REBELS#3 WITH ALINKA (CROSSTOWN REBELS,TWIRL,BERLIN), JUSSI E.(HOMOTEKNO), MR.A (RESIDENT) // SATURDAY 24.02.2018
LESSON 3: DO NOT CARE FOR THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS.
“For the fact was - drugs were not necessary to most of us, because the music, youth, sweaty bodies were enough. And if it was too hot, too humid to sleep the next day, and we awoke bathed in sweat, it did not matter: We remained in a state of animated suspension the whole hot day. We lived for music, we lived for Beauty, and we were poor. But we didn’t care where we were living, or what we had to do during the day to make it possible; eventually, if you waited long enough, you were finally standing before the mirror in that cheap room, looking at your face one last time, like an actor going onstage, before rushing out to walk in the door of that discotheque and see someone like Malone.” (Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance).
“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)
A self-described citizen of the world, Alinka spent her early life in Kiev, Ukraine before departing for Vienna in 1988, eventually landing her in her permanent home of Chicago—a move that would unknowingly shape her future and solidify her fate and connection to music. Hailing from a musical family, Alinka was brought up playing the piano and was kindly placed in her room to practice from the time she could sit up on a bench. Her musical obsession grew exponentially upon landing in the US and discovering pop music like Michael Jackson and Madonna for the first time, leading her to constantly memorizing titles and making mix tapes for friends. Alinka was first exposed to dance music through the radio during the 90s, but it wasn’t until she left for University that she really discovered House Music and became immersed in rave and club culture. After a year of traveling to parties, working for promoters, collecting records and continuously searching for new music, she decided to dedicate herself to learning the craft of DJing, bought a pair of Technics and set off on her mission. Less than two years later, in 2001, Alinka landed her first residency, serving as Justin Long’s opener at the infamous Smart Bar Chicago for his monthly party .Dotbleep. She stayed there, honing her skills until 2008 and hasn’t looked back since.
In 2012, an impromptu meeting with former Hercules and Love Affair vocalist, Shaun J. Wright, changed her life forever. The pair instantly bonded over their shared love for Chicago House Music and Cajual Records, and it wasn’t long before their evolving friendship resulted in what would be the first of many musical collaborations. Their debut EP, Twirl Vol.1, was promptly signed to Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s esteemed label, Classic Music Company. The release was followed by a 12" remix compilation with mixes from Derrick Carter, Neville Watson and Chrissy, which received worldwide acclaim and support from famed artists and publications, launching the pair into global success.
In 2014, Wright and Alinka launched their own imprint, Twirl Recordings, as a follow-up to their monthly party Twirl in Chicago -an event that, featuring guests like Derrick Carter, The Black Madonna, and Eli Escobar was essential in setting the tone for their own label. Their debut release, Journey Into The Deep, with remixes from renowned artists Kim Ann Foxman and stereogamous, propelled Twirl into the spotlight, winning support from prominent artists like Heidi, Robert Owens, Annie Mac, Groove Armada, and Art Department’s Kenny Glasgow. The EP also got DJ Mag's approval with a 9.0 rating, and made multiple appearances on BBC Radio 1 Dance Radio. Since its beginning, Twirl releases have been featured in Mixmag, DJ Mag, XLR8TR, BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM UK, and countless other radio shows and publications. Now on their 12th release, the label has gone on to feature a diverse range of artists including Luke Solomon, Eli Escobar, Snuff Crew, Lil’ Mark, Aérea Negrot, Mijo & Macaulay, Photonz & Violet, Spatial Awareness, and many more.
After a series of successful releases on Twirl, the pair continued pushing forward. 2015 saw the launch of 3 tracks as a follow-up to Twirl Vol. 1 through Classic Music Company with the track “Matters Of The Heart” getting a special remix treatment from The Black Madonna. The following year would bring several high-profile releases including the 3 track EP “Face The Truth” for Damian Lazarus’ legendary Crosstown Rebels with a remix by Audiojack, followed by the EP “Greed” for Waifs & Strays imprint Lovecrimes with remixes by Jozif and Waifs & Strays. Between putting out original material, Wright and Alinka have been busy composing remixes for a wide range of labels and artists, most recently including Boy George. for Fetch Records and Matt Tolfrey and Jozif’s project Kerb Staller for Leftroom Records. To date, the two have had their work featured on labels like Defected Records, BATTY BASS RECORDS, Classic Music Company, Crosstown Rebels, Leftroom, Tribal America, Midnight Riot, Bargrooves , Forevergreen Ltd., Modern Revival and Night Owl Diner.
2016 marked a pivotal point for Alinka when she relocated to Berlin and kicked off the year with her debut appearance at the world renowned Berghain / Panorama Bar, followed by an impressive slew of gigs including Crosstown Rebels:Get Lost Miami, Maya Jane Coles & Friends at Printworks London, and Ellen Allien’s BPitch Boogy at IPSE Berlin.
In an age of homogenized dance culture, you can trust yourself to find a unique soul committed to ‘keeping things weird’ in Alinka. Her desire to push boundaries, combined with her dedication to underground dance music, continues to move her forward and making her mark.