Texture Tape 022:
Leeds-based selector Babyschön dazzles us with a delightfully-crafted mix designed to keep you on your toes, loosely drifting between new wave, post-punk and shoegaze. Big tip!
What were your ideas or plans going into the mix?
I always play new wave, post-punk and synthy stuff but I knew I wanted to start with Esperanza Spalding somehow. She’s wicked and it’s also a little nod to Georgina (English lit legend and recent graduate) who asked me to make the mix, as the track really beautifully reworks a William Blake poem.
What have been your favourite recent releases or events?
Dark Entries recently reissued Angela’s banging 1984 EP which is pretty exciting. Those tracks do the moody pop-y sound I love sooo well.
I don’t go out loads but my favourite recent set was Zoe Pea and Jordan Bell b2b at the Tribe Records party in Leeds. They both have sick music taste and they work really well together. So many good, chuggy sounds to move about to!
What’s the music scene like in your hometown of Milton Keynes and how does it compare to Leeds where you’re based now? Do you find those differences affect your creative output?
Milton Keynes is very much a dead-end town, but MK Gallery and the tiny (but surprisingly decent) music scene saved teenage me. Before its recent expansion, MK Gallery used a small events space for gigs, which I ended up spending most Thursday and Saturday nights in. The bookings were great, there was a familiar crowd each week, red wine was £2.50 by the glass. Each night would end with an aux cord blasting the Kenya Special compilation or something from the Prince back catalogues, which satisfied my love for dancing and getting drunk amidst MK’s otherwise dire nightlife.
The Leeds scene shares this small-town feel as it all seems so connected. Being a city, it’s obviously a lot more active, which means there’s decent stuff on all the time. There’s a really good post-punk scene, which I love, and there’s great groups like Brudenell Groove, Equaliser and Sable Radio carrying a great, diverse party scene.
In terms of creative output, I think the desire to do stuff is always there, but it feels way more possible in Leeds, mostly because everyone is so safe and supportive. MK Gallery and everyone associated with those nights definitely deserve some credit though as they taught me everything I know! Big up Simon and Jonny who made it all happen!
Is there a show you would love to go back in time and experience again?
Discwoman presents Volvox, Ciel and SHYBOI at Wire last October. A very formative night for me as it doubled as my introduction to Discwoman and my current group of best friends!
How do you organise your music?
I’m a messy lady, but my records are alphabetised which I am very proud of! My iTunes is a state though.
A track you’ve always wanted to play out but never had the chance?
I think Skeng by the Bug would be so sick, I know I’d love to hear it on a night out.
Your favourite club?
Most promoters and parties in Leeds don’t stick to one venue, but Wharf Chambers is always reliable for a good night out. It’s also the former home of the club night I valued most: I didn’t realise how much I needed a goth/new wave/ post-punk night until I found it! The night no longer exists due to dodgy allegations (bleugh), but I’d love to start a similar night. Make Leeds Goth Again!
What would you say is key to creating a safe and inclusive clubbing environment?
Most of the nights I go to in Leeds employ a Safer Spaces policy which aims to sift out any discrimination or inappropriate behaviour— I think having promoters and clubs who take this seriously is really reassuring. Also, look out for each other! Leave your elitism, pretension and creepiness at the door!
The soundtrack to your funeral?
‘Bye Bye Baby’ by Bay City Rollers. Definitely didn’t steal that from Love Actually.
Tell us a bit about your radio show – Mother Tongue. How has it affected your relationship with music?
That’s a good Q— I’m not sure it’s changed my approach to listening to music much but it has definitely introduced me to a lot of new stuff I’m now really in to. A particular highlight is from an early episode with my friend Carmen as she introduced me to the stuff made in La Movida Madrileña in 1970s/80s Spain, which is very similar to the new wave stuff I’m already familiar with.
Your dancefloor saver?
Anything super campy.
And on a lighter note, the tune you’ll still be listening to in 50 years?
I’ll be in my 70s so I’d love to still be spinning some seedy new wave but I’ll go with ‘Venus as a Boy’ by Björk for now.
Shakti with John McLaughlin - The Daffodil and the Eagle
The Durutti Column - Sketch for Summer
Shakti - Demonic Forces
Saada Bonaire - You Could be More as You Are
Deux - Golden Dreams
Lena Willikens - Asphalt Kobold
Chris & Cosey - He’s an Arabian
Bea1991 - Below
Babyfather and Micachu - God Hour
The Arms of Someone New - Song for Krista
Tones on Tail - Performance
Flying Lotus - Parisian Goldfish
Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Ikuinen Purkautumaton Jännite