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SPIN SETS Presents: Delusional Records

Meet Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx, co-founders of  inclusive dance label, Delusional Records. Delusional is celebrating its one year anniversary with a 15 track compilation featuring label artists lM-Others, Trovarsi, Russell Woods, and more.  The label’s mission is to sign an array of artists with diverse and marginalized backgrounds, including women, LGBTQIA+, nonbinary and BIPOC, to showcase the cutting edge sound of electronic music. As a collective, they’ve shared stages with Pleasurekraft, Prok & Fitch and Baltra, released on labels like Desert Hearts Black, Rules Don’t Apply and Glory Hill, and performed at Mixmag Lab LA, Clinic Wednesdays, and Minimal Effort, and more.

They sat down with SPIN to talk about their favorite artist, their experiences as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Delusional Records’ origins and much more. Stream Delusional Records 1 Year Anniversary Compilation here and check out Delusional Records Co-Founders, Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx’s electrifying SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPINTV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.

Who is Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx and what do you stand for?
Marie: I am Marie Nyx and I stand for the deep love and connection within communities that is transmuted through art and sound.

Maude: I’m a producer, sound designer and audio engineer. The core of my work is building community and creating visibility in the realm of electronica. I have worked teaching audio production to young women and at-risk youth and have hosted Ableton, sound design and synth workshops within my community. In 2021 I knew I needed an inclusive place to home my work and the work of underrepresented artists, thus Delusional Records was born. I stand for the change I wish to see in the electronic industry.

Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
Marie: My sound is a raw, eclectic blend of electronic music ranging from hard techno, groovy Detroit influenced electro, experimental electronica, and a sprinkle of darkwave. Growing up my musical palette ranged from indie/alternative rock, emo/hardcore, grunge, psych rock, and post-punk. My interest in electronic sounds piqued at around 13 years old when I found music groups such as The Faint, Crystal Castles, and Ladytron. Sooner or later, I went to my first rave and found trance and mainstream EDM. I then began diving deeper into the culture of electronic music and eventually finding the underground sound you hear in my sets and productions. My biggest social influence was my sister who introduced me to a more expansive range of genres, took me to my first shows and festivals, and always pushed me to keep creating or learn a new instrument and music production. When I began going to raves and festivals on my own, I realized that being able to positively influence the world and my community with my own art and sound was achievable.

Maude: I’m very genre fluid. Meaning, I produce a wide range of genres, but my sound can be heard in all of my work. My inspirations come from early dance music like The Prodigy, Crystal Method or Orbital, world music percussion, 80th synth pop, industrial, 90s west coast hip-hop and moody cinematic composition. I’m a sucker for a good ominous horror score. Some of my favorite artists include Bjork, Johan Johansson, Nils Fram, The Cure, Jimmy Edgar, Justice, The Knife and Snoop Dogg.

Socially, coming up in the early 2000’s rave scene, LA gave me a strong sense of self and community. This community was the first time I felt like I truly had friends and I am grateful to still have a few of these friends to this day. I was also very grateful that my German father took me to Europe regularly to visit our family where I experienced music, architecture, and culture.

Visually, I’m inspired by everything from the baroque area of art and fashion to the world of BDSM, to old world mysticism. I have always made physical art in some way or another. I’m currently really into cut and snip collage utilizing old books, playboy magazines and vintage ephemera.

Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
Marie- I discovered a shift in my career over the pandemic. Many artists turned to Twitch as a platform to continue to perform and grow my community. Through Twitch, I cultivated my own community and found my family within the industry. The outpouring of love and support I received from people all over the world from different walks of life made me realize I could make a difference in this industry. This was right around the time Maude and I had connected about starting Delusional.

Maude: I don’t think so. I think it was really dialing in my vision for my work, myself as an artist, and the community I wanted to build. I’m only starting to realize how magic it is seeing our artists connect and support each other. I think the magnitude comes with the visibility. I really want other women, non-binary, or queer folks to know they can produce music, run a label and work in the realm of electronica. I want to share our infrastructure and my resources with my community, which can look like mixing a track for one of our artists, mentoring women in my studio on synthesis, or reaching out to artists I feel need their work elevated.

What made you both want to create Delusional Records and where did the name come from?
Marie- Before Delusional was born, Maude and I had discussed curating a compilation for International Women’s Day consisting of all female/non-binary artists but did not have a label to pitch the compilation to. My close friend and collaborator, Materielle, had started an online platform called Deckrekord on Twitch where she would curate live-streamed shows of underground artists with the majority being female. She had always said she wanted Deckrekord to become a record label once she built the rapport with her community. Maude and I pitched the idea of the compilation, and she happily took it as an opportunity to kick off her record label. During this time, Maude and I connected on our overall goals in our music careers and curating our own label was a shared dream of ours. We discussed our goals, values, and sonic vision and what it meant for us to run a label together. Everything ended up being in alignment. Shortly after our initial conversation, she scheduled a call with me to pitch the idea of Delusional.

Maude: I was finalizing the mixing on my record “The Umbra” and I knew I wanted this work to live in a home that felt really meaningful to me. I had thought about starting my own imprint for years and had done a lot of distribution for my past audio projects. I really didn’t know what it would take but I knew there would be growing pains. I reached out to Marie Nyx and Alex Brown to see if they wanted to be a part of this endeavor. Thankfully, both jumped at the opportunity and now they are the backbone of this label. Alex is a queer graphic artist and works in the medium of analog video synthesis. She does all our artwork and visual assets. Marie Nyx holds down the A&R and distribution and I do all the tech-related tasks.

