Interview: Longstocking

Denni Kindred – or as she’s known to most – Longstocking, is a pioneering Seattle-based DJ, producer, and label owner, who’s previously released music with record labels like HE.SHE.THEY, Plump Records, and My Techno Weighs A Ton.

Last month we saw her return to her own Feral One Records for the release of her new long player ‘Creating Space’, which pays homage to her home city through a diverse spread of sub genres, club music and otherwise.

We recently got to chatting with her about the new project, what Seattle means to her, whether or not we might see remixes of the album tracks, and more. Get the full discussion with Longstocking below.

So how are things in the life of Denni Kindred right now?

Busy in a really good way. Feral One Records has been making a lot of ground and I’m just trying to hold onto the reins at this point. The current Seattle Volume 2 is even bigger than the first, with nineteen artists, across eighteen tracks encompassing twelve dance genres. It’s a perfect snapshot of the who’s who of Seattle dance producers (and DJs usually) for 2023. Both compilations are a perfect blend of Seattle veterans, as well as fresh new rising talent.

You quite recently released your new album, ‘Creating Space’, tell us about the concept and vision behind the project?

I did! It’s my third full album excluding the Troupe Remixed album on Late Night Munchies. With ‘Creating Space’ I was crawling through a long and rough bout of depression. I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) which internally quite often matches our Seattle skyscape. I feel at home in the greyscape of marine layers that is Seattle. It lends itself to artists who lean toward an introspective sound. This album was more self therapy and discovery than my previous works, in that I was trying to survive while producing. I end up making shamelessly happy flirty sounds trying to remind myself why life is magical. But, there are songs where I let the darkness work through and in the process hopefully offload some of that.

The record pays homage to the sounds and influences of your native Seattle – can you give us an example of this on one of the tracks?

After living here for decades, there’s no way to escape its influence. Seattle decriminalized cannabis years before Washington became the first state to legalize. Green & Me is a homage to the dank herbs that pull us through the long winters. ‘Office Window’ has jazz touches that lifted Seattle into the spotlight in its 1940s jazz era, even though jazz existed in Seattle as far back as 1918. With a percussive jazz backbone there are office sounds that permeate the office tech culture (or lack thereof in that case). Seattle dance music has a big soft spot for deep house to a point it was its primary sound in the quieter 2010s.

With ‘Yaya’ I deliver deep house as it wouldn’t be Seatle without this genre specifically. Seattle has a more modern history of indie and alternative sounds. You’ll hear this indie spirit throughout the album, even in breaks tracks like ‘BomBom’. The breakdown has an indie new wave sound, right in the middle, that had a big resurgence in the 2010s. ‘Tiny’ is just straight up indie dance and is one of my personal favorites. It’s no surprise Seattle went from alternative rock, to indie rock, to indie dance. Feral One has much of this sound and is playing a big part in leading the way.

Do you have any plans for a remix pack down the line?

I’ve made stems available to many artists before and have had many songs remixed. To let some out publicly could get mind blowing, in terms of what could come back. I’m already in love with that idea and certainly myself and other Feral One artists will be offering this down the line. With the right guidance, I’m sure we can make it quite a fun affair for all involved.

The album comes via your own Feral One Records, when you finish a project, how do you decide to release it on your own label or with another?

A few factors go into that. It depends on if the contract is in perpetuity, if not how long, how personal the song is to me and what long term plans I may have for the track or EP. Let’s say I drop a new genre like swell house, via the Sunglow Pier track on my previous album under the same title, there is no way I’m letting that go to another label. Also, if there is a label interested in my works, are they ethical? Are they a positive influence on the scene? Much goes into those decisions and it’s a great question, one I’ve never been asked before. Nice!

And who else might we see on Feral One Records in the near future?

We have a full on anonymous figure launching their first EP under this new bizzare persona. A bit left field but I have a strong will for the weird. After that one of my all time favorite English dance duos out of Leeds, rhyming with “sneaky saviour”, will have a three track EP that’s going to make us all proud. There are remixes on the way and collabs I’m anxious to see come to fruition. Like I said, busy in a good way.

Is there anything else you would like to bring attention to before we go?

Just a quick thank you for sharing time with a femme producer from Emerald City, and for providing such an amazing platform for so many creatives like myself. Much Appreciated!

Longstocking – Creating Space LP is out now on Feral One Records.