The Sound Of: Planet Euphorique
In under three years, D. Tiffany’s Planet Euphorique label has placed itself at the forefront of a hybrid sound driven by propulsive electro, emotive breaks and leftfield house and techno. In this month's The Sound Of, she tells us about its story so far, and records a dreamlike mix from its catalogue
The discography of Sophie Sweetland, aka D.Tiffany, is something of a goldmine — from her early cassette releases on Vancouver imprints such as Genaro, to her debut album on 1080p and EPs via Pacific Rhythm and UK-based Coastal Haze. It was a collaborative release with Roza Terenzi under her DJ Zozi alias that launched Sweetland’s Planet Euphorique imprint in 2018. The four-track EP sounded timeless; encompassing downtempo breaks, dreamy pads, acid lines and moments reminiscent of ‘90s jungle with its own unique charm. It was a strong statement that set the tone for the label, which has become a home for music from Sweetlands’ aliases and trusted friends, along with a range of collaborations.
The name comes from a party she used to throw back in her hometown of Vancouver. “The first edition featured superstars Minimal Violence and Yu Su, and for the second edition we were graced by the icons Ciel and CCL,” says Sweetland. “Shortly after this, I had a complete awakening that I must have full control over the output of my own music and also provide a platform for all of the amazing, inspiring, supremely talented friends I have.”
With a few exceptions, the artists signed to the label are mostly those who she has got to know on a personal level and spent time with in some capacity. In 2017, she lived in Melbourne with Nite Fleit and Roza Terenzi for a few months, the latter of whom put her onto Reptant, which subsequently led to his ‘Freq Accident’ release. Sweetland released Nite Fliet’s acid electro focused ‘Overcast’ EP in 2019. “Since I was roomies with Fleitsy while in Melbourne, I definitely got to know her and love her as a person and was always hearing her produce in the back of the house. So it was an obvious fit to me,” she says.
Sweetland keeps herself in good company, and since its inception the label has brought together some exciting producers and uncovered an abundance of emerging artists from local scenes such as Vancouver and Montréal. “I feel like I have to somehow have a personal connection to want to pursue releasing someone’s music. It’s an important thing to know where someone’s music comes from and who they are as a person, not just as a musician,” she explains of her A&R process.
“Lots of people send demos to the label but I will probably never release anything that is sent to me by someone I haven’t sat down and actually had a one-on-one intimate conversation with. Of course, there are always a couple exceptions. You can tell when people are being genuine in their creativity and if I’m connecting with it I would reach out, like with DJ GIRL and Angel D’Lite.”
The Planet Euphorique artwork plays an important role in the label's aesthetic. “For the first release me and Roza Terenzi wanted to make it ourselves, but neither of us had used Photoshop or Illustrator before, so it took a long time and we didn’t really vibe it in the end.
Luckily, her roommate Nick from Pelvis Records drew up a few ideas. “All I knew is that I wanted it to be simple but not cheesy. I guess that’s relative though,” Sweetland laughs. “Nick continued to do the artwork until [Roza Terenzi’s] ‘Modern Bliss’ release, which was done by Jenny Grant. She also does all the art for the Tiny Planet compilations and parties. As for the latest artwork, Logan Sturrock [aka Flørist] made the logo and layouts. The label won’t have a mandatory design style from here on out, there is going to be a larger variety of artists doing the up-and-coming designs. Expect more full covers, inserts, posters and stickers.”
The label has gone from strength to strength, and in April last year released its first full-length artist album. “Every moment is a proud moment for me. Every record and every Planet Euphorique party I’ve thrown. If I absolutely HAVE to choose [a proudest moment], I would say releasing Roza Terenzi’s LP ‘Modern Bliss’. The music and the art are perfect and it was definitely amazing to be able to do a full LP,” she says, hinting at more to come.
Last year, a new alias named Psychedelic Budz emerged, a collaboration with fellow Canadian Ciel after they toured together at the beginning of 2020. “We recorded one song in Montréal when I was living there and she was visiting to play a Tiny Planet party with me and Lis Dalton. We sat on it for a bit not knowing when we would be able to work on more songs together and finish an EP. After some time we thought we can just get some friends who we love to make siquening remixes [Adam Pits and Ludwig A.F.] and then I also made a slower, tripped- out version. We managed to have a couple more sessions since then and it’s always like BAM! Trance or die. Cindy is a fun friend to produce with and I can’t wait until we can travel again to make the squeakquel,” she enthuses.
The latest EP on Planet Euphorique comes from Chicago’s DJ GIRL, a new signing to the label. “I absolutely love everything that DJ GIRL does,” says Sweetland. “It’s raw, it’s sexy and has an attitude I fuck with hard. My friend Vani-T showed me DJ GIRL and I immediately got in touch and asked her if she was interested in doing a release.” “‘Slsk Trax’ was written between June 2018 and November 2018 and is an amalgam of sounds based on the average faceless techno release found while soulseeking,” DJ GIRL says of the record. “Many aspects of these tracks are taken from ‘90s-era techno and electro but assembled in a wacked-out cyberpunk manner.”
Planet Euphorique often weaves through moods, from speedier club-focused records, to moments of ambience and dream-like breaks and house. There is always a distinctive thread, though, paying testament to D.Tiffany’s ear. The records are emotive, sometimes trippy, often blissful, and always euphoric.
The label has kept a strong momentum of releases since PE001 hit the shelves, and there’s plenty more to come. “We have Space Cadets up next with [the] ‘Warp Drive’ EP, then an EP from Angel D’Lite. We are having a UK moment!” she says. “Big love to the crew. I’m very excited to take it back to my hometown Vancouver to release an LP with Baby Blue called ‘End Of Sleep’. It will be a harder side to Planet Euphorique, but at the same time cinematic, beautiful and euphoric — transporting you to that tiny planet far away.”
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