The name Delusional came from a conversation I had with my best friend in the middle of the street in the DTLA Arts District. The gist of the convo was about continuously giving our time and energy to things or people, being unfulfilled, and expecting change instead of seeing the reality and how important it is to sit in the uncomfortable. We talked about how growth comes from doing the hard, fearful and maybe even Delusional thing and jumping into the unknown. Many people throughout my life have told me I’m crazy and my dreams are ridiculous, but I continue to jump without a parachute and somehow keep landing. So, shout out to my best friend Heather Gray for always keeping it real with me and supporting my delusional dreams.

How does your experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ translate into your art?
Marie- Until recently, I have always struggled with fully accepting my queer identity. Over the pandemic, I was able to reflect and dive deeper into who I really was and what was holding me back. With the help of community and connecting with other queer artists, I was inspired to publicly embrace my true self. I feel like this new unafraid, authentic self that has been unlocked has increased my passion in keeping my art and community authentic. Music really is healing.

Maude: I think the biggest thing for me is wanting to work with artists where I feel seen and understood. I want to put my energy into projects where I’m not the token queer person but rather working with my community for shared unity. A lot of my collaborative work is with women or queer people. It’s really about the ritual and sacredness of queer connection for me. It goes so much deeper than just remixing or collaborating on a track, it’s about queer folks coming together through art for healing, connection, and expression.

What are your favorite songs on the compilation?
Marie- It is really hard to choose my favorites, as the compilation as a whole is a beautiful piece of art that I cannot listen to enough. Marie Ann Hedonia’s “Cat Dance” was made solely on her modular synthesizers and switches between punchy half-time and full time drumbeats with a 90s rave sounding arpeggiator laid over top. I can’t listen to it without bobbing my head or dancing. Another favorite is Luzi Tudor’s driving sci-fi techno track “Primal Panic”. Luzi is a DJ and producer I have been following for quite some time and I was so excited for her to be a part of this compilation.

Maude: This is so difficult because I love every single track and continue to rinse this release. If I had to pick my favorite, it has got to be Dahlia Fae’s track “Infliction”. The toggle between the DnB/gabber drums she creates with her M8 tracker, her moody vocals and her modular synth melodies just tug at the nostalgia of the old underground rave scene I was a part of, while still sounding modern and innovative.

My other favorite is Russel Woods of Flint Michigan. He uses an array of synthesizers and samplers to really bring the electro groove to the compilation. This track goes off in the club as well!

How would you describe Delusional Records to someone who has never heard of any of its artists?
Maude & MarieDelusional is an inclusive space for experimental electronica that highlights underground artists. We heavily prioritize sound design and LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC artists in hopes of bringing electronica back to its roots.

In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
Marie- Music is what I have always been the most passionate about in my life. I have always been one to hold myself back from my full potential, but when I found DJing I knew it was what I needed to be doing. I was apprehensive to enter a pretty intense industry predominantly consisting of men but ended up diving in headfirst, earning respect from my community, and never looked back.

Maude: I have always known I could create art but never really believed my art had value. Over the last 5 years I have worked really hard on combating my imposter syndrome. My imposter syndrome stems from having some really uncomfortable experiences while getting my audio degrees, being the only female presenting/queer person in my program, coupled with working as a studio tech in many premier LA studios. Everything from sexual harassment to being minimized/talked down to, lead me to feel like I could never make a mistake, ask for help or have room to grow. I have found myself in a really good place where I feel empowered to share my experiences, create my own opportunities and take up space.

What’s next for Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx?
Marie- Next month I’ll be making my Chicago debut for our first out of state Delusional showcase alongside two of our artists DELA and Castrin. I also have an industrial techno remix coming out July 6th on Entelodon Records. Lastly, I have begun a concept for my second EP, which I am hoping to release at the end of this year.

Maude: I am finishing up a few collaboration pieces with vocalists while simultaneously working on my LP. I have a 6 page feature in the Korg Patch and Tweak book which will hit bookstores come fall. I just finished my first personal sample bank with sounds from my modular synth patches and other amazing machines. I have a 2-hour mix of all LGBTQIA+ artists coming out on Dublab in celebration of Pride and our compilation. We are curating a few festival and warehouse lineups with Delusional and LGBTQIA+ artists. Lastly, we are so excited for the rest of the year for Delusional releases, Etari from LA is up next! It’s always busy busy busy!!

What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
Marie- I want to see the future of electronic music recognizing artists based on talent and craft; not the number of social media followers they have or the value of their press kit. I want to see more diverse lineups consisting of women, BIPOC, and queer people. This begins with labels, promoters, publications, and festival music coordinators doing their research of finding raw, underground talent. It begins with stepping up and setting an example, which is what we have strived for with Delusional.

Maude: I wish to see inclusive lineups and larger promoters giving back to the industry. I wish to see harm reduction at every event. I want to see labels run by white cishet men do their due diligence to find underground biopic, women and queer artists. I want to see mentorships and the shared access to music and technology education.

Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Marie- Thank you SPIN for having us and sharing this release! Please enjoy our 30 minute mix in which every track is from our Delusional catalogue.

Maude: Thanks SPIN for sharing this compilation, this release is so dear to my heart and my work in this industry!