Kyoka, "Free Energy Shuffle" (Raster-Noton)
Kyoka’s album Is (Is Superpowered) has been on repeat for me for about a year. I first heard it in a tiny bar in the Golden Gai district of Tokyo called Nightingale, known for its experimental and noise music. Once the bartender/DJ warmed up to us, he was excited to play us all of his favorite Japanese techno and noise music. “Free Energy Shuffle” was absolutely a standout, a track I will never get tired of, and played once, with good reception, at Kremwerk."
Capricorn, "20hz" (Global Cuts)
Aos recently dropped this song in one of her legendary sunrise sets, and for me, it was one of those sublime dance-floor moments. I’ve been putting this on whenever I want to feel like I’m surrounded by all my friends, and, you know, with a glockenspiel and a drumline around to boot."
Muslimgauze, "Untitled 1985 (Shan & Gerd Jansen Rave Mix)" (Optimo Trax)
"A fun, ravey twist on a previously unreleased Muslimgauze tape loop. Muslimgauze is an incredible, controversial artist on his own level, and I feel like everyone has their own opinions about him (myself included), but I’m just gonna let this track sit here for what it is."
Tessela, "Nancy’s Pantry" (R&S)
"This track feels like brutally waking up in a dystopian future, which isn’t too far away from reality right now. I’m excited to play this out at some point."
Black Box, "I Don’t Know Anybody Else (Steve “Silk” Hurley Remix)" (Groove Groove Melody)
"With snow already falling in Seattle this year, I have been clinging to any and all memories of summer. A highlight was definitely when I played this track at the .WAV POOL party I threw in July, and suddenly it felt like everyone was out of the pool, onto the dance floor."
Crew/label affiliation: "I am a member of TUF, a Seattle-based digital media collective for female, non-binary, and trans artists/musicians. Without the supportive TUF crew, I don’t think I would have ever had the confidence to DJ in front of an audience."
Styles played: "Nothing is off-limits, as long as it fits contextually and musically. I don’t get too caught up with classifying tracks by genre, which can be a weakness when trying to describe songs to my friends (or naming what styles I play), but it can also be a strength as I’m more likely to design my sets around a particular mood, rather than restrictive genre labels. When I’m allowed to take the reins and play whatever I want, I like to experiment with lots of different styles, BPMs, and vibes. Some DJs that I think do this particularly well are Avalon Emerson, Eclair Fifi, Optimo, Josey Rebelle, and Matthew Herbert. I do tend to find myself changing my styles based on the season. I gravitate toward groovy, melody-based songs in the summertime, and meditative, drum-based tracks during the darker, colder months."
DJing philosophy: "I really strive to play with people’s expectations. But before you can play with expectations, first you have to build trust. I’m really enjoying getting booked at a wide variety of events in order to hone my skills and cultivate my wide-ranging tastes, as I’ve only been playing out for a little over a year. I feel like I’m finally starting to get to know myself as a DJ, and to gain more intuition about how different types of audiences will react to what I play—basically, understanding what the expectations are, so I can work to subvert them.
"Ultimately, I hope to have the confidence to re-imagine what a DJ set should be. Even the most musically adventurous sets can start to feel formulaic when they take place in the context of a club or a warehouse. I want to play music in out-of-the-ordinary spaces and with subtle twists, to be a part of turning music back into a more overt tool for social change, as it once was, rather than just being another way of having fun."
Events organized: "I love throwing one-off events that are unlike anything that already exists in Seattle—either because they are at locations that normally wouldn’t have art/music at them, or they have goals that differ from those of a normal party.
"Last summer, Simone Pierson (DJ Simone), Isabel Von Der Ahe (DJ Sorbet), and I hosted .WAV POOL at the Colman Pool in West Seattle. Pool parties with DJs are a common occurrence in warm places like LA, but they rarely happen in Seattle. It did get a bit cold toward the end, but this just served to get everyone out of the pool and onto the dance floor.
"I also was an organizer for TUF LUV at King Street Station in 2016. The interactive day was filled with workshops, music, and performances, and it really felt like it brought our community together in a unique way. The interactive event was equally about the audience as much as it was about the performers and artists, an ethos that isn’t always prevalent, and one that I hope to continue exploring."
Format: "CDJs and a mixer—not too picky about what kind."
Worst request: "It’s not a song request, per se, but more than a few times guys have come up to me after my sets to tell me about other artists I need to listen to based on what I played. They usually seem pretty smug about it, because it comes across like they think they’re doing me a huge favor. But it’s almost always artists that are very popular and that I’m already well aware of. I love recommendations and talking about music (and there’s so much I am still learning!), but not when it feels like the other person assumes I’m completely naïve."
Upcoming events: "After an intense summer of some really fun sets, I’m taking a short break. I would love to play out again soon. Stay tuned for some new mixes on the horizon. Also, TUF is working on starting a new monthly night soon. Watch for that!"