10.10.2010

Tokimonsta, Ikonika, Eden Grey: Women in Beat Music

There's always been a handful of ladies in electronic music who've stood their ground and done great things in a very male oriented genre.  Artists like AFG, Miss Kittin, DJ Rap, Magda come to mind immediately for the instrumental stuff, and obviously there's loads of great vocalists, who also produce, such as Bjork and Karin Dreijer Andersson (Fever Ray).  But as far as the beats alone go, it seems there's been far too few, or maybe too few role models.  Maybe it's that women are typically, in America, atleast, encouraged to base their self worth more on how "cute" they are than who they are, as creative beings. 
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Ikonika:
London based Sara Abdel-Hamid is a dubstep producer who has been making a big splash as of late with her full length debut Contact, Love, Want, Have, on the already legendary Hyperdub.  Her highly melodic and soulful blend of futuristic garage and funky synth laden bass music.  She stands at the forefront of a highly competitive genre that has spread the world over, while breaking off into a gazillion sub genres and hybrids.  She's got roots in punk culture and considers herself a rebel but rejects the idea that she represents women at large.  Instead she's more interested in being a producer first and foremost.
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Tokimonsta:

Tokimonsta is an L.A. based producer riding the wave of near hysteria surrounding the Flying Lotus centric beat scene there.  Her recently dropped long player has made her an international figure in a matter of months, and with the Brainfeeder association she is being marketed as Flylo's girl.  It def. doesn't hurt, but her music lives up to the hype and is well deserved.  Her recent set at Trinumeral was full of more upbeat bangers than we've heard on her latest record, so she can definitely move the dancefloor.  Another striking characteristic of her live show was her interaction with the crowd.  Using the mic intermittently to stay in touch with the audience, she seemed totally at ease and brought her personality into the performance, something that was apparently welcome from everyone in attendance.
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Eden Grey

Miami based Chelsea Bruno, first approached us at a "noise" and IDM show at a seedy underground bar full of history known as Churchill's.  She assured Panther God that her music was informed by a healthy dose of musical training and theory, having played piano for many years already.

Her new EP Nano-Soup on UK based label Corpora Aliena is an eclectic, experimental dance record teeming with chopped robotic vocal snippets floating in a sea of synths and sub bass.  Stay up on her tunes, as only good things can come!"

When asked about her feminine responsibilities, she said, "I don't believe there are any; I need to think about it a bit more..I am trying to get the music out regardless of my gender.  Being a female making music is as hard as it is for males i guess in this day and age. I certainly would prefer to be androdgynous if it were possible.

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There's even been a handful of lady centric beat nights in the UK, one called the Feline X-Mas Mashup (09) http://www.nerdbanite.com/2008/12/the-feline-xmas-mashup/

Tell us about your experiences as or with a woman producing beats and sounds.  Send us your story at: info@circuitreerecords.com

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