Freelance writer. Overenthusiastic music pusher at Concrete Cut PR. Bass music DJ. Records unclassifiable music with Shoju. Co-founder of Concrete Cut recordings. Runs HerBeats.com & Women in Electronic Music on Facebook. Beginner video-making lady. AKG Scholarship of Sound 2011 participant. Alias: Artfruit.
Canadian native. Polish wannabe. London rookie.
Send compliments, complaints, and cold hard cash to: ddramowicz [at] gmail.com
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Space-Time: the Future, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, 30 August 2014, wysingartscentre.org
Another great festival celebrating women in electronic music is just around the corner, combining a vibrant mix of art and music performances from experimental artists and bands fronted by women. Taking place in Cambridge, UK on 30 August 2014, Space-Time: The Future will host several indoor stages within the Wysing Arts Centre.
The wonderful Perspectives festival is back this coming weekend with a full day of workshops, talks, and music at Berlin’s ://about blank on 8 March 2014. Reflecting Perspectives includes two daytime workshops – an Ableton 9 workshop (40 euro entrance fee) and a basic artist PR workshop (20 euro entrance fee). Later in the evening a collection of promoters and artists will hold a public discussion, presenting the female:pressure Booker’s Guide – a guide for promoters to encourage a higher booking rate of female electronic artists.
Closing the night will be performances from artists including Sick Girls, Stellar OM Source, Lotic, and several female:pressure-associated artists. For more info head to the Perspectives site or the Perspectives Facebook event.
A little while back we introduced Girls In Uniform, the musical project of Brooklyn-based Nicole Brenny (photo: left, with artist and collaborator Danica Olders, right. photo credit: Raul Coto-Batres). Her Fortune Tapes release blew us away and we couldn’t wait to hear more. With new material just around the corner, we asked Girls In Uniform to record a mix to hold us over in the meantime. From Chinese pop to 70s horror soundtracks, this is one of the most diverse podcasts in the series so far. Let’s dive right in to the world of Girls In Uniform…
Can you tell us a bit more about…
yourself and what prompted you to start making music?
I’m a pop and experimental electronic music producer living in Brooklyn. As a teenager I was super obsessed with pop music and the way it was performed. I always knew I wanted to be a performer, but as I got older my musical tastes broadened. Artists like Elliott Smith, Lou Reed, Steve Reich, Stereolab, Gram Parsons, Neil Young and Memphis Minnie entered my realm and showed me that other musical possibilities existed. The artists I was most drawn to were typically those that were the first to do what they did. I love innovation and experimentation. After college I finally had the free time to explore my own musical ideas. So I started recording music on a Hi-8 video camera and took it step by step from there.
the story behind the Fortune Tapes release – was this your first release as Girls in Uniform? What was the creative process like for you? How can people purchase a copy, if it’s still available?
The Fortune Tapes is the first release by Girls in Uniform. GIU is actually a fairly new project. I moved to Montreal just about a year ago and decided to try making music a little bit further from the pop music I had been producing (as Vague-à-bonde). I settled on a nice mixture of vintage hardware and newer software synths. I soaked in the local inspiration- which was abundant and started producing tracks.
The Fortune Tapes as a release was born out of necessity. I was playing shows and getting asked to play bigger ones. I was already sending songs to venues to book shows so it made sense to have something out. My friend Danica made artwork in a week, I wrote up and hand painted all of the personalized fortunes inside of the tape and we self-released in September at a big launch party for Danica’s clothing line.
I have just a few tapes left! If anyone wants to grab one before they are gone you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way the fortunes are creepily accurate.
you seem to work closely with visual artists. Does visual art inspire your musical creativity? Is it important to you to present your music with a visual element?
Some of my favorite songs have been introduced to me as music videos. I remember getting home from school and watching “Like a Prayer” on MTV and being just blown away. I had sort of forgotten about the power of visual imagery until I started Girls in Uniform. One of the important facets of this project for me is creating a visual world in which the music can exist. I experience my music very visually as I create it. I often can sort of feel or see how the music looks in my mind. Bringing in artists and developing my own visual skills is just a way to bring that subconscious element into my project in a more obvious way. The person I work with the most is one of my best friends Danica Olders who is an artist based in Montreal. Working with a friend creatively makes this project so much more fun. I definitely find inspiration in visual art, but I also find inspiration in the artists I am surrounded by. I love watching their processes and learning from them.
the idea behind the mix?
