‘There are at least a few people in this thing determined to keep House Music weird. Chicago’s Alinka is one of them.’ —Terry Matthew, 5Magazine
Alinka is the kind of DJ other DJ’s will tell you about. She has a unique power on the decks that comes from lifelong passion and time served, with a focused devotion to her first love – house music. Raised on Chicago’s vibrant house sound with toes dipped into Detroit techno and Europe’s more robust approaches to bass music and the myriad of genre’s coming from cities like Berlin, London and Paris.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, her early childhood included reluctantly learning the piano, her mother is a pianist, while trying to convince her parents to let her play guitar. Her exposure to Western music was limited, living in a communist country where censorship was common practice. Her family eventually immigrated to Chicago as Jewish refugees in the late 80s as the USSR crumbled. This was her first experience of pop music and she fell head over heals for the chart sounds of Madonna and Michael Jackson. Then came house music from local radio shows where you could frequently hear tracks by Chicago legends like Cajmere and DJ Funk, and shows like Sonic Boom helped expose underground music to the masses.
By the late 90s, music had taken over her life. Teenage Alinka immersed herself in the dance music scene spending her summer pulling double shifts at a local pool and moonlighting for rave promoters to build up enough cash to buy decks. After a year of skipping class to relentlessly practice her mixing skills, she began her full time musical pursuit. Working for various club promoters, doing odd jobs passing out flyers and helping with party logistics – anything just to get into clubs underage to see her favourite DJs – all while spending hours digging for tracks at Chicago’s legendary record shop Gramaphone. In 2001 Justin Long recruited her to be the opening resident for his .Dotbleep party at Smartbar where she honed her skills for the best part of a decade.
In 2012, an impromptu meeting with former Hercules and Love Affair vocalist, Shaun J. Wright, changed her life forever. Their evolving friendship resulted in what would be the first of many musical collaborations. The pair launched their Twirl parties and label, continually strived to inspire each other both musically and spiritually, the result has been an impressive catalogue of material for both of them collaboratively and individually on the likes of The Classic Music Company, Jackathon Jams, Crosstown Rebels, Leftroom, and of course Twirl, where as well as their own material the duo have welcomed renowned artists like Spencer Parker, Virginia, Physical Therapy, Kim Ann Foxman and Matt Tolfrey onto the label.
Now living in Berlin, Alinka has well and truly found her feet and her inspiration. Alinka has used this base to throw down at parties across Europe from Panorama Bar to Circoloco, with regular visits back to the US to play for standout parties for promoters like Ladyfag and she returned to the Ukraine where a new generation at ∄ are bringing electronic music to Kiev. Her evolution continues with 2020 promising a packed schedule of releases, new dancefloors to enchant and her new label Fantasy Life landing soon.