Qu-Zen’s sound explores various sounds, tempos and feelings of techno. From broken, shuffly rhythms to warm, immersive dub grooves and slamming industrial bangers across a range of BPMs and intensities. Despite her diverse taste, her style is kept coherent via a focus on a common theme of gritty low end, crisp percussive rhythms and intelligent melodic elements.
Her talents have been called upon to support touring internationals such as Dax J, Randomer, Ansome, Adriana Lopez, Claudio PRC, Sleeparchive Speedy J, Truncate, Tommy Four Seven, Pfirter and the legendary Luke Slater. As well as a residency at Sydney’s grimiest techno night, .darkroom.
In 2015, Qu-Zen relocated to Europe, basing herself in Berlin, a city she was already familiar with, having played at the world-renowned Tresor alongside 88UW and Damon Wild. She has graced the decks at KitKatClub, Roter Stahl, Taboo Club in Croatia, and a guest appearance on Dave Clarke’s long-running radio show White Noise. Leading by example, her commitment level to what she holds dear is unwavering. A steadfast belief in the power of what a solid techno groove can create drives her passion. Qu-Zen is living proof of how one can truly be possessed by the music.
Over here at Kontrast, we’d like to think that we are relatively smart. But we just can’t quite work out the meaning of your Dj name. Can you please elaborate?
I never thought my actual name would look good on a flyer and my dear friends Dude and Shakra nicknamed me Qu-Zen, so I went with that. Over the years I like to think the ‘Qu’ represents the hard techno in me, and the ‘Zen’ stands for the deep and dubby stuff I like to play as well.
It’s definitely girl power time in techno right now. Do you think women bring something different to techno, and if so, what?
I’ve never thought of techno to be about gender, being black, white, tall or short and that people don’t dance because you’re wearing a giant mouse head. It’s about music – it’s an escape and it’s quite personal. And these are the very reasons why I love it. There are most definitely a lot of women playing and producing techno right now and more have power to today. I have so much admiration for them and every other man, cat, dog or priest doing the same. We’re all pushing the boundaries, experimenting and learning and I’m excited to see how things evolve as a whole rather than just men and just women in techno. All humans have ears and they know what great techno sounds like.
What is your go to track on a rainy gloomy day that can pick you up? Please tell us a bit about this track.
I quite like the rain so Vera Blue will be on the top of the list, she can be deep and moody but has an edgy vibe. If I need a pick me up then I need something with a good kick to it and i need to sing – very loud – and very badly! I’ll definitely slap on some Grunge like Soundgarden – Rusty Cage; it’s hard and fast with so much energy. 90’s dance tunes are great too, like Motiv8 – Rockin For Myself – I know it’s cheesy but it’s so fun and if that doesn’t get me moving then nothing will!
Tough, raw, energetic and unforgivable are the characteristics that strikes us with this exclusive Mini-Mix from Qu-Zen. You can tell that she knows how to keep the intensity high but yet dynamic and interesting all the way through. Make sure you have a proper sound system or headphones to get the best experience out of this hard hitting mix!
KONTRAST is a collective of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. Our aim is to create something new, colourful and unforgettable and to explore how sounds, shapes and visual imprints together can create something bigger than ourselves, and a different state of mind. The ninth series of the KONTRAST mini-mix series will run from October 5th to 26th, and there will be an exclusive podcast from each artist with a short interview to get to know them better.
Mini-Mix Series #9: