Alinka is well travelled when it comes to house music. Having previously held down a residency at Smart Bar in Chicago for some seven odd years, she now finds herself in Berlin where she has featured on the Panorama Bar line up. Alongside her friend, Shaun J. Wright she has released a vast string of purpose built, club ready tracks. Her tastes range from oddball house, acid, techno, and she tends to rely heavily on weird and wonderfuly bass driven music. Most recently she has released music on Crosstown Rebels and her own founded imprint Twirl Recordings. We caught up with her as she contributes to the R$N mix series.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
Hi! I’m Alinka. I make and play music I love for strangers and friends around the world. I also run a record label called Twirl with my best friend Shaun J. Wright. I was born in Kiev, grew up in Chicago, and am currently living in Berlin.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us, an image from the old internet is acceptable?
How did you first become interested in house music?
I first became interested in house music from hearing in on the radio in Chicago when I was growing up, though at the time I didn’t really know what I was listening to. I got deeper into it and fell in love during my first year at University and became obsessed and immersed myself into that world.
What would you describe as your formative experiences during your time at Smart Bar in Chicago?
Smart Bar has always felt like home. I pretty much grew up there and spent most of my younger days hanging out there every weekend. My friend Justin Long started his monthly party .Dotbleep at Smart Bar around 2001 and asked me to be his opener. It was my favorite club and he was one of my mentors so it was quite an honor at the time. I gained my confidence as a DJ and grew into myself throughout those years. It also taught me to open a room properly, a skill I’m very grateful for today. Chicago is no joke, you really have to step up to keep up so it was cool pushing yourself in that kind of environment surrounded by artists you respect.
Where in 2016 has been your favourite place to play, so far?
Panorama Bar, there’s nothing like it. Best energy in the world.
Where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded in my bedroom in Berlin.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Getting ready for a very hot date or dancing by yourself in the mirror.
What should we be wearing?
Mesh, it’s the best for dancing in the summer.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location, system, format?
Rooftop full of friends /Void/ don’t care about formats.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Jazz 303 by Joey Beltram
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Derrick Carter - The Many Shades of Cajual
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Cajmere, his music shaped my life.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My first set up was Technics 1200’s and a pioneer 2 channel mixer. My set up at home now is only half complete as my turntables and records are still in Chicago, so currently I’m playing on CDJ 800’s with a very old Serato SL1 box, and a Pioneer DJM 600 that I’ve had since 2002 ☺
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
For me the intro track is more important because it kicks off the whole vibe and kind of gives me a sense of what direction I want to go in.
What were the first and last records you bought?
I think the first records I bought were mostly things off Cajual and Classic Music Company. The last records I bought right before I left for Berlin were an LP from Trackman and a bunch of classics from Gramaphone records.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Hopefully a really good taco.
If it were an animal what would it be?
Pumpkin the raccoon.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Oh god, that’s what edits are for :)
Upcoming in the world of…
Shaun J. Wright and I have an EP for Waifs & Strays new label Lovecrimes with remixes from him and Jozif coming out in July and we’ve done a remix for Kerb Staller out on Leftroom in August, as well as some other exciting stuff I can’t announce just yet.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Follow Alinka on Facebook HERE.