Dim lights and a steady supply of fog transported dancers this past weekend as Gunnar Haslam headlined Research at Kremwerk. With support from Olin, Aos, and R-Pal, the lineup for this month’s exploration into adventurous dance music is forging a reputation of bringing the most underrated talent to Seattle.
New Yorker Gunnar Haslam [L.I.E.S., Mister Saturday Night] must know how important first impressions can be. The inaugural Seattle set for Haslam surpassed expectations almost immediately as he took the decks just before 1 a.m. As the sounds got grittier, the club took on complex, ethereal, and heady vibes.
Using as few sounds as possible may seem counter intuitive, but Haslam proves how little you actually need to move a floor. Mechanical and exquisite, the neo-minimalist refuses to overwork samples, which preserves the context of the original piece. Need to do more research? Check out a set from last month’s L.I.E.S. records podcast:
In his Seattle debut, Olin, resident DJ at renowned Smartbar in Chicago, brought us energies deeply seeded in warehouse rave by injecting subtle hints of sound from the lost era over sizzling tech-house grooves. A true master of the mix, Olin effortlessly incorporates minimal and noise with the familiar grooves of house, packing the floor full of fascinated researchers.
Kremwerk itself is an ultra-modern and intimate basement club like nothing else in Seattle. From the moment you walk down the stairs, you can tell this is not like other dance clubs in the city. Drawing inspiration from dance clubs in Berlin and Europe, the venue is designed with focus on music, art and dancing.
Champions of the underground and local art scene, the building that was once a creamery (Kremwerk is German for “cream factory”) has transformed into the perfect laboratory for us to conduct our Research in adventurous dance music. Low ceilings and curtains strategically surround the dance floor and stage to curate a connected and safe space for exploring new sounds. Kremwerk is teaching Seattle how to club again.
Consent is strictly enforced, the bathrooms are gender-neutral, and signs are posted to help you navigate if some of this may be unfamiliar. Our favorite reminder is not to use your cell phone on the dance floor. Aside from annoying other clubbers, reception is terrible, and it is way too dark to take a good picture anyway. Turning on the flash and blinding everyone to take a selfie is super not cool.
Research is a monthly event that invites us to explore local and international talent in avant-garde electronic dance music. Past investigations include Mike Huckaby (DET), Hodge (UK), and Jayda G. (NY). Next month at Bambounou (PARIS; 50Weapons, CLEKCLEKBOOM) crafts a sound that is all his own, emphatically blurring the lines between techno, house and bass in his Seattle debut on May 21.
Will you be doing your own Research at Kremwerk next month?