With the compilation 'La Chasse', the Dark Heaven label has brought together a wide spectrum of sonic influences. Across nineteen tracks, the collection runs through Electro, Jungle, Techno, Bass, Microhouse and Experimental Electronica.
We have had the pleasure of speaking with Vorp & Asha and this has been the result.
What was the first thing that attracted you to the world of electronic music?
Vorp: I think what really hooked me is the culture and community that it lives within. As a musician, I’m inspired by the endless possibilities and experimentation that comes from electronic music. As a dancer, I’m also captivated by the people and their freedom to express themselves through dress and dance. The energy on a dancefloor - inside or outside, in any type of environment whether it's a backyard or a festival - is always therapeutic and nourishing. Asha: I feel much the same as Vorp - what really attracted me was that these spaces felt like they were free from judgment. Dance how you want, wear what you want, freedom to explore parts of yourself, sober or through the lens of substances. I feel like electronic music spaces can sometimes be written off by people who are not involved in them, or by other musicians who think that if you’re not performing live with instruments that it’s somehow lesser. While there’s ego everywhere, I think it’s a bit easier to shed your skin in the world of electronic music, specifically in the underground, under the shroud of darkness, when you go out not just for a quick three hour show but for an all night experience that can leave you truly changed and inspired. Aside from this culture surrounding it, the music itself is what drew me in. From jazzy house to dark techno, there is an undeniable energy in electronic music. Kind of reminds me of the release I would feel listening to punk/hardcore music as a kid, but without so much angst (lol).
Do you remember any album or concert that made you see everything in a different way?
Vorp: My perspective and my musical direction shifted heavily after the first time I ended up at Chicago’s Berlin Nightclub in 2015. Asha: Yes, without question. I was living in Paris at the time. It was late - I was already kind of drunk, and a friend of a friend (who I had only met once) invited me to come out to dance. He said to make sure I wear comfortable shoes because we wouldn’t be coming back until the next morning. It was my first time going to an event like this. We met at his place around midnight and took one of the regional trains out to a suburb of Paris. There was a little parade of city people walking through this small, quiet town, which felt so surreal. We came up to a parking lot with a giant warehouse, and a boulangerie/shop in the front where we bought some beer. This place was huge, with the fog I don’t think I could even see the far wall. I remember the security there being really nice. I didn’t quite understand that we were at something illegal until the police came around dawn to end the party. The friends I went with didn’t really speak English so it was also a funny experience of being in this crazy environment, relying entirely on my French skills to communicate and express what I was feeling. Since you got into the industry professionally, what have you learned and has there been any pivotal moments that made you want to pursue this further?
Vorp: I’ve learned that if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen yourself. As a DJ, I wanted to get booked but I didn’t know how to get gigs. I started getting gigs by booking myself on my own parties. I think the pivotal moment was when Dark Heaven sold out the first show. When that happened, I gained a lot of motivation and support from the community to continue. Asha: Stay true to yourself, your values, do your best to make sure people feel safe at your events, and don’t give a fuck what other people think otherwise. That’s just a waste of time and gets in the way of getting your own shit done. I think our second Deadly Sins event - Wrath - was a turning point for me. We had done DIYs in the past, but this was our first true underground. We were responsible for literally everything. Staffing, running the bar, making multiple water/ice runs to make sure the dancers stayed hydrated. It was hot af and I remember literally passing water bottles out on the dancefloor because I was so concerned. It was stressful on so many levels but so rewarding. We got a lot of congrats and thank yous and kind messages the next day from dancers who said that night was a very freeing, therapeutic release for them and that they could feel the care we took in curating it. We were also able to donate half of those proceeds to the Chicago Abortion Fund. It was a really wonderful and validating outcome for all that hard work.
What has helped you grow the most and driven you to launch your own imprint to release music through Dark Heaven?
Vorp: Failure, rejection, and the willingness to improve and take matters into my own hands. Running my own record label has been a dream of mine for nearly a decade. After building a brand and community through curating 30+ events, the timing seemed ripe to start the label. Asha: The label has always been more of Vorp’s dream - I helped where I could with the creative direction and selection of the tracks, but he’s the one that took care of the details and did most of the hard work.
What do you want to transmit to the world through this compilation and what is the concept behind it? Is there a meaning behind the name ‘La Chasse’?
La chasse, translating to “the hunt” in French, is a metaphorical statement about what it means to be an artist. Being a creative of any kind means being driven by hunger that can only be satisfied through the expression of oneself, the externalizing of something that lives within us - and, in many cases, the yearning to watch others interact or react to our art, in the hopes that they recognize themselves within it as well.
La chasse is the feeling of chasing that release and all of the steps that must come before a piece of our internal, creative world, is relinquished for the consumption of others. Furthermore, it’s an allusion to the fact that this creative drive catches itself in a never ending cycle - the satisfaction of releasing art never satiates us for very long before we are on the hunt again, to share ourselves with the world. A bit of a heady explanation, but Asha was a philosophy major.
What was the last record store you visited? And what did you salvage from there?
Vorp: Wild Prairie in Chicago. 2 Records. The first one is Terry Mullan Presents The Acid OG’s on Chicago Housing Commision Vol. 4. The second one is Enigmatic Ocean by Jean-Luc Ponty, a French prog rock album from the 70s :) Asha: I think the last record store I visited was in Berlin… I got some random Italo-disco and acid house as labeled by the guy in the store
How would you like the future of the music industry to be?
Both: Fair, less focused on the DJ, and more focused on dancing with the people surrounding you on the dance floor.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Both: More love, less ego
What makes you happy?
Both: My partner, my dog, plants, the sun, friends, camping, alone time in the studio, people dancing when I DJ