The Fantastic World of Juliet Fox
When Juliet Fox hopped a plane home to Australia for the first time in two years in January of 2022, she thought she was just coming back to visit family. She'd left there over a decade ago, seeking a proper audience for her hard-hitting techno. Instead, her visit lined up with the country reopening its clubs, and during her two last-minute gigs there, she realized that her music could finally come home as well.
She was moved to tears on the plane, hearing an Australian accent for the first time in so long. And when she found in the final week of her stay that she could DJ there again, she was excited to see how far Australia had come in its appreciation for proper techno.
Juliet Fox at Tomorrowland 2022 on the Drumcode Stage
It's been a landmark year for the London-based artist whose releases on Drumcode, Kneaded Pains, and her TREGAMBE imprint have found their way into sets by Adam Beyer, Deborah De Luca, UMEK, and Charlotte de Witte. Since her stint in Australia, she's been on a whirlwind tour of the world that's taken her to Tomorrowland, fabric in London, Glastonbury, Watergate in Berlin, Zurich Street Parade, CRSSD, OFFSónar, Space Miami, and the first Berlin Love Parade in nearly a decade.
"I didn't realize how much I missed, not just the traveling part, but mostly going and connecting with people worldwide. I must have been lacking that a lot," she says about her return to touring.
Fox has lived in several cities over the years and is a confessed travel junkie, so being on the road again and soaking up the culture and energy of the global dance music community has been a return to form. It's been a life-affirming year, reminding her how impactful her music truly is. "Having these major events happening, it's been really good for myself to get back in and to build up the confidence and also to be able to see the reaction from people, and also to interact again with crowds and energy, which has been superb."
Throughout the pandemic, Fox felt like her sound went more introspective and experimental. It was part of why she started TREGAMBE, creating a home for her more emotional side. However, after time spent back at dark clubs and in cities like Copenhagen, where she can come out of the gate at 145 BPM, has brought her back to the heavier sounds. Yet, one thing that has remained true is her ability to inject meaning into her music.
With each release, there is a story. Often taking a queue from her more spiritually reverent yoga-loving side, she finds inspiration in life's frequencies and inherent vibrational nature. For example, the phrase "Humans tend to overthink" was the impetus for her hypnotic recent Drumcode release "Evolution of Thinking." These tiny nuggets of wisdom make their way into so much of her music, offering brief moments of meditation for the dancefloor.
"I don't think I do it intentionally, it does just come naturally," she says about the introspective refrains that have become a hallmark of her music. She says the lyrics "harmonize with, the track I'm building, and it creates the melody in itself."
And while she explains that she's not against the odd cheesy vocal or catchphrase, she wants to send a (somewhat subliminal) message to the listener. "For me, it's more important to have something that's a bit more impacting, that means something to me at the time and hopefully [to] other people."
Philosophical footnotes aside, 2022 has been an absolute stomper that included some legitimately historic moments. In July, she opened up the festivities for Rave The Planet, the first Love Parade event in Berlin since 2010. She had the honor of playing on the lead float directly after the iconic event's founder Dr. Motte, spoke to kick things off. Love Parade's history is thick in Berlin. The event has been the stuff of legend since it began in 1989 as a political demonstration for peace and understanding through music.
"I didn't actually realize it until the end of the day. It kind of sunk in that I was on the first float you know, Dr. Motte's float, the first DJ to perform and play the first track. It gives me goosebumps talking about it now. Just to be asked to be in that position basically making history. It feels incredible. I'm still buzzing about it."
It was a heartwarming moment for an artist who is so dedicated and inspired by creating love on the dancefloor. One where her inner raver was on full display, "Just to see how everybody was connecting. All ages, nationalities, sexual identities, everybody was there for one reason: to be there for the music and to just enjoy themselves."
A thread of unity and service runs through everything Juliet Fox does. As a global techno ambassador, she loves nothing more than finding ways to connect people through music. It's her love language. And on her way to Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) this year, she joined other industry folks in yet another act of service, the Bridges For Music bike ride from London to Amsterdam.
"Bridges For Music are a nonprofit organization that had built a school in Langa, which is in South Africa outside of Cape Town. [It's] a music center, creative center where underprivileged children can go [to] learn an instrument, mostly music production, DJing, singers… I've been to South Africa four times. And it's just incredible to be able to go there and to provide something and to keep this school moving and monetized."
The four-day cycle came amid a chaotic weekend of gigs. After flying back from Dubai to London the night before it left, Juliet woke up before dawn to set out across London to Dover, where they took a ferry to France for the culmination of the ride in Amsterdam. Despite the challenge, the beauty of riding through the streets of London with a group of selfless industry professionals as the sun peeked over the horizon made for a beautiful and inspiring moment.
It's experiences like these that set Juliet apart from her contemporaries. Throughout our conversation, I'm touched by her vulnerability, joy, and honesty. These qualities shine through in her music and acts of service. While making music intrinsically uplifts the artist, her brilliant dose of altruism exemplify how selfless sharing your talents can be.
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