Grandma Techno: “I love the energy. Techno feels like the hippy movement of the 1960s”

I saw you said on social media that you consider ANNA to be a “priestess”. Do you consider DJs and producers to be quasi-shamen, in a way?

Oh gosh, ANNA… I didn’t even know about her until this year, and now we’re Instagram friends! That was something Movement did differently this year, with at least one third of the performers being women, maybe over a third. It was certainly the most ever and I really loved going to the women DJ gigs. So ANNA was over at the Pyramid Stage one afternoon by the river, and you know how it is… it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes the way DJ mixes or the energy of the tracks just goes under your skin and down to your core, and your whole body starts vibrating. But it isn’t just your body… I’m not a church person, but this is as close as I’ll ever need to get. It was very spiritual. She sent me off into a world that I’ve never been before. In all my years at the festival, ANNA took me somewhere new. In my Instagram post I called her a priestess, because that was what it felt like. And she found my post and told me she was so moved by what I wrote, but boy… she sure moved me. Oh my god, I love her.

I know enough about music, DJs and the mixing to know that what comes through their music has to be in them first. It has to be who they are. So what I knew was that ANNA is an amazing woman, very deep, and very loving, and somehow very compassionate, I could feel it in her music. When it happens, boy… it’s so special. I vibrated for hours afterwards, literally. It’s when it happens like that, that I know why I bump this music.

It happens rarely, that it’s to that degree… so when it happens like that, I go into this other world. It’s more than bliss. They take me someplace I never even knew existed, until they take me there. It’s something about them, the timing, what they put together, it’s something about the crowd around me, where I am in my own journey… As I say, deeply spiritual. So as for whether I’d consider them techno-shamen – at their best, yes. But of course, not all are. As I understand it, what a shaman can do is help us all experience our one-ness – which is what I believe, again, at its best, the electronic music beat is to me, like the heartbeat of the world. That’s our language, we don’t need another language. I can be in the same stage area with people who are speaking God knows how many different languages, but our hearts beat as one because of that bass beat. It’s up to the shaman on the mixer to make that change.

I have gotten kind of fussy about what I want to hear. I don’t want to hear a sameness or a predictability in the mixes. I want them to keep me engrossed, and the way I stay engrossed is shifted around. Change it, and I’ll be loving what you’re doing, and then suddenly go somewhere else and that will be amazing. We’re all in it together, and to me one of the most important things about this festival and what I would bet is true at many electronic music festivals. That we all become one body, one heartbeat, and there’s just such deep love in it, but that love needs to be coming from the people mixing the music.

If you could offer a piece of the inspiration that you’ve found in your life, what would you want to share with people?

Dare to be yourself. Always dare to be yourself, and don’t let anyone else put you into any kind of place where they think you should be. If you have a passion about something, follow that and see where it takes you. Don’t be too realistic about trying to make a living. Forget that… follow the passion. You don’t know where it will take you. I’ve had so many chapters in my life following my passion, and I never know where it takes me. You have to be daring, and willing to jump off a cliff. Trust something will catch you, because its always caught me when I jump off of cliffs…

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