Move over Beyoncé and Jay-Z, there’s a new power couple ready to ravish the world with their seductive sounds. The destined-to-be duo of Modernluv consists of Ghostly International artist Moderna and L.A. underground’s Leading Lady, Jeniluv. Having only joined forces at the tail end of 2013, they’ve already played alongside veteran DJ Levon Vincent, and have upcoming gigs booked in San Diego, San Francisco, Mexico and The Dominican Republic.
Skillful and stirring, in just one month their first mix, luv it or kill it, has gotten 20,000 plays on Soundcloud. Their second mix, Pillow Pushers, is a special Valentine’s Day treat they’ve shared with us, and it’s dripping in deep, dark and driving sounds. Each track flows effortlessly into the next, with a satisfyingly steady build that makes it hard to believe these two haven’t been playing together for years. We snagged the first interview with this talented twosome ahead of their San Diego debut THIS Wednesday at Spank, so be sure to make your way to Thruster’s Lounge, and let these lovers backhand your booty with their libidinous beats!
Let’s start with the obvious- how did you two meet?
J: Over a fog machine at a KAUF show.
M: I actually authorized myself to be “the fog technician” and Jeni was not impressed with the lack of smoke spewing from the machine.
What benefits do you think there are to being in a duo, as opposed to performing solo? Are there any downsides?
J: Having two music collections at your finger tips and being able to go to the bathroom during a set is nice.
M: It’s a lot more fun to DJ when you have someone to bounce ideas off of and it came natural to us. I can’t just DJ with anyone, our tastes and techniques just fit, and really well too.
Jeni, I’ve heard that you don’t know how to use CDJs (in a good way!). Why the staunch attachment to vinyl? Missy, are you also strictly vinyl when you play?
J: I’ve been collecting and playing vinyl for 20 years and really enjoy it. i just learned Serato with control vinyl for access to my digital music while traveling.
M: Versatility is important to me. I have been DJing for 13 years and I learned to play on all formats. Vinyl, Serato, Traktor, CDJs… I can even rock an iPod if that’s all there is.
What are some of your most prized records? Any that never leave your bag?
J: Yes, I have a few special records that haven’t left the bag or gone that far away from it.
M: It’s a new “bag” for each and every gig for me. I curate unique playlists according to the vibe of every event.
You both have impeccable taste, and are refreshingly unafraid not to play the biggest hits of the day. In fact it seems like you even make a point not to. Any tips or good places to start for someone who wants to dig a little deeper and discover quality music besides what Beatport and the like might offer?
J: I don’t make a point to play the biggest hits of the day, nor do I make it a point not to. I play whatever sounds good to me. I’m all over the place. I like to dig at Mike B’s Record Shop, Vinyl Dreams in SF, Mount Analog in LA, Ameoba Records, Discogs, garage sales, and listening through friends’ collections.
M: I play what I like and what feels right for the event. I mostly rely on promos and friends for new stuff. I’m very lucky to have so many talented people in my life that give me plenty to dig through. I would recommend sorting through the charts your favorite artists put up on music sites like Beatport, Resident Advisor, and Traxsource.
What musical artists have been especially influential for you over the years?
J: A handful of classic house and acid producers, Juju & Jordash, Move D, DJ Harvey, Trentemoller, Illija Rudman, Pachanga Boys, Kink & Neville, Daniel Avery, Trevor Jackson, Solar, Kelley Polar, Lo Soul, Chris & Cosey and Laurie Anderson, Daniel Johnston… & & &.
M: A few of my faves at this moment in time (which changes often) Recondite, Tomas Barfod, KAUF, Fort Romeau, Boska, Factory Floor, Dauwd, and Dukes of Chutney.
Your first mix together has been really well received, and does a great job showcasing both of your individual talents. Where and when was it made, and why the name ‘luv it or kill it’?
J: We made it a couple months ago. We were pulling songs from each other’s collections and decided to make a mix. Luv it or kill it is a phrase we both have been saying for years. Possibly we both made it up separately? I sprang the saying from my DJ moniker Jeniluv years ago in San Francisco. To me it means love is all or nothing, ride or die. You either love something/someone or you’re killing it, if love is all there is.
M: Yes, it has been inspiring to see how well people have been responding to this project so quickly. I guess it was meant to be in a nonlinear sort of way. luv it or kill it just made sense to both of us on many different levels.
You’ve got some exciting gigs coming up, including Spank in San Diego later this week. Anything in particular you’re especially looking forward to?
J: Looking forward to the Dominican Republic and a possible European mini tour in March. I’ll be in Europe to see my favorite DJ, Solar from Sunset SF, opening for Dixon on his tour, so we are locking in dates to play while we’re over there.
M: I’m looking forward to getting in the studio. We’ve got a lot of plans for the future with Modernluv.
Follow Modernluv on Soundcloud HERE
Check out Modernluv’s Upcoming Gigs HERE