In The Studio With Maya Jane Coles: Filtered
Even in this age of unprecedented exposure for EDM around the globe, deep-house fans can take heart in knowing that 24-year-old Maya Jane Coles will be all theirs for much of the foreseeable future.
Since jumping onto the scene in 2008 with the “Sick Panda” EP, Coles has charmed the Resident Advisor crowd and U.K. nightlifers with releases spanning from garage (“Little One”) to chilled-out dubstep under the Nocturnal Sunshine moniker. At press time, she’d just bagged a Winter Music Conference International Dance Music Award for “What They Say,” and she appears set to capitalize on her career’s momentum with an artist LP and appearances at Melt, Sonar, Benicassim and Ultra this festival season.
Still, her appeal tends to be focused—perhaps because, with her forays into dubstep as well as synth-pop with the vocal She Is Danger project, she’s looking to get broader rather than bigger. “There’s definitely nothing wrong with just specializing in one genre,” she says. “I just love a lot of different things and wanna do them all! I’ve always been eclectic, [and] my parents’ taste in music definitely has something to do with that.”
Her father designed Killing Joke’s provocative album covers, so she’s not a stranger to rock music or other sounds. But Coles’ production style, like her music, is decidedly minimal.
“The software I use is Logic,” she says. “I started on Cubase originally, but I’ve been using Logic for the last seven or eight years. I don’t have any outboard gear, except a couple of old sound modules. I’ve mainly always worked software-based. I record a lot of sounds and textures myself through a mic and also use my guitars a lot and then I manipulate the sounds with effects. I also record a lot of vocals and manipulate them into different sounds and home-made percussion and all that. I mainly use the ESX24 within Logic and just sample in my own sounds.”
As for her dubstep bass sounds, she gets most of them from acoustic bass guitars, which she later chops and filters within Logic. “Sometimes I use soft synths for bass though,” she says, “but I feel like the track has so much more depth when the bass sound originates from a bass guitar.”
While Coles may have started out as a studio head, her increasingly busy DJ schedule has her playing out in festivals and clubs around the world.