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10.10.2017 | Words by: Mathis Neuhaus
I recently reflected about my own ways of listening to music and realized that, by now, I mostly listen to mixes compiled by entities I trust. I am using the slightly pretentious term entity, because I find it fitting for the point I want to make: the concept remains abstract in intention and describes a thing with a distinct and independent existence. In regards to my previously stated observation, this means that I like listening to compilations, mixtapes, mixes, podcasts, whatever you want to call it, that evoke a strong sense of uniqueness. Not for the sake of it, but rather because the compiling person brings his or her musical individuality to the table and therefore becomes an entity that shares a distinctive musical story.
Izabel, who made her way to Amsterdam via her hometown of Melbourne a couple of years ago and since then became an integral part of the audacious sound-explorers in town, is really skilled in sharing this kind of stories. In her mixes, of which there are plenty, she dives into deep and vast musical waters, full of soothing melodies, strange sounds and demanding frequencies. She honed her craft back in Melbourne, where she had a show called Lullabies for Insomniacs on PBS, the city’s community radio.
The name Lullabies for Insomniacs may ring a bell, because in 2016 Izabel developed it into a well-respected label that puts out reliably curious and reliably fantastic music by artists you probably never heard of.
In anticipation of Izabel playing music at De School during this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event, I asked her a few questions about work life, lifeworks, work and life. Not surprisingly, the answers are trenchantly phrased while still possessing a poetic quality that allows different readings, but see for yourself.  
Next to djing and being responsible for the label Lullabies for Insomniacs, you studied sound art, worked in a gallery and you are photographing quite a bit: what made you pursue the nightlife career and not professionalize one of the other fields?
– In our universe, energy isn’t created or destroyed – it just changes form.  
I believe that this also applies to creative energy. My creative energy has morphed but is always in flux. I will continue to find diverse forms of expression.
Is there any unrealized “dream project”?
– There are many, whether or not they come to fruition isn’t the point. Once realized the dream may end.
Your label Lullabies for Insomniacs developed out of the graveyard shift on Melbourne community radio show PBS and puts out a very broad range of music. What connects the dots between the releases?
– The label was conceived during late night shows on PBS but it’s not bound by this. The releases are a reflection of these times but are also their own entities that evolve from different meetings and discoveries.
I read that you often collect field recordings when you are traveling or encounter other moments that resonate with you on a sonic level. Were you ever tempted to get into producing music?
– I produce sound on a daily basis – capturing and structuring it in different ways.
You are affiliated with the so-called selectors movement/scene/culture, what is your opinion on this kind of labeling?
– When used freely the term encompasses a lot. I don't think there is a need to use the word in a labeling sense.
Is Amsterdam the prototype "selectors"-city?
– Every city has many different shaped pockets.
You made your way to Amsterdam via London and Melbourne. I’d call you a global citizen for a lack of a better term. If you’d have to relocate, what would be your next destination?
– Melbourne was home, now Amsterdam is home and I feel a strong connection to both cities. I’d like to explore places I have never been, which is too many to imagine.
Does the constant exploring of music and further deepening your knowledge about it ever feel like work to you?
– It depends if ear lids exist.

Besides the music, do you collect anything else?
– Books.

Izabel will be playing Het Weekend during ADE, Friday night at 23.00. See full schedule here, more info can be found here.
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