This mix was inspired by a 3 week trip I took to the Midwest, where I am originally from. It was a really rejuvenating and fun time for me. I find it is always good to escape NYC. I got to se my siblings, two of which speak Chinese, we hung out and made stop animations. I also had a gin soaked New Years Eve in the city and then spent 10 days alone in the woods writing music, meditating and doing yoga. The mix sort of spans those 3 weeks- the Chinese language influence, the dreamier sounds recalling hanging out in the city and the country pop (the other c-pop) vibe along with the horror movie soundtracks speak to being in my hometown and then being in the woods by myself. These are all songs I have been listening to on repeat for weeks, so I am excited to share them.
any future plans for Girls In Uniform?
Of course. I have six songs that I will be releasing on VHS tape (as well as digitally) this Spring with accompanying visuals. Right now Danica & I are finishing up the videos which are all animations. There is a real music video in the works, a bunch of remixes and a couple of collaborations underway. I have been quite busy. We are booking shows for Spring and I’ve already started writing for the next album.
HB:008 PODCAST // DOWNLOAD(right click save as…)
Stream above or directly at Mixcloud Curated by Girls In Uniform
Colin Towns / Full Circle (Everything Right Now)
Sky Ferreira / Sad Dream
Pure Bathing Culture / Lucky One
Vivi Jiang / Fashion Show
A-Lin / 920
Taylor Swift / Safe & Sound
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci / Christina
Digits / Rachel Marie
Goblin / Markos
Seven Sense / Yongchun
Remember when, last September, Spinnin’ Records posted a “joke” photo (since deleted) on Facebook and Twitter of a stovetop burner laid into the platter of a CD-J with the caption “Pioneer finally developed a CD-J for women”? Oh, how we all “laughed”. And threw up in our mouths. Even popular women’s site XOJane wrote about it.
Well, I couldn’t help but think of this super-funny incident when I opened the latest issue of DJ Mag.
[update: You can now read the full article and view the image on the DJ Mag website]
On page 23, I found the Rant n Rave column. In “No Big Deal?” an anonymous writer describes her experiences as a female DJ – constantly being patronized by men who question her technical skills or knowledge, and the sexist experiences she and her female colleagues encounter on a regular basis. It’s an entertaining read, but most of all, it’s an important issue – and I was super excited to see that DJ Mag was behind pushing for equality and fair treatment for women in the DJ booth.
But then I looked up – at the accompanying illustration (click on the above image for the full illustration).
Taking up nearly as much as space on the page is an image of a CD-J with the title “Ladies Guide to Pioneer CDJ-2000*” – the asterisk pointing towards “*Only jokin!”
Ah, how many times I’ve heard and read these words – “just kidding!”, “it’s a joke!”, “don’t you have a sense of humour?”
Almost as many times as I’ve heard “I’m not sexist but…” followed by something obviously very sexist. After all – “I love women!”
Basically, this illustration of the CD-J had a bunch of stereotypically sexist comments explaining its functions, like: “Sync: Means ‘matches’, like your handbag and shoes.”
So first of all – there’s no doubt in my mind that DJ Mag meant this photo as a joke – it’s obviously meant as an extremely exaggerated caricature of a misogynist’s point of view. But my question is – why? Why fuel the fire with this “satirical” illustration?
The few cheap laughs that this pic will generate, I assure you, will not be at the expense of sexists – it will be at the expense of women.
Would it not make more sense to include a photo of a female DJ here? Or are five photos of women artists amongst countless men (at my rough count – not including album covers and ads) the limit for DJ Mag? [update: Let’s get more precise. I tried to count more carefully and found 3 more women (bringing the total to 8), but then I also found 149 male faces of artists and DJs. That’s means that only 5% of the artist images throughout the entire magazine represent women.]
Why not use this space to instead promote respect towards women DJs – that is after all, the point of the article this image accompanies.
DJ Mag’s effort to bring visibility to the issues many women DJs face with this “Rant N Rave” is admirable. It’s a shame that the accompanying illustration is a complete waste of space.
