Parklife, Creamfields, Outbreak, Wildlife. This summer, Britain hosts a stellar line-up of electronic music festivals. Defying the 'decline of the UK music festival', 2015 sees several dance fiestas sprouting across England's green pastures. Whether you rate chart darlings Gorgon City or house maestro Maceo Plex, there's a Reebok imprinted bog out there for you.
With fodder for every raver's palate, 2015's electronic festivals seem rather eclectic. Bar one glaring aspect. Chilling in the sun drizzle, many electroheads won't blink when guy after guy takes to the decks this summer. Female Pressure (an international network of female electronic artists) conducted a survey of various 2015 UK festivals. Disappointingly, they found that men comprised 73% of the line-ups. In perhaps the most progressive popular genre, this shouldn't be the case. A belligerent feminist, I did my research. My findings? Sexist electronic festival bills reflect the genre in general. Try trawling the web for an agenda-setting electronic music list. Quelle surprise; most rankings are male dominated.
For instance, there are only two women on Billboard's '10 Best Electronic/Dance Songs of 2014'. One is Nero's vocalist, Alana Watson. Unfortunately, when it comes to my anal classification process, Watson doesn't qualify as 'an electronic artist'. Sensational as she is, she is not involved in production. The second woman on the list is Lorde. Before you start wondering how to two-step to art pop, you should know that the commended song is a remix. Harley Streten's take on Tennis Court taps into a major trend. Female vocals are gold on dance tracks, but when it comes to production and DJing, women sink like lead. Although they're pushed below the surface, female electronic artists exist, right?
Indeed. There are legions of ingenious women out there making exciting tunes. Sadly, they aren't often visible to music fans that swim in the mainstream. Promotion of female electronic artists is mostly confined to niche blogs and leftfield, independent publications. Unfortunately, mainstream media monopolises of our listening choices. As a result, female electronic artists often miss out on widespread attention. They miss out, and so do you. You may be familiar with the big names (e.g. Grimes, Hannah Wants, Maya Jane Coles). However, if like me, you've been averted by the patriarchy, here are 5 awesome acts that you may be overlooking:
TOKiMONSTA's classical upbringing lends itself to amazing textural soundscapes. Her low-fi hip-hop has caught the eye of Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder crew. Unfortunately, she's still criminally overlooked by most.
Gateway Track: Go With It
Ms Malhotra has been credited with pioneering Bhagra music in the US . She's kind of a big deal. Tune in for a fusion of said bhangra with hip-hop, dancehall and Punjabi folk. It's everything you didn't know that you wanted.
Gateway Track: Bassment Bhangra Anthem
With Jamie XX-like minimalism, and breeziness fit for Caribou, Cassy matches the guys, and then some. If you can't make any of her legendary Boiler Room sessions, catch her versatile DJ sets onSoundcloud.
Gateway track: A Plea For Me
Australian twins Olivia and Miriam Nervo inject dance pop with a huge dose of femininity. A brilliant coincidence, they're Nero with a big fat 'V' slapped in the middle. If chart-friendly electro-pop is your thing, tune into the only women on 2014's DJ Magazine Top 100 list.
Gateway track: You're Gonna Love Again
Kito and Reija Lee
With bulletproof production and oil slick vocals, Kito & Reija Lee are the new face of future dubstep. They've made appearances on Big Boi and T.I. tracks, but lest you forget that they're artists in their own right, check out their gateway tune.
Gateway Track: Starting Line