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Lara Rix Martin
Lara Rix-MartinPhotography Hana Moon, Fashion Ellie Grace Cumming

Meet the record label giving unheard voices a place to shout

Objects Limited nurture female-identifying and non-binary artists in electronic music. Listen to the label’s new release by Lux E Tenebris

“My label is about representing the previously overlooked or not encouraged,” says Objects Limited founder Lara Rix-Martin. Launched in April, the digital-only imprint nurtures female-identifying and non-binary artists making electronic music.

Best known as one half of ambient electro duo Heterotic, the Brighton-based musician (who also produces under the Lux E Tenebris moniker) is critical of the many male-led infrastructures that aren’t quite doing enough for diverse talent, and figures the best antidote is initiatives built by and for underrepresented artists.

“There are still issues when women are signed – Kesha and Grimes facing sexual harassment, for instance,” she says. “I think that’s why it’s so important we have women behind the scenes too – producers, writers, sound engineers… everything!”

Objects Limited’s first signee, Eva Bowan, just released her EP Ringwoodite through the label, which Bowan calls “ambient, electronic and drone lightly encompassed by experimental pop”, followed by an EP by JARu (aka Jana Rush). Now they’re releasing Cyclizine, an EP by Rix-Martin’s own solo project Lux E Tenebris.

Cyclizine is named after the drug that Rix-Martin was given while pregnant with her second child. While numbed by the drug, she also started practising self-hypnosis as a calming technique, which inspired the music she was recording. It’s stripped down and dreamy, recalling new age as much as grime and footwork.

“When I was writing this music, I honestly wasn’t listening to anything,” says Rix-Martin, “Maybe a bit of Steven Halpern here and there for self-hypnosis, so I think some of that has bled into it. I feel mostly that it’s fairly emotionally raw. It’s not the outward emotions, but the inner turmoil that circles around your mind.”

Tell us a bit about your musical background.

Lara Rix-Martin: I have no musical training; I don’t consider myself a musician. I started making music because my husband, Mike Paradinas, thought I should give it a go. We worked on tracks together, which later became (our project) Heterotic. I learnt a lot and more importantly, I got confidence in my choices.

The Cyclizine EP was partially inspired by your experiences doing self-hypnosis. What can you tell us about that?

Lara Rix-Martin: Self-hypnosis is basically meditation, but more guided I guess. It’s about getting back control. So often we let our brains be controlled by fear, hate, aggression, but when you meditate or do self-hypnosis you can calm yourself. I found out about self-hypnosis because I didn’t want any more drugs during my pregnancy or birth. Self-hypnosis allowed me to trust my body to give birth and to breath through any pain.

What sparked the idea for Objects Limited?

Lara Rix-Martin: I had been working with Digital Muse, a charity that encourages young (11 to 16 year old) girls to get into Science Technology Engineering Maths via digital arts. I was asked to get together an album that would help raise funds to put on workshops. I found many fantastic female artists that I loved but, understandably, many were not in a position to give away a track for charity. So in February I thought about starting a label specifically putting out the best female identifying and genderqueer/non-binary electronic music seemed a natural progression. I don’t just like talking about change, I think change only comes when we take action.

“I don’t just like talking about change, I think change only comes when we take action” — Lara Rix-Martin

How did you go about starting the label?

Lara Rix-Martin: First of all I contacted the artists that I was interested in. I met with Eva after my husband Mike forwarded me her demo. We really hit it off, so I started organising dates for her release and which tracks we thought worked well together. Every artist is different and needs different styles of approach. Setting up a label is so easy these days, you can use the digital age to your benefit. I am manager of a label but also do press and A&R. This is all possible with social media, including Soundcloud and Bandcamp, (which) make music so easy to release these days.

How would you describe the reception to the label so far?

Lara Rix-Martin: Amazing. I can’t believe the overwhelmingly positive feedback Objects Limited has been given so far. It’s actually been a bit of a shock, I didn’t think it was going to have such a big impact on people. I think it just makes sense to do this label now. There are so many male dominated labels, that to redress the imbalance you have to push these all female initiatives.

What more can be done to address the dominance of men in the industry?

Lara Rix-Martin: There have been some fantastic work from people like E.M.M.A putting on workshops teaching women how to produce. Big labels are looking to sign women, and that’s amazing, but there are still issues when women are signed – Kesha and Grimes facing sexual harassment, for instance. I think that’s why it’s so important that we have women behind the scenes too – producing, writing, sound engineers... everything! That’s why it’s also so important to drive STEM subjects to girls.

“My label is about representing the previously overlooked or not encouraged” — Lara Rix-Martin

How would you describe the climate of electronic music at the moment?

Lara Rix-Martin: I think there’s a lot of optimism. The world is feeling so positive when I just view it through the prism of music. I’ve been really excited to hear music from the Middle East and Asia. As someone who is initiating a modern idea for a label, I feel it’s my duty to do things differently. My label is about representing the previously overlooked or not encouraged.

Who are you listening to at the moment? Which London-based artists/labels do you think are doing exciting things?

Lara Rix-Martin: I’m really loving Nkisi, but outside of London, Deena Abdelwahed (from Tunisia) and Jlin (USA). In fact, Jlin has been a big inspiration for me to produce on my own.

What’s in the pipeline for Objects Limited?

Lara Rix-Martin: I hope to do more nights; I think it’s a really fun way of showcasing what Objects is about, having all-female lineups and visual artists. I’m in talks with other artists, but cannot divulge those details presently.