The son of radio DJ John Steen, Jorgen Steen, a.k.a. LSDJ, inherited not only his dad's love of music but also his 5,000-strong record collection. Steen now has about 20,000 slabs of vinyl, one of the most diverse collections in town. Spinning everything from house to hip-hop to Top 40, the 27-year-old has played nearly every Seattle club night over the past 10 years, including Mo'Funk, Spice, and Electrolush. Currently a resident at the Last Supper Club and ARO.space, he also appears with the Sweet Mother Sound System and acts as producer/DJ for local R&B group the High Children. Radio listeners can hear him on KUBE 93.3 from 3am to 5am on Sunday mornings.
Jorgen Steen and his trippy record collection.
When did you start seriously collecting records?
When I was in sixth grade I started collecting all the Iron Maiden import picture discs.
What's the first record you ever owned?
Probably something like Shawn Cassidy. My dad's records were basically my records when I was a kid. My mom would be on the phone in the kitchen, and I would take all the records out of the sleeves and put them all over the floor in the living room. And she'd come out and start yelling because there were records everywhere, and she'd have to find the right sleeves. She'd put them all in and say, "Jorgen, don't take the records out." She'd go back on the phone and I'd do the same thing.
What was the first club you played?
I went to high school with Carlos Miguel of Delicious Records. He had a fake ID that said he was 21, and he was bartending and doing the door at this club down about four doors from the Showbox called Club K [Konstantine]. They needed a DJ, so he gave them a tape of mine and I came in on a Friday and just spun. I'd never been to a club before, had no idea what to expect. The owner loved me. He just knew he had a kid that could play underground club records.
What's your most prized record?
I've got a Parliament Motor Booty Affair picture disc signed by George Clinton.
What's your strangest record?
I've been collecting a lot of weird '60s, '70s sex-type records—porn soundtracks.
How many records do you take to a gig?
I used to take four or five crates when I did Mo'Funk, with almost 100 in each crate. I have nightmares of running out of records when I'm spinning, so I'd bring too many. Now it's usually two crates and a bag.
Do you have an organizational system?
Well, it's broken down into different sections, but almost all the records that I spin out I put into BPM [beats per minute] order. I'll break down the sections from slowest to fastest. The stuff I don't play out is alphabetized. And then I have it broken down into sections—hip-hop, house, drum and bass, downtempo. It's never totally organized, but with most records, if you ask me where it is, I can find it in a couple of minutes.
Which genre do you have most of?
Rock records, for samples. Once you get past a thousand records, it's kind of hard to tell. . . .
What do you have the least of?
Jungle. I probably have two or three hundred jungle records.
How much is your record collection worth?
I have about $100,000 worth of renter's insurance. I've got about 3,000 CDs, too.
How much space do the records take up?
I've got two dedicated rooms at my house, and then at my mom's house I've got a whole attic full of records. And my sister's old bedroom is all records I have for sale. I feel rich when I get new records—I've got music that I haven't heard before. Don't have TV, don't have cable. I just love music, every type.