Kasey Riot
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Kasey Riot

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2006
DJ Electronic House




"DJ Kasey Riot happily heads underground"

Most DJs start out playing small venues before breaking into larger clubs. Vancouver artist Kasey Riot chose to do the opposite.

The daughter of a piano teacher, the performer—born Kasey Krystecki—first got into electronic music in high school. After discovering the rave scene at 18 by frequenting warehouse and forest parties—all-nighters in Stanley Park included—she pictured herself behind the decks. Quickly figuring out how to tackle big-room electro sets, she caught the first break of her 11-year career when she landed a regular gig at an established venue.

“When I started out, I played at a lesbian bar called Lick,” she tells the Straight, on the line from her Mount Pleasant home. “It doesn’t exist anymore, unfortunately, but I got a lot of my DJ practice and education there from the other artists. It was amazing to get that experience in front of a consistent crowd, and I started performing a lot there. As I got better, I started getting higher-quality gigs, and travelling a lot more to play shows.

“Halfway into my career, I began listening increasingly to underground house and techno music,” she continues. “I immersed myself in that scene, and started playing those events. It was strange to move from the mainstream to underground, but I’m happier when I’m throwing under-the-radar parties and performing in warehouses.”

Krystecki’s choice to tackle smaller shows has no bearing on her talent. Ambitious to grow her career, the 29-year-old recently moved to London, England, for a year to make a name for herself in the European underground community. Having returned last November, she considers the experience to have been instrumental in changing her perspective on Vancouver’s electronic-music ecosystem, and a huge boost to her brand.

“The scene in London is absolutely insane,” she says. “As well as the giant clubs, there’s a great under-the-radar queer techno community bubbling up right now, and I got to play some cool events. I got a job at the London Sound Academy teaching DJing and music production, and through them I booked a lot of gigs at huge venues like Ministry of Sound and Egg. I also managed to play great shows in Berlin and Amsterdam, and got a whole different education that I could take back to Vancouver.”

Despite that professional success, moving to a different continent was not without its struggles. Attempting to crack the saturated London scene without any previous connections, Krystecki often found herself on the outside of the city’s tight-knit cliques.

“I’m proud of what I accomplished, but in terms of my quality of life, I actually struggled quite a bit there,” she recalls. “When you relocate after building your career for so long, it’s quite a shock to be a nobody—it’s almost like starting your career over again. I knew it would be tough, but it was harder than I expected. I tried to use those emotions as motivation to get out there and make those connections faster.”

Drawing positives from her isolation in the huge city, Krystecki credits her loneliness as a big inspiration for her new music. The artist spent hours in the studio laying down tracks influenced by the European scene, and created a number of songs currently slated for release on labels around the world. The first, the double A-side of groove-fuelled and gritty “Don’t Stop” and bouncy and minimal “Secret Location”, came out late last year on local label East Van Digital.

“I used to escape to the studio and lose myself in that,” she says. “The track ‘Don’t Stop’ was based on a mantra to myself that I used to say over and over in London. I found the vocal sample, and I thought, ‘Yes. I’m really feeling this.’ It was a message to myself to keep doing what I was doing. I told myself that if I kept going I was going to make those connections, and things were going to get better. Eventually, they did.”

Since returning to Vancouver, the DJ has focused on reviving her own party series, named Hotline. It was created to have an air of mystique; house and techno fans follow the event’s social-media channels to find out when the next show will be happening, and then call the hotline—604-367-1794—to find out the location. Focusing on female and queer DJs, the event offers a platform to those often marginalized within the electronic-music community, and aims to connect individuals in the underground scene.

“As soon as I got back, I started Hotline up again,” she says. “It’s blown up bigger than ever. There was a lot of controversy around the male DJs in the scene with the #MeToo movement when I got back, and that was crazy. In a way, though, it’s encouraged people to support events run or played by women, and that’s been really cool. I feel like it’s brought a lot of people together, and that’s great—I’m discovering new female DJs every day now that I never knew before. Being able to book and support them is really exciting.