In my usual belated fashion, I recently came across this fantastic EP from Girls In Uniform which was released a few months ago. The Fortune Tapes are two delay-drenched experimental pop tracks from Nicole Brenny, who conceived the project in Montreal and created the final product in Brooklyn. The B-side of this cassette (also available as a free download via Soundcloud) is a particular standout – combining crunchy kicks, pitched up vocals, and a completely mind-bending use of delay (in a good way, I assure you). Check out the audio and download below:
One of the most vocal online advocates for equality for women in electronic music, female:pressure, will be bringing the first edition of their festival focused on “female perspectives on electronic music and digital arts” to Berlin next month.
The Perspectives festival (12-13 September 2013) will feature several panel discussions on the situation and representation of women in electronic music. Several workshops are also in the programme, introducing music software and technology to budding producers and VJs.
Berlin’s ://about blank club will be hosting the festival, which closes with a night of music from all-female line-up including live acts and DJs such as Ada, Electric Indigo, Gudrun Gut, Midori Hirano, Caro C, Kritzkom, and many more.
For more details on the festival, head on over to the official Perspectives website.
Here at Her Beats, we’ve had our ears glued to Cassy‘s mixes since our Last.FM days, when this British-Austrian DJ was first making waves in the club scene. Since her debut in the early 2000s, Cassy has gone on to become one of the busiest and most respected house DJs out there, and now holds residencies at some of the coolest clubs in the world including Panoramabar in Berlin and Trouw in Amsterdam.
Somehow she’s has still managed to fit in this forthcoming mix CD for London’s fabric, contributing the 71st mix in the series (out 19 August). Those of you who call London home can catch her spin at the launch party for fabric 71 on Saturday 17 August.
[update: Don’t miss this recent interview with Cassy at Attack Magazine either. Lots of great quotes about her life and her experience as a woman in the industry.]
In the meantime, have a listen to Cassy’s latest 30 Minute Radio Mix below for a little preview -
It’s been three years since we heard a full-length from one of our fave producers Ikonika. Following 2010′s fantastic Contact, Love, Want, Have, and a handful of EPs on her own Hum & Buzz imprint, Ikonika is back on Hyperdub for her second LP entitled Aerotropolis. Set for a July 29 release, the album is already available for full streaming via Official.FM, and make sure to check out the Grand Theft Auto-inspired video for one of the first tracks off the album, “Mr Cake”, below. Full steaming of Aerotropolis underneath.
Resident DJ of Berlin’s infamous Panorama Bar (part of the Berghain nightclub), Steffi is back with a special mix CD for OstGut Ton. Her 2011 album Yours & Mine showed Steffi’s impressive skills as a producer, but it’s her mixes that keep us coming back for more. Panorama Bar 05 includes tracks from Juju & Jordash, Naoki Shinohara, Trevino, Dexter, and many more. There’s also one Steffi track that we can’t wait to hear – “DB011″. Check out the full tracklisting below. Panorama Bar 05 is out 13 May 2013.
01. Palisade – 18:30
02. Endian – Doze
03. Big Strick – Hayday
04. Chris Mitchell – Lonely Nights
05. BLM – The Nest
06. Fred P – Project 05
07. Naoki Shinohara – Timeless
08. Juju & Jordash – A Stab In The Dark
09. John Barera & Will Martin – Reality
10. DJ Fett Burger – Disco Tre
11. Juergen Junker – Post Reunion
12. Steffi – DB011
13. Dexter – Jawada
14. DJ Skull – Don’t Stop The Beat
15. Obsolete Music Technology – Latency
16.Trevino – Juan Two Five
“…incense, jasmine and other perfumes, oak, old forests, abandoned lighthouses, the moon’s texture, lonely figures by cliffs, rain trickling against cabin windows, subtle colours like olive and gray, old English houses in the countryside with faded doors…”
The artist formerly known as Alteria Percepsyne presents an evocative mix of downtempo sounds from Deepchord to Gazelle Twin. //
The latest Her Beats Podcast comes courtesy of UK-based artist Glossata, the newly revealed alias of the ambient, techno, and dub techno artist previously known as Alteria Percepsyne. Following critically acclaimed releases on Silent Season and Other Heights, Glossata’s last album was the self-released Mydriatic (which can be purchased and streamed in full on Bandcamp). Next up is yet another full-length album called Pearls and Smoke, out on digital and CD on her own Moth Heaven Recordings by the end of the year.
