She made a quiet rise through consistency in her own label and beyond, but these days the Bloody Mary project is a household name in underground music. Born in France, based in Berlin; her taste for acid-heavy club music has caught the attention of iconic artists like Josh Wink and DJ Pierre. Balancing the Dame-Music imprint with an evolving artist project is no easy feat, but Bloody Mary the artist is undeniably global.
Known for a dedication to analogue on stage, Bloody Mary is either slinging an all wax or all hardware performance. She probably doesn’t get through airport security very quickly, but it’s safe to say that quality is embedded into her act. Dame-Music is no different after 39 strong releases.
We caught up with Mary ahead of taking the decks at two influential spots on the West Coast. She talks about influences in 90s acid, her new live set, and spreading the values of dance music. Give the entire interview a read here.
Your move to Berlin in 2005 seems like the catalyst for a decade-long career in underground music. Sounds and trends come and go, but what about the music has remained constant since the start?
The main thing that stands out about the music after all these years is that it’s always changing. That’s what keeps it interesting for me. There is always great new music and “new” old music to discover. I love mixing the old with the new, that’s also something that hasn’t changed since I started.
Your label, Dame-Music, has remained consistent since launch. What is the driving force/theme behind the outlet and what is your approach to A&R?
It’s plain and simple: I only release music that makes me dance!
Acid has been a huge part of your sound, you’re even featured on DJ Pierre’s package of the iconic ‘Acid Track’. Everyone has their own response the the trippy sounds of a 303, but what does acid house mean to you?
I’ve been listening to acid (house, techno, trance, etc…) since I started going out to rave parties when I was younger. I discovered so many tracks and labels back in the mid 90s, and if I knew back then that one day I would produce music for artists like Josh Wink, Tim Taylor or DJ Pierre, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
From the beginning, the Bloody Mary project has been centered around records and the DJ set. Could you give us a bit of insight into your process for preparing ahead of sets?
I listen to music every day, I’m curious and I love to dig around in record shops. It’s important for me to have one day a week (regularly it’s Thursday) to select what I will bring on stage during the following days. Every weekend is different, the selection depends if I play at a festival or in a club and also on the country where the events are. I don’t really prepare anything while I’m at home, but I know exactly what is in my record bag.
A lot of the best parties are promoting freedom of expression and inclusion of everyone… I hope the underground scene can help educate people to be more accepting and inclusive in their daily life.
Where do you see the future of underground music? The scene is thriving in inclusivity, what next?
For me, the underground scene has always been thriving in inclusivity. Perhaps that’s why I’m so attracted to it. People need to just keep doing things for the right reasons and not get side-tracked by today’s trends (social media, money, fame etc), and this way the underground will continue to flourish for years to come.
Not many can build a sustainable artist project, timeless through trends. Can you share a bit on how you balance making music, managing an active label (and promo), and living life?
It’s a full-time job, but it’s all connected. I tend to get bored quite quickly, so it’s really important for me to spend my days doing something different each day. Whether that’s producing music in my studio, digging for records, or taking care of label work for Dame-Music, there is a lot to do and I’m always kept very busy. Also, I consciously make sure to have enough free weekends each year to be able to spend time with my family. Time is flying and it’s also very important to give attention to the people who support and love you.
This one is pretty generic so take whatever path you like… Dance music typically makes a major impact on fans, how can the music community (underground music specifically) make a positive impact on the world?
A lot of the best “underground” parties are promoting freedom of expression and inclusion of everyone. Hopefully, this message can one day spread further into the wider community. At least I hope the underground scene can help educate people to be more accepting and inclusive in their daily life.
What’s next for the Bloody Mary project and Dame-Music? What is your goal in terms of making a lasting impact?
In September I will debut my new live set in the basement at Tresor Berlin. I’ve felt like playing live for a long time now, as I’ve been playing a lot of my own music in my DJ sets, so I feel that now is the right time to do it. A new Dame-Music release is on the way in October, The Melting Point Vol. 3, where I invited Thomas P. Heckmann and Splice (aka Skudge) to share the release with me. A new collaboration is also on the way with one of my favourite artists, and from January 2020 we’re going to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Dame-Music. We’re already planning a few projects for that and I’m getting excited to share the news with you all soon. Thanks for having me guys!
Catch Bloody Mary taking California by storm with an instore at RS94109 in San Francisco, full raving at Lights Down Low in Los Angeles August 9th and 10th, or keep watch for a show near you.