“When I first started out, the rave scene was pretty big,” she continues. “Then I started noticing a lot of venues shutting down, like Richard’s on Richards, Lick, and Lotus. I definitely saw lots of people either going into mainstream clubs or the underground, and doing their own thing because there was nowhere left to play. That’s what I’ve tried to do.” - The Georgia Straight Magazine

"Kasey Riot Is All About Making Connections"

Vancouver DJ and producer Kasey Riot recently arrived home from Bermondsey, London. She moved there to “get connected to Europe,” and better understand the thriving scenes of places like Berlin and Ibiza. While the trip was successful, there was an ironic twist given the social aims of her travel.

“It was isolating at times. London is just so big. I had also started my career in Vancouver and built that for a decade. Then in London, it felt like I had to start from scratch,” Kasey says.

The United Kingdom has been instrumental in the evolution and proliferation of rave, house and most recently, bassline music in Europe. Its central role in the scene is what drew Kasey there initially.

It’s no surprise then that Kasey is heavily influenced by U.K. artists like Hannah Wants, Maya Jane Coles and Flava D, who Kasey says is known as “the queen of bassline.”

Technodance by James Mackenzie for Discorder Magazine

Kasey Riot by Alistair Henning for Discorder Magazine

Kasey’s latest two releases were also heavily influenced by her time in London. “Don’t Stop” was the mantra she used to get through the isolating moments and remind her of her purpose in the city.

“There were several times when I wanted to give up, so it was about keeping on. I found a vocal track that was perfect, and because I was struggling in London I really tried to get lost in my work; to keep me sane. It made me feel productive and creative,” Kasey says.

Kasey Riot by Alistair Henning for Discorder Magazine“Secret Location” is less about the struggles of living away from home, and more an homage to the clandestine nature of the underground scene.

“It was inspired by a lot of underground events I’ve been to or thrown, as well as the secret locations I explored in London. There’s a big scene and it really is secretive,” she adds.

Both songs were released on East Van Digital (EVD), a Vancouver-based label created by Joseph Martin in 2010 that represents artists “across a variety of electronic sub-genres.”

Despite having over 30 artists on their roster, including Andy Clockwork, Skiitour and ill-esha, EVD is ceasing operations in 2018, marking the occasion with a final 100th release.

A recent post on their Facebook page confirms they’ll “be compiling a double vinyl LP set, featuring more than a dozen choice cuts from EVD’s catalog [sic]… We’ve also been working towards making the majority of our catalog [sic] available for free downloads…”

While only Kasey’s first release with EVD, she says the label has “been doing amazing things for the last eight years. They release a wide range of genres, from bass, to house and everything in between.”

In addition to releasing new tracks, Kasey is also the creator of Hotline, a warehouse series showcasing and promoting women in techno and underground music. The event attempts to negate the parts of the scene that are “a bit of a boys’ club,” by creating performance opportunities and networks for women. The next instalment of Hotline will be on February 9.

Technodance by James Mackenzie for Discorder Magazine

Kasey Riot by Alistair Henning for Discorder Magazine

“I’m looking forward to continuing that series every couple of months and bringing in new artists from the U.S., Canada, and maybe even Europe. I really want to take what I was inspired by in London, which was really connecting with your scene, and connect more with the U.S. scene, like the West Coast, Seattle and Los Angeles, as well as women from Toronto and Montreal,” she says.

Kasey Riot by Alistair Henning for Discorder MagazineBut part of hosting events in any city means being responsible for your patrons, and the steep rise in fentanyl-related overdoses in Vancouver has Kasey concerned about the welfare of party-goers. Recent research found that fentanyl is in a high proportion of drugs in Vancouver, so even casual use can be fatal.

“It’s crazy, I’ve seen [overdoses] escalate so much. I threw Hotline in the summer, and I was scared. I did some research and went and bought a naloxone kit. I think it’s really important for every single club, every single promoter, or anyone throwing an event where people might use drugs to have a naloxone kit and have people there who are trained how to use it. People should talk about it,” she says.

