IWD Special: Women in Electronic Music – Part 1
Today is about shining a spotlight on individuals all with one thing in common. That’s why the Clubs team have joined forces to bring you a shortlist of lady electronic artists we feel you should know about.
Have a read, then have a listen. Happy IWD.
Born in San Francisco, raised in Arizona, nurtured in Berlin; Avalon Emerson makes aesthetically complex, warm yet heavy techno with masses of personality poured in. Former software developer and self-taught coder, technology is at the heart of her artistic expression, exemplified by her homemade video for her track ‘Natural Impasse’ with phone video clips trimmed and turned into gifs. She only became a full time artist last May and 2016 was her breakthrough year, getting high praise for hugely original EPs ‘Whities 006’ and ‘Narcissus in Retrograde’. This is art to stimulate the senses. She’s also played the crème de la crème of the electronic underground’s stages: Panorama Bar and De School.
Rapidly becoming a household name in the bass scene in 2015, many perceived Flava D to be an ‘overnight success’, borne from a single track going viral. Rather, this position was enabled through a bedrock of many year’s hard work, tirelessly releasing uncredited grime instrumentals and playing bottom of the bill sets nationwide. 2015 changed this, her track ‘In the Dance’ picked up by DJ’s nationwide after an initial lag, whilst DJ EZ span her ‘Rhythm and Gash Remix’ everywhere from Hull to Ibiza. Now a household name in bass and garage, her recognizably crisp yet deceptively complex compositions have earned her collaborations with acts such as My Nu Leng, and led to her being one third of the formidable TQD alongside DJ Q and Royal T.
Unlike Flava D, Mollie Collins epitomizes the label of overnight success. Despite playing her first set a mere two years ago, Collins has landed major slots across the country and festivals worldwide. Mainly a word of mouth sensation, Collins was propelled also through winning a competition set up by Macky Gee, himself a mainstay of the Jump Up scene. Her style is characterized by uncompromising, choppy and aggressive mixes, and a refusal to stick to one drum and bass sub genre. She throws said genre’s against the wall, turns their pockets out, then gives each of them a run for their money. To permeate a scene as male-saturated as Jump Up deserves applause, to do it in the fashion Collins has is extraordinary.
The Black Madonna
At the end of 2016, The Black Madonna (Marea Stamper), a DJ and producer from the States, was named Mixmag’s DJ of the year, after years of perfecting her craft. Stamper was also the only female DJ to make Resident Advisor’s top 10 DJs. In 2012, she became a resident at Smart Bar in Chicago, (and later the club’s first ever Creative Director), alongside house legend Frankie Knuckles. Since then her career has taken off. Stamper’s energetic DJ sets are a fusion between techno, house and disco, and they have taken her around the world. 2016 saw her perform sets and festivals across Europe, including a Boiler Room set at Dekmantel and a slot at Berghain. Since then, Stamper has started her own record label, ‘We Still Believe‘ and will soon start a 3 month residency at XOYO in London.
Signed to the NYC feminist collective Discwoman’s roster in early 2016, DJ Haram’s sonically versatile productions and singular DJ style have secured her position at the forefront of the club music scene. Alongside releases on Halcyon Veil, NON Worldwide and Loveless Records, her DJ sets incorporate everything from Jersey Club and Ballroom to Noise and Middle Eastern textures. Her growing reputation has seen her take to the decks across Europe and America at legendary parties such as GHE2OG0TH1K and internationally renowned clubs such as De School. She is also the founder and resident of Philadelphia’s #ATMdata, which she describes as “..a party for the good people of Philadelphia, club music lovers, and abrasive noise heads.. unwelcome to fakes and vampires”.
Rhythm Section label manager Anu Ambasna’s work as a host on radio stations such as NTS, Berlin Community Radio and Rinse has built her reputation as an eclectic and adventurous selector. Her inclusion by Dimensions Festival in their new DJ Directory has been supported by her recent gigs across the country which have included supporting DJ Sprinkles, Tama Sumo and playing b2b with Liam Butler of Pender Street Steppers in Berlin. If you’ve struggled to catch her in London (or Berlin), she will be performing with the rest of the Rhythm Section crew alongside Andrew Ashong, Jayda G, Zaltan and more in Manchester on the last day of term.
As a resident and curator of the influential Gesamtkunstwerk parties at Islington Mill, Hess has been a long-time facilitator of dark and unsettling club experiences in the North. Her skills as a DJ allow her to contextualise a range of experimental performers that may not usually be perceived to be dancefloor friendly. She recently co-founded the Club C.I.T.S series in Manchester, with line ups showcasing the avant-garde of Club Music – such as Covco, Endgame and LOFT. Accompanied by a monthly NTS show, profits from C.I.T.S will be used to develop a series of workshops and events aimed at promoting diversity in music.
Head over to Part 2 for your second fix of electronic goodness.
Julia Connor, Reece Parker, Frankie Elsey, Eleanor Gribbin
(Image: Avalon Emerson at Field Day London – Fact Mag)