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Dazed Mix: MM

The Her Records co-founder drops a club mix of original edits and forthcoming material before he plays Wild Combination in London

As a producer, DJ and co-founder of Her Records, MM (FKA Miss Modular) has been involved with some of the most exciting club music to come out of the UK over the past few years. MM started the south London label at the tail-end of 2012 with old friends Sudanim and CYPHR, and the close-knit collective have showcased the various developments and mutations happening in the underground over that time with a series of EPs and top-notch compilations like this year’s Her Records Volume 4.

Following a recent tour of Asia, MM is set to play alongside Sky H1 and previous Dazed Mix-er Yamaneko in London this Saturday (December 3) for the excellent Wild Combination clubnight, taking place at The Yard in Hackney. Ahead of the date he’s put together a new mix recorded live in Japan recently, featuring new heaters from the Her Records camp and some original edits by MM himself.

How was Japan?

MM: Yeah, it was great. I’m back up in Glasgow now waiting for Air China to send me my bag. It’s always a surreal and heartwarming experience meeting people on the other side of the world who are willing to break bread with you just because they think your music is cool. That’s the best part of it all really.

The Her Records crew emerged about this time free years ago. How have you adapted from being enthusiasts to touring DJs in that time?

MM: I don’t think I have any kind of real grasp on the ‘touring lifestyle’. The only thing I’ve noticed being a struggle is the difficulty of pulling off the day job/DJ and label boss career tightrope walk. I have pretty severe skin issues as well, so sometimes doing lots of shows in quick succession can take its toll on me, physically and mentally. I don’t want to complain though – just the fact that someone wants to buy me flights is silly as fuck to me and I should be thankful.

Given the turmoil in the world, have you or other Her members noticed yourselves responding within your art?

MM: I don’t want to speak on behalf of anyone on the label, but for me – and I know for Tom (Sudanim) as well – making music is a very personal process. I don’t think any of us are trying to interpret anything overtly political. Honestly, I’m not always into overtly political music. Conversely, I have a huge amount of respect for people who are making music from an inherently politicised position – don’t get me wrong, that will always be some of the most important music out there. There’s a distinction between that and packaging my records with a tenuously linked hot take on current events to make it more marketable to press platforms. At 22, I don’t feel like I have enough of a developed or unique worldview to write an interesting record about austerity or whatever. Maybe it’s cynical of me, but a lot of the time that stuff can end up feeling transparent when it’s also being pushed as a brand. It’s definitely not the case across the board, but I do think the demand from the press for these kind of stories can lead to records with vapid, tacked-on politics.

In terms of whether our art has responded to current events unconsciously somehow? I don’t know. That’s a difficult thing to gauge. I’m definitely not convinced that political turmoil has had any kind of positive effect on our music, if any at all, but that’s not to say our music is ever necessarily apolitical. It’s worth considering that for as long as we’ve been making music, we’ve also had a government that was making things worse for us. I’ve never voted for a candidate who won besides Sadiq Khan this year, who I have heavily mixed feelings about anyway. I often think I might easily not be attempting to pursue music full-time if it weren’t for the coalition government pricing people my age out of university. The only reason I started a record label was because I was out of school with no options and happened to be fucking around with music. Not a lot has changed since then besides things getting fairly steadily worse, but that always seemed like a fairly predictable trajectory. So, a lot of the time our music is dark and it’s angry because a lot of the time that’s the only emotion that makes sense. Other times it’s uplifting and hopeful because cynicism is boring, right? 

“The only reason I started a record label was because I was out of school with no options and happened to be fucking around with music. Not a lot has changed since then besides things getting fairly steadily worse” – MM

I asked this to Bok Bok last week – what are your three favourite tunes of 2016, and why?

MM: Fuck, tough call. ‘Sorry’ by Beyoncé? I think that was the only song I can remember all the lyrics to. That’s basically the criteria isn’t it? That, and if I tried to rip off the beat a bunch of times. I mean those criteria probably apply to ‘Work’ as well, but maybe that’d be a snooze choice. So let’s say ‘Sorry’ and then ‘Defeat’ by Oklou and ‘Mavericks One’ by Sami (Baha) for both hitting the final criteria of making me wanna cry when I was feeling fragile and hungover.

What are you drawing most inspiration from right now?

MM: Besides the new label demos, I’m really inspired by anyone doing exciting stuff with melody and bringing unexpected energies to what could fall under the banner of club music. So yeah people like Oklou and Dviance in France, seems like there's a bit of a new wave forming there at the moment. I also recently played a festival with Ziur, Kablam, and Amnesia Scanner, which I would say totally rearranged my musical DNA.  

What’s going on in this mix?

MM: I had little or no time to pre-plan or gather tunes for this mix on account of my shitty maxed-out pocket wi-fi so, besides some FX sprinkled on top, I recorded this live at Radd Lounge, which is a fashion boutique run by this guy Irikita in Tokyo. Irikita let me come along with my USB and play a little half hour set to the shop so it was nice having some actual human energy to work with. I usually pre-plan mixes to death and try and nail that DJ illuminati slow build/climax/wind down trajectory, but I really just had to smash this one out. I hope the fact it was recorded live kinda contextualises it differently or gives it some kind of worthwhile energy? I don’t know. Who gives a shit really. There’s some hectic new music from Dinamarca, new label shit and a bunch of my own edits inside as usual, so I guess it’s worth listening if you’re into all that.

What’s next for you and Her?

MM: I don’t really want to say anything about my new stuff yet but it’s happening and you’ll be hearing it around. In terms of the label we’ve got another single from the Suda’s ‘Hives’ EP (basically a miniature album) dropping very soon and then the whole thing following very shortly. Our core crew is always gonna be sitting on tons of material so there’s that to look forward to as usual. I’m really excited to unveil NKC and Kid Antoine’s next releases both of which feature in this mix. Those artists have a lot to bring in 2017 beyond those records as well. CYPHR’s been working hard and will be returning from hibernation in 2017. Otherwise I think the real next step is about looking outward. The label’s formula just about works because we’re a tight group of friends before we’re a label, but I’m looking forward to welcoming more people into that circle in 2017. It’s about time. Oh and we’re finally working on some parties too.

MM plays Wild Combination with Sky H1, Yamaneko and Dis Fig at Hackney’s The Yard on December 3