redpigflower

This is a compilation of female artists, but that’s not – at first – why it’s worth mentioning. I would write about this particular compilation anyway. It’s dark; it’s heavy. It’s full of names you probably don’t know but should.

The compilation is out now on Bandcamp from Barcelona’s inventive and adventurous label Different is Different Records.

If techno isn’t your thing, skip straight to Electric Indigo’s crackling granular universe, “109.47 b.” Susanne Kirchmyer is a master of turning granular instruments into rich ambient landscapes of sonic color and shape, and this is eight and a half minutes of that. (More experimental sounds on their way to CDM, too, soon, so don’t think this is Create Techno Music – it’s not.)

if techno is your thing, this is a map to artists who are worthy of more attention. They’re each of them veteran DJs in different ways, from different corners of the world. This is a testament to the surprising diversity of the female:pressure network: just by hanging a welcome sign on the door for women artists of the world, extraordinary stuff rolls in. (It doesn’t hurt that people like Electric Indigo serve as nodes, attractors to a web of artists with some experience and skill – and their friends of friends, and so on.)

paulc2

I’d say music like this is flying “under the radar,” but I know better – the radar too often isn’t switched on in the first place, let alone doing a full sweep. Women making music suffer because of that. So, too, do other groups. You get lost because of identity politics or economic strata or geography or just don’t know people who know people who can get you noticed. And sometimes, and I’m sure this is true of many of you reading this, you get lost just because you’re weird and different, even though that should be wonderful.

Music isn’t a meritocracy, partly because there isn’t a quantifiable way to measure its worth, but also because the entire industry measures worth on other things. It pre-judges what it thinks will be popular. To some extent, that’s inevitable or an acceptable evil. But to some extent, it’s inexcusable. At the end of the day, our job as press or selectors or musicians or just listeners is to actually listen.

So do listen to this, and if you don’t like it, you know we have more music around the corner.

Once you’ve listened, let’s talk about where it is arguably worth putting this “female” label on this release.

Let me share a personal frustration. I still can’t believe how often I hear these sentiments. I hear “women don’t want to produce,” or “women don’t care about being so technical,” or “women make music but that doesn’t mean they care about production.” With techno, especially, I hear it sometimes from people I normally agree with – “oh, women don’t really want to make techno music.” Or “techno is masculine music.” (As if some women don’t also sometimes like loudness or aggressive sounds or bass or whatever it is this is supposed to mean.) Or “that’s mostly appealing to boys.”

It’s just a lie. And the repetition of this lie is a crime, because it robs individual women of making the choices they want to make. Hey, if they hate techno and hate technology, that’s a choice, too – they can record a banjo solo on a tape player and that’d be fantastic. But that’s why generalizations aren’t victimless crimes: they’ve made that choice for you before you even have a chance.

I don’t expect all female artists want to identify themselves as female. But for those who do want that, I think it’s worth letting people know about it, so lies don’t continue to spread.

Some topics deserve debate or discussion. But some topics deserve just more music, and more loudness. And this one, whether you like it or not, I really like. So I’ll turn it up loud.

Postlude: this is techno, and it’s labeled as a compilation of female artists. Not everyone is comfortable with these labels. So I really look forward to getting to participate in a conversation at Ableton’s Loop event. It’s organized by female:pressure, and features one Electric Indigo (with some other great people):
Defy or Classify: Electronic music beyond genre [Ableton Loop]

How we define our identities, musically and otherwise, is a huge part of what we do as artists – all artists. And I think it’s also a place where a lot of us find ourselves limited and frustrated. So I am humbled to join this group of people talking about it, and it’s a conversation I will absolutely bring back to CDM so you can share in it, too.

From top, images (via artist Facebook): Red Pig Flower atFar East Film Festival, Udine, Italy; photo Fabrizio Cenci. And Paula Cazenave, applauding Pelacha at FABRIK in Madrid. Photo tilllate.es.

https://didrec.bandcamp.com/album/female-pressure

  • drno

    need more women in techno. period.

  • drno

    need more women in techno. period.

  • Foosnark

    You had me at “dark and heavy.” πŸ˜€

    Every time I think to myself “I’m just not into techno” I hear something like this and change my mind again.

  • Foosnark

    You had me at “dark and heavy.” πŸ˜€

    Every time I think to myself “I’m just not into techno” I hear something like this and change my mind again.

