Deep sludgy beats from Elizabeth Davis.
Wilted Woman is the primary music alias of Elizabeth Davis, a musician based in Berlin, where she can regularly be found broadcasting her favorite experimental oddities as DJ Puddle across Cashmere Radio. Since around 2014, she’s also been sharing her rhythmic electronic music, defined by modulating, mutant melodies and stuttering syncopations, across labels including Alien Jams and Phantasy Sound, where she’ll release a new EP soon. She also collaborates with Silvia Kastel as Shakey, with Christoph de Babalon as Suds.
Though she’s based in Europe, the punk ethos that underlines Davis’ work is a product of the DIY scene she immersed herself in while growing up in New York. She learned to make music using a micro-cassette recorder that she would use to record violin and piano tones and assemble them into sketches. Slowly, as she discovered 8-bit and noise, she veered towards more electronic sounds, enchanted by the the idea that music-making is accessible to everyone. Using a cracked version of Reason, then, she made her first electronic sketches before ditching it in favor of physical machines. Despite moving country, her processes have remained the same.
“I loved experimenting with the unexpected kinds of tones and textures you can coax out of something,” she says, “like a super cheap and cheesy groove-box when you turn the tempo to extremes or finding rhythms in feedback loops.”
Ahead of her Phantasy return, Davis has compiled her first XLR8R podcast. Recorded in her bedroom during a rough bout of flu, it begins with deep sludgy vibes but, by the time you reach half-way, you’re into glitchy analogue sounds, jittery electronic workouts, and wonky synths. Press play or 70 minutes of freewheeling curveballs from an artist on the rise.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I am enjoying springtime with my dog who is very happy to see everything turning green these days.
02. What have you been listening to?
I’ve had the new Yasuaki Shimizu record on repeat for the last month, and I still can’t help listening to it at least once a day.
03. What is it that appeals to you about making music?
I’ve been playing music since I was small so it’s hard to imagine life without it. Music, maybe more than other creative practices, rewards a certain naivety and open-mindedness on the part of both player and listener that’s very dear to me.
04. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix at home while recovering from a heavy flu. That probably comes across in the mix, as deep sludgy vibes gradually dissipate into brighter and faster sounds and songs.
05. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out?
The way I DJ is pretty dependent on the context. I got into DJing 10 years ago through doing radio and, despite playing a lot of parties since then, my style and attitude has stayed very informed by a freeform sensibility. So depending on what the crowd, the club, and my mood are like, it could be exactly like this, 50 percent more Italo tunes, or anywhere in between! That being said, I’m more of a live performer than a DJ so most likely if you hear me play out something entirely different is going on.
06. What’s next on your horizon?
I’m very excited to have two new releases out very soon: an EP for Phantasy with an incredible remix by Kim Ann Foxman, and a split tape of weirder poppier stuff with Intel Mercenary on Do You Have Peace?, Amos from Jabu’s label. I’m also really looking forward to playing more live sets again in the next months, something I’ve been missing lately.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Wilted Woman “Corrupt” (Self-Released)
02. Wojciech Rusin “Wash Out” (AD93)
03. Tim Blake “Lighthouse” (Egg)
04. Minua “Order of Instants” (Warm Winters Ltd.)
05. Anton Bruhin “nadder nodder nooder” (Black Truffle)
06. Metametal “Garaje Hermético” (Ediciones Capablanca)
07. Yasuaki Shimizu “Shiasate” (Palto Flats)
08. Trans Volta “Disco Computer” (RKM)
09. Intergalactic Gary & Pasiphae “Disconnected” (Bio Rhythm)
10. aya “tailwind” (Hyperdub)
11. Bill Laswell “Digitaria” (Sub Rosa)
12. Gavsborg “Domestic Termites Love Rock Music” (EquiknoxxMusic)
13. Surprise Barbue “Cerf-Souris” (zamzamrec)
14. Junior Loves “Yantlet (First Passage Version)” (5 Gate Temple)
15. Benzokai & Tont “Rap Music Rocks” (Serious Serious)
16. Die Welttraumforscher “Die Eule Hinterm Ofen” (A Colourful Storm)
17. Khaki Blazer “Comfortably Grey” (Hausu Mountain)
18. Bass Clef “Maze 3” (Frequency Domain)