“I just did a live show in San Francisco and this guy came up to me and said, ‘I honestly felt everything you were going through when you wrote this music,’ explains Lauren Flax. “It was literally the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. It’s incredible that people can feel that in my music.”
With a gripping sound that builds on edgy textures, acidic stabs and frenzied analogue rhythms, the 40-year-old holds nothing back when channelling her experiences through her work. Originally from Detroit, she was driven out of her home at a young age and found solace within the rave community. “It was the first time I found out what a real community is, and it was filled with people that could really be there for a queer like me,” she explains. “It was around this time I moved into my first apartment, which was $179 a month and was across the street from a medium security prison and above a bondage bar. That was my first home.”
Having sparked her musical passion when she learned to play drums at the age of 10, once she found electronic music, Lauren immersed herself in the work of artists like Drexcyia and Front 242. She dived head-first into the local Detroit scene, picking up shifts at record shops like Record Time and Detroit Threads. “Threads just felt like a little family,” she says. “I would stay on top of all the records that would come in and just discover things constantly.” With such wealth of knowledge at her fingertips, it was only a matter of time before she was ready to start Djing and producing herself.
With her roots in electro, techno, jungle and other forms of rave indebted music, Lauren’s own productions are filled with hard and pacey rhythms fuelled by her turbulent upbringing. “I’m only just starting to understand that I’m always channelling a lot of anger and sadness through my music,” she explains. “It’s really nice to understand that. It’s about being honest with my music – and I don’t think I can't go wrong if I’m being honest with what I’m making.”
Decades later she’s now based in Brooklyn and her raw and powerful sound is gaining traction on a global level. With recent releases on The Bunker New York and DJ Haus’ Unknown To The Unknown imprint, she’s connecting with listeners who are gravitating to her passionate musical story.
“With that Bunker record there was a lot of anger in there,” she explains. “I wrote a lot of it when Trump won and I wasn’t speaking to my family. There was a lot of pain that went into that. I think you can hear it especially on ‘One Man’s House Is Another Woman’s Techno’. I was just furious.”
With an upcoming EP dropping via 2MR and having just scored an official short-film entry at Cannes Film Festival this year, Lauren’s raw energy isn’t just winning her fans on the dancefloor, but getting her inimitable voice heard in all sorts of spaces.
Lauren’s remix of Phuture’s ‘Acid Track’ is out now on Afro Acid Plastik
Harrison Williams is Mixmag's US Editor, follow him on Twitter
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