traditionally, the moon represents femininity, death, resurrection, and emotions. in mythology, the lunar deity – artemis in greek folklore and luna in roman – inhabits the sky, a huntress, queen of the stars, and ruler over the mortal women. in literature, the moon has a strong connection with insanity – after all, “lunar” shares a root word with “lunacy.” in fact, it’s said that the changing phases of the moon relate directly to behaviour in animals and humans, such as werewolves in folklore. this relationship is known as the lunar effect. it seems fitting, then, that jackie spade’s latest musical endeavor takes the concept of the changing moon and subverts it, projecting the moon’s cycles as different shades of electronic music. the result is a four part set called tides, a musical journey in which each part explores a different genre, while simultaneously speaking to the set as a whole. each part of tides can be understood on its own, but the music works and builds and connects when listened to in its two hour entirety. the relationship is musically symbiotic and synechdocal all at once.
“tides came out of an idea from my partner, and the whole thing started one night after coming home from dancing,” jackie tells me, describing how tides was conceptualized, “i listened to what is now the third track of waning moon like 5 times, and for me it’s one of those tracks that really makes you feel something.” never one to gloss over the importance of music generating emotions, jackie built the concept from there: “i took that feeling and went with it throughout all four sets.”
“tides is dedicated to my partner rey, because she has been by my side helping me grow and that means the world to me,” jackie gushes, “this series is truly special for me because i discovered my growth as an artist and as a person.” i first met miss spade a couple years ago, back when she called montreal home. she’s since taken up residence in toronto, where she continues to develop her sound as a techno DJ at events like deep kiss tuesday, late & deep, industry standard, lotion, and li’ly lounge. jackie’s music takes on that lunar quality i mentioned earlier – often starting off serene, calm and feminine, before tumbling into dark, dirty soundscapes. through the darkness, you’ll glimpse that madness, that lunacy, if only for a moment, so brief you’re sure the moon is playing tricks on you.
tides starts off with new moon, a set that pulls in ambient, experimental, downtempo and chillout electronica. unchartered territory for jackie. “i discovered a lot of new artists and found myself liking sounds i never knew i liked,” she explains, “it was quite the journey and i think it opened up new doors for my creativity. it represents beginnings, change and renewal.” it’s the perfect means to easing you into the music – the operative word being absorb. new moon fades into waxing moon, where the music starts to build and swell. the second piece of the set takes on tech house, light techno and minimal, jackie’s signatures. “i apologize to my neighbors if they had to witness my terrible dance moves through the window. this one was just a lot of fun!” she jokes, “i was in a really good mood when i put this one together and i thought it was a good build up from new moon to the intensity of full moon.”
here’s where things really pick up. the tone of the music changes, moving from the animatedness of waxing moon to that deep, dark, creepy style i told you about. jackie explains it like this: “full moon helped me get out any anger or negtive feelings i had been holding on to. i was restless when i was recording it, and i went a little bigger with it than i originally intended.” it’s no surprise though, the jackie that i know often loses control like that during her sets. that’s by no means a bad thing; it adds a wildness to her sound. finally, comes the calm after the storm. “waning moon gave me a very relaxed, greatful, hopeful feeling. i recorded this one first. i think it has a bit of a hypnotic, mystical vibe to it, which is perfect. this month’s waning moon will be around halloween!” perfect timing, right?
“i decided to create tides because sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in making sets for a specific audience,” jackie tells me when i ask her why she created tides, “of course, any time i put together a recording, i do put my all into it and choose tracks and sounds i truly love, but this time, i wanted to throw all the tailoring out the window, and just create something that let me express how i was feeling on the days i recorded.” tides, then, is the aural culmination of all of jackie’s feelings at this point in her life. you might call tides a cosmic labour of love. you might just call it very, very good music. whatever you call it, the phases of jackie’s moons have an undeniably lunar effect. if you find yourself howling, you’ll know why.