This month, we’re welcoming Copenhagen-based UK selector N.E.GIRL to our Strøm Mix-series.
Having established herself as a guarantor of bass music of the highest quality, N.E.GIRL aka Esther Kay has been making continous waves in the Danish electronic scene ever since relocating from South London to Copenhagen in 2017.
Originally booked to play at last year’s Strøm Festival before COVID-19 put a stop to that, we are delighted to finally be able to present her in this latest rendition of Strøm Mix.
Read our interview with N.E.GIRL, and listen to her mix in the section below:
What is your mix centered around? Have you focused on a certain theme, a feeling, an experience?
My mix is mostly focused on high energy dance music, with a focus on music that’s bassy, as usual. It’s more progressive in tempo and energy than my usual live-sets and showcases mostly underground producers and artists.
How would you describe your sound as a DJ? What are some of your biggest influences?
My DJ style is always evolving, but I’d say I’m a dancefloor/soundsystem/blow-off-your-head-top-with-some-bass type of DJ.
Most of my influences come from soundsystem culture, which is why I can be pretty competitive going back-to-back or prefer searching for really new or exclusive music to play.
When I was about 8 my cousins would babysit me on the weekends, and while they would get ready to go raving, they’d listen to pirate radio. I remember sitting in their room wondering why the DJ kept cutting off the song to talk over it – it literally baffled me at the time.
When I was about 15, I bought a pair of decks and spent a summer pracicting how to DJ. I would practice with dancehall/bashment tracks, mostly; I used to go to a lot of bashment parties, so I’d have four songs on the same riddim and try to beat-match them.
Anyway, after I’d learned the basics and played a few parties I was influenced by really technical DJ’s like Marcus Nasty, DJ EZ, Grandmixxer, Neffa-T, to name a few. Watching them, you see how the decks can be used as an instrument, so I enjoy finding creative ways to mix and blend when playing live. For me, it’s a bit more interesting than focusing on the song selections.
To sum it up, my influences come mostly from the parties and underground scenes in London. From the bashmment and dancehall house parties to the UK funky, garage, grime and dubstep nights, the techno parties at university and exploring more underground scenes around the world.
A lot of your sound seems based around UK bass-inspired genres, some of which have never really taken off in Denmark. Do you feel like you’re representing the UK-scene in a way, by presenting some of these genres in a new context or to an audience who haven’t been exposed to them before?
Honestly, I think people are just curious to see why I’m playing around often, plus I probably have stuff in my sets that tickle different people’s interests.
I think blending genres/styles is so damn fun! I’d say similarly to how garage, dubstep and grime had their hay days in London, so did the bass scene here in Copenhagen, and that’s fine. Although I play a lot of UK inspired music, because that’s what I know and experienced myself, I dont think the music is necessarily meant for the masses. If anything, I prefer to represent underground bass music generally, whatever form it comes in.
But yes, I do gravitate towards sound-system derived genres generally, which a lot of the UK bass music I play originates from.
I’m currently editing a documentary you should look out for, which is going to be out soon for a pretty big label. Be sure to check out Syndicate Tapes as well, which is a series of interviews exploring contemporary underground culture, the pandemic and how it has had an effect on creatives and their ability and desire to create.
Finally, I’m planning a few parties over the summer, one aimed specifically at people looking for an alternative to clubbing culture on a Friday night.
And lastly – are there any artists or tracks in your mix you’d like to shout out?
There is! First up is Mbizo, a young producer based in Copenhagen. His latest EP All Tribes is released off my label Solumn Records and he has a nice take on dubstep, incorporating his roots in dub and soundsystem culture.
I’d also like to shout out LCY, a producer and DJ from London who has a really interesting style. She takes a lot of influence from the deconstructed club, techno, ballroom scene and gives 140 UK bass a refreshing sound.
Lastly, RDG is a really damn good producer. I heard a few of his tracks before moving to Copenhagen and his production style, when it comes to dubstep, is unique. I dont think I’ve played a tune of his that hasn’t gone off in a set.