Whether playing at an intimate club, a packed festival, an underground warehouse, or a magical sunrise deep in the Playa, Tara Brooks music envelopes the crowd, stirring them with deep driving grooves, hypnotic rhythms, haunting & tripped out melodies, & splashes of acid & soul.
Now, Tara makes her Bedrock debut with the compelling 3-track ‘Eunoia EP’. We recently sat down with her to discuss more details about this important milestone.
Electronic Groove: Hey Tara, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. First, let’s get up to speed with what you’ve been up to recently – how was 2018 for you? On reflection, what key moments would you pick out as being pivotal?
Tara Brooks: Happy to re-connect, thank you! 2018 was a beautiful and industrious year! Highlights included Rainbow Serpent Festival and Return to Rio in Australia, Katerblau, Watergate, and Sisyphos in Berlin, Miami Music Week, NYE with John Digweed at Output, Cityfox’s Morgana, and, of course, Desert Hearts and Burning Man. Musically, it was a great year of releases; Kindisch, Akbal, Exotic Refreshment, and 2019 is starting off with a bang, with releases on Bedrock, Get Physical, and Kattermukke thus far… :).
EG: How did your childhood experiences develop your interest in music?
Tara Brooks: My whole family shares a deep passion for music: mom sings and plays piano, dad sings and plays guitar and my sis and I always sang together. I grew up listening to classic rock records, going to rock concerts, which quickly turned into raves.
EG: When you started DJing, was there a defining moment when you were given the affirmation that this was where you wanted to focus and develop your career?
Tara Brooks: Yes, in 2007 when I was teaching myself to DJ just for fun, I beat-matched properly for the first time and the unique sounds by two different records created the most beautiful sound experience. It was special. It can be healing, creative, fun, and magical. I discovered the power to escape from any negative feeling or challenge, while also giving this therapy to others; the feeling of pure joy and happiness translated through my own vibrations (yes, I was sober. laughs) – That’s when I truly believed in how powerful DJing was for me and for the world.
EG: Do you find it easy to express your deepest emotions when you play and make music, or is this something that finds an outlet only in certain, special moments?
Tara Brooks: Great question. Because I’m sensitive and emotional, I usually find it easier to express my deepest emotions through my production and DJ sets. It also makes it more challenging if there’s a disconnection in sound, vibes, mood and environment – but that’s the fun of it! Each set and experience is completely unique. You never know what’s going to happen.
“Experiencing music from all different cultures and coasts has shaped and influenced my music today”
EG: You’ve just released your debut EP for John Digweed’s legendary Bedrock label, how does that feel?
Tara Brooks: It feels fucking phenomenal. John’s inspired me from the very beginning and I’ve always respected him, so it’s just beautiful that he’s enjoying my music and supporting me. It’s refreshing and fulfilling that, after years of hard work, passion, experimenting and evolving, my music is doing to others what my inspirations have done to me.
EG: Guide us through your creative journey to where your sound has evolved to today?
Tara Brooks: I feel that one of my greatest challenges and gifts is having the range and love for so many sounds and genres. I’ve always been a risk taker and believed that in order to tell my story, I needed to take a journey outside the box & not limit myself, as long as I’m respecting and connecting to my environment. It’s important to let go of fear and accept the idea that what we do and who we are, may not be for everyone, and that’s ok. The magic doesn’t happen until you truly believe in yourself and your taste in music. Taking risks is a high, it’s fun, daring, and that’s how you grow and discover the next adventure of your own sounds. Experiencing music from all different cultures and coasts has shaped and influenced my music today. Over the last few years, Detroit sounds and vibes have stolen my heart and put a funky groovy acidy spin on my soulful melodic trippy deep techno lol. Today I’m all over the map, what I do just depends on what’s in front of me – from acid deep soulful techno, to melodic hypnotic psychedelic groovy trippy layered house.
EG: Tell us something about the psychological effects of music that totally blows your mind?
Tara Brooks: Music has the unique power to heal the mind and body. It is so crucial to keep playing and sharing, since these amazing vibrations, frequencies, and special melodies can totally uplift and positively impact our mood and energy, and hopefully promote harmony in our chaotic world.
EG: What’s your studio set up like? Any favourite pieces of equipment that you can’t live without?
Tara Brooks: Studio is nothing fancy but does the trick. Yamaha HS8’s, Apollo twin interface, Novation ultranova, Roland hpd-20 handsonic, Roland TB-03 Bass line, Dave Smith Mopho. I use Logic and I’m a sucker for plug-ins but continuously experimenting, and just diving into my new bass line. Get ready for my acid 😉
“I needed to take a journey outside the box and not limit myself”
EG: If you were given free reign to dream up your perfect party anywhere in the world, can you paint us a picture of what it would be like?
Tara Brooks: There are so many beautiful parties today, so cheers for those doing it the right way. I’ve done a few special events and the work and energy that goes into them is more then most can imagine. I don’t think a party can be perfect without all of the challenges along the way (lol). However, beautiful weather, perfectly tuned sound (kv2 audio, danley sound, or funktion one), open-minded down-to-earth crowd and a safe place, welcoming all good quality people and music programming consisting of multiple genres, an honest, experienced, organized, and attention to detail staff who care more about the music, people, and experience, then the largest profit.
EG: Having grown up through the evolution of the West Coast underground scene, what’s your assessment of things now? Is the scene/community healthy? What could improve it?
Tara Brooks: I couldn’t be more proud of where we are today. In the last five or six years the underground scene has grown immensely and there’s more amazing forward-thinking music and proper underground parties every weekend! I love the fact that we have a pretty tight scene and although competition is a thing, most promoters and DJs really support each other. If they’re not playing or throwing a party, they make an effort to make the rounds and it’s a pretty great family here. Also huge is our Burning Man community, which makes things extra loving and earthy :). If they’d actually pass the laws of later liquor license, that’s always a plus (not because we are huge drinkers, but if the parties could legally stay open, of course things would be better for the industry and the economy as a whole). I’d say the scene is pretty healthy and on a beautiful rise.
EG: After this superb release for Bedrock, what new projects should we watch out for from you in the coming months?
Tara Brooks: Remix on Get Physical, Kattermukke, and currently making tunes for a few more special labels, which I’ll share soon.
EG: And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Tara Brooks: Focus and BELIEVE in yourself, while supporting others… It’s way too easy to get caught up in toxic competition or comparing yourself with what others are doing. The more love, belief and positive focused energy you put into yourself, the more creative and successful you will become.
Tara Brooks’ ‘Eunoia’ EP is now available. Grab your copy here.