Artist Profile: Julia Govor

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Artist Profile, Blog

The artistic narrative of Julia Govor, a revered figure within the global underground techno scene, is one of relentless ambition. Born in Abkhazia, Georgia’s tumultuous yet culturally rich backdrop, Govor’s initial foray into music was shaped by a stint singing in a  band. This early experience would instill a disciplined approach to music – a trait that would later underpin her exploration of the electronic and techno she currently champions around the world. On Saturday, March 16, Julia Govor will bring these sounds to Bucharest as she joins the latest installment of JETLAGGED at Control Club.

Julia Govor’s career took a transformative step upon her relocation and ultimate immersion into the energetic electronic music scene of the early 2000s. During this time, she began to DJ, initially gravitating towards minimalist beats and techno’s capacity for emotional depth. Govor would hone her skills into a musical identity characterized by dynamic resonance and technical precision.

A 2010s-era relocation to New York City marked a new chapter for Govor, not only geographically but also in her musical expedition. In the city known for never sleeping, Govor’s craft flourished. She became a staple in the underground club scene. The city’s diversity and embrace of avant-garde artistry influenced Govor, pushing her to further experiment and refine her sound. This would land her as a staple of the city’s notoriously competitive music and cultural landscape, including a residency at The Lot Radio and the intersectional event series RADIAL.

Of course, Govor’s discography is an integral aspect of her versatility and innovation as an artist. Tracks like Litmus (Hypertone, 2014) and Disapear w. Iranian-American artist Kamran Sadeghi (Cocoon, 2014) earned her immediate recognition within the techno community and beyond. This would continue with additional releases on Second State, Get Physical Akkult, trip recordings, Rhythm Cult, and more. Her most recent release, the cinematic sound narrative Laika and Ulka Were Here (Semantica, 2024), invites listeners on a cosmic adventure alongside Govor, her faithful dog, Laika, and her brave friend Ulka as they explore galaxies in search of a new home. With the project, Govor sees awareness and empathy toward the plight of animals.

Aside from releases on these esteemed labels, Julia Govor also heads her own: JUJUKA. Standing as a collaborative project that melds comic art with music (each release features a humorous comic on the culture of dance music), it is another example of the intersectional approach to art and culture integral to Govor’s career. As an example, the 2021 lockdown-era release, Winter Mute, draws influence from both William Gibson’s seminal sci-fi text Neuromancer and the cinematography of Andrei Tarkovsy’s Ivan’s Childhood, creating a kaleidoscopic vision of a new world. 

As a DJ, Govor is known for an eccentric but functional approach to techno. Inherently designed for the big rooms of the world, it is both intricate and hypnotic. Her sets are renowned for their storytelling quality— journies through emotions and time and a dialogue between the artist and her listeners. It is a sound that features from Berghain to ADE, Time Warp, Ultra, Awakenings, Stone Techno Festival, and more of the world’s biggest stages. A particularly notable highlight has been her closing sets at all of Berlin’s longtime techno haven, Tresor. With such gigs under her belt, it’s no surprise that Govor has shared stages with the techno elite: Jeff Mills, Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, and more.

With a career that boasts experience but is also very much on the ascent, Julia Govor is a bridge between worlds, both geographical and musical. Her contributions to electronic music can be measured in the connections she fosters and the boundaries she dissolves. Through a unique combination of charisma and fatal charm, Julia Govor knows how to get people engaged, energetic, and constantly moving.

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