Soela is the alias of Elina Shorokhova, a Russian vocalist who has transitioned into electronic music with releases through the likes of Kompakt, Shall Not Fade, and Sushitech. Last year, Lawrence signed her to his mighty Dial Records with Genuine Silk, an 11-track exploration into the deepest shades house and ambient, and just recently she’s put out two melodic house cuts on Fort Romeau’s Cin Cin.
Growing up in southern Russia, Shorokhova was encouraged to learn the piano and sing by her mother, but by the age of 19 she’d left it behind in order to DJ in local clubs. Far from the sophisticated beats she’s known for today, she found herself playing “cheesy Russian remixed pop hits,” but slowly her ears matured. After she began creating her own tracks using a basic bedroom setup during her 20s, she fought hard to find a label for them and eventually things clicked. She followed up four dub techno jams on Köln’s Subspiele Records with 2017’s IDM-inspired Nothing EP and the more upbeat Early Bird EP on E-Beamz. By the time she delivered 2019’s Lily EP on Kompakt, her sound had crystallised into a melodic and emotional breed of house music.
Now based in Berlin, Germany, Shorokhova spends the majority of her time either making music or playing it out, but during the week she can be found teaching children how to make it in a local school. To celebrate her latest release, she’s compiled an XLR8R podcast, using it as an homage to some of her greatest artist inspirations—the likes of Legov, Robag Wruhme, Donato Dozzy, and Move D. As it moves through house and experimental electronica, you’ll find comfort in the calming rhythms and a floating melancholic groove that’s feel a warm hug in these colder late-summer months.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve done a lot of things, not all connected to music. I’ve moved from one flat to another, found a new job after a long break, and come back to school as a music teacher. So I was into some basic but still nice things.
02. What have you been listening to?
I’ve been listening to a lot of records because it’s kind of a ritual. One of the favorite records of all time is Loop Finding Jazz Records by Jan Jelinek. Also, I’ve been listening to some Lusine, Lawrence, Alice Coltrane, John Roberts, Move D, and Pearson Sound. I also love to listen to the Recorder13 podcast series; the guys are doing a great job finding amazing artists and highlighting some new names.
03. What appeals to you about electronic music?
Unlimited possibilities for making sounds.
04. How did you sign to Dial Records?
I wasn’t actually going to send my music to Dial because I thought the guys would never answer me, but my boyfriend said that if I don’t try I’ll never know. I was super shy but I wrote to Lawrence’s Instagram and asked if I can send some music to him. Later we met at Heidegluhen and right before he came to the club I received a message that he and David (a.k.a Carsten Jost) wanted to see my album on Dial. I think now that my story about the signing is quite boring, but I was literally jumping for joy!
05. You’ve got some new material landing on a Fort Romeau’s Cin Cin. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a two-track EP inspired by German minimalistic music from the 2000s. I love this kind of vibe. You can hear a track from this EP in the mix, by the way!
06. Where and when did you record this mix
On Saturday, September 11, at my apartment in Berlin.
07. What can we expect with the mix?
A journey full of light melancholy.
08. What setup did you use?
Ableton Live, Stanton turntables, and Beyerdynamic headphones.
09. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
When I make a mix I usually look for tracks for a long time, several months or so. I like to make multi-genre mixes, that’s why it usually takes time. But this one is a bit different: I still found some new treasures for it, but I decided to compile the music I already had, and make an eclectic podcast using music created by well-known and beloved artists like Leafar Legov, Lawrence, Robag Wruhme, Donato Dozzy, Move D, Federsen, and Martin Schulte.
10. What’s next on your horizon?
A new album and some amazing collaborations.
01. Toby Gale “Blessings” (Activia Benz)
02. Saffronkeira “Without Keeping Memory Of It” (Denovali Records)
03. Leafar Legov “Fly” (Giegling)
04. Jan Jelinek “Poren” (˜scape)
05. Robag Wruhme “Wupp Dekk” (Pampa)
06. Norken “Fragile” (Assemble Music)
07. Federsen “Evolution” (Greyscale Music)
08. Cobblestone Jazz “Drawn From The Side Of Crime” (Iswhatitis Recordings)
09. Martin Schulte “Killer” (Telrae)
10. Move D and Benjamin Brunn “Melons” (Smallville Records)
11. Donato Dozzy and Excercise One “United Elements” (Lan Muzic)
12. Tryst “Reflections On The Waterfront” (Apparel Tronic)
13. Farben “Silikon” (Textstar version) (Faitiche)
14. Lawrence “Bonfire” (Giegling)
15. Soela “Berlin” (Cin Cin)
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.