NxN Arctic Dance Party

Featuring seven DJs from Iceland, Norway, U.S., Canada, Greenland, Finland and Russia, mixed in with outstanding Alaska artists.

Arctic Dance Party and Dialogue

Event Participants

  • DJ Orion – Finland – https://soundcloud.com/djorion
  • DJ Spencer Lee – Alaska – https://soundcloud.com/djspencerlee1
  • DJ Tøsch – Norway
  • Hermigervill – Iceland – https://www.facebook.com/hermigervill/
  • Lady Waks – Russia – https://soundcloud.com/ladywaks
  • Uyarakq – Greenland – https://soundcloud.com/uyarakq/igloominati
  • WD4D – USA – https://soundcloud.com/wd4d
  • Yngvil – Norway and Alaska – https://soundcloud.com/yngvil-vatn-guttu/sets/yada-di-winter-solstice-party

Event Highlights

The Arctic Dance Party featured three distinct music events.  On Friday evening, several of the DJs played alongside local Anchorage musicians at Williwaw Restaurant and Bar. 250 people attended as part of quite a diverse audience. On Saturday afternoon, Hermigervill and Lady Waks played sets during on the Anchorage Museum lawn during the Arctic Street Food event, with nearly 500 attendees experiencing these Icelandic and Russian powerhouses. Lastly, DJs and Alaskan artists performed on a nearby rooftop of a parking garage, with 150 people attending. A nearby VIP experience was structured so that visiting DJs could connect with one another and film festival directors.

Panel Discussion Summary

The DJs that participated in the panel all work in multiple sectors of music.  In addition to performing music, they also own record labels, produce music, host radio programs, and organize events in their home country.  The DJs discussed the isolation experienced by living in an Arctic nation and due to this geographic isolation, how musicians within their country tend to know and work together closely forming an insular community.  The DJs spoke to how the climate – long winter nights – affects the production of music in that individuals tend to stay in their studios for longer hours.  Darkness equates to productiveness and the “melancholy of the winter” also translates into the mood of the music.  Each DJ spoke about creating a “scene” for music in their country by promoting places to listen to music.  The DJs ended by discussing how to create a place where music can be played for various audiences (e.g. families) and counter the idea that “nothing happens in my city.”

Future Research and Opportunities

  • A podcast or radio show dedicated to Arctic Music does not exist and would be easy to produce along with collaboration from DJs throughout the region.
  • A CD compilation of curated music from the region
  • How is Arctic music marketed throughout the world?
  • Where do people go to listen to music? What are “spaces” of music in Arctic countries?
  • Who is producing “Arctic” music?
  • How often are musicians kept from traveling to promote/play their music due to issues with visas are the expense of traveling from and isolated part of the world?
  • Create a way to connect/support DJs and musician across the Arctic who feel a sense of geographic isolation from one another – e.g. create collaborate Arctic music project with outcome such as compilation album and touring concert of artist.

Example projects:

  • AltLatino Podcast from NPR presents a good format for a music show that focuses on one genre/region of music

DJ Bios

Hermigervill – Iceland

Hermigervill (Sveinbjörn Thorarensen – 1984) is an electronic musician from Reykjavík, Iceland. He has released five full-length albums, mostly on his own self-titled label. First two albums contain a delightful cocktail of dusty vinyl samples from his bottomless crates of rare records, mixed innovatively with weird synth melodies and scratched vocal samples. Both albums ‘Lausnin’ & ‘Sleepwork’ can be downloaded in full quality on his website at hermigervill.is »

DJ Orion – Finland

Starting in the early nineties from the warehouse raves of the industrial city of Tampere, stirring the Northern Finland electronic music scene for over five years, Orion is still one of the busiest and most relevant DJs in Finland. Probably the most well-known of his decade-long work on Finnish National Radio YleX, Orion hosts channel’s five hour Friday night every week. Next to his work as a DJ and event producer, Orion also runs his own Absence of Facts label.

Orion-Finland-DJ

Uyarakq – Greenland

Aqqalu Engell, better known under his stage moniker Uyarakq, is a greenlandic music producer and label owner, working mostly with house music and hip hop. He was, along with the rapper Peand-eL, nominated for the Nordic Councils Music Prize in 2016 for their critically acclaimed joint album ‘Kunngiitsuuffik’ from 2015. He operates as a DJ for rappers like Tarrak, Peand-eL and the legendary Nuuk Posse and when he’s alone on a stage he plays his own house music.

Uyarakq – Greenland DJ

Lady Waks – Russia

Lady Waks is a one woman industry. Promoter, Producer (best breakthrough producer, Breakspoll 2009), DJ (nominated Best Breakthrough DJ at Breakspoll awards 09, best international act SBA 09), Pioneering Graffiti Artist, Designer & Label owner. She is an all round modern media phenomenon. Based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Recognition came in 2004, when Time Out magazine voted it best club night. After having hosted just about every big Breakbeat DJ in the world, Waks and IBWT went into creating «Breaks Arena», the world’s first Breakbeat Festival. Over 3000 punters per year have seen her and a host of international talent rock the festival for the last years.

Lady Waks - Russia DJ

DJ Arctic – Canada

DJ Arctic rocks a traditional vinyl set-up and draws from his huge collection of records. Not content with only playing the classics, he has embraced modern technology and uses control vinyl to manipulate computer files. It’s the best of both worlds. He has competed in DMC competitions and has been working on new battle routines. He spins underground hip-hop but can easily switch gears to keep the party moving at night clubs. He is the resident DJ of Martini Bar Fridays nights in historic Richmond Row of London, Ontario.

DJ Arctic

DJ WD4D – United States

Seattle-based DJ and producer Waylon Dungan (a.k.a. WD4D) has been a staple on the local DJ scene for well over a decade now. Consistently bringing his top-notch song selection, fresh mixing skills, and positive energy to each and every party and mixtape, WD4D also brings his lively, progressive style on his own productions and remixes. His exclusive mix for Midnight in a Perfect World wonderfully displays his sharp ear for exciting new underground beats and cutting-edge club tracks, energetically bouncing through instrumental hip-hop, low-slung house, seductive R&B, and experimental rhythms in smooth, seamless fashion.

WD4D

DJ Tösch – Norway

Terje Rafaelsen, aka DJ Tösch,  started playing records in the late 90s in Tromsø, northern Norway. He later moved on to Oslo where he started the Doin’it club, now Norways oldest ongoing club concept with 17 years and counting. He has played records all over scandinavia + trips to Spain, Russia, Ukraine and Brazil. DJ style is oldskool soul, funk and disco, strictly on vinyl. Recently produced and worked as director of photography on the music documentary “Northern Disco Lights – The rise and rise of Norwegian dance music”.

DJ Tosch from Norway

Yngvil Vatn Guttu – Arctic Dance Party Emcee

Norwegian-born musician and composer Yngvil is a spirited, multi-talented stage performer and band leader. Yngvil plays the trumpet, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards and willow flute – a Norwegian overtone instrument – and occasionally breaks into song… She runs a jazz festival in Alaska a free improv group in New York City and a “Purpose Built Orchestra ” in Oslo , Norway. Yngvil Tours with her one-person jazz project “POCKET JAZZ” and does artist residencies across the USA and beyond.