Words: Laura Turnbull | Header Image (Yaeji) By @micaiahcarter
Electronic music makes space for inclusivity and experimentation. Right now women are owning that space. Behind the laptops, the synths and the decks there are loads of female musicians, performing, producing and creating. Here are some tracks to remind you of it.
Coucou Chloe – ‘Doom’
‘Doom’ is a track that shifts gears instantly and without apology. It’s a barrage of rattling chains and mutated vocals over a relentless shotgun of a beat. The musical equivalent of a hyena with a chainsaw. Scarily good.
Smerz – ‘No Harm’
‘Have Fun’, Norwegian duo Smerz’s latest EP, makes me nostalgic for late-night bus journeys. The kind where you talk yourself into making bad decisions against the backdrop of blurred headlights and engine fumes. With its murmuring vocals and deep splashes of bass, ‘No Harm’ feels contagious. “I’m not going home, I wanna feel you, I wanna feel something”. That hedonistic undercurrent will pull you straight under.
Yaeji – ‘One More’
Yaeji’s music is a kaleidoscope of whispery vocals and sublime, bubbling beats. ‘One More’ is exactly that, listening to it feels like getting lost in an aquarium. Bliss.
Marie Davidson – ‘Work It’
Davidson’s techno has teeth. “You wanna know how I get away with everything? I work, all the fucking time”, is the biting opener to this addictive anthem of a track from ‘Working Class Woman’. It’s a dark playfulness that reappears throughout the album, hitting out at the boring female stereotypes that keep resurrecting, that familiar eyelash-fluttering bystander or the ex-girlfriend-esque psycho. Davidson has talked before of using her set-up of synths and samplers with the heart of a musician rather than the brain of a gear nerd, and, thankfully, it’s an attitude that shows: the pounding rhythms on ‘Work It’ are irresistible.
Laurel Halo – ‘Sweetie’
A mouth-watering preview from Laurel Halo’s upcoming mix for DJ Kicks, ‘Sweetie’ is a lush expanse of muffled bass and bewitching chimes. Sink in.
Object Blue – ‘Act Like It Then’
“I dedicate my first EP to all the women on the dancefloor.” – Object Blue. Faithful to its title, ‘Act Like It Then’ fixes the listener with a dare-you-to kind of stare. A cyclone of beeps and clicks, and a beat that rasps like it smokes forty a day. Listening will leave you dizzy.
Machine Woman – ‘Have You Been To Salford Shopping Centre, Have You Seen Argos?’
There’s a undeniable Pink Panther vibe to this track, the beat shuffles along like a detective with an upturned collar. “I got lost”, Machine Woman whispers, “Had to go to Greggs and ask the lovely lady who was selling sausage rolls to tell me where Argos was.” Never has the monotonous maze of a shopping centre seemed so sexy. And the little saxophone notes that smudge into car horns in traffic are genius.
Jlin, Holly Herndon – ‘Godmother’
A fascinating collaboration between two electronic powerhouses, ‘Godmother’ uses Herndon’s own Artificial Intelligence programme to construct an amorphous explosion of glitchy vocals. A concoction that sounds a bit like insects on steroids, it’s an alliance between human and machine that creates beautifully unusual moments of clarity. Donna Harraway was right, “We are cyborgs”.