Electronic Music artist Mister Lady is returning to the source of industrial soundscapes that permeate post-punk inspired dance music. The project is the brainchild of London-based musician and DJ, Jacqueline Jirka, an artist who desired to bring forth a different type of club music experience than has typically resonated from the speakers of a Function One in recent years. Her aim is to bring back something more harsh, aggressive, and visceral, and in this endeavor, she more than succeeds.
Hailing from Chicago, Mister Lady spent her youth as an ardent follower of the industrial music scene of the 1990s, which was popularized by the all-star roster of Wax Trax! Records, and the city’s house music rave culture.
Today, Mister Lady melds together her inspirations from the caustic sound design of industrial rock, the complex harmonics of electronic music, the danceable flow of club music, and the performance energy of punk rock.
Having here origins in an expert in rhythms and percussion as a classically trained drummer, Mister Lady honed her music composition skills through studying and becoming a graduate of dBs Berlin’s Electronic Music Production and Performance program. With a natural attraction to hardware instruments over DAW-based music production, Mister Lady utilizes drum machines, modular synthesizers, and analog effects to create improvisational music with a dub recording technique.
Mister Lady’s 2020 debut EP, Heavy Metal Soundsystem, features aggressively charged, high-energy music that combines the dynamic energy of punk show with a high-end Techno club’s advanced sound system.
On making the EP, Jirka explains:
” I set out to record this EP because I felt like the world right now is bereft of challenging sounds. As a music fan, I missed the energy and intensity of 90s industrial music, but as a musician, I felt compelled to make electronic music, because it’s what’s relevant today. I think most current electronic music can really use a lot more adrenaline, and I wanted to add that to music.
For Heavy Metal Soundsystem I looked at different recording and production techniques, because I didn’t want to make standard stereo pan DAW-based music. I didn’t want to use a computer at all for this. When I was in music school I got really into Jamaican dub recording music, and soundsystem culture. That’s where the EP title comes from, because that’s essentially the marriage I want to create. Heavy metal, with a Jamaican soundsystem. In the same vein, all of these tracks are created improvisationally with an audio mixer, like a dub recording.
When it came to the recording, I’m really inspired by classic mono albums, like Nirvana’s Bleach from 1989, and I wanted to give the atmospheric energy of being at a punk show, so I re-amped my music through a Blackstar amp, and I recorded the entire thing into one track. That’s another thing that I find beautiful; the strangeness of the effects mixing, combined with the color of hearing everything come out through an analog EQ. I put those things together because it’s something that I think electronic music today has a lot of potential for; dissonant genre elements combined in a creative way. I think that can change the current downtempo state of popular music a bit.”
Not only does Mister Lady evoke the Wax Trax! heyday of Chicago’s industrial music scene, but the project also alludes to some of the sonic creativity of both Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire.
Listen below, and order the EP here.