In the heart of downtown Seattle, there’s a basement. In that basement is the throbbing heart of the city’s electronic music scene. Welcome to Kremwerk, a haven for lovers of progressive electronic music, queer culture, and the combination of the two.
Since it’s opening, the venue has grown from an idea realized to a full-fledged mecca for the Emerald City’s music lovers. One of the best additions was the adjacent Timbre Room, a separate space to widen the scope of artists one could stumble upon on a visit to the complex.
And while many music spaces could be anywhere, Kremwerk and Timbre Room attempt to pay homage to their hometown with uniquely Seattle touches. But I should let the people who created it tell that story. I spoke with the Kremwerk + Timbre Room Complex leadership team to learn more about the spot.
Tell us a bit about Kremwerk. How did you get started?
We opened just over four years ago in 2014 as Kremwerk. In 2016, we opened Timbre Room and our pizza parlor/bar (that’s attached to the venue and open late on show nights), Little Maria’s Pizza. We have plenty more to come too… Stay tuned!
Can you tell us a bit about the distinctions you make between the spaces?
The two spaces are completely different. Kremwerk is a dark, cavernous basement/bunker built of primarily concrete and metal with a more industrial, mysterious, and sexy vibe to it.
Timbre Room is a more intimate space with lumber-covered walls and foliage that’s been likened to a Pacific Northwest “Rainforest Café for Adults” with skylights beaming through. The space also has an outdoor patio where we throw patio parties throughout the summer.
Altogether that makes up to three stages with impressive sound systems where DJs can spin completely different genres of music, with bars in all three areas. We often throw what we call “Complex” events that take over both spaces, which creates a “festival in the city” feeling and provides a different vibe for attendees to switch between throughout the night and have a memorable experience.
Whether you want to chill and be social on the heated patio or immerse yourself in dance, it’s up to you.
You describe yourselves as queer-centric. What drew you to that identity? What makes that important to you?
We are a queer-owned and mostly queer-operated venue. We are a safe space for everyone and value the importance of having a space for queer people to enjoy and express themselves while also being inclusive to everyone. We do not tolerate any racism, homophobia, transphobia, or any form of hate and we take that very seriously. We showcase local queer talent every weekend, allowing queer artists to get paid for their hard work.
Going into an event at Kremwerk/Timbre Room, what do you hope someone takes away from the experience?
Good times and new friends! It’s all about building community and I think Kremwerk does just that. You can go alone and leave with a few new friends that you’ll see next time. We also take pride in booking cutting edge, underground talent, both local and international, so we’re a resource and destination for discovering new music.
How do you find artists, particularly up-and-coming ones, you’d like to book?
By spending too much time on the internet and word of mouth. We’re always looking to bring the best in underground talent and offer Seattle an experience like no other. We err on the side of creating an out-of-this-world experience rather than mainstream events. It’s what sets us apart. We have a big network of artists and agencies, but we’re always looking for new ones, be it live bands or DJs.
If you’re interested, booking inquiries can be sent to Nick@Kremwerk.com.
We’ve actually spoken to Noise Complaint, one of the parties that take place at Kremwerk regularly, before and they love your venue. Can you tell us a bit about them, your other parties, and why you like working with groups like that?
We love Noise Complaint! Creating a sense of community is one of our main goals and Noise Complaint is one of those parties that excels in making this a priority. They’re a monthly party that is hosted at our venue that brings some of the best DJs to the Complex. It’s always a huge party with really good vibes. We love working with groups like them because they bring fantastic talent, are professional, do a fantastic job with promotion, and help bring really great people and energy into the space.
Noise Complaint is primarily rooted in house music, but we have many parties across the wide spectrum of underground music that’ll offer something for everyone.
Depth is our new Thursday techno weekly that’s quickly building a strong, welcoming community of its own and has brought artists like Daniel Avery, Ben Sims, VRIL, and Answer Code Request.
Research, focuses on bringing the cutting edge taste-making DJs from around the globe and has hosted artists like Yaeji, Honey Dijon, Avalon Emerson, Jayda G, and Objekt. We also have Visions (House/Techno on first Fridays), Gradients (House) Fraktured (a Sunday Breaks Weekly), SIN (Industrial/EBM/Fetish Monthly), JK Pop! (J-Pop/K-Pop Monthly), Proximity (Bass Music), Block (Grime), and many more.
We have some new nights launching in the near future, so keep it locked. In addition to parties, we host many drag shows which occur around/after dinner and are an excellent segue into the rest of your evening… have a date to remember!
What’s been your favorite experience at Kremwerk/Timbre Room?
So many great memories… the second nature after-hours during the 2015 edition of Decibel Festival that went until 11 AM was one for the books. We had the privilege of having Miss Honey Dijon at our venue in March for one of our monthly Research parties. That night was unbelievable! Everyone was dancing their ass off, having a good time, and didn’t want the night to end.
What upcoming events are you excited about?
We just launched our 2018 Pride programming that has an incredibly diverse array of shows—from art drag to drag king shows, daytime patio parties, dance parties, and after-hours parties throughout the weekend. Samantha Ronson and Kittens are headlining our Pride Saturday night dance party, which runs from 5 PM to 8 AM between the early shows and the afters.
After that our next big thing is the second edition of Kremfest, a weekend-long festival celebrating electronic music! We had our inaugural edition last year, which featured amazing artists like Yolanda Be Cool, Todd Edwards, DJ Minx, Octo Octa, Paint, and Vektroid. Everything from house music to bass music to techno. We’re only getting more bigger and more exciting.
1809 Minor Avenue #10
Seattle, WA 98101