Lena Wil­li­kens doesn’t play the hits. When she’s behind the decks, even her big­gest fans often have no idea exact­ly what she’s play­ing, and that’s part of the magic. Like all DJs, Wil­li­kens of cour­se has a pas­si­on for records, but she’s also after some­thing big­ger, some­thing that’s tru­ly trans­por­ti­ve for tho­se on the dancefloor.

Born and rai­sed in Ger­ma­ny, Wil­li­kens first honed her uni­que approach during a long resi­den­cy at Düsseldorf’s bel­oved Salon des Ama­teurs. The­se days, howe­ver, she’s based in Ams­ter­dam, whe­re her trans­por­ta­ti­ve impul­ses have been plug­ged into a varie­ty of out­lets with a glo­bal reach. On the radio, she pilots the month­ly Light­ning Con­duc­tor pro­gram on NTS. On record, she recent­ly cura­ted the fifth install­ment of Dekmantel’s acclai­med Sel­ec­tors com­pi­la­ti­on series, and she’s also been tap­ped to remix the likes of Lena Pla­to­nos, S U R V I V E, rRoxy­mo­re, Simi­an Mobi­le Dis­co and Ana Hel­der, among­st others. On stage, Wil­li­kens works with artist Sarah Szc­zes­ny on Phan­tom Kino Bal­lett, an immersi­ve audio-visu­al per­for­mance art pro­ject that defies rou­ti­ne explanation.

Still, it’s in the DJ booth whe­re Wil­li­kens con­ti­nues to make the big­gest impact. Whe­ther she’s play­ing alo­ne or in tan­dem with fel­low sonic explo­rer and Salon des Ama­teurs alum Vla­di­mir Ivko­vic, Wil­li­kens nim­bly navi­ga­tes elec­tro­nic music’s dar­kest and most bizar­re cor­ners, sam­pling dif­fe­rent tem­pe­ra­tures, dif­fe­rent moods and a dollop of cha­os, just to keep things inte­res­t­ing. And alt­hough she hers­elf doesn’t always know the final desti­na­ti­on, when Wil­li­kens is at the helm, there’s no ques­ti­on that the jour­ney is bound to be thrilling.

Text: Shawn Rey­nal­do
Pho­to: Phil Struck


krakelee club @odonien
07.06., 23:00
tickets via link in bio