AAC Sound Series Mix #27: LOKA
For our 27th AAC Sound Series mix, we bring you a brand new mix from DJ, producer, and multi-disciplinary artist Yesenia Rojas, also known as LOKA. Listen to the mix and read our short interview with LOKA below.
Interview with Loka
Firstly, tell us a little bit about what inspired the mix
I’ve been contemplating the importance and the dangers of dreams lately. The intersections of delusion and excitement, joy and heartbreak–all these are able to live harmoniously in our dreams, usually at the same time. I’m fascinated that the subconscious can entertain such a range, so this mix is a sonic manifestation of the complexities that live in our dream worlds. With intentional focus on romance, yearning, grief, hope, joy, and confusion, I tried to build a collective experience that could be dreamt by more than one person at the same time.
Who are you listening to lately?
I love to hear what my friends are working on. Recently I was listening to Tania’s (Tati Au Miel) and Dylan’s (Via App) unreleased material, in my opinion, two of the most creative and talented artists doing live sets in our scene. I’m also always digging through older techno stuff from the 90s to find rare tracks that I can bring back to life and play at the club. And I’ve been revisiting jazz hero George Adams and the “Sound Suggestions” album. I purchased the vinyl on a recent trip back home to Miami.
Can you talk about how you sourced your audio for this mix? What tools do you often use when sourcing or creating audio for your mixes?
Sometimes I make edits for my mixes so the tracks may sound a little different, shorter, distorted, etc. I like the idea of adding a personal touch to these projects, mixes can feel so flat and ordinary, so I hope mine relate a narrative and evoke a feeling (maybe even an uncomfortable one at times, that’s the point). I’ve received a lot of love for them from people all over the world that I will probably never meet. I can’t put into words how much this means to me. This powerful notion of radical connectedness is one of the things that inspires me to keep playing and making music. I enjoy research. I respect a good dive into Bandcamp or Soundcloud, Beatport, Discogs, etc. I think it’s good for the soul haha. I like sourcing from archival audio as well; speeches, poems, films, and interviews.
What’s your favorite live set you’ve ever played?
This is a tough one. I think I’ve played a handful of sets I could say off the top of my head were my favorite. But I’ll keep it recent and say two because I can’t pick: my first set since COVID-19 at Bossa this past July and my closing set at the Boiler Room Festival in August. So many loved ones were present for both, and it really felt like I was coming home to myself in a very intimate way even though I was in front of so many people. Also, the crowds were amazing, they trusted me to take them somewhere that night, this kind of teamwork and trust is sacred to me.
DJ, producer, and multi-disciplinary artist Yesenia Rojas, LOKA, explores a unique and researched blend of genres that unite the rave diaspora and their histories through her compelling and confrontational club sets. In her sound art and film scores, she investigates intersections of power and struggle, radical energetic transformation, solidarity and lineage, sonic distortions of memory, perceived ancestral histories, and the ocean.