While Edmonton isn't a city that many think of when it comes to electronic music, in Canada or elsewhere, DJ and producer Hood Joplin is working to change that. The Alberta native's playful and in-your-face mixes for local labels slash collectives including Manicure Records and carepackage, the latter of which she co-founded, blend footwork, trap, and everything in-between with plenty of personality to spare.
Last month Joplin released her debut EP, #75FFA1, via Drama Hands, consisting of five tracks that see her expanding the palette and possibilities of her sound. Composed during a typically frigid Edmonton winter, the music takes a darker direction, tempering the high-energy of her DJ sets with thoughtful exploration.
Naturally, we asked her to make an exclusive mix for us, and the result includes expertly selected songs by artists including Baltimore rapper TT The Artist (who Joplin played with recently during Calgary's Sled Island Festival), the recently freed Gucci Mane, and Albertan talent like footwork and jungle producer HomeSick. Listen to it below while you read our Q&A with the up-and-coming DJ and producer.
THUMP: Tell us a bit about your mix.
Hood Joplin: With this mix I wanted to showcase a selection of tracks and sounds that I'm listening to as of now, rather than stick to a genre, I guess most of my sets are like that as well. The BPM goes from 140-160 which is my favorite range for club tunes. You'll find a blend of everything from tread to footwork.
How did you get into DJing?
The scene was kind of stale in Edmonton and no one was putting one another in check. Some dudes have been playing the same set over and over and I was sick of it. There was a turning point where I was like, okay I know enough after years of studying hip-hop, so how can I contribute? I literally locked myself in my room for a long-ass time until I was comfortable enough mixing, no one really knew but a few of my URL friends.
My homie Mier [Peen Ness] asked me to do a mix for a compilation he put together based out of Philly, so I did. The mix made its way through the digital realm and ended up in Canada where the homies who threw the legendary Rude Haus parties caught a listen, asked me to play my first show, and I've been playing shows ever since.
The title of your EP is an HTML color hex, do you think about the music you make or play when you're DJing in terms of color?
I think I have some form of audio synesthesia. Colors are prevalent but I definitely can taste music if that makes sense. Some classic boom bap feels like the first bite of a good burger; conversely, trance gives me the feeling of fluoride after leaving the dentist. #75FFA1 is my favourite colour and the glue holding the tracks together. Seeing that color takes me to a point in time and certain headspace in which I made those tracks.
Is there anything particularly "Edmonton" about your sound?
There's quite a bit of footwork influence in my production and DJing. Alberta surprisingly has an small but incredible footwork scene, with artists like HomeSick, Sven K, and parties like Percolate. I was born and raised on the internet though so I think my regional sound is more Wi-Fi than Edmonton. No one is doing what I'm doing here.
AJ Tracey - Naila (Murlo Remix)
TT The Artist - Queen
Ghostwhip - Warehouse Tech
LSDXOXO - LOVE TAPS
Ganjoid - Lounge Out
Branstone - Cloud Rhythm
Young Thug - Amazing
HomeSick - Carnivore VIP
Tracy T - They Watchin'
Philthkids - Hydrolics
wavyOD & Lashington - Quinoa
FLP X Megablown - YOUNG PLANT
Gucci Mane - My Kitchen
DJ Earl - Gettin Blowed
Banta - Frost Glacier Cherry
Sinistarr & Philthkids - Pay Billz
DJ FLP - Bounce Like
100s - Ice Cold Perm
Hesk - Dig It
VANTAGE - Dat Boi
Michael Rancic is on Twitter.