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Interview: DJ Star Eyes on rave culture, astrology, and the Trouble & Bass takeover @ Good Life

 

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]re you ready to do the opposite of behave this Friday during the latest Label Takeover at Goodlife? Prepare emotionally and physically to let loose to some delectable jersey club, UK garage, grime, & bass music from a few #troublemakers over at Brooklyn-based record label and DJ crew Trouble & Bass. We spoke to the gleaming DJ Star Eyes, born as Vivian Host, about raving as a teen, astrology, & partying as an adult. Educate yourself about the old skool & experience an evening like no other.

She’s currently working on her next EP & also putting together lots of rad stuff for Trouble & Bass (who first gave us AC Slater and Drop The Lime), plus releasing a new track with Flinch very soon. But let’s rewind to the beginning…

Georgette Bibber: Let’s start at the beginning. What do you think drew you into wanting to DJ at the age of 15?

 

DJ Star Eyes: I am a born raver. I got obsessed with the culture even before I went to my first rave through listening to the Prodigy and Orbital and seeing pictures of huge illegal parties in UK music mags like NME and Melody Maker. For other people it was a passing phase or maybe a cool place to do drugs but I always believed in the transformative powers of the culture and I wanted to be involved in it in some way.

Since music is the ultimate love for me, I started collecting the records that I loved from hearing them out and on mixtapes and started DJing and now here I am and I still tear up and/or get chills when I find the perfect record.

Was it exciting or nerve-wracking having to get snuck into the club? When you finally turned legal did anything change or did you just party harder?

 
 

It was nerve-wracking and fun to get snuck into the club, which I was for years! I was resident at a drum & bass club called Eklektic for three years before I was even old enough to be there! I’ve always liked trouble and stealth — being in illegal spaces or living a bit outside of the norm in a way. Nothing has changed. I still go to warehouses and I’m still attracted to things that are raw or dark or different. I’m still the same just found more people like me!

You’ve produced grime, heavy bass music, UK funky, & even dubstep. Was this a natural progression for you? Also, you call your style “haunted house” — does that mean you’re performing voodoo on the crowd?!

Everything I do links back in some way to my first loves of old-skool rave music and jungle. So even though the BPMs or styles change, there is a certain feeling and sounds that I always gravitate towards, whether I’m listening to Detroit techno or London grime. The idea of “haunted house” encompasses my overall aesthetic, or even a place for my music to live in my mind. On one hand, dark and mysterious and creepy and on the other hand, Scooby-Doo might turn up.

Your name came from an old rave track, care to share?

 
 

Cosmo & Dibs: Star Eyes (Remix), Moving Shadow 1993

Speaking of the stars — what’s your sign? I heard you’re interested in astrology & astronomy & the like?

I am a Cancer with a Taurus Rising. Tough & driven on the outside, dreamy & sensitive on the inside. A Cadbury Creme Egg of emotions. Definitely have always been interested in astrology and astronomy. Growing up in Southern California, my mom and my sisters took me with them to tarot readings, psychics, past-life readers, and Linda Goodman’s Love Signs was always around someone’s house… I guess this stuck with me more than church. Looking back I was always into galactic and astrological themes — I am Star Eyes, after all. I am drawn to things that can be felt but not explained.

Who or what is on your play list at the moment? Is there a particular track you use in your sets that brings back fond (or not so) memories?

 
 

I’m playing a lot of the new Trouble & Bass stuff — amazing tunes from Doctor Jeep, Tony Quattro, Klient, Shox, and this new top-secret called Nevermind. Also playing stuff from Grenier, Jubilee, Salva, Wheez-ie, and new UK guys like My Nu Leng and Lenkemz. As big as an inspiration as UK underground bass music is, I’m super excited about supporting American producers right now. Dubbel Dutch “Deepa” and Route 94 “Forget the Girl” really make me feel things because they sample trax I grew up with — but I’m not telling which ones!

Trouble & Bass has successfully accomplished the mission of bringing what was missing to the NYC club scene for 7+ years — what’s your favorite part about being a member of the crew?

Every time I think that we’ve “accomplished” the mission I realize we still have something new to offer in the form of our parties in NYC or the releases on our label. There is always something we want to do that others are not doing that excites us. My favorite part is having a squad to roll around the world with and it makes me very proud if I go to another country and see someone rocking the T&B logo!

What can we expect from your label takeover set this Friday? & to go further — the future of Star Eyes?

 
 

I’m thrilled to be playing with Uniique — she’s one of the new faces of Jersey Club and she is sick. (check out her new mix with Lit City). T&B has been known over the years for introducing new talent before they were big, and her sound is a perfect fit for what we do. You’re also going to see Doctor Jeep, who is definitely one of the bright new stars of the T&B label, and I’m going to play a bunch of brand new bits. You can expect to dance and have fun and hear new tracks that make you be like “What the HELL is this?”… in a good way. I might also try to get you to drink bourbon with me.

MILKY WAY ROUND
Time: to get ill.
Space: Ace the Space: 9 Is A Classic
Gabber: See above. Also this. I am obsessed with this.
San Francisco: I love you.
EDM: Marketing
JNCO: Phat pants

Trouble & Bass Label Takeover with DJs Uniiqu3 + Star Eyes + Doctor Jeep :: Friday, April 11 @ Good Life, 28 Kingston St., Boston :: 9:30 p.m. + $5 before 11 p.m., $10 after :: 21-plus | Facebook event

 
 

Trouble & Bass Good Life