“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 landed her first club residency in 2001 serving as Justin Long’s opening DJ at the infamous Smart Bar Chicago for his monthly party .Dotbleep, where she honed her skills until 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. Now a Berlin resident, Alinka kicked off 2016 with her debut appearance at Berghain/Panorama Bar, and an impressive slew of gigs to follow including Crosstown Rebels Get Lost Miami.
The last four years have been particularly fruitful and rewarding for Alinka, due in large part to her friendship and musical partnership with singer, producer and DJ, Shaun J. Wright. Wright, whose rich, resonant voice has lended soul to music by Hercules and Love Affair, and Stereogamous, met Alinka in 2012 and the two instantly bonded over their love of Chicago House music. It wasn’t long before their evolving friendship resulted in what would be the first of many musical collaborations. Their first EP, “Twirl Vol.1,” was promptly signed to Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s esteemed house label, Classic Music Co. The release was followed by a 12” remix compilation with remixes from Derrick Carter, Neville Watson and Chrissy. The EP’s lead single, “Love Inspired,” was featured on Defected Records Compilation “Defected Presents The Closing Party Ibiza 2013,” as well as Defected’s In The House Radio show. To date their work has been featured on esteemed labels such as Tribal Records, Defected, Classic Music Company, Batty Bass, and Midnight Riot. 2016 will include a 3 track EP on Damian Lazarus’s legendary imprint Crosstown Rebels with a remix from Audiojack, as well as an EP for Waifs & Stray’s new label Lovecrimes. In addition the pair has collaborated on a plethora of remixes for a wide array of artists, most recently including a remix of Matt Tolfrey and Jozif’s project Kerb Staller due out on Leftroom in August.
In 2014 Wright and Alinka launched their own imprint, Twirl Recordings. The label was a follow up to their monthly party “Twirl” at Berlin Nightclub in Chicago. The party featured guests like Derrick Carter, The Black Madonna, Mr. White, Eli Escobar, and JD Samson. It played a pivotal part in creating the inspiration for their own label Twirl, which aims to showcase a family of like-minded artists and friends. Their first release titled “Journey Into The Deep” featured remixes by Kim Ann Foxman, and Stereogamous, and received support from a wide variety of artists including Groove Armada, Danny Tenaglia, Kenny Glasgow, Annie Mac, Robert Owens, Matt Tolfrey, and many more. The EP got DJ Mag’s approval with a 9.0 rating, and was also featured on Annie Mac and Heidi’s shows on BBC Radio 1 Dance Radio. Since it’s start Twirl releases have been featured in Mixmag, DJ Mag, XLR8TR, BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM UK, and countless other radio shows and publications. Eli Escobar’s remix of Wait For Love was also featured on Bargrooves Apres Ski 4.0 on Defected Records. 2015 was a massive year for Twirl picking up remixes from artists such as Luke Solomon, Aérea Negrot, JD Samson, Snuff Crew, and many more. Now on their 9th release Twirl continues to rise and has no intention of slowing down.
Beyond her collaborations with Wright, she’s had a multitude of new releases and remixes for labels like Get Up Recordings, Audiophile Deep, and Vizual Records. Her remix of Eli Escobar’s “Anotha Love” was featured in Beatport’s Decade In House article, and was chosen as one of the top House tracks of 2014 by Beatport.
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 paired with her dedication to underground dance music have propelled her forward in 2016 and she’s ready to make her mark.