Basse-Cour is proud to announce Release The Ghosts, a thrilling three-track EP showcasing the raw, tough, and visceral techno prowess of a rising talent in the electronic music scene, Canadian artist Queensyze.

Queensyze is a Canadian DJ, producer, composer, and filmmaker. Having produced in various genres throughout her career, she released her debut techno EP The Pretty Lights in 2019, with 2022’s follow up Smells Like Acid given a glowing review by Resident Advisor. 

Release The Ghosts is a testament to Queensyze’s uncompromising vision and exceptional production skills. Each track encapsulates a unique and distinct sonic identity, bound together by their unyielding intensity and relentless energy. 

Hi, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today! 

Hi! No problem! Thanks for having me on.

How has the year been treating you so far?

It’s been good so far. I’ve been hunkered down writing music. 

Where do you think the impulse to create music comes from for you?

I think the impulse to create music comes from a combination of things for me. Sometimes it comes from the energy of my surroundings, sometimes it comes from the urge to write a lyric expressing what I’m going through or have gone through, I’m writing lyrics and thinking about how a track would map out all the time and since I moved to my new place on Saturna Island my music has evolved a bit. I went from living in a small condo in Vancouver to living on over an acre on a Southern Gulf island in British Columbia, Canada. It’s weird because you’d think being surrounded by nature I would write more downtempo slower stuff, but my music got harder and faster and more aggressive rhythmically. I think this is because I’m exposed to the elements more and experience them. I’ve experienced wind during the winter like I’ve never experienced wind before in my life. This new rhythm of nature is definitely evident in my “Release the Ghosts” EP, my next EP that I’m in the middle of writing now is all about the wind pressure. I also think being so closely tied to nature has made me feel stronger and more resilient, I think all of this change is reflected in my new music.

Tell us about your current studio set up – any particular bits of go-to kit you find yourself returning to?

In my current set up I use both inboard and outboard gear. I use Logic as my DAW and I have my go-to outboard synths like my Moog Sub 37, my Virus T1 and Virus C. I also have my TB-303 and TR-09 that I’ve used on every single track I’ve produced since I bought them. I have a bunch of different sounding pedals that I usually put my synths and sound design through to get an interesting sound or if I want to move the sound in a different way. This added step is very subtle but I love how it makes the music move and hit in new and interesting ways. I also have a bus master chain that I put my tracks through that’s an SSL – style bus compressor and I have a Neve 32087 stereo EQ that I love the sound of. 

You were once involved with the Experimental Theremin Orchestra in Canada – what attracted you to this strange instrument?

Ha, yea that was a very abstract weird thing I did. It was at a time in my musical life that I felt pretty dry creatively in electronic music and I felt I needed something more tangible to dive into. The timing was really strange because I was in this creative lull with my productions, and then for my birthday, I was given a ticket to a theremin building workshop and I thought it was the coolest gift in the world. In the workshop, I built my own theremin instrument that included soldering all the parts with the guidance of instructors who helped us ensure our parts were soldered in the right way! At the end of the workshop we performed a concert for a group of people. And then we decided to start what we called “The Experimental Theremin Orchestra”, the only one of its kind in Canada. I did it for a year or so and we performed other shows together and then I got back into track making, it was a really good bridge to get me back into music and it helped me turn my attention to the sound design process. 

Your sets have been described as both “enchanting” and “aggressive” – how do you strike this balance? 

I love to play with opposing moods during my sets and play with different energies with the crowd. When it’s really good, it’s like we’re as one and I feel their energy and move in out of moods with them. I like to bring it really down to minimal and introspective and then build it up into an incredible crescendo, and then stay there for a bit then bring it down again to introspective. I think bringing in / out of the head sort of speak is what I like doing the most. Make it so we get all ravey together, get inside our heads and introspective and then I pull everyone out and we get to jump and shout and scream let it all out when it gets aggressive. It’s a push / pull with each other, mysterious and serious mixed in with fun.

You were involved in quite a severe accident a few years back – can you tell us about how this affected you?

Yea sure. After the accident my life completely stopped. I had to stop DJ’ing and producing, I couldn’t do anything for months other than go for walks, see doctors and rehab. I also now live outside of the city as a result. The thing is that when I got injured, the doctors said it would take a week to recover. But then a week turned into a month which turned into three and so on. So I didn’t really know how serious it was until I was starting to get better. But during the process of recovery the hardest for me was that music made me physically ill. I couldn’t listen to it without getting sick for over a year and producing was one of the last things to come back. So I’m super happy and very excited to be here with you today, I’m so thankful that I get to work with music again.

Did you find it hard to get back to a creative mindset after experiencing this trauma? 

Yea, definitely. It was very difficult. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to again. I just figured it’s something I’ve done for all of my adult life so I have to figure out a way back and I had to work really really hard to make it happen, that’s what this EP is about. 

What can you tell us about your new EP, why should we be checking this one out? 

My new EP “Release the Ghosts” is a harder techno style than my previous work which I think is a reflection of what I went through and where I live now. The lyrics  for the title track “Release the Ghosts” were written when I was in the thick of recovery  “I’m gonna release the ghosts within you, I’m gonna run through your shadows standing still, darkness will fall within us, you won’t feel the same”, the lyrics are very dark in a spoken word sound design framework that go over the break and then it goes into a raging synth that drops and goes hard. I wrote the synths to kind of symbolize letting it all go, like screaming it all out almost. It’s one of the most aggressive tracks I’ve ever made. It still surprises me when I hear it.

The second track “Eat Me Alive” has a repetitive percussion and my vocal that says “they’re going to eat me alive”, that I pitched down to make it sound darker. It’s relentless.

“Days Go By” is the other side of the process,  the lyrics “You don’t know the time you waste….days go by” kind of says it all.  It has a dreamy breakdown with 90’s style synths that drops into a hard 303 techno track. 

For all the tracks In the EP I play with the juxtaposition of the introspective with the hard and aggressive, similar to what I do when I DJ.

Do you work well when collaborating with other artists? Or do you prefer to go it alone in the studio? 

I’ve worked with many artists and I enjoy the collaboration process, but when I work with other artists I’m usually still alone in the studio as we work remotely with each other. I have worked this way with other artists for a while now. I think what I like most about the process is having to open yourself up to be vulnerable in your safe creative space. Open to other ideas and production styles. I think it has made me a better producer.

Which artists are currently exciting or inspiring you?

I tend to listen to sound design driven experimental music, ethereal cinematic stuff to get inspired. 

What should we expect from you for the rest of 2023? 

I’m presently in introspective mode writing my next EP.