DJ Raj: [B]eing a POC DJ is a form of radicalism. I can draw on my craft to subdue forms of oppression.
DJ Raj: "Being a POC DJ is a form of radicalism. I can draw on my craft to subdue forms of oppression." Shu Jones

RAJ (Free Axis Broadcast)

Current top 5 tracks:

"The list is split between ambient/drone and conventional dance tracks. I’ve done so many ambient sets lately that I had to throw in a couple of my favorite selections."

Sarah Davachi, "Chanter" (2017, Students of Decay)
"I have yet to play an ambient set without including a track from Sarah Davachi. Her productions are dense and beautiful."

Antihouse, ".23" (1994, Visible Records)
"Bizarre but amazing early release from Jimmy Tamborello (Postal Service, etc.)."

Yu Su, "Soon (Moa Mix)" (2016, Genero)
"It’s patio season!"

Mike Huckaby, "Wavetable No 9" (2007, S Y N T H)
"This one isn’t really a recent favorite, but more of a lifetime favorite. Class-act dub-techno. Always in the crate."

Reagenz, "The Labyrinth" (2011, Ostgut Ton)
"The above statement goes for this one as well. To me, this is a prime example of 'the perfect track.'”

Crew/label affiliation: "☼ FREE AXIS BROADCAST ☼ My friend Phil Kampf (US41) and I co-founded Free Axis Broadcast almost two years ago. The broadcast started by looking for a place to practice mixing with friends. We settled on the basement in my old house. After a day of shoveling piles of garbage and ancient dust with my friend Ted Shin (Fugal), the basement was still disgusting but we had enough room for a small table and put the speakers on the washer and dryer. The occasional mix session turned into a weekly thing and eventually we decided to just hit the record button. The broadcast has now evolved into a rich catalog featuring the tastes and selections of Seattle-based DJs and artists. I see the broadcast as a way to give back. Locals are the life force of the scene and supporting them by giving them a platform is essential for any sort of progress. Some of my favorite broadcasts: 'sighup,' Simone, Kristen Dalen."

Styles played: "Ambient, drone, experimental, house, techno. For the last few years, it has been a near-constant switch between techno and minimal house (I <3 tech-house). Nothing tops a night of blistering techno, but those who know me know that I can never stray too far from dubs and 'butter,' what I like to think of as the smoothest tracks (pads, chords, melodies, and patios). Beyond the usual club nights, I also enjoy doing ambient/chillout DJ sets. It’s interesting how playing a few extended ambient sets can cement you as a 'chillout room' or 'morning DJ.' That being said, I’m always pushing for these slots to be filled. Bring back the chillout room!"

DJing philosophy: "It’s sort of surprising that I helped start a mix series, because I have a really hard time recording them. It’s difficult for me to pull DJing out of context, as my DJing 'philosophy' centers around the dancers and the room they’re in. It’s important to recognize that a club night is ephemeral, but the sounds of the room are what often linger in the heads of dancers afterward (myself included). If I can figure out what kinds of sonics the people on the floor are into in a specific moment, lasting selections follow naturally. I play to the crowd (and for the crowd)—always.

"I’ve been considering my racial identity in relation to my work as a local DJ and artist. Because the scene is predominantly white, I sometimes get gigs to satisfy a booker's diversity quota. I initially approached this tokenism with disdain, because I, like all people, carry multiple identities with me constantly—not just my race. This oversimplification forced me to consider my racial identity as part of the identity I was developing as a local DJ and artist. It was hard to find solace when I was being elevated or used as a PR strategy by white promoters. Compounded with this, realizing I was playing tracks made by oppressive people (i.e., the sexist comments by Konstantin and Conforce recently) made me question if I was even accomplishing anything by trying to overcome this tokenism.

"Nonetheless, seeing all the strong QTPOC and femme/nonbinary artists around me more recently has been incredibly inspiring. I've learned that being a POC DJ is a form of radicalism. I can draw on my craft to subdue forms of oppression by creating welcoming spaces for people like me and supporting them (and the counterculture as a whole)."

Format: "Three CDJ-900s, one Technics SL-1200MK2, and my Xone 92."

Worst request: "Fortunately, there haven’t been many recently. But back when I was primarily playing at house parties (shoutout to Salmon Town!), I had a request for a Missy Elliott track. I have nothing against Missy Elliott, but I just didn’t have the particular track the person wanted, but told them that I’d be happy to play it if they went and found an AUX cable. I said this because it was 1 a.m. on Halloween and did not expect the person to actually go and get one. Well... they did, and I played it."

Upcoming events: "No club nights, but I have a b2b slot on Orphan Radio with Fugal (Ted Shin) lined up for late August."