Krista Bourgeois does not care what kind of techno is popular right now. As a producer and DJ she simply works to challenge herself, her audience, and the status quo — a mission that leaves no room for compromise. It may prove to be a longer road, but she takes the journey in stride.
Unconventional methods have shaped Krista’s output. Her industrial soundscapes often degrade into raw, dystopian textures that ring out several bars before any signs of familiar elements reappear. Offsetting the more sterile components are field recordings and hardware samples that ignite an organic warmth in each motif. OBSKUR MUSIC, TRUANT.J and Soma Records are among the record labels who champion her discography.
Born in Las Vegas and raised in Southern Oregon, Krista Bourgeois first became acquainted with music when she took piano lessons as a child. As a young adult she picked up the cello but was constantly told that music would never offer her a suitable career. It was only in college that she took a leap of faith and quit studying computer science to pursue a degree in music production and audio engineering instead.
Krista’s education set her up for a strong debut as a recording artist. 2019 marked the release of her Cognitive Dissonance EP on Vancouver label OBSKUR MUSIC, a fitting introduction to her dynamic yet tasteful sound signature. In the title track, ghastly screeches evoke mental imagery of a capsizing vessel before giving way to driving percussion and a haunting lead. “Forced Compliance” pairs effervescent glitch effects with a syncopated rhythm, and stern kick drums slowly emerge from a thick fog of sub bass in “Contradiction.” The effort closed with the aptly titled “Altered Reality,” in which metallic tones usher in a discordant acid melody.
Later in the year, Krista delivered a track called “Ego Death” on the same label’s Do You Even Acid compilation dedicated to women and gender nonconforming artists. The suspenseful, dissonant industrial techno cut triggered a chain reaction that landed Krista on increasingly notable labels.
2022 saw the release of TRUANT002, an EP which included her driving yet psychedelic remix of TRUANT.J’s “Wicked Fervor.” Soma Records then enlisted her to reimagine the title track of 3SBAT’s Draconic Cycle EP. Processed samples of the source material maximize the impact of each drum hit, with corrosive grit soaking up negative space in the arrangement.
Krista has taken her experimental brand of techno to the stage as well. She has performed all across the U.S. West Coast, billed for gatherings by the likes of DEPTH and Tenth Aesthetic in Seattle, Singularity and Technoids in Los Angeles, as well as venues like the Paris Theatre and Whiskey Bar in Portland. She has also played underground events like MASS in London and nightlife institutions like Salon – Zur wilden Renate in Berlin, where she currently lives.
The circumstances of 2020-2021 also landed Krista on the bill for countless online events. From COMMON, an online festival organized by San Francisco collective Direct to Earth, to livestream gatherings by Interference Radio, the rise of digital gatherings led Krista to explore new possibilities as a performer.
Unique audiovisual elements now distinguish Krista’s live show from those of other artists. Onscreen during her sets are audio reactive visuals designed by her partner, Steven Nance. These visceral patterns add an immersive dimension to her abstract sonics without forcing her to sacrifice improvisation. Krista plans to take this approach a step further by launching an audiovisual label and platform through which artists can release multimedia concepts similar to hers as recordings.
Krista Bourgeois has not limited herself creatively by staying true to her vision. Far from it, as a matter of fact. She works best under constraint, and it is her constant refinement of expression that leaves the techno world hotly anticipating her next move.