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Phonica Mix Series 103:
Octo Octa & Eris Drew


With what was mostly a full and fruitful year for us with many beautiful moments, we now turn our eyes forward to what is looking to be a very exciting year for us at Phonica as we walk into our 20th year of being alive. 2022 saw our mix series get even more killer contributions from artists like Paramida, Sally C, Fred P, Eden Burns, Alex Kassian, Erol Alkan and more. 2023’s series line up plans to keep moving up and we have opened this years mix season in the capable hands of two of the finest DJ/Producers doing it right now. Bringing nothing but powerful, euphoric and goddess energies it can only be Octo Octa and Eris Drew of T4T Luv NRG. Amazingly celebrated for their strand of psychedelic, rolling progressive, trancey-house and break rhythms we can’t think of two better selector’s to take on our series. With an excellently curated compilation and mix for our good friends at Fabric as well as two banging cassettes on T4T last year we can’t begin to imagine what this year has in-store for Maya and Eris but we have no doubt it’s even more on the upward trajectory! Most likely to the heavens and back! We had a chat with Maya and Eris to see what they have been up to lately and little about how they approached the mix.

Hey Eris and Maya, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea behind it was?

Our mix for Phonica is like “hour four” from some of our long sets: a sweaty blend of housy-trance, atmospheric techno, deep psychedelic house, and sprawling prog rollers. The mix was recorded with two PLX-1000 turntables and the Pioneer V-10 mixer using Logic X in our New Hampshire cabin.

There is a lot of context around this mix. Since Eris’s ear injury in October, we had to take not just a break from performing, we also stopped listening to music. As part of her (our) healing process we reintroduced recorded music slowly, favouring really beautiful recordings without a lot of harmonic distortion. We pulled from these selections for the mix. This set is from our first mix sessions in months.

Can you tell us a bit about how you usually approach recording a mix or a set?

Typically we start with an idea, e.g., “let’s create a beautiful healing mix that flows with Motherbeat energy”. We then go to our separate collections (we have two in the house and another in a storage locker) and pull a large selections of records. After that we start practicing. Through the process of blending records together we arrange the mix.

What are your preferred methods for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online?

We utilize every available method of finding records. We dig at every record store we can find as we travel the world—not just dance shops. We buy new records online from stores that stock new music like Phonica. We comb through YouTube videos, old mixtapes, lost radio recordings, dusty CDs… anything we can think of to mine the past. We play many of the tracks people give us as gifts. And, we listen to the promos that people send us on vinyl, but we honestly don’t listen to digital promos very often.

We are such big fans of your label T4T LUV NRG here at Phonica! How did this label come about?

Would you believe us if we said it came about because we cast a spell?  We wanted to be able to represent ourselves as fully as we could; to present all aspects of our music in our words, with our own symbols, with our own true mythology. Trans bodies and trans artists are often filtered through the distorted lens in which many people see us. We wanted to create a context for our work that is honest and real, and to do that for (and with) other artists like us. And we wanted to run a proper record label with physical objects associated with each release, strong A&R done by us (not a label manager!), and a heavy focus on the technical aspect of vinyl pressing so we get loud clear records that kick ass on a system.


What do you both have up your sleeve for 2023?

2023 is the Year of the Goddess.

So this is a year for magic.
For rolling out our beautiful mobile soundsystem.
For saying no to bullshit.
For taking psychedelics.
For taking care of ourselves and others.
We are putting out a ton of music this year on T4T LUV NRG by an energized group of artists. By the end of 2023 the LUV NRG catalog will be twice as large!

Thanks so much Maya & Eris 🙂

Check out Octo Octa, Eris Drew and T4T LUV NRG


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