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My Gear: Simona Castricum

Whether they’re a gear nerd or a gear noob, the type of gear an artist uses has a huge impact on their signature sound. In this regular series called My Gear, Noisegate picks the brains of exciting and diverse artists for a behind-the-scenes scoop on their musical setup…

Simona Castricum is a Melbourne-based musician, DJ and producer. She creates beat-driven soundscapes that ‘express the borderline space between euphoria, desolation and aggression – tied together by narrative of non-conformity’. She has excited dance floors across the Australian festival circuit with her ‘one-woman industrial rave’, and continues to push the boundaries of electronic music through her emotionally textured technopop. In this edition of My Gear, Simona gives Noisegate a behind-the-scenes look into her set-up and talks about the spark in childhood that inspired her to make music…

Can you describe your current live set-up?
I sing and play live/improvised electronic percussion over the top of MIDI controlled drum pads and keyboards. My drum pads are a Roland SPD-20 Octopad, with a Roland Trigger Bar and a Simmons Pad. I use 2 keyboards; a Korg R3 for bass and a Roland JD-Xi for melody and another layer of drums. Additional samples come through my laptop, while everything is controlled out of a Logic file.

How does your live setup differ to your recorded music?
My live set is continuous, around 6-8 songs with one break. I’ve mixed each track into each other to make the performance seamless – gives it a dancefloor/festival/rave vibe. It combines my DJ sensibilities with live performance. The thresholds between tracks is a really exciting part, it gives each track a new layer; almost like remixing on the fly.

Is your gear integral to your sound?
Yes, I write and record everything using my live set-up; each song is conceived through it. I use other instruments outside the live setup as overdubs and additional effects.

What was the first piece of musical equipment that you ever bought (or came into contact with)?
My dad bought me a rubber rebound drum pad and sticks when I was 5; it changed my life. I’ve always found holding drumsticks and feeling rhythm through my hands and wrists to be second nature. It would take another 30 years before I actually sat down at my kit to play and write music as a drummer, but what I learnt through that rebound pad as a kid gave me my instincts.

What is a dream piece of gear that you would love to own?
A Simmons SDS-V drum kit. Please. Please.

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