The seventh Her Beats podcast is an evocative mix of sounds from electronica to atmospheric pop. Many thanks to Glossata and I hope you all enjoy exploring her beautifully dark and atmospheric world…
Can you tell us a bit more about…
yourself and what drew you to making electronic music?
My name is Emily, I live in the UK and I’m currently studying Music Technology at university. I’ve been creating and playing music since I was around 7 years old, when my parents got me a small Yamaha keyboard (nothing professional, it was kind of like a toy) and I would create little melodies and work out songs by ear and play them. After that and through the years I went through a few phases of liking different music, when I was 15 I discovered ambient music like Brian Eno, Dead Can Dance, Boards of Canada. Listening to those artists inspired me to start creating music electronically, so I got my first software and started creating. I had a few small musical projects but, in retrospect, nothing particularly special.
About three years later I discovered minimal techno which was pretty profound for me, as well as some other beat-oriented genres like garage and 2-step. I decided that I really wanted to create some music with beats and combine it with that which I had learnt from making ambient music already, and so that’s when Alteria Percepsyne began.
your recent name change from Alteria Percepsyne to Glossata – does this also mark a change in your sound?
There are a few reasons why I changed the name from Alteria Percepsyne to Glossata. I felt that the name could cause some confusion and that it would be better to change it to something more clear and succinct. It does mark a slight change in my sound – I have moved on to more sample-based music and there is a slight shift in the atmosphere, from dark and gritty to more ethereal and dreamy. “Glossata” is the name of a suborder of insects which includes moths and butterflies. I have a huge fascination with and love for moths particularly – to me they embody loneliness and grace, and they just look beautiful.
your approach to production – with 3 LPs and an EP out in 3 years, you must produce at a pretty solid pace. Do you sit down in the studio on a regular basis, or only when the inspiration hits you?
I sit down in the studio on quite a regular basis, usually I try and think of some new ideas and then try them out, which can sometimes be a long process of trial and error. Sometimes inspiration will come to me when I’m watching a movie, or looking at photography, or when I’m outside at night walking alone. Sometimes I light some incense and turn the lights down to get my inspiration flowing. It can come from anywhere and it’s unexpected but strongly present most of the time that it happens.
Usually the music I create when I get that sudden inspiration is better than if I were just sitting and trying out new ideas. Both of these work together quite well to form the end result. Most of the time I do have some vague idea of what the next release will be like, which over time becomes clearer to me and strengthens.
the creation and ideas behind your forthcoming LP Pearls and Smoke?
I would describe my forthcoming LP Pearls and Smoke as more intense and dreamy than my previous releases. My inspiration for this comes from lots of images in my head and smells; from incense, jasmine and other perfumes, oak, old forests, abandoned lighthouses, the moon’s texture, lonely figures by cliffs, rain trickling against cabin windows, subtle colours like olive and gray, old English houses in the countryside with faded doors. I used female vocal samples quite frequently in this album, which is a new development. I would have recorded my own voice but I don’t feel too confident in my vocal abilities. There are some orchestral samples too, which is another new development and which I really enjoy working with because of its organic behaviour.
the idea behind the mix – are these artists or tracks that particularly inspire you?
I saw this mix as an opportunity to show the artists that inspire me. It is quite a diverse mix as I listen to a lot of different music, and I thought I would bring these different genres together to create an ever-changing sort of tapestry. I hope that some people will discover some new artists that perhaps are outside of their usual tastes.
your future plans – any live/dj dates coming up soon?
At the moment I am planning a few things but there are no solid plans, so I can’t properly announce anything – but I do hope to be playing live in the near-future as well as doing some possible DJing. I’ve never performed live in my entire life so I’m incredibly excited to begin. If any definite plans come up then I will update and let everyone know via the Glossata Facebook page.
And I just wanted to say thank you to anyone who has listened to and supported my music, it means an amazing amount to me.