KRISTEN DALEN (Blankstairs)
Current Top 5 tracks:
Cio D’Or, "XXXIII (Mike Parker Remix)" (Semantica)
"Happy to share this one as it includes two of my favorite artists. It showcases my love of spaced-out, repetitive, mesmerizing sounds perfectly."
Chester Beatty, "Jackstyle" (Tresor)
"This track is out of control. I don’t know when I’ll have the opportunity to play this, but it’s fun to imagine the perfect moment to whip this out at a warehouse or something."
Tomas Rubeck, "The Blueprint" (Echocord)
"So so beautiful. I love winding down a set with this one."
Radial, "Asiel" (Mord)
"Radial is one of my favorite producers, so I couldn’t do this without including a track. Those who have been around for many of my sets know this one often ends up in my crate. The perfect bouncy, driving track that gets everyone dancing."
Jan Jelinek, "They, Them" (~scape)
"This list wouldn’t be complete without a track from Jan. The whole album Loop Finding Jazz Records is one of my favorites ever. I remember listening to it years ago before I was really into dance music. So happy to have rediscovered it."
Crew/label affiliation: "Blankstairs. Before I moved to Seattle about two-and-a-half years ago, I was living in Portland, Oregon. During this time, my dear friends Warren Mark Way and Nathaniel Young were starting to organize shows and throw parties. Over much time spent building connections in the scene, it grew into a label. Since then, Warren and Nathaniel have both moved to NYC and are constantly putting energy into Blankstairs. It was also through the label that I met the people who run secondnature. I’m so thankful for this as it pushed me to move to Seattle and become part of the special community that we have here today. I’ve met so many amazing, talented individuals here who have become my very good friends.
"Although it’s hard to be away from the people I care so much about, I’m happy to be a presence here in Seattle for Blankstairs. It’s been amazing to see the three of us grow, discover ourselves musically, and continue to do what we love. Just a couple weeks ago, I was in New York for the music festival Sustain Release. There was a moment where Warren, Nathaniel and I found each other at the front of the dance floor around 5 am. Warren looked at Nathaniel and me suddenly and said, “We are the three stairs!” (in reference to the Blankstairs logo). This is such a silly moment to look back on, but I think it really inspired us to remember that we’re all connected and will be supporting each other for a very long time."
Styles played: "Techno, minimal, ambient. I originally started out playing darker, heavier-sounding techno. I still love that sound, but over time have grown into my love of dub techno, minimal, and ambient. Currently working on mixing these styles together to create a more personalized sound. Within these genres I tend to always be drawn to driving, hypnotic, and textural tracks. While I love the more chilled-out vibes, I will never stray too far from the faster tracks. Ideally played late at night, around 135 bpm."
Events organized: "Excited to be curating a monthly radio show for Blankstairs on Orphan! Expect a one-hour set from a guest and one hour from me. Next up we have my favorite ambient producer in Seattle, Jake Muir!"
DJing philosophy: "I grew up studying the violin and my background in classical music emphasized intense focus and patience. I’ve been realizing that this deeply connects to the way I approach DJing and my mindset while playing. I think this energy is also important when connecting with the audience and creating the vibe. The DJs I admire most seem to have a similar focus when they’re playing. They’re a bit distant and aloof, yet still have a strong, connected presence. Finding that balance is something important to me that I work on every time I play. In my favorite sets I’ve experienced, the artists are able to transcend genre and really take the crowd on a journey. This is something I aspire to do as a DJ, as well. A lot can happen with time and I’m excited to see what I will learn along the way."
Format: "3 CDJ-900s + Xone:92 mixer."
Worst request: "I luckily haven’t had a bad request experience, and if I ever do, the answer will be 'no.'"
Upcoming events: secondnature presents Tobias, Simic & US41 [live], Nick Carroll, October 6 (address will be announced on the day of show).
Check out Dalen's Midnight in a Perfect World mix on KEXP here.