With the extra amount of cultural pressure placed on women to discipline our bodies, it's unsurprising that some female artists would use the vocal effect to make their art and critically reflect on their relation to technology. Plus, and I can't stress this enough: Vocoders sound cool.
Christina Ryat has been making electronic music as RYAT since 2006 (fans of Electo Feminisms take note!). She recently teamed up with Tim Conley and their debut album Avant Gold came out last month from Obvious Bandits.
After talking about the means of production in electronic music, today I want to spotlight something the Berlin label Monika Enterprise. Founded by a woman, Gudrun Gut, Monika bucks the usual trend of women-as-exception, with a strong female roster and a regular spotlight on new artists in its 4 Women No Cry CD series, which brings together four women from four different countries.
Read on for more...
Making music is work. Rewarding and fun work, to be sure, but work all the same. Like just about everything in a kyriarchy, the divisions of labor in making electronic music lead to an unequal distribution of value, financially, and artistically—who gets paid and how much, and who gets credit and for what.
First Lady Crew member, JB the First Lady, is a beat-boxer, emcee, performing artist, aboriginal youth educator, single mother, award winning actor, and member of the Nuxalk and Cayuga Nations who is "using [her] words to go upwards/not backwards." Check out JB the First Lady's brand new music video Get Ready, Get Steady after the jump!
Women have always been involved in electronic music: behind the scenes producing, as musicians and vocalists, voices being sampled, as djs and dancers. But women's contributions have, as in just about all forms of cultural life, been excluded from the official record, relegated to the marginal, the exception. Read on to see what I'm going to be talking about over the next eight weeks.
After a year or so of touring with only three MP3s online, MEN's debut album, Talk About Body finally came out last month. From the heady opener "Life's Half Price" to the mesmerizing "Simultaneously," its tight electronic beats, smart feminist lyrics, and a non-stop urge to sing along and shake your body makes for a record that's as fun as it is thoughtful. Now you can catch the trio of JD Samson (formerly of Le Tigre), Michael O'Neil, and new bassist Tami Hart (of Making Friendz) on tour! Expect homemade, abstract outfits and set designs, a restless dance floor, and every beat, bass line, and guitar riff of Talk About Body amplified by some great stage presence. I spoke with Samson before MEN's set last week in Portland, Oregon about queer visibility, the politics of dance, and Lady Gaga.