Detroit artist Kelli Hand, aka K-Hand, has died, aged 45.
A pivotal figure across Detroit’s house and techno scenes, Hand developed her love of music from a young age, later going on to study music theory at college in New York, and becoming a regular at NYC’s legendary club Paradise Garage.
In 1990 she founded the label UK House Records, minting the imprint with a four-track EP titled ‘Think About It’ from her Etat Solide alias. It showcased four mixes of the title-track, spanning bright and jacking sounds to the rawer end of the techno spectrum.
The liner notes to ‘Think About It’ pay ‘special thanks to Underground Resistance’ after Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, Mike Clarke and Robert Hood all visited her home during its creation, and Clarke and Hood assisted in the mixing and engineering.
Later that year she renamed the label Acacia Records after a street in Detroit, and grew it into an essential outlet for house and the developing sound of techno during the genre’s ‘second wave’.
Alongside her own productions, the label released records by artists including Rhythm Formation, Wamdue Kids, and Hiroshi Morohashi.
K-Hand also released her music on storied imprints including Warp, !K7, and Tresor.
In recognition of her contributions to house and techno and “skills in a male-dominated industry,” the city of Detroit recognized Hand as “The First Lady Of Detroit” in 2017.
With a career spanning over three decades, Hand remained active as a producer and DJ throughout.