DJ Nark heads Bottom Forty, a force in the underground rave scene for radical inclusivity and positivity in dance music and club culture.
DJ Nark heads Bottom Forty, a force in "the underground rave scene for radical inclusivity and positivity in club culture." Kevin Kauer

DJ NARK (AKA KEVIN KAUER; Bottom Forty Records, editor-in-chief of Nark Magazine)

Current top 5 tracks:

Cowboy Rhythmbox, "Tanz Exotique (Red Axes Remix)" (Phantasy)
"All DJs weaponize music; you spend all this time circling your prey (the dance floor), feeling out their strengths and weaknesses, giving jabs here and there until you find that right time in your set to really go for the kill and burn up the floor. Right now this track is that deadly blow that sets a worked-up dance floor on fire, and in general Red Axes are at the top of my list for those moments."

Paulor, "Paulor's Blues" (Hippie Dance)
"I'm a huge fan of anything that dances around heavy guitar riffs, chugging paces, and a psychedelic tinge, and this track definitely hits all those for me. There's something great about just getting down and feeling yourself to all this electric guitar."

Israel Vines, "WWKD (Silent Servant Remix)" (Eye Teeth)
"This track is a great techno groove and the sounds in the clap rhythm remind me of letting of high pressure steam valves, which is a fitting idea for a pent-up dance floor."

Keita Sano, "Bitch" (Let's Play House)
"DJing to a crowd is all about taking them to different places and riding the emotional highs and lows of the night. When you've been chugging along for a while and your groove has worked up the humidity in the room and everyone is wet and feeling your story, a spacey, pad-heavy track is the best way to pull out that eyes-closed smile-on total-body dance moment. Right now I think this track hits that mark for me."

Reflections in a Distant Mirror, "Inside My Mind an Ocean" (Morning Mood)
"Slightly tribal-ish rhythms layered with pots-and-pans techno and some sassy vocal moans—I think there's a little something here for everyone."

Crew/label affiliations: "2MR, Bottom Forty Records, MR.INTL."

Styles played: "My origin of love for dance music started when I was still in the single digits of age playing Streets of Rage on Sega Genesis. This embedded a very specific sound in me that I did not discover the meaning of till much later in life. These little 8-bit cartridges hold some incredible deep house, acid, and hard modular techno inside them, sounds that when I started to hear later in life felt very natural to me. This combined with a nurturing teen period of obscure punk, origins of rock and psychedelia mixed with a modern love for acid, techno, and disco have all kind of merged to create the style that I love to embody... psychedelic, chugging peaking moments, deep house, techno and classic disco, and I've never been afraid to go to all these places in one short period of time. It's a conditioning of being a North American DJ (we don't play super long sets often), but I prefer my selections to all carry some impact and drama to them and to create vast highs and lows, although if you had to label me one thing it would definitely be an acid queen."

Events organized: "With Nark Magazine, I've produced countless events over the years. Right now our main attraction is the Make Out Party, which occurs in Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago, with some off-shoots still to come. With the Bottom Forty Record Label, we've done events with unpredictable frequency over the years, showcasing some amazing talent big and small from Horse Meat Disco, Black Madonna, Daniel Avery, Massimiliano Pagliara, Honey Soundsystem, Alison Swing + Masha, La Fraicheur, and many more in many different venue locations, from boats to warehouse raves to clubs. Bottom Forty is the underground rave scene for radical inclusivity and positivity in dance music and club culture."

DJing philosophy: "To not get a big head. You are up there popping on other people's music in order to make people happy; you are absolutely nothing without the happy people dancing, so they should always come first. Often this is put to the wayside in lieu of egos or hustling. Collect music with your eyes closed, lost in your head, imagining exactly how a floor will react to this track, and then make it your goal to see it through."

Format: "I will play on as many CDJs and Technic turntables as you can give me, even if I'm running up and down the stage to touch them all. Also, Pioneer Nexus 900 mixer 4lyfe."

Worst request: "There's only one request that went so far it led to the removal of the requester from the club. It's bad enough the request was 'Low Rider' by War, but even worse that they tried to give me their phone to play it, using flirting as persuasion and pulling the age-old 'nobody is dancing' line—which was untrue."

Upcoming events:
6/08 Bottom Forty Takeover in the Timbre Room (Noise Complaint w Motez in Kremwerk)
6/16 Nark's Acid Playhouse (Album Release Party) at Jackhammer, Chicago (w/ Bottom Forty)
6/21-24 Seattle Alternative Pride Festival by Nark Magazine
6/23 The Annual Pride Cruise 2018 at the Islander Cruise Ship
7/04 Fagbash, Provincetown
7/08 Dickslap, Velvet Lounge, Provincetown
7/14 Sutherland, New York
7/21 Bottom Forty, Kremwerk Complex
8/03-06 Vancouver Pride, BC
8/11 Make Out Party, Jackhammer, Chicago
8/23 Deck'd Out w Bottom Forty, MR TC, Kodemul, Monkey Loft
Burning Man on BAAAHS

Listen to snippets of Nark's latest release, Empty Void, here.