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Interview: Crone - Now! Here! This! Ōtautahi Festival

Interview: Crone - Now! Here! This! Ōtautahi Festival

Tash van Schaardenburg / Photo credit: Ted Black for his brand Cold Wave / Friday 11th June, 2021 1:30PM

Crone aka Emily Berryman and Lucy Reid are taking their chilling brand of experimental techno back to the South Island, to grip the dancefloor in their shivering drones and bone-rattling percussion with Audio Foundation’s Now! Here! This! Ōtautahi Festival. Based in Pōneke, crone are performing as part of a stunner line up of locals, and visitors Omit, K-group and Sewage. The kaupapa of the festival is collaboration, with Lucy Reid also appearing in collaborative sets throughout the festival which started last night with four more shows throughout the weekend at Otautahi’s Space Academy. Tash van Schaardenburg (Citacsy / Unisex Fuck Club) had a quick chat with crone in the virtual realm, before their upcoming gigs and the imminent launch of a new remix of their track 'crush' by Whanganui producer Body Beat Ritual [UPDATE: featured below]…

Now! Here! This! Ōtautahi - Space Academy

Friday 11th June - 8pm, tickets available HERE via UTR

Chris Spall / Maki Matsumoto / Nic Woollaston / Jake Kīanō Kinner
Motte / Ro Rushton-Green / Lucy Reid
Justin Dehart
K-group / Omit
Lucy Reid / Gabriel Griffin / Jonty O’Connor / Reece Mcnaughton / I.R.D / Mike Minchington / Luke Shaw

Saturday 12th June – Auricle Ambisonics, 2pm

Paul Toohey / Malcolm Riddoch / David Khan / Noel Meek
Nicole Reddington / Michael Kime / Helen Greenfield / Anita Clark / Ro Rushton-Green / Heather Webb / Nic Woollaston
Jake Kīanō Skinner / Geoff Low / Memory Burn

Saturday 12th June – 8pm, tickets available HERE via UTR

Rmf Thomas / Motte / Jonty O’Connor
Omit / Teen Haters / Emma Johnston
Poltroon / Sewage
Big Flip The Massive

Tash van Schaardenburg: Kia ora Lucy & Emily! I hope you’re both doing great. What’s the Pōneke electronic scene like at the moment?

crone: Kia ora! To be honest we’ve both been pretty low key so far this year. Third Party is a cool young and queer DJ club night serving up hyperpop and gabber. There are a few people involved, but the brains behind it is multi-talented DJ and VJ zozo, who has previously organised events as CLUBHAUS.

In terms of the live electronic scene, we are missing our fave collaborators Strange Stains, Ursula Le Sin, Oil Grace, ENT and Zero Plussed / Beneficiary 414127193, who have all relocated to Tāmaki Makaurau for the time being.

I did a bit of digging and found that you two had been involved in shows together as DJ & presenter / curator all the way back in 2016 for Radio One in Dunedin. How did crone begin?

Haha yes! Synthesize Me was an iconic weekly radio show featuring Emily, Bianca Prujean (Embedded Figures, Strange Harvest) and Renee Barrance (Ov Pain, Élan Vital) as hosts. I did a few guest shows and got my first Lumen Lux DJ gig when they asked me to play their club night.

Crone actually began as a solo project when Emily put a piece together for the Refining Light audio-visual festival at the Anteroom in Port Chambers, with help from Phoebe McKenzie on visuals. From there we started jamming with the idea of combining Emily’s penchant for dreamy melancholic synth, with my affinity for the physicality of club and noise music.

It took a little while to work out and our first gig was a disaster. Nothing was synced and my power cut out like 5 times! We still don’t really know what we’re doing lol.

You’re also co-founders of MESH, which has played a significant part in how diverse and rich the Pōneke electronic music scene is currently — through it’s mix series and club nights. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about the vibe of the MESH collective’s work?

MESH started in 2018 when we both moved to Pōneke at the same time as our friend Jelly O’Shea, who was running DIRT online gallery. The idea was that it would exist as a sound-focused sub branch of DIRT, but its offline life has probably flourished more than its online counterpart.

The kaupapa of MESH is to build community and provide an accessible and empowering space for experimentation, with a focus on artists and audiences who often exist on the fringes and may not otherwise feel supported. We wanted to present this music in a way that welcomes new people in rather than alienates and shift environments through collaboration with visual artists.

The core collective has always been predominantly queer and so that shapes everything we do, even when we are not explicit about it.

We are on a bit of a hiatus at the moment though.

Crone has a new EP coming out soon. What can we get amped up for?

Second Skin is clubbier than our first EP, which had more of a drone / experimental feel. It’s still got the distinctive discordant sound, just more dancefloor friendly. Our single ‘crush’ should give a good idea of what to expect. There is also an amazing remix by Body Beat Ritual, which is due to be released very soon via The Brvtalist.

People that haven’t seen you live might not realise that Lucy actually plays a drum pad with a looper rather than a drum machine, I think that percussive physicality is really tangible in many of your songs. Do you find that your joint use of hardware influences the overall feeling of your music?

I’m happy that translates! We’re not hardware loyalists, but it has definitely influenced the sound, feeling and structure of our music. We often swing between the appeal of the unlimited potential of software and the immediacy, tangibility and restriction of hardware. We’ve been thinking about changing our set up for a while, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.

You're playing at Now! Here! This! Festival at Space Academy on the 10th, 11th, 12th June, both as crone and also as musical collaborators. What can we expect?

As well as a crone performance, I (Lucy) have been invited to play a few collaborative sets with other artists. I think one even has six drummers! While improvised drumming is my first love, I haven’t played since BEARZONEXXX stopped jamming last year so hopefully I don’t drop my sticks.

Whenever I see crone perform, you are dressed in impeccable ‘sci-fi goth’ fashion. Maybe you could name drop a few of your favourite brands / designers for us?

It would be remiss of us not to mention our fellow Pōneke via Ōtepoti crew of JPALM, Vague Jewellery and Cold Wave. We love them all and their work!

Our most memorable fashion moment happened when we last played in Ōtautahi. Steven Park of 6x4 approached us on the dancefloor and said he had two matching dresses that would be a perfect fit for our vibe. We went around for lunch the next day and he gifted us these beautiful metallic pieces made of recycled material that he had ripped and burned. They are still our favourite thing to perform in!


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