It’s a well-known fact that women are hugely under-represented in the electronic music industry. Recent efforts from promoters and organisations such as Rhythm Sister, SIREN and Discwoman have done a lot to challenge this, but there is still a huge way to go. The talent is certainly out there, so in the spirit of International Women’s Day 2017 our writers have each picked out one female artist they believe to be deserving of the spotlight today...
Swedish DJ and producer Sanna La Fleur Engdahl first captured my attention back in 2010 with her self-released Flowerhead. Through its sunny piano sequence and hard-hitting drums this tune became one of the seminal tracks of the deep house renaissance that occurred at the turn of the decade and still holds a special place in our hearts.
In recent years, the melodic bounce of her early tracks has been replaced with a broodier, more club-focussed edge; no doubt the result of spending four years as a Watergate resident. La Fleur is now firmly established as one of the finest selectors in Europe with the pure hypnotism and minimalist groove she establishes in every set – check out her Boiler Room from last year if you need proof.
She’s also the mastermind behind Power Plant Records, which was started back in 2010 as a vessel for her own productions. The imprint has garnered a reputation for placing a strong emphasis on the visual representation of its sound and has also seen releases from the likes of Jesper Ryom and Justin Massei.
Next up is Vancouver’s house heroine, Jayda G. Her selection of soulful grooves and thumping club jams found their way into my iTunes in early 2015 and now has shot her to the top of my list to see in 2017. Her journey began back in 2015 with a release on Butter Sessions with Sex Tags Mania founder DJ Fett Burger. The release is what you’d expect from the pair; a spritely house rhythm with summery synths. From here, Jayda G has continued her success, founding the label Freakout Cult where she released the Jaydaisms EP.
Sound of Fuca, the opening track on Jaydaisms has on old school groove to it, full of joy and a breath of fresh air to an ever-diluted house scene and is followed by the equally fresh PCB mix. The third track IGA is a very pleasant vocal track governed by its strong summery chords. The EP has laid some solid foundations for the now Berlin based producer whose music has a soft and distinct but prominent deep house groove. We expect her popularity to flourish just like her tracks. The beginning of 2017 saw her featuring on line-ups with the likes of Robert Hood, Midland and DJ Bone and although these line-ups are still a prominently male -oriented, Jayda G is yet another example to disprove the gender stereotypes.
Finally, we have Emma Burgess-Olsen, otherwise known as Umfang. As the co-founder of Discwoman as well as a resident at Brooklyn’s notorious Technofeminism party at Bossa Nova Civic Club, she’s an individual at the very forefront of underground dance music’s feminist movement. The Kansas City-born artist has made a name for herself with her fast and furious style behind the decks, which has earnt her sets alongside the likes of Avalon Emersen, Galcher Lustwerk and Project Pablo over the past year.
Far from purely a curator, Umfang’s unorthodox brand of spacey, stripped-down techno has seen releases on the likes of Allergy Season, Phinery and videogamemusic. Her full-length album Ok dropped on 1080p back in August 2015, and was self-described by Umfang as ”amorphous, polyrhythmic techno influenced by latin drum patterns, DJ breaks and minimal percussion”. Definitely worth a listen for anyone who likes their techno leftfield.