TECHNO TAKEOVER: THE RISE OF THE FEMALE DJ

TECHNO TAKEOVER: THE RISE OF THE FEMALE DJ

The new girls are out and remixing the dance scene to sound of their own beat

by Angus Fitzpatrick

Over the last couple of years, a steady flow of techno and house has been making its way out of the warehouses of Berlin and New York. None of this is new; it’s been around since the late 80’s. The exciting part is it’s growing commerciality, with women at the forefront - you can’t move for fear of bumping into Maya Jane Coles these days, and hers is a gimmick-free, talented production.

Known for her work with 'Hercules & Love Affair', Kim Ann Foxman has been busy building her own discography as a solo artist over the past few years

Known for her work with 'Hercules & Love Affair', Kim Ann Foxman has been busy building her own discography as a solo artist over the past few years

Others like Heidi, Kim Ann Foxman, Cassy, Magda - honestly the list goes on and on – are not just owning the tech/house scene at the moment, they are bringing their own style of conquest, making it all the more exciting. Sally Doolally’s psychedelic tech set at Boom2014 has been praised as one of the festival’s highlights, no mean feat considering the competition.

Swedish born, Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson of Fever Ray

Swedish born, Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson of Fever Ray

It’s not just the hard dance crew either; artists like Fever Ray and Laurel Halo are pushing their own experiments with incredible success. What we are seeing here isn’t a movement defined by genre, it’s a movement defined by gender. Since the rise of the DJ - the one-man band - there has been an almost shocking male dominance, which when started, is hard to stop – just look at society for the last couple of thousand years. Sure, the industry weren’t thinking to themselves, “Shit! How scary would it be to have an independent woman doing our job?” But some of the things I have heard people say when they realise the DJ is a woman are outrageous, and this stigma goes right the way to the top.

Berlin house star DJ Magda

Berlin house star DJ Magda

But why have this new acceptance now, why not before? Maybe the nineties burnt the music industry out. What an era. Yes, there was a general feeling in the preceding years that it was a bit naff - we had grown up a bit. But when the monotony of the noughties, with its straight-laced dependence on capitalist technology and milky lattes started to wear us down, we started to laud the days of tie-dyes, curtains and jelly sandals.

Heidi has worked hard over the past decade to make her mark on the new house and techno music generation

Heidi has worked hard over the past decade to make her mark on the new house and techno music generation

Since that glorious decade, we have been staring out the window waiting for it to return but its glory was in its reaction to everything around it, and we live in a different world now. After the nineties died, nothing came forward to fill the gap. Hip-hop kept us going but even that has been uninteresting for the last few years. Could it be that the men have had their moment? The testosterone fuelled battles of the Britpop boys; the pant-saggin’, female grabbin’ male gang culture of Hip Hop – have we had enough?

Laurel Halo

Laurel Halo

In 2015, we live in an era of the metrosexual, veganism, yoga and a growing consciousness for our planet. Given this, surely the current unrest at the political and wealth systems doesn’t stop at female inequality? It really feels like this attitude is changing. There is a genuine belief that women can do it on their own. Most of the DJs mentioned manage at least one popular label, so the more success these guys have, the faster the snowball will roll. Women will be hired not because they’re a female DJ but because they are a DJ. That’s what music should be about and I can’t wait.

 

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