Azu Tiwaline: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


Tunisian artist Azu Tiwaline is crafting vibrations for the body, mind and soul; music that lifts you into the atmosphere before connecting you firmly back down to earth.

With the intention to explore her origins in the Tunisian Sahara, she draws on elements of Berber and transe music, matching these traditional styles with influences in dub, techno and polyrhythms, to craft productions that go beyond just the music and into the experiential.

This year saw the release of her debut record, Draw Me A Silence, on French label I.O.T. Records, an album conceived in two parts that welcomes us with open arms into her musical universe. Following the release of Part 2 of the record, and ahead of her next musical outing on Livity Sound in July, she channels the same spirit into her Ransom Note mix that she does on her own productions; raw, deep, rhythmic cuts that ebb and flow organically.

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

I’m Azu Tiwaline. A music producer, living most of the time in the Sahara in South Tunisia but always connected to France. 

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

It sounds like… something… coming from Deep Earth, going through the body, and flying into an infinite space. This is energy and vibration I try to create to reconnect all emotions and just feel good, in peace. That’s the poetic description 🙂 Or we can simply say dub and techno with primitive polyrhythmic beats. If I have to represent it in a draw?…. A silence 

Where was the mix recorded?

In our « HomeStreetHomeStudio », somewhere in the South West of France, next to the Ocean. 

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

I love the « in between » moments so it would be the beginning or end of the day, outdoors, in beautiful nature, in the middle of a quadriphonic killer sound system with many many subs, barefoot in contact with the ground, and head full in the sky with many diamonds 

What should we be wearing?

The good vibe 

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

I simply prefer to record in my own studio. I need to have top listening conditions and also work on my usual speakers. I’m lucky to have two of the same studios in France and Tunisia so it’s always easy to record. I really don’t like to listen to recordings made from my concerts, the sound is so different. I mean as I play more live sets than DJ sets, when I play in a party/club/festival, I have to make the mix / compress / eq in real time in order that it sounds clear and nice on a sound system. There are more contrasts with less frequencies used but music is often more intense, more heavy, with more effects – too much when I’m too in :). It comes with the public and energy also. If you listen that in your living-room, it doesn’t make the same effect. Everything is too much or not enough. 

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Well, I really love all of these tracks… But « Snipe » from Henry Greeleaf is a terrific weapon 

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Impossible to say, there are so many incredible mixes done by numerous talents, geniuses or totally underated artists… I think about… Rabih Beaini, Beatum, Garçon, Karim (Tikita Records), Dj Ki, Kode9… 

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

If I could jam with one musician/producer, it would be Cristian Vogel. He inspires me so much since 90s. I « grew up » with his music, since the first Sativae Records, through Tresor releases and now his new projects. Definitively one of my biggest inspirations. If it was for DJing… well, I’d simply prefer to go back to back with my loved ones and friends 🙂 

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I’ve learned to mix with a pair of SL1200MKII Technics. I still have one for my music production, I started with an old Amiga and differents rhythm boxes (R8-MK2, MC505, Jomox), sampler (ESI 4000), sequencer (SU700), effects (from Electrix, TC Electronic …) synthetizers (Bass Station, MS20, Virus Access….) and after few years with transporting all these weight stuff, I changed for a laptop, Ableton, midi controllers. And you know what, I still have the same soundcard (RME) and speakers since 20 years ago.

In fact, I don’t have so much equipment, first, this is too expensive for me, second, I’d like the idea to have all my mobile studio in one bag and travel everywhere I want, then I can decide to stay and make some music with my usual tools. I make some fields recordings with my Zoom, sometimes I record musicians, drums, voices, and then open my Ableton software, load Reaktor and hear what happens 

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Both. Really. I have to find the right track to catch people, then bring them into my world, and at the end, never forget the ultimate one track which help us to come back to Earth 

What were the first and last records you bought? 

First one was Public Enemy « Fear of a Black Planet ». Last one is an album of Black Zone Myth Chant « Voyage Sacrifice ». 

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

The air you breath 

If it was an animal what would it be?

An imaginary one 

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

There are a lot, especially those in different rhythmic signatures, in 7/4, 9/4 and so on, which are not easy to mix. One I love for example is Djrum’s track « Blue Violet »

Upcoming in the world of Azu Tiwaline…

I’m going to release an EP at Livity Sound (July). This label has been one of my favourites for so long and I feel so grateful to be part of this. I’ve made a wicked collab with Cinna Peyghamy on this one, a weird musician who plays tombak through modular. A Remixes EP from my actual album « Draw Me A Silence » (I.O.T Records) is on his way, gladly supported by wicked producers I love. Others EPs are scheduled but I prefer not talking too much before it’s done 😉 

Anything else we need to discuss?

Thanks for the invite Rosie and Big Up Ransom Note for your lovely support! 

Vcent « Am See » / ???
D.K. « The Other Side » / ???
Toma Kami « Suomi » / Livity Sound Records
MinaeMinae « Leichtlich » / Marionette Records
Nicola Cruz « Third Eye Dub feat Nasiri » / Multi Cuti
Azu Tiwaline Berbeka / I.O.T Records
Nicola Cruz « Ripple » / Optimo Music Digital Danceforce
Mentrix « Nature » Spooky-J Remix / House of Strength
Henry Greenleaf « Snide » / Well Street Records
Hear & San Proper « Macha moves » 3LIAS & Raphael Merheb Remix / Naissance Musik
Steevio « Forgotten Futures » / Wake Up ! Records
Otik « Wetlands » / Intergraded Records
Azu Tiwaline « Tessiture » / forthcoming on Livity Sound
David Toop « Dry keys Echoe in the dark and humid early hours » / Room 40 Records
Azu Tiwaline « Terremer » / forthcoming on Livity Sound
Black Merlin « Big Haus » / Islands of the Gods 

Follow Azu Tiwaline on Facebook and Soundcloud. Buy Draw Me A Silence.