Under the pseudonym of Grouper, musician Liz Harris creates mysterious, multi-layered sonic landscapes. On her 10th studio album, Ruins (which debuted on Kranky Records at the end of October), Harris’ voice floats delicately above a mass of sounds: twinkling piano notes and low-octave synth drone and swarm like a hive of busy bees
The history of electronic music arguably starts with the patenting of the theremin in 1928, and Clara Rockmore was there from its inception to champion the instrument as both an important technological and artistic advancement. This mix highlights the brilliant, creative women who make (and made) electronic music and their innovations in techniques, programs, and tools to make new sounds possible. Best with headphones.
Electronic artists have long made use of science fiction motifs like the robot. Of course, music being music and people being people, one of the most common things it seems anyone wants to do with a robot is have sex with it.
Read on for more about what some female artists do with their robots.
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.
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.