Born in Romania, hailing from Canada and settled in Berlin, Simina Grigoriu has been DJing since many years. In 2008, she has also started her own techno production which crystallized in founding own record label Kuukou Records. After a break during maternity leave, Simina is back in the game, releasing more of her own music and preparing other releases for Kuukou.
LSD: Is ‘Shook Up’ EP a part of your Techno Monkey project which you have been releasing throughout 2016? If yes, is it the last one or are there more releases to come?
SG: I did create an album during my pregnancy while I was confined to the comfort of my own home/studio and unable to fly around to gigs. With nothing else to do but bake a baby in my belly, I was motivated use that time to get to work in the studio. Originally, I wanted to release the ten tracks as an album but the more I thought about it, the more I became sure they should be split up into EPs and allowed to shine with fabulous remixes by both established and upcoming artists.
LSD: Your new release contains the original version of ‘Shook Up’ and four remixes. How have you chosen the artists for remixing your track?
SG: I always work with people whose music I respect and I am lucky to call many of these artists my friends. The four remixes on ‘Shook Up’ have different music styles and can each leave an individual imprint on track. This is what I look for – diversity. It’s no fun if all of the remixes sound the same.
LSD: I read you like working with samples a lot. What are your sound sources – do you use samples of your field recordings, some other music or even movies?
SG: Well, we use what we can and what we’re allowed to use. I do field sampling but also have archives of available samples at my disposition. I think I use samples because this is the way I first learned music production. I am not a purist. I use what I can and put a lot of effort into making sure we find nice clean sounds.
LSD: This year, you started your own imprint Kuukou Records, where you’ve released several EPs of yours and one record by Martin Books. Are you still open to be also releasing on other labels? And can you reveal which other artists will be releasing on Kuukou?
SG: Absolutely! Our next EP comes in the form of a collaboration by Canadian Berliner producer Moe Danger and Belgian producer Bigasti with remixes by Patrick Ebert and Rico Puestel. After that, is a 2-track EP by Horace Dan D, a longtime runner of the Romanian electronic music scene, with a remix from Martin Books.
LSD: You’re a DJ, but you’ve also produced many EPs by now. Do you plan to take the studio production on stage and play a live show in the future, or do you prefer DJing?
SG: I am a DJ first. I actually have more interest in developing the skills to match and fully play four turntables at once instead of building up a live set to play on stage. My Ableton will remain in the studio and hopefully by the end of my career I can be half as good as Jeff Mills on the decks. :)
LSD: I read about your motherhood being an influence in your musical production. How do you feel you’ve developed as an artist since this a life-changing experience?
SG: It’s totally cheesy but totally true – motherhood has pushed me to improve in every single way possible. I think any parent can agree with that. Artistically, however, slowly made my way back into the studio and have kept going with my production (and, of course, building Kuukou Records). My working dynamic has changed. I no longer go to an external studio and work ridiculously long hours. I am home in my studio and make use of the time I have. Like many parents. Trying to juggle it all. :)