We are excited to present one of London’s emerging talents for this month’s My First CDR – Venus Ex Machina. Her music caught our attention during the Open CDR sessions at Dance Tunnel last year, erring on the industrial side of dance music but yet still managing to push through raw emotion into the productions. Although she may be one of the newer members on the production ‘scene’, Venus Ex Machina provides valuable advice to music-creators at all stages.

When and where did you first attend CDR? What do you recall?

I attended my first CDR at Dance Tunnel in July of last year, right after moving to London. I knew that the bar in a city like London would be pretty high, but I threw myself in there anyway, sweaty palms and all. It was quite freeing. The best part was looking around the room, gauging reactions, guessing who made what. A lot of good conversations were started in this way.  I went from working on my Kurzweil monitors at home to hearing my track on the Funktion One. It was a crash course.

What have CDR sessions meant to you?

The relationships I have struck up are a good complement to the milliard hours spent at the coalface, breaking things up without being off topic. Sounding off with someone with Tony Nwachukwu’s experience is a real privilege, as well as seeing the development of everyone around me. Internally, it has changed completely the way I work. CDR has helped me to embrace the open work, making collaboration easier.

Please could you describe your work life/creative life tussle. Any tips or tricks for managing to keep making music?

I’m studying for my masters, and balancing creative life with one and a half jobs. There would be no creativity without the tussle, in the best sense. Make something new every day. If you feel stuck then keep reading, listening, learning. It’s all part of the process. Also, remember, in the main, people’s advice is just their individual perspective. Follow your gut/ears.

Please give a brief description of your current production set up.

Right now it centres on Ableton Live, along with Maschine, Moog Minitaur, my Boss effects unit and a collection of acoustic instruments which I’ve picked up in music shops over the years.

Any projects or tracks your working on at the moment that you’d like to let us know about?

The track I submitted at my first CDR, was called Ecstatic Potential. That caught the attention of Sebastian Bartz aka Venice Calypso, who, together with Lewis G. Burton, puts on the night Inferno at Dalston Superstore. My solo release will be out soon on his label Four On Floor. I am also DJing. I played Hotbox on New Year’s Day and I will be at Community Service at East Bloc on the 31st of January. Here’s a mix I made recently:

Finally, have you any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?

We’re all in this together, whatever it is.

Keep tabs on Venus Ex Machina via her Mixcloud or at some of our CDR London sessions