Let your mind implode with Lena Willikens’ psychedelic Face Mix

The Amsterdam-based selector goes deep.

By and large, DJs and dance music producers don’t like to be labelled by genres, instead preferring to be thought of as versatile” or diverse”. Some selectors warrant these compliments more than others. With Lena Willikens, her genreless approach is genuine. All of her DJ sets and mixes feel like an exhilarating and unpredictable journey.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in later life Willikens enrolled as a sculpture student at the Künstakademie Düsseldorf academy. In Düsseldorf she became part of the artistically-minded crowd who founded Salon Des Amateurs – a small and famously open-minded venue where slick beat-matching has always mattered less than stirring up the imaginations of the varied crowds it attracts. Over the years, Lena Willikens has managed to become a pretty big name on the European club circuit, and she’s stuck to her adventurous style via her radio residencies for Cómeme and NTS, her work with the Dekmantel label and Phantom Kino Ballett – a collaborative, evolving audio-visual project with artist Sarah Szczesny. Willikens now lives in Amsterdam, but to this day, she remains a resident DJ at the Salon.

Check out Williken’s Face Mix and a Q&A below.

What’s the vibe and direction of your Face Mix?

While I recorded the mix I tried to picture that people are slowly gathering around – all wearing face masks. It’s always difficult to record a dance mix while being alone at home, but these days it’s even more difficult. I focused on new productions for the mix, tracks I didn’t have the chance to play in a club yet, all music I can’t wait to play really loud without having to worry about my neighbours.

How, if at all, has the lockdown affected your relationship with music?

I started to dig again more in my old records and sort them out (that was my plan for the last two years, but I never managed to find the time for it). That way I rediscovered a lot of amazing stuff.

What do you miss most about the club?

Sociality – which is pretty obvious – and sharing music with people I can smell.

Any underground/​upcoming DJs you’d recommend our readers check out?

There are sooo many! For example Mor Elian, Nose Drip, Oko Dj, El Tigre Sound, Alicia Carrera, Jondo… I could go on and on.

Who would you most like to see on the cover of The Face?

Hunter Schafer together with my cat Holly Woodlawn.


Isabella – Lap Talk (iDEAL)

Ground Tactics – La Belle Fête (Midgar Records)

JT – Progreso (Hivern)

Azu Tiwaline – Air Element (IOT Records)

Quixosis – Mudo (Air Texture)

404 – Styx (Crowdspacer)

Filippo Diana – Notte Pagana (Slow Motion)

Duckett – It’s Time for Women (Berceuse Heroique)

Chris Imler – Protect Myself (Debmaster Remix) (R.I.O.)

Jeremiah Soft – North Sea Memories (Dalmata Daniel)

Capitol K – Temple (Faith & Industry)

Retrograde Youth – Plastic Freedom (Pinkman)

Bright Future – Sick Of This World (Versatile)

NatCase – AI Mass Panic (Trial & Error)

Lena Willikens – Paredo Megamix (TAL)

No Moon – Wasp City (Craigie Knowes)

Sebastian Voigt – Sequential (E‑Missions)

Red Axes – Hold (Dark Entries)

Ground Tactics – La Belle Fête (Midgar Records)


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