Machine Woman’s gritty, future-gazing sound treads the line between thumping techno and arresting atmospherics, irreverent humour and hunger for glitchy experimentation. Her use of skittish percussion, warped vocal snippets and shuffling synth pads always serve her impeccable sense of narrative.
Vtorova’s multidisciplinary approach begins with her very moniker: Machine Woman, a reference to the Maschinenmensch character from Fritz Lang’s 1927 dystopian classic Metropolis. Her eponymous fate as a woman making raucous machine music sprinkled with world cinema samples was sealed after taking her first Ableton lesson evening class. By then, the self-trained musician had already absorbed her brother’s bootleg tapes and attempted to reproduce Slipknot on the drums in her mom’s garage. But after the St. Petersburg native played in a handful of noise and punk outfits, it became clear her singular talents would best be showcased as a solo maker of murky, dust-coated electronica. Since a handful of limited cassette releases in 2014 and 2015, and an EP of creeping techno on Swedish producer Peder Mannerfelt’s label, Machine Woman confirmed she had many more tricks up her sleeve with 2016’s Genau House and its lush, compellingly strange atmospherics. With last summer’s superb When Lobster Comes Home EP, Vtorova brought smiles to many faces by weaving blissful chords and head-spinning kick drums.
As she prepares forthcoming releases on her very own Take Away Jazz Records, and contributes to both Berlin’s Community Radio and Bristol’s Noods Radio, expect this free spirit to keep flirting with mayhem in her unpredictable live sets, by way of propulsive cuts for people who can’t sleep at night.