Closing off 2023 during Romjulsfestivalen, Lokomotiv has and will be a regular feature at Jaeger and so we took the opportunity to get him on record, both lineally and figuratively for a Jaeger mix session. After his very illuminating interview with DELLA earlier this year, we’re happy to have him back on these pages to dig a little deeper about his quick rise some of Oslo’s most pre-eminent DJ booths and more.
Hey Sindre, I’m so glad we finally get to ask you some questions, as you’re becoming something of a fixture here at Jaeger. Give us your musical origin story of how you arrived at House music and DJing.
Thank you for having me! Music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. Music is there for me when I need to celebrate and when I need to have a cry. I’ve watched video footage of myself listening to Lambada for the first time as a toddler, and I can vividly see the pure joy in my eyes as I bounced to the rhythm. Even now, encountering a track I truly love still evokes that same feeling of joy within me. Over the years, like most people, I’ve explored various music genres during different phases of my life. However, I’ve always been drawn to music that ignites a desire to dance and brings a smile to my face. House music, in particular, fulfills that for me. So when I first delved into DJing out of curiosity and a wish to be creative, it was never a question about what I wanted to play. Yet, at the same time, who’s to say what I’ll be passionate about three years from now? Music is in constant flux, and so am I.
You’ve only been Djing for a little over a year and you make it seem so effortless. What is your secret and did you have any previous musical experience before DJing?
Thank you! I suppose the only real musical experience I had before DJing was that I sang in a choir for a couple of years in my twenties. I normally listen to music at least a couple of hours every day. If I don’t, something feels off. And I constantly have the drive to dig and find the next great track that I want to share with others. I think the only secret I have, which isn’t really a secret at all, is that I try to stay true to the music I like and that I want to play. Of course, DJing is about connecting with the crowd, but I want to play music that comes from the heart, my heart, and not from what I think other people might consider cool. That, of course, makes performing more vulnerable but also so much more emotionally rewarding. And music is all about emotion, isn’t it?
It seems that your club concept Lokomotiv and DJing started almost at the same time and like your DJing it’s simply taken Oslo by storm. What do you attribute to its success?
Maybe we’re at the right place at the right time. I run LOKOMOTIV with my husband, and we’ve both been missing a queer club concept infused by House music in Oslo for quite some time. So at one point, more specifically last fall, we decided to try and do something about it. I think its success can be explained by the fact that we were not the only gays missing House music in Oslo. We targeted a pretty specificaudience from the get go, and I think our crowd really is the success factor. I don’t think there is a single DJ who has played for us that hasn’t pointed out how fun the LOKOMOTIV crowd is. They really enjoy getting down and dirty on the dance floor.
Who or what were some of the club archetypes that you wanted to model LOKOMOTIV after?
We’ve drawn inspiration from Battle Hymn and Bushwig in NYC and CockTail d’Amore and Buttons in Berlin. The Berlin concepts are, of course, a bit more rough around the edges than us. I see us as their Norwegian, vanilla cousin hehe. The concepts that we’ve looked to when creating LOKOMOTIV are all pretty straightforward (no pun intended). They are all inviting and open concepts where the music takes center stage.
At a time when the queer community around Europe seems to be gravitating to a harder edge of Techno you opted to curate the soundtrack of the club around House music. Why House music and what do you find conducive to that style of music for a queer community in your opinion?
Well, I guess I’m just lucky that other people seem to enjoy the same music as I do. I find it pretty interesting that the harder edge of Techno is so popular at the moment. Is it because ’90s culture is back in general? Is it because the world is in a dystopian place right now, and that reflects the kind of music people want to party and dance to? I don’t know. Even though I can enjoy Techno, I love the warmth and playfulness in House music. It’s a place of liberty, peace, happiness, and freedom for me. In addition, House and queer club culture share an important historical bond. Underground clubs were a place for queer people to get together, party, and be themselves long before we could do so openly. I play music with a lot of gay references in different ways, mostly because it’s really good music, but also as a nod to gay and queer history.
As one of the central figures around the concept, I assume your tastes are prominently reflected in the sonic identity of the club. Within the House music paradigm where do your own tastes usually lie in terms of sounds and styles that you prefer?
I feel right at home on the spectrum between deep and tech House. You’ll always catch a lot of that old-school acid vibe when I play. And I tend to sneak in a sexy saxophone here and there. I like to describe it as jazzy, sassy, filthy, and funky. Add a sprinkle of cheeky and soulful lyrics on top of that? *chef’s kiss*
How is it reflected in this edition of the Jaeger mix?
I really hope my set can answer that question for itself. But I do believe that I’ve covered the jazz, sass, filth, and funk in this one. The set is an attempt to showcase who I am as a DJ right now. It’s kind of like a sneak peek into my diary.
Did you have any predetermined ideas behind this mix going into it?
It’s very simple. I wanted to share some of my favorite tracks from the dance floor this year. It could have been fifty times longer, so I had to cut some, or a lot, of my favorites. But they’ll get their chance to shine another day, I’ve promised them.
Was there anything in the nature of this recorded mix at the club that perhaps channeled the sound or nature of this mix into a different direction?
About halfway through the set, there’s a shift towards more Tech House. Because… why not? It’s fun! And the crowd dancing at Æ were very ready for it.
Where do you usually start looking for music for the sole purpose of DJing and who are some of the artists and labels that you are currently following closely?
Oh, everywhere. It can be from my own memory. Suddenly, a track that I heard years ago pops up in my brain out of nowhere. Maybe I remember just a phrase from the vocals, and then the digging begins. Other than that, I spend a lot of time on different streaming platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify. I follow several Instagram accounts that provide a lot of musical gold. I love the feeling of diving down the musical rabbit hole for hours on end. I always pay attention to what Honey Dijon, Louie Vega, Marco Lys, Bushwaka!, Dennis Quin, and Harry Romero have going on. Others of significance for me at the moment include Butch, Oliver Dollar, Robbie Doherty, Saison, Kolter, Jamback, and Traumer, to name a few. And let’s not forget the magical voice of Chuck Roberts! He pays us a visit in the mix.
As I’m writing this you’re probably preparing for the last LOKOMOTIV of 2023. How would you sum up this year for the club concept and your DJing and where do you see it taking you in 2024?
This year has been an adventure both for me as a DJ and for LOKOMOTIV. I feel like LOKOMOTIV and I started the year as teenagers and are ending it as young adults. As for LOKOMOTIV, it will continue to move forward as a locomotive needs to do. We aim to keep evolving, but it’s not necessarily crucial for us to significantly increase in size. The music is the engine and main attraction of LOKOMOTIV, but we do have some exciting ideas for the future. I suppose you’ll have to wait and see what’s in store. As for me as a DJ, my goal is to play as much as I can, continuously improving my craft. I thoroughly enjoy performing in intimate clubs as well as for larger crowds. This summer, I had the opportunity to play at the Prague Pride Festival in front of thousands of people in the middle of the day right after the parade. That was a unique experience that I’ll never forget. I hope 2024 throws me opportunities like that again. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions Slindre.
We look forward to another year of LOKOMOTIV at Jaeger, and see you on the floor.
Thanks for the chat! Hope you enjoy my mix!