“Obviously, so much of it is subjective,” laughs Ducky over the phone when asked about her new Insomniac playlist, Modern Rave Classics, which lines up perennial festival favorites from the likes of Benny Benassi, Flux Pavilion, Boys Noize, and more.
“Everybody has their own opinions on what were the biggest songs and which ones are the most important,” the L.A.-based DJ and producer explains. “A lot of it was based on my personal feelings as someone who grew up raving. This is the shit that mattered and I heard everywhere.”
When pressed about the criteria behind her choices, Ducky stresses that she stayed true to the playlist’s title.
“I think the earliest track on there is from the year 2000, and I didn’t want to go back any further than that,” she reveals. “I was just looking for those tracks that took me back to a different place. I was a raver for a decently long time; I got started when I was 14 years old. It was definitely a different time, back when they called big raves ‘massives.’ I would fly down to L.A. from San Francisco at that age to go to Together as One by myself.”
While she’s a fan of the current scene, Ducky’s love for her earliest years as a hardcore raver will forever be the cornerstone of her own personal and creative ethos.
“To me, it’s all about the philosophy—people coming together, and the vibe of the crowd,” she says. “I just did a party here in L.A. called Ugh Just Rave. We originally tried to do it at a warehouse, and it got shut down by like 12 squad cars. So we had the makeup show at a big L.A. club called Union. That event was so important to me, and I think the reason it was so successful was because it was a return to that philosophy. We’re here for the music, and the foundation of why we’re here is love, respect, and positivity.”
“I do it because I love music, and I want to spread that feeling and create that emotional experience for people,” she insists.
For Ducky, trying to explain her deep-seated love of rave culture and everything it represents is an arduous and ultimately impossible task.
“I didn’t come from a super good home, and raving was a really beautiful place for me. I could connect with other people and feel these emotions and get taken on a journey outside of myself, but be present. Now I have this gift of curating people’s emotional experience while I’m up there,” she says, struggling to find the right turn of phrase.
“I don’t have words. See, that’s exactly the problem,” she finally admits. “It’s so clear to me from an internal, emotional level. I do know how to translate it into music, so that’s what I do.”
You can catch Ducky doing her thing at Nocturnal Wonderland 2017, which takes place Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit the official website.
You can also catch her at EDC Orlando 2017, which takes place Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, at Tinker Field in Orlando, FL. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit the official website.