In response to this crisis, there are a growing number of harm reduction and drug awareness organisations in Vancouver. Karmik, for example, advocates for sensible drug policy locally and globally, providing drug test kits and naloxone training to music festival attendees and other party goers. Good Night Out provides the Vancouver arts and culture scene with the skills and education to respond to and prevent sexual harassment, rallying for a truly safe environment for everyone.

Despite the challenges and risks Kasey has encountered, her experience in the Vancouver underground scene has been overwhelmingly positive. What was true 15 years ago when she first fell in love with house and rave music is what remains attractive and inspiring to her today. “It was always very accepting…You could be whatever you wanted to be in that scene. Everyone supported each other,” she concludes. - Discorder Magazine

"Don't Stop - Kasey Riot"

Kasey Riot: if house turns you on, give this woman’s music a head first jump into the audio rabbit hole. Her production is deep and crisp with vocals craftily folded into hard basslines and mesmerizing fade outs that pull you back in. Musically influenced by powerhouse women in EDM such as Maya Jane Coles, Hannah Wants, and Flava D. If you vibe to the music by any of those 3 Dj’s, check Kasey Riot out. Her music will fulfill all your house needs and who can resist a woman behind the decks.

Incredible music production aside, Riot cares about the EDM community. Dynamo’s like her on the scene help drive forward this wild community. While being one of the most inclusive atmospheres it’s also undeniably male dominant. Hotline is Riots warehouse series aiming to connect female artists by providing opportunities for women to get behind the decks and slay a dance floor.

Riot is back in Canada after a career move to London where she rocked sets at Ministry of Sound and Ibiza. With loads of mixes on her Soundcloud I encourage you to pick one, I’ve done 3 and they’re excellent. You can catch her at Chvrch of John on January 12 for a Strictly Female Dj Night Series.

-Jams - High Kicks & Face Licks


La Fraicheur & Leonard De Leonard – Murky (Kasey Riot Remix) [Leonizer Records]
Kasey Riot – Subterrane (Original Mix) [TKRecords Berlin]
Kasey Riot – Reverie (Original Mix) [TKRecords Berlin]
Boy Pussy – Pump My Body Up (Kasey Riot Runway Remix) [Wet Trax]
Boy Pussy – Pump My Body Up (Kasey Riot Basement Remix) [Wet Trax]
Kasey Riot – Don’t Stop (Original Mix) [East Van Digital]
Kasey Riot – Secret Location (Original Mix) [East Van Digital]
Melleefresh VS Boy Pussy – Naughty Girl (Kasey Riot Remix) [Wet Trax]
South Of Bloor – Versus (Kasey Riot Remix) [Independent]
Kasey Riot – Give It (Original Mix) [Independent]
Natasha Kmeto – Deeply (Kasey Riot Remix) [Independent]
Kasey Riot – Pussy’s Mine (Original Mix) [Independent]
DJ Rhiannon – Nasty Bitch (Kasey Riot Remix) [Independent]



Born and bred in Vancouver’s underground House & Techno music scene, Kasey Riot is well-known for her carefully curated House & Techno sets, blending many sub-genres you can be sure to go on an auditory journey during through sub pumping soundscapes. She has had the pleasure to grace booths and festival stages across Canada, USA and Europe. After a year-long stint living and teaching music in London UK she is back in Canada where she DJs, produces & throws elusive warehouse parties featuring local/international underground DJs.

In 2012 she shifted her focus to developing her own production sound. After several free releases online, Wet Trax signed her first label release, a remix for Melleefresh & Boy Pussy’s ‘Naughty Girl’ a UK-inspired Bassline House track. Soon followed more original tracks and remixes. During her time in Europe she wrote her first EP which came out on her hometown’s East Van Digital as well as her latest release, an EP on Berlin’s TKRecords featuring remixes by Euro Techno veterans Torsten Kanzler and Phutek. Her signature sound flourished at clubs like Ministry Of Sound, Egg, Fire, Kit Kat Club and several appearance in Ibiza over the summer of 2017.

Now back stationed in Vancouver and inspired by European hedonism, she tries to convey those vibes in her warehouse parties and in her productions with a full-length album in the works for 2019.