MISSTRESS BARBARA spinning as part of the Techno & Progressive Stage at MEKKA (POSTPONED) Rating: NNNNN
Misstress Barbara has good reason to be a little freaked out. Not only is the Montreal DJ's schedule booked solid until next summer, but she's also slated to produce a new album in the fall, currently has a hand in several remixing projects and embarks soon on six dates of the Mekka tour. The travelling electronic music festival, featuring DJs ranging from hiphop and trance to house and drum 'n' bass, lands at Molson Park Sunday.
There's something about Mekka that makes Barbara's skin jump at its mere mention.
"People seem to take a lot more drugs at these festivals," she says. "I find the bigger the party, the more people are getting fucked up, and in the end they don't understand the music. I don't appreciate playing for those people who are completely lost on the dance floor.
"Still, it's fun to spin with other DJs, and I have a CD out, so I want to get a little exposure. I don't hate playing festivals like Mekka, but I really love the smaller clubs, because it's a more intimate vibe and people come out just to hear you. I don't know which DJs people are coming to see at these large shows."
The 26-year-old, Sicilian-born Misstress entered the big leagues last year by signing with the L.A.-based electronic label Moonshine, and released her first compilation, Relentless Beats Volume 1, in early February. It's a funky house mix with tribal rhythms that could make any stoned reveller jump up and wave his or her hands for more.
The self-professed control freak took a long time thinking about the deal before signing.
"I really needed a label with power and cash, with the contacts for distribution and sales for my mixed CDs," she says. "I've declined other deals because I want to release my original tracks on my own label, Relentless."
Creating Relentless not only allows Barbara total control over her studio tunes, but also helps fight the impression that she's a pure techno DJ, something she often encounters when trying to spin at different clubs.
"Since I've been so categorized into playing techno, clubs are more afraid to book me for other nights," she explains. "That's really frustrating, but I just have to wait for people to realize that I could change my sets to accommodate that night's vibe.
"It's sad, because if my genre were house music, I'd probably have the freedom to play wherever I wanted."ZACK MEDICOFF