  • Great compilation of varied and interesting techno. Love seeing some new artists that I haven’t heard before, and especially love hearing more women make techno!

    We’re out here!!! Whether we’re being heard or not…well…Peter kinda addressed that point. πŸ™‚

  • Great compilation of varied and interesting techno. Love seeing some new artists that I haven’t heard before, and especially love hearing more women make techno!

    We’re out here!!! Whether we’re being heard or not…well…Peter kinda addressed that point. πŸ™‚

  • Alvaro Sandoval

    That Gayle San track is siiiiick!!!!!!

  • Alvaro Sandoval

    That Gayle San track is siiiiick!!!!!!

  • Random Chance

    I remember a time when Techno and other electronic dance music was about the music and not about the producers. Even if that was never strictly true, I think it’s one of the best ideas because then it does not matter what color your skin, what chromosomes or primary or secondary sexual attributes you have, as what gender you feel, as what gender you identify, what your day job is and where you lean politically or if you are not into politics at all, how you like to dress, if you have three pairs of shoes or 300 pairs of sneakers, if you like to wear a tie or feel it’s just a choke chain for human beings, if you are a hippie or a hipster or a free spirit or so straight that you’re a weirdo, or … and the list goes an. As does the beat. Me, I don’t understand all this “need more women in X” and neither do the women with whom I had the opportunity to talk about these and related issues. Maybe I’m just a lucky bastard who lives in a world in which certain problems that seem to be very prominent at the moment are more or less non-issues.

    • michaelbarreto

      Well, you just had to bring the REST of the world into this discussion, then?

    • I don’t know how I could have been any more explicit. As I said, I think a lot of us want that sort of freedom of identity to be the norm. But to make that happen, if people are being discouraged because of identity, it may be necessary to do something to counter that. Authorship becomes important if someone is denying some group – any group – their own claim to that authorship.

      As I say in the opening sentence, the sex of the artists doesn’t really matter in itself – it becomes an issue only in the frame of people trying to distort that reality.

  • Random Chance

    I remember a time when Techno and other electronic dance music was about the music and not about the producers. Even if that was never strictly true, I think it’s one of the best ideas because then it does not matter what color your skin, what chromosomes or primary or secondary sexual attributes you have, as what gender you feel, as what gender you identify, what your day job is and where you lean politically or if you are not into politics at all, how you like to dress, if you have three pairs of shoes or 300 pairs of sneakers, if you like to wear a tie or feel it’s just a choke chain for human beings, if you are a hippie or a hipster or a free spirit or so straight that you’re a weirdo, or … and the list goes an. As does the beat. Me, I don’t understand all this “need more women in X” and neither do the women with whom I had the opportunity to talk about these and related issues. Maybe I’m just a lucky bastard who lives in a world in which certain problems that seem to be very prominent at the moment are more or less non-issues.

    • michaelbarreto

      Well, you just had to bring the REST of the world into this discussion, then?

    • I don’t know how I could have been any more explicit. As I said, I think a lot of us want that sort of freedom of identity to be the norm. But to make that happen, if people are being discouraged because of identity, it may be necessary to do something to counter that. Authorship becomes important if someone is denying some group – any group – their own claim to that authorship.

      As I say in the opening sentence, the sex of the artists doesn’t really matter in itself – it becomes an issue only in the frame of people trying to distort that reality.

  • Ramin Afshar

    They had me at the first track. Miss Electric – Invisibility. That track is exactly how I like my techno. Bought!

  • Ramin Afshar

    They had me at the first track. Miss Electric – Invisibility. That track is exactly how I like my techno. Bought!

  • Thx for the Heads Up on this. Reminds of a Triple R Compilation (with fox in the box) .. good Stuff.

    • jblk

      Have you heard about the fox in the box?

  • Thx for the Heads Up on this. Reminds of a Triple R Compilation (with fox in the box) .. good Stuff.

    • jblk

      Have you heard about the fox in the box?

  • foljs

    “””It’s just a lie. And the repetition of this lie is a crime, because it robs individual women of making the choices they want to make.”””

    Saying “this is mostly appealing to boys” for a particular music style might be wrong, but “a crime”? And much more “robs individual women of making the choices they want to make”?

