DOWNTOWN 500 MAGAZINE WAS VIBE-HOPPING AT “SOYAAULAIT” SHOWROOM THIS TIME AGAIN, HAVING A FEW DRINKS AND ENJOYING ITS CHIC ECCENTRICITY OF THE CHARMING HOST-DESIGNER LUNA AND HER FRIENDLY COMPANIONS, WITH SPECIAL THANX!
THE PIQUANT ATMOSPHERE EVENTUALLY LED US TO SPRAY SOME BUBBLES AT JAEGER BEFORE WE MOVED ON TO THE VILLA ON UPPER YOUNGSLØKKA. THIS WAS WHERE WE MET THE BERLIN TECHNO MOGUL-HERSELF: – ELLEN ALLIEN, AND HER OPENER, VILLA RESIDENT – DELLA. WHAT A FINE SABBATH IT WAS!
KRISTINA DUNN FROM THE DUO NO DIAL TONE HAS CUT A FEW STRINGS TO WORK ON HER NEW SOLO PROJECT DELLA. WITH RELEASES THROUGH CLASSIC MUSIC COMPANY, LETFTROOM, TWIRL, FACELESS, CIMELDE AND PRESS IN BOTH MIXMAG AND DJMAG, SHE IS ALREADY AN INTERNATIONAL NAME IN THE TOUGH DJ-SCENE. WITH 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE DANCE MUSIC COMMUNITY, SHE HAS AN ECLECTIC EAR FOR THE HIGHEST GRADE OF DANCE MUSIC, BUT HER TRUE LOVE REMAINS FAITHFUL TO HOUSE MUSIC. AS AN NOTABLE OSLO RESIDENT, SHE STOOD BEHIND THE INFAMOUS LIPSTICK PARTIES AND HOLDS A RESIDENCY AT THE WORLD RENOWNED CLUB, THE VILLA.
DELLA NOT ONLY STATES HAPPINESS BEHIND THE TURNTABLES, SHE IS ALSO A VOCALIST, BOTH DURING DJ SETS AND IN THE STUDIO. NEW BEGINNINGS ARE DEVELOPING RAPIDLY FOR THIS DANCING QUEEN AND HER SOLO PROJECT. MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN FOR MORE TO COME FROM HER IN THE FUTURE. SHE HAS EXTREME GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF DANCE MUSIC AND THERE IS ONE WORD THAT SHE USES TO DESCRIBE THIS MUSIC: LOVE.
BE FREE TO JOIN HER ON A DANCE FLOOR WHEN YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY AND FEEL THE VIBE THAT COMES IN THE FORM OF MUSIC, SYNCHRONIZED STRAIGHT FROM HER HEART TO YOURS.
DT 500 MAG: – Why did you choose music over the other art forms?
KRISTINA: – Music was not a choice for me. It is an essential part of my life, a necessity actually. Music is my ultimate love and I enjoy sharing this love with everyone else that feels the same. I guess this is why I chose to DJ so I could share this feeling with others.
DT 500 MAG: – What influenced you when you were a child?
KRISTINA: – In music? My influences in music started with my family, it was being played all the time around me when growing up. Our family was always listening to records or the radio. My father loves Motown, Jazz, Soul, R&B and influenced me in these areas while my mother played Doo Wop and 50’s gems. My brother, being 15 years older than I, introduced me to Classic Rock, Rock, and Alternative. Julie, my sister, who is 13 years older than I, was actually banned at one time from playing Prince in our Catholic home. My mother didn’t want me going around at 4yrs old singing his “filthy” lyrics, which I was. My sister also introduced me to loads of 80’s Pop, like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Then there were my Grandmothers. Grammy, who once was a pianist for silent movies in the 1920s and had her own small dance studio, had an extreme love for music. It was her who taught me how to read music and play the piano. We were always writing and creating funny musicals that we performed in the living room for Grandpa. My other German grandmother, Ilse, she made me fall in love with swing and jazz standards such as Glenn Miller, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. As a student, I was involved in choir, band, took private vocal lessons, piano, ballet, and was on the dance team.
DT 500 MAG: – We love this kind of diversity!
Kristina: -Not to forget, I was also spoon fed MTV (when it actually was music television) from the age of 3 (this too mother banned from the house). Before the days of the remote control (yes, I am shedding my age now) I would sprint to the cable box to click the channels from MTV to Nickelodeon when I heard my mother coming down the stairs to the TV room. MTV exposed me to bands like Depeche Mode, Human League, and The Cure. From all of these influences from an early age, I have developed a broad range of musical taste and knowledge, which I am very grateful for.
DT 500 MAG: -… and so the rave culture had come, bam!
KRISTINA: -Yes! In terms of electronic music, it began with rave culture in the 90’s. I started going to raves when I left home for college. Then in 1997, I went to a DVS1 party in downtown Minneapolis that changed my life forever. Something magical happened that night; I discovered the “dance” in electronic music. I was hooked. From that day forward I never looked back, and I have been on thousands of dance floors since with the top DJs from around the world. The names of people who have influenced me since that experience would go on for days, but here is a shortlist of names that come to mind from those early days: Halo, Hipp-e, Dubtribe, Mark Farina, Heather, Jeno, Garth, Scott Hardkiss, Dj Dan, Doc Martin, Dj Funk, Roy Davis Jr., Underworld, Orbital, The Orb, Timewriter, and of course Frankie. Quite a diverse group of names.
DT 500 MAG: – How was raving at West-Coast that time?
