version of West End Girls and the crowd doesn’t like it, they are the problem, not you.
What’s the music scene like where you’re from?
I’ve spent my life yo-yoing between London and the South West. Both of which have pretty stellar scenes. I think though, I was really lucky to be living in London towards the tail end of electroclash. Rent was still cheap. Warehouse raves were mad. No instagram so no one cared if you were off your chops or covered in grime.
How do you organise your music?
Obviously I have kallaxs. So there’s a few squares for disco. An italo square. A 7” square. A rock and pop square. Then the house, techno, electroclash section is messy. I think ambient babestation is soon going to need its own section.
A track you've always wanted to play out but never had the chance?
I’ll play anything out haha. I care more about the tracks being killer than the mixing being perfect so I do sometimes shoehorn stuff in.
The soundtrack to your funeral?
When I was 21 I went to the funeral of someone I loved very much and they’d asked for Pearl Jam - I’m Still Alive to be played. I honestly laughed just as hard as I cried. Like who does that?? Absolutely deliciously dark one last joke. Obvs I can never listen to it again. But yeah, I don’t think that will ever be topped by anyone and trying to think of one for my own will never come close.
And on a lighter note, the tune you'll still be listening to in 50 years?
I mean… I’ll be in my late 80s so I think techno might be a bit too hectic by then? Also who knows what cyberpunk future we’ll be living in by then. Being a cyborg might completely change our relationship to music.
Lastly, any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?
Ambient Babestation Meltdown comes to Only Fans haha.
Can’t perform in front of people so now subscribers can pay to see me perform in weird babestation outfits!
1. Big Hard Excellent Fish - Imperfect List
2. 5ive - Contrast
3. Rhythm Device - Dream Trance
4. Daniel Holt - Dissasembled Self
5. Neud Photo - Dystopix
6. Ian Martin - Neo Modernist
7. The Other People Place - Let Me Be
8. 33rd Dec - Leap Year
9. Frankie Bones - Call It Techno
10. YS - The Future
11. Bonka - Dosheepdreamofandroidelectrics
12. Atari Teenage Riot - Speed