Najaaraq Vestbirk, the Copenhagen-based DJ known as Courtesy, has a style defined by dazzling contrasts. Linear beats collide with broken rhythms and ravey breaks. Sinister atmospheres are shot through with streaks of warmth. Scuzzy textures turn ultra-clean from one moment to the next. But connecting all her angular rhythms is a clear common thread, a starkness and sense of urgency that’s rooted in the noise and industrial music that inspired her corner of Copenhagen’s scene. This sensibility is reflected in the records on Ectotherm, the label Vestbirk founded last year with Mama Snake, a fellow Copenhagen DJ and a member of Apeiron Crew, and which has so far pushed uncompromising club music from new names like Schacke, Rune Bagge and Ibon.
Perhaps the most interesting tension in Vestbirk’s sound is this: it’s fiercely modern, even avant-garde at times, but always aimed at galvanising the club. She’s said she owns few if any records she doesn’t intend to play out, and is most drawn to music that possesses some “original way of directing energy on a dance floor.” This approach gives her DJ sets a sense of dynamics that’s put her among Europe’s fastest-rising DJs, and that’s on full display in RA 579.
Listen to/download the mix here