Penetration is back. Er, Electric Penetration. Christian Petersen (formerly of DUMB EYES, now I WANT YOU) and Jon Francois Stone (of DUG, Lovetone/Dreamtone and Chicken & Waffles) are pairing up to serve the next incarnation of Seattle’s most colorful, eyeball-tickling, psychedelic party night. Started over four years ago at Bus Stop, Penetration's eclectic dance tunes (60's psyche pop, metal, electronic and everything between) and iconic prism glasses have regularly toured a handful of venues across Capitol Hill, including Unicorn, Sole Repair and The Woods. After a brief hiatus, the night is kicking off again at a new venue that might just be a match made in heaven: Q. Mark your calendars for Monday, October 15 at 9 pm.
How will Electric Penetration be different from Penetration?
Christian: The main difference is that it’s going to be all electronic music. That’s part of Q’s policy. At first I was like really? But now I’m getting into it. It will be distinguished from Penetration in that way. It’s going to be the full range of electronic: house, techno, disco, electro, moog, hi-nrg, ambient, r&b, acid. Q is an amazing space.
Jon: The neighborhood is changing, the people are changing, the party is necessarily going to change. One thing that will remain the same is the juxtaposition of music. It’s not going to be smooth transitions. It’s not going to be a single, fluid bpm all evening. It’ll be...
Christian: Spastic. Like penetration. Like to keep the audience guessing.
You grew up in Bremerton and London. What’s the connection?
Christian: I grew up in England till my dad’s job took us to Bremerton. We moved back to London eventually and I lived there for about fifteen years. Got sick of it, came out here.
You DJed in London?
Christian: Yeah, lots of parties, lots of weddings. I wanted to DJ when I moved out here, but I didn’t know anyone. I still don’t know anyone.
You’re pretty much an introvert.
Christian: Yes. Pretty antisocial.
Ironically. Since you like to throw parties.
Christian: The DJ doesn’t have to talk to anyone. I just like to create a good environment for people.
How’d you start, Jon?
Jon: I grew up in Detroit and eventually moved into a house with a DJ. We didn’t have a dining room table; we had a giant DJ booth and a community pile of records, and that’s all we did. I moved here seven years ago and started DJing art shows, then DUG. One thing led to another and it’s been an ongoing education, learning what it takes to make a party come together. It’s such a complex thing. You only have control over so much and it’s tricky to figure out what makes it special versus a bunch of people getting wasted. Because I believe there is a party culture, and creating the right kind of party—that’s what I get excited about.
Christian: I think both of us share the same vision of what an amazing party should be in Seattle. Maybe some of that comes from a place of nostalgia.
Christian: 80’s New York or Acid House in London. Legendary, artistic, unique experiences. I’ve always been interested in movements and scenes, in a creative sense.
Penetration has been exemplary when it comes to creating a synaesthetic environment, especially with the effort you put into visuals.
Christian: We want to keep building on that. We’re continuing to work with Nick Bartoletti and Benjamin van Citters, who have been developing amazing interactive stuff.
You’ve been doing more art installations with interactive visuals too, like the “Cosmic Dust” piece at Bumbershoot.
Christian: Definitely interested in making more work like this. Audience, music and visuals are the three things that should be unified. There should be no separation.
What other projects are you guys working on?
Jon: We’re relaunching Chicken & Waffles at 95 Slide. It’ll be a new venue for the music, cozier. It will be interesting because it’s in a sports bar. We’re going to keep it fun and eclectic. DUG is the other thing I’ve been focused on.
Christian: Making a lot of interactive visuals with Ben van Citters. I’ve started as online art editor for Société Perrier.
Now that DUMB EYES broke up, you’re still working independently?
Christian: Yes, still making videos and doing graphic design. And focusing on nights like Penetration.