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Anastasia Kristensen's high-octane techno is making an Impact

The Russian-born, Copenhagen-based artist turns in a riotous mix

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Photography: Morten Bentzon
  • 27 April 2017
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How is the Copenhagen scene? Is there a healthy dance community?

It is a small community, but definitely a techno-happy one. There are promoters such as Vortex Community, Et Andet Sted (which means “some other place”) and queer-friendly, progressive party Mainstream, which is shaping the current landscape of various electronic music events with big success. It is nice to see these people celebrate diversity and inclusivity, as well as providing a safe space for it. Lest I forget the central venue in Copenhagen for electronic music, Culture Box, which offers well-curated nights with a space for local growing talents and world-class bookings sharing the stage together.

I haven’t been out much this year in Copenhagen to be honest, as I have been and will continue being away on the weekends myself, or huddled in the studio finishing up tracks!

It’s natural for artists to be influenced by geographic location and the scenes within their hometowns. You’ve lived in Moscow, Copenhagen and Toronto. How do you think each city has impacted upon you differently and what role have they each played in developing your interest in music?

Moving around was definitely a big reason for me to go in-depth with music. I moved from a big city, with tight connections in the communities there, to a small city in Denmark where I didn’t know anyone. I isolated myself with geeking out over music there and eventually found like-minded people. In Toronto I first started to try out mixing and from there it took off for me. Each city has had a very big impact on me and I feel very lucky to have been able to live in each of them.

That said, the internet breaks down international borders and widens influence scopes. Your latest release contribution came about from connecting with the label manager online. How has involving yourself in online communities impacted upon you?

I think I met a few like-minded people online, and also some of them I exchange music with. When I had certain material out, it would be reposted in different media and that’s gained new circles and attention I haven’t met before. I am outgoing and easy to deal with in the same way I am online, so I think the online activity served me with like-minded people out there, which is often a much needed factor when being both a foreigner and an artist in a music field that a lot of people just do not understand.

You work a day job as an IT consultant. It’s a profession that, rightly or wrongly, is not exactly considered glamorous. (In the UK at least!) And especially not in comparison to being a DJ. Does it ever feel strange to be juggling those two lives?

Hey, I happen to think it’s very glamorous! My team has just won an award for the best web page that serves citizens of an elder age – it felt like a mini-Oscars ceremony! I was extremely happy to be a part of it, as it took a whole year to make every stakeholder speak to each other and make it all work.

This sort-of “double life” is possible for now, as I still have energy and inspiration, and am constantly pushing myself to my limits and keeping busy. Sometimes it certainly feels strange, but it is super essential for me to have an active life.

You’ve spoken about how the rigid routine of maintaining a day job has been helpful in managing the spare time you have to focus on music. Do you think that disciplined approach impacts upon the style of music you make currently?

To be frank, I produce in a lot of different directions and I don’t think my discipline impacts which directions I tend to go towards during any given session. However, I am definitely more aware of time management and I make deadlines in my head, just for myself at least.

Is pursuing music full-time the aim?

If this becomes an option, I wouldn’t resist it. I’ve always kept an open mind and I’m good at selecting the right life balance, and I will continue this method.

You recently toured North America to widespread praise. How were the crowds on the tour and how did they respond to your sets? Did it feel different to European shows?

Every show for the tour had great crowds, with people who came for music and exploration naturally losing themselves to dance. I couldn’t have wished for a better debut in North America. It definitely felt different to a European crowd in general – I think the crowd’s excitement and curiosity definitely was easy to notice for me and that was humbling. I also noticed the response to more percussive tracks was appreciated more clearly than the more cold and hypnotic end of electronic music. So to anyone travelling across the pond - take note!

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