Seattle Weekly: As a DJ, you spin downtempo weekly at Fremont’s ToST and Gaspare’s in Phinney Ridge, but how’s your Krakt techno monthly going?
Kristina Childs: We’re in our second month at Re-bar, and previously we’d built up a great crowd at Jai Thai. I’d say it’s the only night of its kind in town. We don’t stick to one style—we’re going to bring minimal techno DJs all the way through the hard stuff, Detroit, German, tech-house. As long as it has that same dirty, gritty tech energy, it fits.
Is the lack of female participation I seem to notice in the scene really how it is?
I don’t think it’s equal anywhere, but it’s not so out of whack. There’s a lot of female DJs in this town: Chloe, Eva, the Motorbooty crew, Miss Funk, Emily Song, Tamara, Brandy Westmore, Miss Kick, the HitGirl collective, Mischa. . . .
Given that, it’s surprising that you’re the only one on the performer roster for the Decibel Festival.
I’m DJ’ing the electro-pop showcase because they need someone to play ’80s, electro, and synth-pop between sets, although Camea, Mischa, and the Perfect Cyn are also DJ’ing in the Decibel Live Lounge. Decibel focuses on live performers more than DJs, so the question shouldn’t be “Why don’t girls play Decibel?” The question should be “Why aren’t girls making music?” I can count the female producers in the world on two hands; of those, not many are making techno, and that’s Decibel’s focus.
Why do you think more women aren’t making music?
Technophobia. Production and audio engineering are very technical areas, and you don’t see many females there. It’s kind of depressing, but I think it’s going to change as more start to do it. It’ll be easier for their friends, who’ve always been interested but maybe a little scared, to hang out and do stuff together, learn by proxy.
I’ve seen Web sites where women help each other figure out what gear or programs they need. It’s awesome, but it’s a huge commitment buying and learning to use that stuff.
It is. There’s a pretty steep learning curve, and it’s different from picking up a guitar. You cue, you’ve got to understand how waveforms work, MIDI, how your speakers work so you get the right mix. Then you get into sound design, which is an entirely different thing. There’s just so many aspects to learn. I’m a science major, and I’ve always been challenged and intrigued by technical stuff.
What would you like to see change in Seattle’s techno scene?
People supporting it more. A lot of people say they like and listen to techno, but just don’t come out. We promote, put up fliers, post to lists, and [the result is] often disheartening. There were under 500 people at the Richie Hawtin show. Richie fucking Hawtin!
Kristina Childs plays the Decibel Festival’s Electro Pop Showcase at Chop Suey with Styrofoam, Her Space Holiday, Mercir, and Mori at 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 24. $12/$35 evening pass/$50 festival pass.