What's fascinating about ephemeral music is that for a brief moment or two, someone not of ever-lasting artistic significance recorded a song with that special something that struck a chord with the public. Today I talk about three one-hit wonders from the UK garage scene. Read on for more.
Cooly G is one of the UK's hottest artists at the moment, releasing singles on revered label Hyperdub (Burial, Kode 9, Ikonika) as well as setting up her own label, Dub Organizer. I caught up with her at a hectic time, with her four-year old son Nas clamouring for attention and a repairman in the house attempting—and by the end of the interview, failing—to fix a broken boiler. I found Cooly G to be by turns open and evasive, flinty and warm, funny, contradictory at times, but always compelling.
One of the more interesting women making electronic music lately is Laurel Halo. Halo has the distinct whiff of virtuoso about her, having spent time as a classical pianist, in orchestras, in improv noise collectives, on college radio. Her King Felix EP released last year was a strange concoction of mutant pop, classic '80s sounding synthpop production worked through a shoegaze haze of ethereal heavily reverbed vocals.
What happens when we have a female artist who only makes instrumental music? One of the things people might say when they hear instrumental music is that it's neutral, that it's impossible to tell the sex of the musician from the sound. But reading feminist theory has taught me to be suspicious of anything that claims to be neutral and unmarked. Read on for more about the instrumental music of Ikonika.
With her music swiping a big chunk of the 1980s, Pip Brown fittingly named herself Ladyhawke after the 1980s Michelle Pfieffer movie. Her music is evocative retrofuturistic electropop, nostalgia without a loss. Read on for more.
Radio DJs have long been important in making records hits and promoting of unknown artists and new genres, and this is no less true for electronic music. Read on for more about UK radio DJ Mary Anne Hobbs and her influence on underground music over the last decade.
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.
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...