K-Hand, the pioneering “First Lady of Detroit Techno,” RIP
A sad day for the world of house and techno. We just leaned that Chicago house producer Paul Johnson had died at age 50 but word also came today that Kelli Hand, the producer known as "The First Lady of Detroit Techno," has died at age 56.
Born in Detroit, Kelli got her taste for dance music while living in New York at clubs like Paradise Garage, and started buying records and then DJing. She was soon making her own music, having started label UK House Records in 1990 which she renamed later that year to Acacia Records (after a street in Detroit) and released the Think About It EP under the name Etat Solide. She soon adopted the K-Hand moniker and released dozens of records, including some on labels like Warp and !K7.
"Mad respect for Kelli Hand," Mike Servito wrote on Twitter. "We finally met in London of all places a few years ago. Those Acacia records; she was pioneering! You leave us with an inspirational Detroit music legacy. Thank you. Rest eternal, K-Hand." Read a few more tributes to Kelli, and listen to some of her music, below.