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Anastasia Kristensen: “I believe in meaningful energy shifts on the dance floor”

We compare Copenhagen and Berlin, talk about inspiration, what she enjoys doing when arriving in Berlin as well as preparing a long vs a short set. Get to know Anastasia Kristensen.

Who were you as a teenager - when first having moved to Copenhagen?

As a teen I was this really punky rebel kid, with red hair and an alternative rock music taste. I loved listening to weird industrial music and that’s also where I got my interest for electronic music, for instance LFO - Shut Down - was one of the first tunes for me to discover and completely fall in love with that genre.

How do you feel the city has shaped you and your sound?

Scandinavia has a very pronounced touch of mystery and melancholia. It is both due weather, history and tradition and Copenhagen is no exception. I certainly think the city has had an effect on me in terms of shaping my musical taste, finding beauty in minimalistic and well produced works. It is a truly comfortable city to live in, that can offer all sorts of landscapes to get inspiration from.

You’re still today based in Copenhagen, but also have a strong connection to the Berlin community - if you would compare the two cities and their techno scene - what differs them?

Copenhagen is small and cozy and Berlin is vast and infinite. Our scenes are largely interconnected - we are seeing plenty of crews from both cities come and visit each other, our bookers often come to Berlin for the events and many Berliners are actually ex-Copenhageners as well. We are like a younger cousin to Berlin. However recently, we also see London and Amsterdam scene members coming to us and some clubs closely collaborate with each other. ‘Den Anden Side’ venue has now come properly on the grid and it’s already putting Copenhagen on an even more meaningful place in the European scene. I recommend everyone to come visit.

If you would “sell” Copenhagen’s nightlife to a Berlin based raver, what would you tell them?

Very tight and friendly local scene, a lot of variety in genres but also largely popular trance music events is what you can find here. Also the city and people are just neat and stylish to look at.

What’s something you love doing when arriving in Berlin?

Berlin is so diverse and kinda harsh at the same time - I have to say, I love coming here. Record stores, other events than my own and reuniting with friends is what I like doing. Usually I stay at my friend’s in Mitte and I enjoy walking around there and then going towards the Kottbusser Tor area. It’s a city with so much influence and history, I can’t ignore it and often arrive home with plenty of inspiration and new ideas.

On February 19th you close RSO - how do you prepare a short set vs. a long set and what do you need to keep in mind?

The process of preparation is different each time, sometimes I go through what I already have, and often I of course upload new promos and try to see how this fits in the current catalog. Long sets certainly need preparation - once I did one in NYC at Nowadays, that lasted for 8 hours. For that I have divided my set in 4 phases, sort of taking off – the ‘flying’, then being in turbulence (in a good way) and then landing again. Those are always just direction suggestions, in the end I play to create, sustain and shift the vibe in the room. For RSO I may be looking into a similar process, but I have a feeling I need to leave a lot of open room for this one. I am truly excited for my first closing in Berlin this year.

Do you feel your inspirations have changed lately, or how has your sound evolved over the past years?

My inspirations certainly have changed, but also the whole vision of music. It naturally has also evolved, it’s become deeper, more experimental than ever and my own way to weave un-mixable things together has become somewhat more experienced. I truly believe in meaningful energy shifts on the dance floor and not being worried whether I play too geeky music. The crowds are not stupid and as DJs we should treat them and the floor with equal respect. Musical journey is a journey we embark on together. Even though this way of thinking may already sound obvious to many, I've become even better at embracing this practice after the pandemic.

You are known for your unpredictable sets, is this something you plan on doing; surprising the audience, and if so, how do you think to do that?

The energy shift is always an important component for me. When I think about the event and my work to be done I always research where I am, what time before and after who. Being aware and prepared is a bonus, even if you end up playing something totally third. Eclectic aesthetics is a thing I am fond of, and will continue to pursue. It’s always a pleasure to connect with so many like-minded people out there, on the floor and in the booth.

What do you think the scene is lacking at this time? How would you like to see it change?

The scene lacks a little imagination. Clearly everyone is trying to make up for 2 years of losses but I can’t wait to see more diversity and bold choices from promoters in terms of bookings and see the crowd being interested too. And of course, the terms for all sides of the industry needs to improve, so everyone has a better and healthier, well protected work life.

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