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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.