Katiushka launches new label and project GRACE, shares ‘The Sellout’ EP


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Berlin-based Katiushka has launched her new label and project GRACE, announcing the imprint’s debut EP ‘The Sellout’.

Christening the label with two of her own sultry, curious tracks, each embody the premise of the new project by offering moments to “melt into hazier spaces”.

The eponymous opener is of particular note, revelling in all of its nine minutes, interlacing distorted bass with sliding textures, vocals and wispy synths, before ‘A Shark Called Nancy’ stimulates more movement through its writhing breaks, infusion of groove and delicate moments of tension.

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GRACE emerged as a result of Katiushka’s experiences within club culture – not only as a producer and DJ, but also through running parties, writing, label management, PR, radio and beyond – and with the artist now handing the baton over to other producers to share their music on the imprint, she intends to pay producers a fee for their EP in a similar manner to how DJs get paid a fee for their set. Said fee would emerge from costs saved in other areas of the project – think no vinyl press, DIY artwork, self PR, money from her DJ sets – in effort to explore ways of supporting producers more sustainably.

“I’ve been taking a couple years off from things like radio hosting and music journalism to focus on production,” Katiushka explains. “By the time I started releasing music last year, I’d built up an appetite for a new project. I felt really energised by the producer community around me, and how hard they work considering how little compensation that work gets.

“So when I was brainstorming for GRACE, I thought I could try paying producers a fee for their EP, similar to how DJs get paid per set. It still doesn’t make up for the hours producers put in, but it’s better than being paid in symbolic quarterly payouts or ‘exposure’ (especially exposure from a new label!). I’ve always been grateful when club promoters invested in me for DJing, and now I want to do the same and invest in other people for production.

“I’ve done the first release to road test the process; ‘The Sellout EP’ contains a moody techno track and trippy UK-ish track, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the label’s sound takes shape as other artists join. In this case because there’s no external producer, I’ve donated the €400 fee to a Palestinian family crowdfunding to leave Gaza.”

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‘The Sellout EP’ is available on May 29 via GRACE, which you can pre-order now here.

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Instagram

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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