With a penchant for combining the heavy hitting "UK-style techno" with a myriad of global sounds, Coffintexts has carved out a reputation for scuttling bass and unpredictable tempo switch ups. Part of the bubbling Miami bass crowd, this US DJ and producer has been tacitly building a covetable catalogue of releases since her debut single 'Has Anybody' in 2017. Coffintexts unique approach to the dancefloor, a combination of sultry and penetrative sounds to keep bodies moving and brains ticking, has seen her gain the support from both the Big Room and small — with everyone from Pearson Sound to Charlotte de Witte having rinsed her records in the last few years.
Growing up in the US, aka Alex Muggli, was surrounded by music as a child. Her mother was a touring musician in Lima, Peru while her father played the drums — though it was the every day favourites that, the artist who would later be tearing up the basement venues of the West Coast, says first captured her imagination. "The first songs I liked were by artists like Linkin Park, Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, Sade and Rui Da Silva," comments Alex. "My fondest memories might be from when MTV was in its prime." Though she admits she doesn't quite remember her real introduction to the world of dance music, "a memorable" first gig was catching Skrillex at Miami Music Week in 2011. "I was with only a handful of people in the crowd at a small outdoor area," she says. Her early experiences with music, despite their eclecticism, she says still had a massive influence on the sounds she utilises today: "I like music for the same reasons I love food, because they both have such strong ties to memories."
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Taking an instinctive approach to her production, Coffintexts discography is a treasure trove of hidden gems and you-know-you've-heard-it-before-but-from-where bangers — though much of her work centres around the club, her versalitiy has earned her production credits on everything from R&B tracks to all-out speedy techno. Releases on Wet Paper, Digital File and Lossless Digital have placed her firmly on the radar of selectors across the Atlantic, including her full-length LPs 'QUESTIONABLE GOODS' and 'MEDIA NOCHE' — which she worked on with longtime collaborator and fellow Floridian INVT. While behind the decks, she's was selected for Boiler Room's 2021 Miami showcase, as well as appearances at Keep Hush Live Miami, Rakastella, Elsewhere, Public Records and more.
Following the release of Coffintexts new EP, 'Touch', on newly-minted Local Action sister imprint Clasico in May, we spoke to the low-end muse of Miami to talk influences, ethos and dance music's "Latin explosion" — check out our Q&A and Coffintexts hour-long Impact mix inspired by the music she listens to when "stuck in traffic" below.
Your new EP 'Touch' combines a myriad of global sounds and inspirations, could you tell us a bit about the process of making the EP?
I find myself working a handful of six hour sessions in a week, but a lot of the time it’s closer to eight hours, especially if I’ve booked studio time and I'm in there with a specific project in mind. I definitely take breaks, and usually find myself rewatching music videos that inspire me. I have been especially zoned in on my TR-8S and Electribe as of late, and sample cuts I enjoy. I’m also so happy I got to use some sultry vocals from my friend Gaby G on 'Ur Body So Smooth'.
Your style regularly combines elements of new-age Miami bass and off-kilter UK techno, how do you teeter between the two? Do you think there's some common ground sonically between the two scenes?
Yes, I for sure think they share similarities, especially in how the dancefloor experiences them. I like the way that both can make even the most rigid bodies sway. Personally, I love playing with tempos switches, kicks, and driving grooves that exude sensuality and bodily autonomy.
We saw that you listened to a lot of metal, hip-hop and Peruvian ballads while growing up in Miami. Has being raised in such a melting pot had an impact on your music?
Definitely, I love casually listening to music throughout the day, and I usually just shuffle my whole library. Living in Miami is a lot like that, because music entertainment is abundant and there’s a beautiful, growing community of independent artists, venues and organisers — so there’s more places to enjoy different kinds of music. I get overwhelmed by all of the different ways one can go with it. I like playing all types of stuff whenever I get the chance, which is why I like playing longer sets that give me the opportunity to go everywhere.
When did you first start DJing? and producing?
