Retrofit Podcast #5: Helen (Moustache Mamas)

Next up on our Retrofit podcast is Helen Burnip – one half of the mighty Moustache Mamas and co founder of the Hissy Fit Records label who’s first release from Death On The Balcony has been rocking our boxes for the past few months. Helens DJs sets at Electric Minds in London and the Moustache Mamas’ residency at Berlin’s Keine Reise have always kept us glued to the floor so we thought who better to step next for the cast!

Marysia catches up with her for a quick chat too, read on below……

How’s 2012 treating you so far?

2012 is beating us with a stick! Super, super busy but we’d not have it any other way. Launched our brand new sparkly label, produced and released our 1st ever record and one of us moved to the other side of the world, just your regular day to day shit really.

Your are one half of Moustache Mamas. Can you tell us more about this project & relation with the other half Tamara

Well this project really is an exploration of the relationship between the Military-Industrial Complex and UFO sightings. Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of the moment. What starts out as yearning soon becomes manipulated into a manifesto of temptation, leaving only a sense of chaos and the inevitability of a new order. I think you can probably hear this through the track selection, no?

and it seems like a busy year for Moustache Mamas so far. You have launched a label Hissy Fit Records recently. Can you tell us more about the project? How it came about? What are your plans for the next few releases? Artists you want to work with etc?

Well launching our own label was something Tam and I had been talking about for ages. Tam really was the force behind it, suddenly all this yakkin had turned into a reality and I woke up one morning to find the postman trying to shove a couple of test pressings through my letterbox. The Death on The Balcony boys did a sterling job on the 1st release, big ups to them. We have the 2nd and 3rd release lined up, hopefully gonna get no. 2 out very soon.

We’ve got no firm policies on who we wanna work with. The first 3 releases have happened to be friends who’ve created some brilliant stuff that we’ve snapped up. We’ve had discussions with some bigger name producers but as it’s happened the stuff we’ve been lucky to get our mitts on currently has been produced by friends. We really dig what they’ve done so we’re releasing it, simple as that really.

 How did you actually get into electronic music? What artists or releases had particularly influenced or motivated you to start a career?

Myself and Tam both came from very different musical backgrounds. I guess I got in to electronic music  when I started clubbing which was at quite a young age. I got completely engrossed in the scene from the 1st rave I went to at about 16years old. I didn’t really ever get into bands so much. The 1st live gig I ever saw was the Prodigy at Middlesborough Town Hall. I was at my clubbing prime in the mid to late 90’s when I’d progressed through rave to jungle to Drum n Bass and then to House music, this was a great time to be into House music. I loved it and guess this must have influenced me most as that’s when I started collecting records. I didn’t actually start Djing til about 8 years later, it wasn’t something I was particularly interested in doing. I just loved collecting and listening to my records, I had no aspirations to DJ. I don’t know what changed my mind, maybe I knew I had all this amazing stuff and I wanted everyone to hear it.

I know that DJing isn’t your full time job. Would you ever consider making it full time one day though?

Eeeeeee I don’t think I could hack the pace! Tam and I Djed at Berlin Fashion week last year, we did 4 consecutive gigs including our own Hotboxx Party all night Friday and finished it off with an 8 hour set at Kingsize on the sat night. I then went straight to the airport and flew home. Tell you what , I shaved a couple of weeks off my life after that escapade.

Do you agree that it’s still very much male dominated world or do you see women DJ taking it over soon?

Hmmmm, I guess if you look at DJ mag’s top 1,000,000th or whatever it is, DJ of the year polls then yeah I’d say it’s very much male dominated industry but I see more and more female DJ’s playing clubs in London especially. I have a couple of records that I always have in my bag that were produced by females that are killer tracks. I don’t think we’ll take over as such but I see more and more of us doing stuff equal to the boys.

Any exciting plans for the upcoming summer?

I have some festi’s and a couple of holidays planned, the rest of the time will be spent chained to the studio chair.

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