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Noncompliant

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shiva noncompliant sequencer

SHIVA (AKA NONCOMPLIANT)

Lisa Smith got her turntables in 1995. Before that she was already playing at clubs and performing in bands. Based in Indianapolis, her history with music is long and her love affair has continued for years following. “I was already well past ‘spectator’ and always ready to be a ‘participant’ in any musical thing that caught my fancy,” she says. When you see the name Shiva or Noncompliant you know exactly what to expect: hard-hitting, unrelenting, push it to the limit techno.

In addition to many years of DJing and producing, she has been contributing to the music world in other creative ways. Every other Sunday since September 2012 she hosted SUBterror Radio and showcased music from a range of talented techno artists. Among an extensive list of recordings, just some of the artists featured on her show include Paula Temple, Rubidium, Deapmash, Erika, Truncate, and so many more. She retired the station in October last year as she embarked on efforts toward new projects. She shifted her method of music production and with that came a new moniker, Noncompliant.

“I was thinking about ending my radio show to concentrate on production a bit more and was pondering a new project. With the shift to hardware, it changed my approach a bit, and thus altered my sound a little too, so that seemed like a good time for a pseudonym, well, because techno. That’s how we do,” she says. “It was an update and something I could really shape in sound and in theory, and I wanted to do something with a more specific concept, so it was a specifically feminist project from the start.”

A few years ago she started adding more hardware to her entirely software setup, retaining some for the editing and mixdown process. “I enjoy the tactile nature of it, not to mention not having to spend a ton of time with setup. Just turn the switch on and the sounds are there, so I can instantly just have some fun with it,” she says. As a DJ she is experienced on both turntables and CDJs, although lately she has been using mostly digital music. “I have thousands of records, all mostly still in storage. Not because I want them to be, but because I don’t really have room for them in my current place, and I don’t have decks either. So I have just been using digital for a while now. I dig it. Very convenient. I am not a purist by any stretch of the imagination.”

She has had opportunities to travel for DJ gigs and her favorite so far has been Berlin. The first event she played was the vibrantly colorful queer and femme-oriented Room 4 Resistance, “which is exactly the kind of thing I love most. It was outside, it was a beautiful day, my best friend was there, and I will never forget it. And it’s really what kicked off things that are happening now, like playing Panorama Bar the week of my 45th birthday last April!” Beyond that she has performed at many more places including the acclaimed Unter in New York City, and also smaller venues like in Knoxville, Tenn. for the Teknox crew. She says there were “probably less than 100 people in a collective house type venue going the fuck off. Smaller places can sometimes really be the best, because anywhere that’s not a big city, people are hungry for it because they’re not spoiled or distracted by too many events every weekend.”

Playing for people on a dancefloor is not only a meditative and therapeutic practice for her, but she embraces what it does for others. There’s power in the moment when she is “looking out and seeing people with their heads down, in the zone, just letting the music work their body.”

Lisa, Shiva, Noncompliant. By any name she is a powerful force to be reckoned with. With decades of hard work she has built a foundation to push forward on many levels. Additionally, she’s extremely supportive of any queer or female-identified folks who want to contribute to the scene through either producing, DJing or any other form. Her advice for those starting their path:

“There will always be people who will want to give you reasons why you can’t do something. Ask yourself why they want to discourage you. Ignore them. Do what you love. Never let the bastards grind you down. And don’t let your own fears stop you either.”

1. Alex Bau – “Bassmati” [Credo]
2. Naeem – “Banding” [Detour]
3. Tensal – “B2” [Tensal]
4. Tapirus – “Role One Myself” [Midnight Shift]
5. Electric Rescue – “Neiland” [Gastspiel)
6. James Ruskin – “Cipher” [Blueprint]
7. Borealis – “Heartshell” [Heard Island]
8. Fjaak – “Wolves” [Monkeytown]
9. Tim Xavier – “Seductive Violence” [Face To Face]
10. Klienfeld – “Modified Line Segment” [AYCB]
11. Cari Lekebusch – “Attitydsknackaren” [H Prod.]
12. Paul Ritch – “Pacemaker” [Quartz]
13. Truncate – “Process” [Blueprint]
14. Johannes Volk – “Escapism” [Token]
15. DJ Red – “Underwater” [Electric Deluxe]
16. Mathame – “Ural” [Anagram]
17. Anthony Parasole – “Murky Waters” [Dekmantel]