    Please! When did we get so touchy-feely and PC?

    If women artists (and there were a ton of them) could get into rock and roll, and soul and pop, and jazz and funk in the 50’s and 60’s, then women can surely get into any fucking genre they like now.

    And that was at a time that even a man playing those styles was considered outside of the normal (“devils music” and what have you) by a considerable majority. And we have had women in punk, no wave and much more “macho” genres for decades.

    So, no, some people merely saying “women don’t particularly care for those styles” in 2015 doesn’t rob anyone of anything.

    Actually if anybody, man or woman, is discouraged by such trivialities, then they didn’t have conviction enough in the first place. If you have passion for a kind of music, you can jump through fire to play it.

    Heck, there were women playing blues like Memphies Minnie when playing the blues could actually get you killed (never mind with being black at the same time).

    • Absolutely there were.

      Yes, but what I’m suggesting is that claiming “women don’t particularly care for those styles” is very much not true, and the supporting evidence – the people who have the greatest press and booking support – is skewed by a whole series of abuses.

      I don’t see these generalizations as being useful, and I don’t see them as victimless.

      Does it stop women from doing their own thing?

      No. And of course people will do that.

      Do attitudes and language actually impact the way women are treated when they play, or whether they get booked in the first place, or covered in the press in the first place or *how* they’re covered in the press?

      Yes.

      And that can put me in a mood which I would say is very much not f***ing touchy-feely. I begin to become a great deal less zen. πŸ˜‰

  • foljs

    “””It’s just a lie. And the repetition of this lie is a crime, because it robs individual women of making the choices they want to make.”””

    Saying “this is mostly appealing to boys” for a particular music style might be wrong, but “a crime”? And much more “robs individual women of making the choices they want to make”?

    Please! When did we get so touchy-feely and PC?

    If women artists (and there were a ton of them) could get into rock and roll, and soul and pop, and jazz and funk in the 50’s and 60’s, then women can surely get into any fucking genre they like now.

    And that was at a time that even a man playing those styles was considered outside of the normal (“devils music” and what have you) by a considerable majority. And we have had women in punk, no wave and much more “macho” genres for decades.

    So, no, some people merely saying “women don’t particularly care for those styles” in 2015 doesn’t rob anyone of anything.

    Actually if anybody, man or woman, is discouraged by such trivialities, then they didn’t have conviction enough in the first place. If you have passion for a kind of music, you can jump through fire to play it.

    Heck, there were women playing blues like Memphies Minnie when playing the blues could actually get you killed (never mind with being black at the same time).

    • Absolutely there were.

      Yes, but what I’m suggesting is that claiming “women don’t particularly care for those styles” is very much not true, and the supporting evidence – the people who have the greatest press and booking support – is skewed by a whole series of abuses.

      I don’t see these generalizations as being useful, and I don’t see them as victimless.

      Does it stop women from doing their own thing?

      No. And of course people will do that.

      Do attitudes and language actually impact the way women are treated when they play, or whether they get booked in the first place, or covered in the press in the first place or *how* they’re covered in the press?

      Yes.

      And that can put me in a mood which I would say is very much not f***ing touchy-feely. I begin to become a great deal less zen. πŸ˜‰

  • poopoo

    I can’t believe they made it with their lady brains.

  • poopoo

    I can’t believe they made it with their lady brains.

  • greencross

    I’m amazed at how much people need attention. Everyone wants to be right in this rant, and no one gives a fuck about the music in the end. Great.

  • greencross

    I’m amazed at how much people need attention. Everyone wants to be right in this rant, and no one gives a fuck about the music in the end. Great.

  • Kirke Godfrey

    REALLY NICELY WRITTEN !

    How we define our identities, musically and otherwise, is a huge part of what we do as artists – all artists. And I think it’s also a place where a lot of us find ourselves limited and frustrated. So I am humbled to join this group of people talking about it, and it’s a conversation I will absolutely bring back to CDM so you can share in it, too.

  • Kirke Godfrey

    REALLY NICELY WRITTEN !

    How we define our identities, musically and otherwise, is a huge part of what we do as artists – all artists. And I think it’s also a place where a lot of us find ourselves limited and frustrated. So I am humbled to join this group of people talking about it, and it’s a conversation I will absolutely bring back to CDM so you can share in it, too.