I first started DJing in 2010, producing right around 2016, but I have been around music all my life as both my parents loved it, and they play instruments.
You have a distinctly global outlook as far as your sound goes, do you think it's important to represent sounds that aren't always given a platform? and to introduce listeners to something new?
Yes, I think it’s part of the beauty / point of DJing, to introduce people to new stuff they may have never been exposed to.
What do you think about the European “Latin explosion”... do you see it as a good thing? Do you think there should be more education on the origins of Latin genres beyond the US?
I think it’s cool and heartwarming to see someone who is seemingly so different, enjoy something so close to me. Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt to expose and educate people on a little latin flavour and outlook on life. When I’m in Peru with my family, there’s always music thumping and it’s very joyous and celebratory. Everybody lets loose and enjoys each other’s company, singing and dancing together. It’s about celebrating life, each other, and embracing this time we have now together.
How does it feel for there to be such a global spotlight on Miami from the underground right now?
It feels weird and it’s also really cool. I feel like a lot of my peers and I have been at it for a while, so it’s kind of putting the work we’ve put in into perspective. It’s very nice for people to be interested in what we’ve got going on here. It’s a sweet pocket that’s for sure, and my favorite part is remembering that this is just the beginning of something we can grow together. Creating a sustainable community takes dedicated individuals, a lasting appreciation for music and some time — and given that Miami is a relatively young city, we’re onto something special.
What do you hope listeners take from 'Touch'? How would you like it to make them feel?
As per usual, I enjoy going for the sexy, sensual feels one way or another... but this time I approached the project with a hypnotic, danc-ey feel. I try to show different styles and variations within each project I put out
I can’t say thank you enough to Eleanor and Tom! It was such a breeze to do this together, and I’m so honoured that they reached out to me so early in their label’s journey. Their drive and excitement was very motivating, and it’s been very heartwarming to receive such consistent support on the release already — because I am very pleased with it sonically.
What is your biggest musical ethos?
Sharing music, and always finding a way to bring people together. Most importantly when I’m playing live, I want to make it about the audience and not so much about me. I’m always having a nice time though, and it’s a pleasure to share music.
What is coming up next for you?
Luckily for me, I’ve got my hands full with a little bit of everything. Just got to make sure I take the appropriate time to care for my wellbeing as I have a few different DJ mixes scheduled for release soon, some joint projects getting close to completion, solo projects, a few fun remixes. A lot of traveling too - working on finalising my debut in Europe in just a few more months!
Can let us know a little bit about this mix?
For this mix, I played some pleasant music that I’ve been listening to in my spare time recently. Of course I snuck in a couple unreleased tracks. I would usually listen to these when I’m stuck in traffic, because it eases my mind, and makes me feel good.
Megan Townsend is Mixmag's Deputy Editor, follow her on Twitter
Jonny From Space 'Unreleased'
Danny Daze & Matches 'If This'
SYZ 'Botanic Receptors' (Henry Greenleaf Reflex)
DJ Kemit & Luke Austin present The Lounge Lizards 'Intro To Dance'
ronan 'Sea Cave'
Mauricio, The Invisible 'Unreleased'
Fasme 'Sweet Flux'
Duke Hugh 'Nighthawks'
Luis Radio & Pietro Nicosia 'Barbosa' (Original Mix)
Maruwa 'Midnight Caller'
Baldo '1998' (Liquid Earth Mix)
Ronan & Teleself 'Ocular Reflex'
Lisene 'Moral Panic'
LWS 'Chug Sequence'
ronan 'Crystal Viewer'
Al Wootton 'JL' (Priori Sharp Tool Mix)
Guava ft. Alex Blake 'In Cloud'
Born in '92 'Tepehuan'
ELEANOR 'Thin End of The Wedge'
INVT & Coffintexts 'Unreleased'
Coffintexts 'Ur Body So Smooth'
Nick León 'Love Potion'
Satoshi Tomiie 'Coincidence'
Coffintexts 'BASIC BEAT XX'
Sister System 'Feel It In The Heat'