Lena Willikens

From a flag-bearer for the Cómeme crew through to a powerful force in her own right, it’s been impossible to ignore the rise of Lena Willikens over the past few years. We live in a fine time for dedicated selectors, and the Cologne-based spinner has built up a formidable reputation for razor-sharp eclecticism that leaves even seasoned diggers scratching their heads and scrabbling for their notepads.

As well as her long-standing, semi-regular Sentimental Flashback show on Radio Cómeme, Willikens equally forged her reputation for exotic electronics and esoteric ephemera as a Friday night resident of much-vaunted Düsseldorf club Salon Des Amateurs. It was the perfect incubator for her style of DJing, where a mixture of oddball wave tones, wayfaring house, on point electro and starry-eyed kosmische can all sit together in a surprisingly natural fit – testament to the keen ear and refined technique that powers each set.

As such, we’re thrilled to be sharing this uniquely crafted Crack Mix with you, which finds Willikens laying down a smooth lead-in of snaking, slippery atmospherics and ambient techno before teasing up to more intense, industrial-tinged flavours and jack tracks, back to off-kilter electro and beyond. It’s far from the standard mix trajectory, which makes it all the more exciting. Thrown into the melting pot are artists including Heinrich Dressel, Parrish Smith and 8Bit Rockers, but with a selector such as this it’s the unfamiliar reaches you want to be looking out for.

Lena Willikens plays at our Crack100 party at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, on 21 June