Tue Volder interview with Blacklisted Copenhagen

Anastasia Kristensen

A dark rise on the horizon might be bringing you some of the best techno you’ll hear for a while.

Published: January 15, 2017Words: Helena Sokol & Anastasia KristensenArtist Link: Soundcloud

Taking a look at the collection of emerging talents on the Danish electronic scene, you will find Anastasia Kristensen highlighted – a DJ and producer, who for the last couple of years have been gracing us with her hypnotic, dark beats. She has risen to underground fame for her collaborations with Bjørn Svin and numerous DJ sets with CTRLS, and for her selection into the prominent Russian techno club, Monasterio’s debut release as their own label.

I was lucky to get a hold of Anastasia and get to talk a bit about her music and influences, leading up to her performance at piedestal of electronica, Culture Box, where she will be playing alongside her two former collaborators, CTRLS and Bjørn Svin.

Born in Moscow, Russia, but moved to Copenhagen in her teens, Anastasia has been interested in music for many years.

I think I was quite young, like a very early teenage age. I was discovering electronic music during that time and it definitely made long term impact on me. It’s only much later I would start working with music, but the affection and love for it started for ten years ago already.

She started uncovering rare vinyls and as time went, she became fascinated by early electro, triggering the real interest in electronic music. Bands like 808 State and Drexciya were initial inspirations for putting the beat in her heart, and their distinctive styles were eye-openers to what she would later do.

I think my relocation to Denmark influenced me a lot. The new surroundings, people and mentality – this all triggered my creativity in a unique way, and since it’s an environment where you are out of comfort zone, at least in the beginning, it certainly also has an impact on how the creative flow is going.

Anastasia seems to take in her environment very instinctively – taking in the city, the atmosphere and the vibe is almost second nature to her – and her many travels have been a chance for her to get as many different stories as she can. One trip in particular would change her. An academic exchange to Canada would introduce her to experimenting with her own work, and as soon as she were home, she would acquire a pair of turntables to amass her knowledge in her own way and her own style. This is a move which has shaped her into a very singular creature of the night. Being self-taught, Anastasia has carved out a niche for herself, developing herself into something quite unlike any other producer or DJ.

Her synth melodies takes you on a journey into a crepuscular tunnel, where you won’t get out until the next morning. It is easy to get lost in her multisensory universe, but she always lures you along with tales and atmospheres that you can bring back with you to reality.

Many artists channel their art after experiencing certain stories in their lives, which is something I partly do as well. However, I find it interesting to create an atmosphere and create a story for my listener as well, which is not necessarily connected directly to my own experiences. Any imaginary scenario and vibes people can develop from the music – is fascinating to me.

.. and if people get a positive emotion or vibes from my music – whether it’s euphoria or ravy dance feel, my goal as producer is definitely accomplished.

Naturally, having been on the scene for so long, Anastasia has experienced many different club environments. She has been invited several times to Berlin, has indulged in the Moscow scene, and has played Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Paris. I love hearing people’s experiences of these different places, and this is no exception – I was eager to her her opinion..

If you look at these three scenes you mention, they all are very different. We could definitely use more party goers and techno appreciators in Copenhagen, however it has a charm when the community is very small. I think what is missing is more unity between people. Danes are notoriously known for their slightly closed circle mentality and if you are not there from the beginning it can be challenging to become the part of this. One good thing is of course that there is talent blossoming out of Copenhagen right now – and I can’t wait to see more newcomers and more music being made from here.

And her own place in the chaos?

I think it is hard to say if I fill any certain void, as I try to stay individualistic with my music activities wherever I would be based.

I personally think she is filling out a place on the Copenhagen scene where there hasn’t been many. It’s a darker, more solidified techno – and it’s sophisticated too. There’s an almost otherworldly feel to her own productions, and it is obvious from the start that her steady rhythms, punctuated by demanding thrills, is something special. It’s the soundtrack of a game of hide and seek between you and dawn.

And I can’t wait to see what comes next.

I’m hoping to achieve more releases on the international labels, probably more live set collaborations, learning more on music production and touring overseas. It would be a terrible lie to say that I am not excited.