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Los Angeles’ very own Ducky is the leading lady in the nightcore scene right now. One of the most hyped new underground DJs and producers of recent times – she’s never not putting in work. As well as releasing a new track every week, Ducky is also a co-founder of the new label, Club Aerobics, along with Bianca Oblivion and Suspect Bitch.
Her exciting approach to production and her 160 bpm (and rising) sets have seen Ducky catch the attention of big names in the dance world such as Anna Lunoe, Skrillex, Mija and nightcore royalty, Fan Fiction. She has been hand picked to play parties such as the NEST HQ showcase at SXSW, Anna Lunoe’s recent Hyperhouse party, JACK LA, and this Wednesday she will play the Dummy Presents: Activia Benz party in Los Angeles alongside Slugabed, Sega Bodega and Jerry Paper.
Whilst Ducky has been playing shows non-stop and building her arsenal of supporters, we caught up with the hyperactive producer to find out more about the growing nightcore movement, her favourite 160 bpm tracks, and more.
How would you describe the nightcore scene as a whole to people who aren’t familiar with it?
Ducky: "Honestly it’s the nicest scene I’ve ever participated in. It’s just a bunch of genuinely nice and enthusiastic kids on the internet who like to make and hear fast music."
What makes a song nightcore in your opinion?
Ducky: "At this point nightcore generally refers to other people’s songs that have been sped up. some people add additional production, extra percussion, etc. but that’s the foundation. I think that it’s going to become a broader term and we’ll start seeing “original nightcore” as well – original productions inspired by the sound of nightcore in its current form."
How long have you been working with nightcore and how did you get into it?
Ducky: "I was introduced to nightcore maybe eight months ago by Fan Fiction, a leader of the scene and one of nightcore's biggest advocates. I grew up going to raves in San Francisco that had gabber, hardstyle or D&B rooms, so I’ve been immersed and interested in hard and fast music for a long time. I’d been playing 160bpm tracks in my sets for a few years, but in NYC I could basically only get away with it if it was juke or footwork. Moving to L.A., I found a more open space to experiment with the harder and faster music I had always wanted to play."
"I grew up going to raves in San Francisco that had gabber, hardstyle or D&B rooms, so I’ve been immersed and interested in hard and fast music for a long time." – Ducky
Who are your favourite nightcore artists?
For people just getting into nightcore, who are three people they should follow on soundcloud for all the best reposts?
Your favourite 160 bpm tracks right now?
Banvox Summer (Getter remix)
Nahiba, Moti Turn Me Up (Ducky 160 edit)
Drezzo Bodies (Fan Fiction 160 edit)
Nightcore is super easy to find online, where is a good place to hear it IRL?
Ducky: "It’s not exactly easy to find IRL at the moment. If you want a guarantee that you’re going to hear nxc, you can catch one of my or Fan Fiction’s sets, you can hit the radio JACK/NONSTOPPOP parties if they come to your city, or you can definitely tune in to live streams URL. It’s starting to sneak into more and more DJ sets – Mija played a Sign Offline track at OWSLA’s SXSQ showcase last week."
I don’t think I've ever heard a set of pure nxc. I don’t do them myself. There are lots of fire 160+ bpm tracks that don’t fall under that category, why exclude those?"
Do you have a nightcore staple that you play in every set?
Ducky: "Moksi Blow Ya Mind (ducky 160 edit)."
You pump out a new Rave Tool every Friday! How long do they take to make?
Ducky: "I do! it kind of depends on the track… they’re rarely pure nxc’s, I’m generally making a more involved edit and chopping things up or sewing them together. Occasionally, I drop original productions as Rave Toolz when they fit the vibe. There’s no real plan or strategy, it’s just for fun – I often find myself making them the week of."
What’s one thing you want to see happen in the nightcore world or is there anything you'd like to change?
Ducky: "I’ve never thought of myself a leader of the scene so it feels a bit funny to answer this question. In my eyes the entire point is to have fun with fast music, so like… what could really be wrong? I’m just enjoying myself, digging for tracks that sound better at 160, and playing fun, hyper sets."
Do you feel like the whole nightcore movement is starting to crossover into a more general audience? Why?
Ducky: "It’s definitely getting there, especially in L.A.. Obviously support from more established artists has an effect. I think the strong core community helps as well – there’s a really solid, friendly scene and it’s very inviting. It helps that they’re generally pretty active on Twitter, so it’s visible. People also just seem to be more and more receptive to higher tempos. I’ve heard theories about how it mimics the speed of information, but it’s not something I’ve thought about in depth. I’m usually in my own world digging through Beatport, or producing, you know?"
Do you have a set planned for the Activia Benz party or will you just go with the flow?
Ducky: "No plan! I maintain a big playlist of my favorites that I update regularly, about 300 tracks at the moment, going from 100 to 216 bpm. Every three months I start a new one. I also keep some genre playlists on my usbs in case i end up in a situation that calls for like, all techno."
"Make good shit, release it regularly, don’t feel limited or defined by genres, be active on Soundcloud and Twitter, find small labels you like and send tracks to them without spamming them." Ducky
Do you have any advice to young producers trying to break into the scene?
Ducky: "Make good shit, release it regularly, don’t feel limited or defined by genres, be active on Soundcloud and Twitter, find small labels you like and send tracks to them without spamming them. Try to find a community of likeminded people to interact with and build each other up, but the music comes first."
Any last words or shout outs?
Ducky: "Keep an eye on Trekkie Trax for some new 160 originals from me next month."
Ducky plays Dummy Presents: Activia Benz upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles on March 23rd (free with RSVP).