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Fresh Kicks 190: Monster

Fresh Kicks 190: Monster

Poznań-based DJ and Oramics member Monster records a high-velocity mix of techno, breaks and rave NRG for the Fresh Kicks series, and chats to Niamh O’Connor about learning to mix at house parties and the @bathroomdjgreatesthits meme account

Monster’s DJ sets reflect the vibe she conveys in person: warm, engaging, playful and heaps of fun. It’s Monday afternoon, and a few days ago, the Poznań-based DJ played gigs in both LA and Wrocław, Poland. But today, she’s fresh-faced and full of chat, despite a stacked schedule balancing her day job, running workshops with Polish queer-feminist platform Oramics, and adminning the popular meme account, @bathroomdjgreatesthits

In February 2020, Monster put out a mix via Resident Advisor, amplifying her profile internationally. She considered quitting her teaching job to free up her diary for potential shows, but on the cusp of the pandemic, she decided not to. “If I had quit my job, I would have been in a lot of trouble financially,” she says. “So I was like, ‘I’m never gonna do this until I’m booked like six months in advance’.”

This could soon be on the horizon for Monster. Having delivered a slew of bright, multi-genre mixes over the last two years, she’s flourishing. In 2022, she was booked for Berghain and Tresor and played shows across Europe and the USA. Her sets wind through uplifting trance, groovy techno, breakbeat, acid and feel-good pop edits, the latter of which soundtracked her childhood.

Born in the small town of Ciechanów, Monster grew up with her mum’s collection of MTV video tapes from the ’80s and early ’90s. When she reached her teens, she went through a short-lived grunge phase and became politically minded. “This was my main focus for a long time; I was just like, ‘I want to be a very serious anarchist activist’.”

After she graduated, she moved to Poznań, where she became involved with a “squat- slash-social-centre”. There, Monster was asked to DJ at afterparties because she was known for selecting the “most fun stuff” at house parties. “I was just fading in, fading out,” she says. “But not, like, mixing or whatever.”

In 2009, Monster bought CDJs and dived into electronic music, learning to mix while playing several after-sessions at the centre. She took a five-year hiatus to focus on her teaching career until 2016, when she released a promo mix. Two years later, she won a DJ contest hosted by Catz ’n Dogz, playing at their Wooded City festival in Szczecin. Her following exploded, and she continued to blossom into a versatile DJ with seamless blends to match.

These days, Monster is a resident of Poznań club Projekt LAB. She is a staunch advocate for the Polish scene and, through Oramics, travels across the country to host DJ workshops geared towards women and non-binary beginners. At the time of writing, she’s preparing to close Unsound festival back-to-back with Objekt, and has plans to return to the tiles of HÖR Radio — the source of her meme page.

With over 83,000 followers, @bathroomdjgreatesthits is Monster’s satirical IG account, where she grabs clips of HÖR sets and syncs cheesy hits over the original audio. “It’s funny because I hadn’t planned to be a meme admin,” she laughs, recalling the first post she shared in February — a Backstreet Boys track synced over an exuberant, shirtless male DJ.

“I think nobody, including myself, expected that I would be so good at it,” she says wryly. “They are all still getting reposted. I posted the 300th one today” — ‘Easy Lover’ by Phil Collins, layered over a drum-rolling Avalon Emerson. “I don’t take suggestions from the DMs because I’m like, ‘Guys, I know what I’m doing’,” she smiles. The same goes for all of Monster’s music projects — she knows her sound and craft and shows it with a hint of anarchic spirit.

Listen to Monster's Fresh Kicks mix below. 


Gabriola ‘One to Zen’
E-FILE ‘Cycles’
LUXE ‘A83’
Selected Dream Memories ‘A-X’
Natalia Kukulska ‘W Biegu (dadan karambolo flip)’
Penera ‘Alpina’ (unreleased)
Rune Bagge ‘As They Say’
Tommy 2000 ‘Whales’
Personal Growth ‘Really Want’
OTON ‘Frozen’
Pangaea ‘Still Flowing Water’
Drua ‘Larp’
Ika Sile ‘Shut em up’ (unreleased)
DJ Decay ‘Rinse In Brie’
Heather Helix ‘Don't’
Sentient ‘After Midnight (Marbreaks Mix)’
Obsidian Wave ‘Wile Out’
Erratic Bhvr ‘Rethink The Place We Inhabit (Lilith Remix)’
Soul Edifice ‘What You Want?’
Transki ‘Arcana VIP’
Kineta ‘Vela’
Slacker ‘Lay It Bare’
NORA DRUM ‘Unsure How, Dead Again’

Want more? Dive into a selection of experimental electronic sounds from the Polish underground courtesy of FOQL here

Niamh O'Connor is a freelance writer and founder of NYXXX, which you can follow on Instagram

Photo credit: Joanna Chwilkowska