To celebrate and advocate the rights of women everywhere on International Women’s Day, The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight selects ten of his favourite tracks produced by female producers.
The rise in popularity of female producers over recent years can certainly only be a good thing. Women have just as much to offer our wonderful scene as men do, so it is important that we acknowledge the contribution made by women to a scene that touts equality, acceptance, and friendship.
One thing that really stands out to us about the dance music industry, is how women are treated by some of those who work alongside them. This was highlighted recently by electronic producer, Jackmaster, recently, who blasted sexism in the dance music industry.
Without naming any names, The Waveform Transmitter knows this to be true, having spoken to female producers in length about the subject. It just seems that the issue is rife within the community and we are in full agreement with Jackmaster that it needs to end.
We should no longer subject female producers and DJs to ‘the male gaze’. It shouldn’t matter what gender you are, what colour your hair is, or how ‘hot’ you look behind the decks. What does matter is your track selection, your technical ability, and how you make the crowd go bananas when you play some face-melting techno track.
Male or female, in this industry, there is enough room for everyone without having to think about putting a bed in that room and the woman behind the wheels in it with you. We don’t need female DJ beauty contests (here’s looking at you DJane magazine), we just need to appreciate that music is being played or produced, and that a person with feelings is doing it. In short, grow the fuck up.
Which is why, on International Women’s Day, we have decided to put together a list of ten of our favourite tracks by female producers. We have covered tracks that span a multitude of genres and countries. Hopefully, we’ve hit the nail on the head with some of our selections at least (although we think they’re all amazing – see if you agree).
We’ve purposely left out any images of the producers (where possible) in order that you appreciate the tracks for what they are, not the appearance of the people who created them. In no particular order, here’s our top ten female-produced tracks.
The Black Madonna – He is the Voice I Hear
From the off, Black Madonna sets the tinglebombs in motion with her stunning disco track, He is the Voice I Hear. This has everything. The lilting piano opening, the swirling majesty of the disco strings, the familiar disco zaps that punctuate the track. Beautiful stuff.
Helena Hauff – Spur
If anyone knows how to ‘do’ electro properly, it is Helena Hauff. Her track Spur captures the electro sound perfectly, with dissonant darkwave synth chords jacking against a hypnotic electro beat. Perfect peak-time electro club fodder. Shame we can’t go to the Golden Pudel any more.
Odette – Devine Line
No Waveform top ten female artists would be complete without our resident favourite; Dutch producer, Odette. Devine Line was Odette‘s first production and we can only say she started out incredibly strongly. The trippy discombobulation featured in the track is a theme that she uses frequently to startling effect, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Nina Kraviz – I’m Week
It is hard to believe that Nina Kraviz‘ track I’m Week is six years old. The electro-tech hybrid is made by Kraviz‘ vocals which layer perfectly with some stunning pads and a slowed-down tempo which makes this perfect for post-club chilling bliss.
Or:la – X & O
Liverpools adopted daughter of dance Or:la has been making waves recently and her latest top effort on Hotflush Records is a force to be reckoned with. X & O is a killer track which fuses house with some delightful broken beat to create something incredibly fresh. Keep an eye out for this one, she’s one fire.
DJ Rap – Set it Off
DJ Rap has been at it for twenty years this year and it shows in her ability to drop some of the most ferocious drum and bass you’re ever going to hear. Set it Off is a perfect example of why Rap has been at the top of her game for two decades and remains so. FYAH!
Flava D – A Letter to EZ
Bass producer Flava D has made big news of late when her FabricLive 88 brought UKG, bassline house and garage back right into the fore, giving the genres the re-exposure they deserve. Here she is with one of her latest tracks, A Letter to EZ, which is, presumably, an ode to garage producer DJ EZ (just a guess).
Ikonika – Extra Interphalangeal Crease
Put quite simply, Ikonika is an amazing producer. Having released tracks on the likes of Planet Mu and Hyperdub, her tracks have garnered critical acclaim since her debut in 2008. Extra Interphalangeal Crease is a tough-as-nails grime brooder, with more depth than the Marianus Trench. Get your subs ready for some woofer-wrecking.
Andrea Parker – Melodious Thunk
You know you’re onto a good thing when a producer is releasing on labels like Mo’ Wax, which Andrea Parker did towards the beginning of her career with her track Kiss My Arp. Her track Melodious Thunk is a dark, electro-tinged workout. Check out her productions; you’ll see that she has drawn a lot of influence from early electro and its Miami bass cousin. She did work with DJ Godfather and DJ Assault, you know!
Sandunes – Crystal Pink
Indian producer Sandunes is a protegé in terms of music composition and production. Her influences stem from jazz and electronica, which is obvious in her dubstep-py, future-bass-esque tracks that push the envelope of electronic music to the limit. Check out our favourite, Crystal Pink to see why we place Sandunes in league with the likes of crirically acclaimed sino-grime producer Fatima Al’ Qadiri.