Kristin’s journey to what she is doing is fascinating, from wiring lamps then boom boxes together, to DJing its no wonder she’s as creative a force as she is. Kristin Sanchez is part of the duo Dance Loud, a DJ, producer, engineer, synthesist, drum sequencer, and all around sound painter. As a vinyl house / electronic DJ, Kristin has a penchant for adrenaline building blends with heavy equalization, hip-hop style scratching on strong percussive, high tempo dance tracks.
As Dance Loud Kristin (DJ, producer, engineer) and her partner Desereé Fawn (drums, guitar, vocals) co-mingle Fawn’s live instrumentation with Sanchez’s electronic production and DJ wizardry. Acclaimed by Chicago Tribune and sharpened into a live force via countless shows since their 2008 formation, the pair push the full potential of this union on their 2020 independent full-length debut, The Moment.
In her free time she is growing her own food, working on her Jeep, and hanging out with her dog! She drink’s her partner’s home brews and plays Sega Genesis. “We are also avid hikers and beach bums with our paddle boat we take on the lake”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you to get into it?
As a young kid in grade school, I found myself playing with household lamp cords dangerously creating my own lamps which later led to more than just decor creation and into surround sound using multiple boom boxes wired together then hung on the ceiling of each corner of my bedroom. While in high school, I fell in love with the club scene at just 15 years old with the help of finding older friends. At that time, I started collecting old subwoofers, more speakers and learned how to install car audio. As a young driver with car audio and good sound, clubbing days became serious. It was a staple every Thursday for the next couple decades.
At the age of 18, I started DJ’ing and drowned myself in the spending for my vinyl collection. My motivation roots from songs played in a way that will make me dance non-stop (high tempo underground house only found on vinyl), as well as being exposed early on to high definition amplified sound, therefore constantly craving high quality sound (early west coast deep house only found on vinyl). Sound seems to be the one thing that will drives my emotion. One of my favorite parts about DJing is being able to sustain a high energy emotional vibe with no silence in between for hours on end.
What is a day in the life like?
Each day is different and each season controls what we, as a duo, day to day. We typically tour once a year either in spring or fall. Our winter days become very nocturnal but is helpful to the music writing and recording. There is something about the witching hour till sunrise that brews up the most creativity. During our dark Chicago winters are when we get all of our creative juice flowing. During the nicer weather in summer, we tend to write emails and have phone meetings all day. Summer becomes the business side of music and a lot of practicing for our local annual gigs.
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
The entire creation of our album was the coolest thing I have ever worked on! Before we created the album, we worked as a touring DJ & drummer performing without much original music. The album cured my boredom of our usual performance and gave a whole new excitement to give it all we got. Now our stage is piled with more toys to perfect both electronic drums, and an analog acoustic kit on top of the guitar, vocals and turntables.
Before that, the coolest thing was just being able to tour in our bus. We have performed coast to coast since 2012. It makes it extra special that my bandmate is also my spouse. Every gig and every historical site seen became some of my most memorable moments, very vivid to this day. I would say the coolest gig on tour was the Bonnaroo artist lounge where we had unlimited Tito’s Vodka, Red Bull, crawfish boil, basketball hoops and the very rare clean showers!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Financing! We had to build our own bus conversion to tour and build our own multi unit property in order to peacefully record music without any neighbors complaining. We have to bang on the marching snare while all loud speakers are on during showings for potential tenants. With a record label, most bands have to pay off the loan that covers all of those expenses but for us, the tenants pay for the living expenses. Since we built our own bus, we don’t have to share one bus with another band which is also pretty typical these days.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Make sure you genuinely enjoy researching all the technical aspects. Audio is forever evolving. Your natural curiosity of anything in the audio arts will take over and let fascination lead you. You will always take risks when getting to know what works best for you.
In the end, if you are truly into it, what you will learn in the world of sound acoustics, the math, geometry, and sound physics will be an awakening to the meaning of life.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” -Nikola Tesla
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I have been collecting vinyl for 20 years now. The impulse to play a song on repeat is what drove me to start collecting cassettes and CD’s. After getting turntables, vinyl became a big part of my life as well. I progressed from creating compilations of my favorite sounds recorded onto tape into creating DJ sets with lots of EQ’ing, long blends, and turntable tricks. The very root could have been from owning the Home Alone “Talkboy” recorder when it first came out and wanting to record and control the program. I had a lot of pretend radio shows on my Talkboy as a kid.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about?
Streaming is driving many artists to create short no more than 3 minute song singles regularly and no albums. Having no albums many artists choose not to release on vinyl. Many average home sound systems are no longer providing high definition and/or stereo sound. With all those obstacles, my partner and I have gone with a completely different attitude or risk factor to keep vinyl rising in popularity.
We did 5 minute songs which is a compromise to my preferred 7 minute dance track length best for DJ’ing long blends. We did the opposite of trendy and released a full album all blended together as one long journey with no silence in between songs on 180g vinyl with a hologram representing a damage soul behind a shiny disco ball and depth in this dimensional world. We also released alongside an abstract artist who created paintings for all of the songs. The paintings are digital files included in the USB flash drive album which could then be printed onto a real canvas. I hope album art starts to trend again. I feel it’s less creative these days since it’s a small image on our phones. Vinyl made album art so significant! I do feel it will trend again especially with NFT’s!
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
With everything that has happened, technology will only grow stronger. Film is at 4K resolution now, but I believe the music world has created what they call a McDonald’s generation of compressed or less rich in the frequency spectrum. I believe the industry will get better with more immersive experiences driving up the quality of sound and more music enthusiasts.
Music is therapy and it’s well needed for today’s times. Go out there and invest in your favorite tunes!
Anything else you want to share? If not, tell me what you’re listening to:
Been really into indie dance, math rock, and even some K pop! Lorn “Acid Rain”, The Blaze “Territory” are my current fav songs! Also love the short film style music videos they made! The art of the music video has been on the rise again thanks to YouTube. It makes me excited to start our next project being a film and surround sound music album. We may have to release a quadrophonic mix on vinyl!