Image credit: Shai Levy
Valya Kan, a Russian who has spent much of her adult life in Berlin, began her interest in electronic music around 2007 when she connected with the deep atmospheric grooves and minimal beats that soundtrack the German capital. Through online communities, where members would exchange and post about music, she developed an affinity for house and techno, helped by going to concerts and parties as part of her work as a music journalist. “I was really inspired by the idea that people there knew exactly what record a DJ would play,” she says. “I now feel that I was so privileged to be a part of it.”
She began making music seriously in 2013, and by the following year she’d compiled a collection of demos. After a period of reflection, she found herself sharing her work with label contractions she could find on RA, and it didn’t take long for her to find some traction.
One of the first people to bite, in 2017, was British artist Spencer Parker, who rolled some of Kan’s sketches into Dust And Haze, her debut album on Work Them Records. With Remember, released in October 2020, she delivered four more tracks of deep and sophisticated house and techno—minimal but also powerful. The release was significant because it launched Twist, her own label, formed because she values the convenience of putting out music whenever and however she chooses. This stems from a desire to never limit herself to what label heads are wanting themselves; to break the mold.
“We live in a world of grey copy robots, and I would rather like to see diversity of unique individuals,” she said an interview. 2021 has been a quiet year for most artists and the same goes for Kan. After releasing “Ice Birds,” a mellow cut with soothing melodies available now on a compilation compiled by Seb Wildblood, and her first live set, she’s shared Heartbeats, which features two tracks recorded in isolation and one recorded in 2018. © XLR8R
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