KRISTINA: –In 1999, I moved to Los Angeles and continued to be influenced by the creators and players of quality House music. I never was one for names or labels or any of that, I was purely involved in doing what I loved more than words can describe, dance. Dancing to House music was, and still simply is my reality, so the music effortlessly surrounds me and continues to inspire me everywhere I go. I guess I am just lucky that way.
DT 500 MAG: -What is the sound of DELLA?
KRISTINA: – DELLA is my solo project with a strong focus on DJing. There are some ideas I would like to play around with in the studio and I have been asked to do some vocal collaborations with people I really admire, so we will see what comes out of that. For the moment, though, I am putting all my focus into DJing. This is my second love following dancing. I love playing records that make me want to dance and I love getting people to dance to them with me. I don’t know how to categorize my sound as a style or into one genre of music, but it is mostly House and Techno that I play.
DT 500 MAG: -What is so special about House music?
KRISTINA: – House music isn’t an art form, it is what it is, House. And you either get it or you don’t. It is not a style, it is a lifestyle. Once you’re in you are in for good. Just like Eddie Amador said, “Not everyone understands House music, it’s a spiritual thing, a soul thing, a body thing.” That’s simply the truth. Favorite type of House? House is House. If you need a better description than that, take a listen to Kerri Chandler’s track “House is House.” My philosophy on House? For me, it is the purist form of love projected through a 4×4 beat and vibration. It beats to the rhythm of our hearts and our hearts beat to the rhythm of the music. It is also a community that brings all people together. All the borders and barriers that divide us are removed. This is freedom.
DT 500 MAG: – We heard you are going solo?
KRISTINA: – Yes, I was in a duo No Dial Tone and we had a successful 10 years together with releases on labels like Classic Music Company, Twirl, Leftroom, Faceless, and Cimelde Records. But now where my partner, Vibeke Bruff, and I are currently in our lives, the paths are moving in separate directions and we have decided to follow these individual roads.
DT 500 MAG: – Who is your listener?
KRISTINA: – My listener is anyone who already has, or wants to develop, an understanding of quality dance music. They are anyone who wants to get showered in positive, good vibes through music. I don’t expect them to expect anything from me except just that, having a genuinely good time at the party and on the dance floor.
DT 500 MAG: – You are working with vocals too, how do you find a vocal to match the music, especially in House? Partners or Enemies?
KRISTINA: – Yes, I do work with vocals. I sometimes do live vocal improvisation over my DJ sets. When I do this I feel I have a stronger connection between the audience and myself. That is what I strive for, having the audience and myself feel like one in the music. When it comes to production, I have this same approach, I just let the track roll and sing or say whatever comes to mind in the mic. Once recorded, it is then clipped and edited to fit into the arrangement. I love vocal House music, so for me, they fit perfectly together. There are some people who really don’t like vocals in dance music, and that is the just preference of one’s taste. These people might see vocals as an enemy, but for myself, I prefer a little vocal here and there in DJ sets or in-house tracks. Maybe this also goes hand in hand with being a vocalist; I love to sing along to my favorite songs.
DT 500 MAG: – Is there something in common between techno music and classical music?
KRISTINA: – Honestly, I do not feel I am the right person to ask about this, as Classical music is something I appreciate but do not have much knowledge of. But yes, I think the two have something in common. Take Mozart for example, he was an innovated composer and really pushed the boundaries when it came to his music. Just like what Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, or Derrick May did when they started pushing boundaries and created techno.
DT 500 MAG: -What is your judging criteria as a Dance Conductor?
KRISTINA: –Ha-ha, I am the DJ, meaning I am the conductor of the dance floor aka Dance Conductor.
DT 500 MAG: – DELLA’s TOP 3 most listened songs on iPhone?
KRISTINA: – This one is hard because I have so much music circulating around me all the time. If I had to choose the 3 most listened tracks on my stereo/iPhone in the past two weeks they would be:
1. Waldluft – Recondite
2. Scanning the Heavens – Lance & Jessie
3. Sentimental Journey (Space Dance) – Anthony Nicholson
DT 500 MAG: – How would you present the Oslo House scene to an experienced techno visitor?
” I would say, “Let me take you out and experience it for yourself. Here is the list of the incredible talent we have coming through Oslo this week. Where should we begin? ”
DT 500 MAG: – AMEN! What is your favorite club concepts today?
KRISTINA: – Honestly, I really don’t like those words “club concepts…” I think this is a problem the dance community seems to be drowning itself in (especially in Oslo). I think clubs should stand for, focus, and book talent on that alone, talent. Just because you are a good promoter of your “concept” this should not allow you to enter the ring as “talent.” Sure, maybe you have the talent as well, but where is the focus? On music or promotion? These barriers are making it difficult for those DJs and producers who are much more skilled, experienced, schooled, and gifted than these “club concept” promoters to break through or be heard. I think clubs should focus on booking raw talent and taking the responsibility of promoting themselves as a place where no matter what, the music is 100% the focus.
” Let the DJ be the DJ, not a promoter… I mean, it works for BERGHAIN, maybe the rest should keep following their lead.”
DT 500 MAG: -How about the rest of Europe vs Oslo (in terms of the House music scene)?
KRISTINA: –I think Oslo is a great contender and contributor to the dance music community right alongside the rest of Europe.
DT 500 MAG: – RAPTURE! It was a “good trip” talking!
INTERVIEW BY DT 500 MAG
COPYRIGHT BY DT 500 MAG