DJ Dominatricks: DJ/VJ Duo On Technology, Obscurity And Oppression - The Reykjavik Grapevine

DJ Dominatricks: DJ/VJ Duo On Technology, Obscurity And Oppression

DJ Dominatricks: DJ/VJ Duo On Technology, Obscurity And Oppression

Published April 19, 2018

Main photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

In the past half year or so, the DJ/VJ duo DJ Dominatricks have become an intriguing addition to Reykjavík’s nightlife. The two deliver absorbing performances, mixing hard-hitting electronic dance music and dark, technologically-centred visuals.

The duo consists of two promising young talents—the DJs/visual artists Arna Beth and Melkorka Þorkelsdóttir (a.k.a. Melly). They met in high-school and had an instant attraction to each other. “Melly had been stalking my artwork on the interweb for a while, so our first conversation felt very natural,” says Arna.

Techno & trap

Arna was asked to perform an instrumental set of her own music at Stage Dive Fest in December 2017. “I hadn’t finalised anything, so I asked Melkorka to collaborate on a DJ set,” she says. And so, DJ Dominatricks was formed.

They have different backgrounds when it comes to music. “Melly comes from a more hip-hop & trap based background which can be a very interesting twist in our sets,” Arna said. “When Arna asked me to collaborate I agreed without hesitation. I had been doing very bubbly and flamboyant DJ sets as DJ Motherfunker,” Melly explained and adds “Transitioning to techno was out of my comfort zone. But I decided to go for it.”

Contemporary rebellion

DJ Dominatricks offer an unusual mixture of visual and musical expression, blending alternative genres such as trance, gabba and reggaeton with nostalgic industrial techno originating from Berlin and Detroit.

“We want people to be a bit afraid of us.”

“I’m very much into electronic and experimental music, so I enjoy playing tracks that are hard to find offline,” said Arna. The two also consider their style an act of feminist rebellion in today’s oppressive culture. They want to exaggerate their resistance to it as much as possible. “Honestly, we use this platform to serve as ambassadors for female empowerment in a male-dominated world,” says Melly. “We want people to be a bit afraid of us, but also to keep wanting more.”

Techno obsession

One might consider their performances, with their dark and futuristic music and visuals, a conscious attempt to stand out from the crowd. But Melly thinks otherwise. “Standing out is not our objective per se,” she says. “We’d much rather use the stage as a platform to express our interests and project what we would like to experience as an audience.”

“You will become the slave to our rave.”

The influence of new technology, sci-fi and internet culture is strong in Domintracks’ aesthetic, musically and visually. “We both grew up with the internet, and were both outcasts from a very young age,” says Arna. “I became isolated from the outside world as a teenager.” Melly adds: “I’ve been committed to my funeral-esque dress code ever since my emo adolescence.”

DJ Dominatricks have a busy schedule ahead, playing three times in the coming weeks. “The summer is packed with exciting things, like performing at LungA festival and Reykjavík Arts Festival,” says Arna. “Stay tuned!”

“You will become the slave to our rave,” finishes Melly.

Catch DJ Dominatricks at Húrra: Stage Dive Fest VII on Saturday, April 21st, their all-nighter on Friday, April 27th, and Mayday!—the aural and visual extravaganza hosted by Axis Dancehall on Wednesday, May 2nd. Follow them on Facebook here.

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