Podcast 708: QRTR
Moody bass-driven grooves.
Podcast 708: QRTR
Moody bass-driven grooves.
QRTR, real name Meagan Rodriguez, is a DJ-producer based in Brooklyn, New York, known for fusing her bass-driven house beats with a distinct R&B flavor. She’s inspired by the likes of Tokimonsta and Shlohmo, and her music hits that sweet spot between emotional and danceable. Subscribers to XLR8R+ will possibly be familiar with her work through our recently XLR8R+031 compilation, where she contributed a previously unreleased track alongside Wylie Cable, CLYDE, and Gnome Beats for a Dome of Doom takeover.
For those of you who missed that, Rodriguez was raised by a father from Puerto Rico and a mother from Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco. She decided she wanted to produce and play music out in 2014, after an enlightening psychedelic experience at her first music festival, and she’s been intent on that pursuit ever since. Last year, she released Drenched, her debut album, on Dome of Doom which, as its name suggests, is a love song to the ocean’s depths.
What made Drenched so fascinating was that it was her first full release. She began working on it straight after her 2017 self-released EP Absinthe Party, taking conceptual inspiration from the dystopian worlds of Haruki Murakami and the meta-cognitive dissertations of Jia Tolentino’s surrounding music, drugs. Research about space filled the sonic gaps in between; she wanted to incite the same feeling as a YouTube video of sounds recorded by the NASA Voyager passing by Jupiter. The album takes influence from QRTR’s early college years, where she’d listen to remixes of Miike Snow and Crystal Castles, and also from dancefloor-driven acts like Jamie XX and Jacques Greene.
Now, no more than a year later, she’s back with a new album, infina ad nausea, which is also rooted in house but deviates more widely through drum & bass, ambient, classical, and IDM. She produced much of the album through the pandemic at various home studio locations around Brooklyn, but some of the material dates back to 2017. It features Los Angeles vocalist artemis orion and New York artists Braille, Daniel de Lara, and CSLTY. We’ve been excited by Rodriguez’ style for some time and figured that now would be a good time to snap her up for the podcast.
Recorded early this month, the mix includes a selection of bass-driven grooves, taking in the garage, rolling house, and moody breaks that Rodriguez has been playing out of late, mixed with a set of her own tracks that will be included on her upcoming album. It’s an immersive collection of dancefloor cuts perfect for the summer nights ahead.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Freaking out about the release of my new album! And also working on new music, playing shows again, and enjoying the hell out of another summer in Brooklyn!
02. What have you been listening to through lockdown?
I definitely leaned into the headier, moodier side of dance music, and became obsessed with all the breakbeat-inspired tunes coming out lately.
03. Your new album is coming later this month. Can you tell us about it?
It’s difficult to express my excitement. I’m making the kind of music I’ve always wanted to make. It’s high in energy, but emotive and playful, weaving between my favorite genres and yet still uniquely mine. It feels like the beginning of a new era for me.
04. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix on a scorching hot August afternoon at my home studio in Brooklyn, New York.
05. How did you choose the tracks that you’ve included?
I sorted through tracklistings from a few recent parties I DJd and picked songs that reminded me of the incredible energy of those rooms. I also sprinkled in a few unreleased tracks from infina ad nausea!
06. Where do you imagine it being listened to?
Ideal listening conditions are to indulge with over-ear headphones outside on a balmy evening right around dusk on the way to meet friends—maybe a beer or two and maybe something rolled in hand. Dancing alone on the sidewalk is strongly encouraged.
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. QRTR “Want Me 2” (Dome of Doom Records)
02. Wayward “Orissa” (Sunday Best Recordings)
03. Flora FM “Hallucinogenic Worm” (Wave Mix) (Kalahari Oyster Cult)
04. Burt Cope “Years” (Wub Club Records)
05. INVT x Coffintexts “FRESA” (INVT Records)
06. QRTR “Rewind” (Dome of Doom Records)
07. Bailey Ibbs “Warriors Call” (VOITAX)
08. Overmono “So U Kno” (Poly Kicks)
09. Redlight “Domes” (Dream Vision Future)
10. Direct “Visions” (Direct)
11. QRTR “Like That” (Dome of Doom Records)
12. Randomer, Hodge “Second Freeze” (Original Mix) (Livity Sound Recordings)
13. QRTR “Fractals” (Dome of Doom Records)
14. Yosh “Gen 1” (Shall Not Fade LTD)
15. Keeno18 “Ajh” (Ultramajic)
16. Rochelle Jordan “Next 2 You” (Young Art Records)
17. The Sanctuary “hold on” (The Sanctuary)
18. BABii “Shadow” (Gloo)
19. QRTR “The Outer Edge” feat. ambientkitty (Dome of Doom Records)
Photo: Bren Lyn Haragan