Kelli Hand Death – Obituary News : Detroit DJ Kelli Hand a.k.a K-hand has died .

By | September 13, 2021

Kelli Hand Death – Obituary News : Detroit DJ Kelli Hand a.k.a K-hand has died .

We are sad to report that beloved Detroit DJ Kelli Hand a.k.a K-hand has passed away, according to the following statements posted on social media on August 4. 2021.

Colin Dale 58m  · Really sad news about Detroit’s Kelli Hand (K-Hand) passing away. A super talented woman who really cut a path both on the DJ and production front in what was a hard time for female artist to get through in Techno music. We had her in the Kiss studios a few times doing interviews back in the day and she even guested at our Knowledge nights and she was always inspiring and gracious. R.I.E.P Kelli

Source: (3) Colin Dale – Posts | Facebook


Kelli Hand (1965 – August 3, 2021), known professionally as K-HAND, was a musician and DJ from DetroitMichigan, United States. Hand was widely credited as opening the door for Black women’s participation in the previously male-dominated techno and electronic music communities during the 1990s and was known as the “First Lady of Detroit techno”. A prolific DJ with an “impossibly deep catalogue”, Hand produced and release music and mixes up until her death in 2021.


There are no official statement from her family of media sources on the cause of her death. As of the time of this report Kelly Hand cause of death remains unknown.

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Tine Nine
R.I.P … and, really looking forward to the time after this incarnation myself. Quite a few people I want to meet in the booth, next to the booth and left and right of it.

Austen van der Bleek wrote on Facebook.
As a way of staying ahead of the curve, today’s young house and techno DJs have taken to reinvestigating what’s behind it. In the process, they’re digging up underrated classics and serving them up side by side with their clearly influenced contemporary offerings, an example of the music’s timelessness and their precocious understanding of it. In over two decades as a businesswoman, multi-media artist, and DJ, Kelli Hand, the First Lady of Detroit techno, has more than enough of these gems for heads to get their hands on.
It’s true, K-Hand’s work is underneath the microscope once again. Her turn of the century cut “Clap Yo Hands” finds its home on Otsgut Ton’s Panorama Bar 06 mix compilation by resident Ryan Elliott; going on to receive the best mix of 2014 by Resident Advisor. Prior to that, and for two years running, her earlier classics resurface in the FABRICLIVE series when Berghain staple and German techno kingpin Ben Klock selects “Starz” for the 66th installment. A year later, Hessle Audio label co-founder and fabric London resident Ben UFO picks “Project 5 (Untitled B1)” for the 67th. Designated “DJ’s DJs,” Elliott and Ben UFO are both known for their ability to connect the dots between timeless house and techno, unsurprisingly taking a liking to K-Hand’s equally capable catalog.

This closer examination is a long time coming, with the Little White Earbuds publication declaring in Kelli’s 2013 interview and podcast that K-Hand is “criminally overlooked” – a sentiment Fact Magazine later echoes when stating, “Detroit’s first lady has still never been matched.” It’s hard not to agree, but it’s something that Kelli herself brushes off, keeping busy and believing, “Everyone will have their time.”
If searching for a possible explanation, techno always was and remains a bit of a boys club, except those boys have grown into men, some even legends, and Kelli Hand has grown right along with them – after all, a designation like the “First Lady of Detroit” is not gifted, only earned. In an industry sparse in female counterparts, she takes on the pseudonym “K-Hand” to avoid gender stereotyping, leading the way for over twenty years since. Her reason for standing out as one of only a few ladies challenging the status quo: “Because most do not have the self-confidence to be or do.”

From the beginning, Kelli’s childhood revolves around music, specifically the drums, and culminates in her studying music theory in college. While studying in New York, she picks up another kind of musical education – literally soaking up the sounds of Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage and absorbing the songs she heard on that legendary dance floor into her own record collection. Later, she picks up the pieces of the club scene from the late Ken Collier in Detroit, a considerable legend to the pioneering generation of house and techno first-wavers.

In a move that exemplifies the do it yourself ethos of Kelli, she turns down an offer from Jeff Mills to release her very first record on UR saying, “I wanted to start my own label—see how everything worked in order release more records—and having my own label allowed me to do so.” Indeed, in her constant quest for knowledge, she consistently earns her successes and helps launch others like Claude Young, and the Wamdue Kids/Wamdue Project through the ’90s on her label Acacia. The imprint also leads to a work relationship with Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva, involving label distribution, events, and other endeavors.
Truly ahead of her time like much of her aforementioned Motor City peers, Hand is racking up many accolades. These include being the first woman to release house and techno at the start of the ’90s, the first producer from Detroit to release on Warp Records in ’94, and the first artist to contribute an album to Studio !K7 in ’96. She also regularly factors into the mix as a representative for her heralded city on compilations from Third Ear Recordings, Astralwerks, and Tresor, going on to release an entire album with the Berlin staple techno club and record label.

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In the late ’90s, Ausfahrt, Distance, and other imprints take notice, signing more of her music. By the 2000’s her footprint is already international with continuous EPs on labels like Third Ear and Loveslap!. Working with Norma Jean Bell and her label Pandamonium in 1999, K-Hand releases the “Super Natural” single, remixes for both Bell and Sharon Jones, and a collaboration with her and Kenny Dixon Jr. on the Come Into My Room album, licensing it to Peacefrog. To this day, her records stay in demand with the remastered pressing of one of her classic Acacia releases finding its way into Juno Records’s “Best of 2014 Techno” recommendations, alongside other in-and-out of stock runs.
Kelli Hand hasn’t just worked with a who’s who of techno, she’s a phenom in her own right, a DJ and artist that significantly “deserves more shine.” It’s good news for K-Hand fans the world over then that it’s her time once again. Hand continues to maintain a vigorous touring schedule as a traveling DJ, bridging the gap between house and techno while providing clarity to an often-confused industry on what those two things really mean. Playing her own part in defining the styles, as put by Fact, “in her hands differentiations between different strands of house and techno become irrelevant: it’s all just source material for her sterling sets.” Or in Kelli’s own words, “I like to give a mixture of everything, for everyone’s listening pleasure to enjoy.” And there’s not many places clubbers haven’t been able to enjoy K-Hand, conquering much of the globe and frequently hitting major cultural hubs across the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Her sets pour out of the speakers and pound the walls of iconic venues the likes of Ministry of Sound and fabric (London), Club Yellow (Tokyo), and, of course, Tresor (Berlin). Hand is not only regularly billed for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, an annual pilgrimage of techno fans to its mecca and her hometown, she’s also served on the board.
Even after accomplishing so much, Kelli’s career remains driven by the belief that “everything is a work in progress” so she’s always striving toward new goals. She’s keen to make her return to Italy, Australia, and Japan alongside aspirations of first-time trips to Dubai and South Africa. While she’s not really the type to tell people what she’s going to do – she just goes ahead and does it – it’s a safe bet for fans to keep their eyes on Acacia, now as much as ever, and trust K-Hand will deliver.

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Category: Deaths & Obituaries

About John Okoro

OUR TEAM JOHN OKORO John Okoro, is a Seasoned Journalist, scriptwriter, Movie producer/Director and Showbiz consultant.He is the founder and CEO of the multi Media conglomerate, Celebrities Deaths News, specializing in celebrities deaths news and obituariesHe is a 2018 He has a degree in Political Science and Mass Communication.

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