A chat with Fjäder
Ida Matsdotter, aka Fjäder, is a Swedish DJ on the rise. Deeply influenced by the natural surroundings of her island base outside Stockholm, she considers her music more than just techno – it has a textured, organic quality that surpasses the purely technological.
Ahead of her appearance at Patterns of Perception this Friday, September 22, we sat down to chat about her label Nordanvind, some upcoming releases and the influence of nature on her work.
First of all, we’re super excited for your set at Patterns of Perception! How would you describe your sound to those who’ve never seen you play before?
I play a lot with layers and filters. A guy once came up and said, ‘Thank you for showing me how to not mix techno’. He was in bliss mode. I kind of like to take it to the next level and play around and improvise a lot. Make art of it. I really like the kind of techno that is deeper and from there I can take it anywhere. Play from the heart is my kind of vibe.
Take us right back to where it began. What drew you into the techno scene and how did you get started as a DJ and producer?
I was a little girl growing up in a small village. I was not really in tune with anything except nature and music. So I went introvert and played a trance tune over and over. The track was Dance 2 Trance – Power Of American Natives.
Later on I ended up at a real rave. I was the weird girl with no social skills standing by the speakers. I just love the monotone vibe in techno and trance. The deep kick and the feeling you get when you stand on a really good dancefloor. Like pure bliss and epicness.
When I moved to Stockholm in 2010 I truly became a DJ thanks to my friends Martin and Andreas. Now it’s official. We were just mixing and trixin’ for years. Then I really started to long to make my own music and made some weird thing in Fruity Loops. Later on I met Fabian (Korridor). That was the next level of collaboration and exchange of knowledge. We entered the depths together. We just loved techno and from there it grew.
Many hours of sitting alone in the dark and a lot of collaborations later here I am. It takes dedication to come to this point. I don’t consider my music just techno. It’s technological of course but my music comes in layers and grows out of the speakers instead of staying inside. I just do what I like. No compromise. And that is what comes out.
At what point did you stop using your real name and start using the DJ moniker Fjäder (‘feather’)? What was the reason behind the change?
I was a bit insecure years back. I guess I did not feel I had the support I needed or the confidence. I was back and forth with the names and then I just started to put things out on Fjäder and then it grew. And actually it fits me very well. But I consider myself Ida with the feather and not only Fjäder. I use it as a tool to purify and reflect both myself and the surroundings with frequencies.
What’s your idea of the perfect club night? What are the key ingredients for you?
Great sound system, awareness and kindness. I am really tired of hard attitudes. I just want to be able to be myself at a party. Just release without anybody disrespecting me or any other soul around. And the music is the most important of course. It creates the vibe. I really like it when people take it to the next level with art and deco too.
You live on a smaller island outside Stockholm. Do you take inspiration from the natural environment that surrounds you?
Naturally I do. I am a very sensitive person and I easily take in my environment wherever I am. I have noticed that if I go to a big club I start to produce ”big floor music” and if I sit at home in my country house, then the birds and the wind come into the music. But creatively I remain somewhere in twilight between the city and the nature. I love both. But to answer the question, I have wonderful nature and I love to walk barefoot in the forest and record all the creatures of the woods. The woodpecker is so techno and the blackbird is a master of frequencies. Especially in moonlight.
Tell us a bit about your label Nordanvind – the artwork and release titles are very recognisable. What is the philosophy behind the label? Is anyone else involved in this project with you?
I felt a bit different from the rest of the techno crowd at a point. I don’t blame them. I can be a bit introverted and hard to get at first. My idea of the scene was bit more poetic and esoteric. So I decided to start my own vibe. On many levels I feel it springs from a very sacred and pure source. Eternal.
I also have the pleasure to add another of my skills. I am a poet and have been so for a very long time. Nordanvind is my fairy tale. On my label, I release the people that naturally are drawn into the label. Like destiny. I work with an amazing female artist name BIRDIE. She makes the artwork. She is truly amazing. She made the artwork spot on already from the beginning with the eyes. It’s a kind of awakening process for me and the people who want to tag along. Johanna Krikonnenko have also been a very great source on the design and inspiration part.
I recently started to collaborate with Eyvind Blix, Hampus Bogren and Linn Elisabet to take my label into the next phase. This collaboration will include new releases starting with Eyvind Blix and then also label nights in Stockholm and hopefully worldwide. Finally I found my collective of people that I feel will last. Pure intentions. I consider us a collective of people working together to create the northern wind. It’s definitely a ice cold wind of awareness blowing over the lands here from north. A fairytale with darkness and light, sadness and delight. And I can’t wait to show you the new winds that are coming. Winter is coming.
Do you have any upcoming releases planned that we should know about?
My computer is kind of stuffed with my own unreleased stuff at this point. I am starting to go a bit crazy. But the next VA on Nordanvind should be delivered in the following weeks. Right on time for ice and snow. It is a collaboration with Karl Bult and a remix made by me, Korridor and Jana Sleep. Can’t wait.
Your appearance at Patterns of Perception on September 22 will be your first in Berlin in awhile. Do you have plans for your set, or do you like to keep things open?
I always have a grand masterplan hahahaha but… in the end I will improvise with my library of ”broken records” to break and shake up. Emotions to stir up and passion to burn. But I have a feeling it will be very sensual and deep.
Lastly, which tracks have you had on heavy rotation lately and why?
Logic Records, 1993.
This track made me become a DJ and I love the vibe and the message in it.
Eyvind Blix – Asika.
Because this guy is simply brilliant
From The Brooklyn Sessions.
Very sexy music.
Jana Sleep – Lost His Crown
Her soul saved me.
Fjäder – Purification
Because I long for this to be released