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Get to Know: Machine Woman

FROM: RUSSIA, BERLIN-BASED

SOUNDS LIKE: OBJEKT, COSMIN TRG, ACTRESS

THREE TUNES: ‘I CAN MEND YOUR BROKEN HEART’, ‘CAMILE FROM OHM MAKES ME FEEL LOVED’,
‘I WANT TO FUCK TECH HOUSE’

Russian native Anastasia Vtorova, AKA Machine Woman, was born in a post-Soviet environment; experiencing first-hand a country going through mass cultural change, Vtorova found comfort in industrial techno. Despite her mother’s disapproval, she was exposed to dance music from a young age. Hearing Scooter’s ‘Move Your Ass’ at the age of 11 gave her the shivers. “One time I remember going to a day disco when I was 13 and I had to get back home before my mum was back from work as I was not allowed to go,” she fondly recalls. “I remember walking into this little room with neon lights and hearing stuff like 2 Unlimited ‘No Limits’, Culture Beat ‘Mr Vain’ and Corona ‘Rhythm Of The Night’. I loved it and I still do.”

Hearing some of the most popular dance records of the ‘90s is just the beginning of her burgeoning influences; in her teens she was also into Metallica, had tried her hand at the bass guitar and invested in a drum-kit in an attempt to imitate Slipknot. When she eventually delved into electronic music, it was artists like Actress and the voice of Yaeji that made her heart skip a beat.

She talks about the time in which she moved to Berlin as a period of transition. “The last place I was living in the UK was Manchester, or Salford to be exact. I loved it but I felt maybe I needed something else,” she says. “So I worked a couple of jobs at the same time and saved a bit of money to come and party in Berlin and go to Berghain every day. Once I arrived I was not sure how long I’d be here because Berlin is a very transitional city. Two years later I’m still here but I don’t go to Berghain every day, in fact I think I only went there like four times over the last two years. I much prefer small places like OHM or :// about blank.”

Machine Woman’s song titles are associated — often amusingly — with her everyday life situations, which leads us to her latest release on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour. ‘Camile From OHM Makes Me Feel Loved’ is an ode to her favourite bouncer at the club. The EP itself ‘When Lobster Comes Home’ was named after her good friend and label head of Lobster Theremin. Her gig for Lobster’s showcase at Concrete in Paris this summer was one of her highlights of the year, testing out a new one-hour set — a self-confessed turning point for her as an artist. Her live sets are a journey, beautifully mutating sounds at the hands of an intricate Ableton live set-up.  

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