From a little village in East Ukraine, not too far from the city of Donetsk… it sounds like the beginning of an alt Coen Brothers film. And the story is worthy of its own biopic. It is the story of Anastasia Topolskaia, or as the electronic music industry knows her, Nastia.
Topolskaia found her way into music through her love for dancing. It was a love that took her into the hedonistic clutches of the infamous Kazantip parties on the Crimean peninsula. Taking place over two weeks, Kazantip (1992-2014 & 2018) provided a solid platform for electronic music in the Eastern European summers, whilst cultivating an environment dedicated to freedom and expression. This is where Nastia cut her teeth; throwing out merciless drum and bass sets to crowds of awestruck revellers.
Her exploits at Kazantip landed her a studio manager job and her own show on the Ukrainian KISS FM. From there ensued an endless flurry of international gigs, a vinyl-only record label (Propaganda) and a residency at Moscow’s now defunct, yet notoriously marvellous Arma17 club. It was all the start of something special. It gave her a livelihood that matched her passion with her energy, whilst more importantly, allowing her to sustain herself and her young daughter.
Fast forward to today, and Topolskaia is probably on a plane somewhere accompanied by her biggest fan, her daughter Uliana. Few other DJs seem to appear quite so frequently. Yet she still finds time for mentoring young women (Smirnoff’s Equalising Music Programme) and quite sensationally, accompanying Uliana to her bring-a-parent-to-school-day; only to then DJ for the whole class.
Today, the now not-so-little girl from a little village in the East of Ukraine is an international name. The drum and bass sets may have dissipated but the modern Nastia has become synonymous with the techno crowds, engineering enchanting microcosms of sound that weave melodies with rugged, unforgiving basslines.
Outspoken and honest, Topolskaia uses social media as a vehicle for cathartic therapy. Dogged by the rigours of festival touring and the soulless grandeurs of big stages, flirtations with quitting the scene have come and gone. Yet Topolskaia’s career and drive is now stronger than ever, her performances resonate and she is supercharged by her love for Uliana, relishing the moments they are able to spend together on tour; a highlight being dancing together in the dust bowl of Burning Man.
As Beaver Works readies itself to house her sound, where she’ll play on 5 June for our Flux Day & Night Closing Party, one thing can be assured, Nastia is coming to deliver.