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DJ SPOTLIGHT: Sara Landry Q&A with a Lady of Austin Techno

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Cover Photo: Tracy Morford
Q&A: Alexsi Ray Carrasquillo of C Twelve Photography
Austin, TX

Austin Texas has a techno scene that is growing day by day with talented DJs that love to throw a dance party and get you moving. We caught up with one of the ladies of the Austin Techno scene to give her a spotlight and get her thoughts on the pulse of the Techno scene in Austin. We look forward to bringing you more from the Live Music Capital of the World. Now we present to you Austin’s own Sara Landry.

CHPTR.CO: Where are you from? What brought you to Austin?
Sara Landry: I moved a few times when I was younger, but I lived in NYC for about 5 years before taking a job and moving to Austin in October 2015.

SL:
What were your influences that got you into underground music and DJing?
Well, finding and sharing music with others has always been one of my passions, and after years of burning mix CDs for friends, I started experimenting with production and DJing while in my dubstep phase (though at that time, it didn’t stick). I spent most of my teens listening to a variety of electronic artists (Deadmau5, Bassnectar, Armin Van Buuren, early Nero, etc.) and the richness and complexity of their production just blew my mind at the time. Deep House was really the gateway drug to the underground scene for me —I was listening to one of the first Above & Beyond Group Therapy shows (back in my uplifting trance phase) and they played an Anjunadeep track (“Excommunication” by Erkka) that just made me fall head over heels in love with that type of sound. A few months in, I started learning to mix deep house and indie dance/nu disco tracks. Over the last few years, my tastes have evolved to where they are currently, and here we are.

Sara Landry @ Ethics Music Lounge
Photo: C Twelve Photography

CHPTR: What are your thoughts on the Austin underground electronic scene and the direction you see it going?
SL:
I’ve only been involved in the scene here for about a year now, but it’s been really cool to watch it grow and change even within that limited time frame. We are lucky to have a large community of incredibly talented local DJs and producers, each with their own distinctive style of underground electronic music, and it has been really amazing to play with everyone and watch as we all grow individually as artists and as a community. We are also lucky that the bookers at Ethics and Kingdom have been so dedicated to regularly booking incredible underground acts. I hope the scene continues to grow here at the rate that it has. Austin (as the “live music capital”) is full of people who love to experience the magic of live music, so it seems to me only logical that the scene here continues to grow.

CHPTR: How would you describe your particular sound/brand of house?
SL:
I’ve called it Dark House in the past, but I try to leave it open ended because my brand is 100% centered around what is pleasing to my ear (from a production standpoint) which is constantly evolving. I am a slave to my own very particular ear, so there are (I have been told) stylistic consistencies with what I like to produce and what I like to play/how I play it. According to my Beatport history, I play mostly Tech House (Dub Tech, Minimal Tech, and Ethereal Tech) with the occasional smattering of Techno. I gravitate heavily towards anything with a meaty low-end (I love me some bassy shit), but my ears seem to prefer dark tech house (always in minor) with defined basslines (that are either thumping, bouncy, or both) and clean processing.

CHPTR: The show on 1/13 had a good vibe from the crowd throughout the night. Does that change in what you end up playing vs what you had planned out for the night?
SL: There’s always flexibility there (because you can never really perfectly plan live sets), so I usually just throw together a big crate of 100-200 or so tracks and move around within that, depending on how I feel, how the crowd feels, and the mood created by the opener (or desired by the headliner). If the crowd likes what I’m doing, I keep doing it.

Sara Landry @ Ethics Music Lounge
Photo: C Twelve Photography

CHPTR: There were several other Local Djs in attendance that night as well. What does that tell you about the community of DJs in the local area and how that makes you feel they come to support you?
SL: I love the community here and I feel incredibly grateful to have been welcomed into such an amazing group of talented, like-minded musicians, music lovers, and artists. It is incredibly enriching to be a member of such a positive and supportive community.

CHPTR: To someone who has not seen you perform, best describe what kind of show they would be treated to?
SL: A bouncy, bassy journey (during which one of my main goals is to help the subwoofer reach its full potential). My personal approach is “if you can’t feel me in your chest, I’m not doing my job.” There’s no better feeling than rocking out on a proper system, and the most important thing to me is letting loose and having fun. I have the time of my life when I play, so I will probably dance just as much (if not more) than the crowd. I also always recommend bringing earplugs (I don’t go anywhere without mine).

Sara Landry @ Ethics Music Lounge
Photo: C Twelve Photography

CHPTR: What venues do you normally play at? What do you like about each of them specifically?
SL: Plush (Corner of 7th & Red River) a smaller venue with cheap drinks, an amazing bartendress, an excellently sized system for the space, and my favorite NY style pizza place right down the street (Hoboken Pies). Plush is super intimate, always a blast, and always showcasing a diverse collection of local underground talent. Ethics Music Lounge (Corner of 5th St. & Congress Avenue) a larger rooftop venue on 5th and Congress with a Void Acoustics sound system, a large dance floor, great lighting, an amazing team and lineup of resident local talent.

CHPTR: What role would you like to have in the growth of the Techno scene in Austin as well as carrying your brand outside of Austin?
SL: My main goal is to share music and make people dance. I love doing that here in town, and I’d love to do that internationally. That’s really my base motivation: sharing music that people can enjoy and connect with.

CHPTR: When is the next time we can have the pleasure of seeing you play?
SL: Next up I’m playing the Steady Rhythm party (Steady Rhythm 2.08.17) with John Reyes at Plush on February 8th!

Sara Landry with John Reyes @ Ethics Music Lounge
Photo: C Twelve Photography

Social Media Info:
Artist
Sara Landry: Facebook Soundcloud  Instagram
Photos
Tracy Morford:  Facebook Website
C Twelve Photography: Instagram Facebook
Makeup
Melody Lasseter: Website Instagram Facebook