Finding a record label to release your music isn’t easy. And sometimes, the hardest part is finding one that also aligns with your artistic mission and ethos. That’s what led Los Angeles-based producers Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx to found Delusional Records earlier this year. The queer-owned label focuses on underground electronic music, largely derived from techno, with an emphasis on artists who use hardware. Their roster consists of 60% women and non-binary artists and they’re committed to inclusiveness and diversity.
“Over the pandemic, we both built a community on Twitch. We met a lot of people throughout the world that showed so much support in anything we did,” says Nyx on a recent video call.
Vôs adds that digging deeper into various record labels over the course of the pandemic led to a realization that “visibility is so needed once this world maybe comes back.” The time that Nyx and Vôs spent without live gigs provided the opportunity to prepare the label for its launch, which happened right around the same time that Los Angeles venues reopened. Delusional Records dropped its first release, Vôs’ three-track EP The Umbra, in early June. With the label’s second release, V Twin from Salt Lake City-based SIAK PHD, they were able to celebrate with a private rooftop party in downtown Los Angeles.
While Vôs and Nyx share a vision for the label, their approaches are different. Vôs works full-time in music. She does sound design for art and fashion projects and is beginning to take on film work too. She also mixes and masters music for other artists. To manage all that, she keeps a schedule that’s divided into ten-hour chunks. “That works really well for me; it’s the concept of time boxing,” she says. That means that, in any given week, she’ll spend ten hours learning, ten hours on tech-related tasks, which could be anything from mastering to trouble-shooting, tem hours on PR and administrative work and another ten hours on creating her own music.
“I don’t have a set schedule of hours for specific things because my schedule is ever-changing,” says Nyx, who has a full-time, work-from-home job in another industry. Nyx has also been playing a lot more gigs now that in-person events are a thing again. “I keep a calendar and really stick to the list of things I have to do that day,” she says. “I generally put label and music things first. That’s what I do right when I wake up.”
After the sun sets, Nyx will work on producing music or recording mixes. “At night is when I really get into my creative mode,” she says. “It’s more admin in the morning and creativity at night.”
In less than six months, Delusional Records has put out six EPs. The most recent, Nyx’s Elysium: The Remixes, hit the web on November 11. It includes contributions from L.A.-based duo tau0n, Deckrekord label founder ILAŸDA and producer Kana Hishiya. Vôs collaborated with whoistheMETRO for a remix of “Out of the Shadows.”
The remix EP comes just a few weeks after Nyx’s successful debut, Elysium, released On October 20. Just four days later, Elysium, driven by the track “Occult Reverie,” topped the Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic) chart on dance/electronic music online store, Beatport. Meanwhile, another cut, “Up for Air,” landed the EP in the number three spot on the Minimal/Deep Tech chart.
“That is something for a label because it put us on the map on Beatport,” says Nyx, before noting how shoppers checking out the EP will see the label’s other releases as they browse. “It’s nice to have that visibility.”
Since Beatport is widely used by DJs, it’s safe to say that a chart hit there can also mean that Nyx’s music is making its way into sets at clubs and other events. “Back when I was first starting to DJ, I would check those top 100 charts first and start going through all the music. I would see a track by a specific artist or label that I liked and go to that artist’s page or go to that label and try to find other similar music,” says Nyx. “So, it does help ending up in a bunch of DJ sets and getting your sound out there.”
That achievement has had an impact on Nyx. She says, “For me, as an artist, it definitely feels unreal and makes me want to keep improving my work.”
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