If you are one of the millions of people who’ve been seduced by the sexy wub wub of dubstep, chances are (what with reading the girls are n’all), you’ll be wondering where all the lady producers are.
Concern would be justified. After all, those women who manage to jump the hurdles of electronic music’s hostile prejudice and boys-club booking agents, are far too often belittled as anomalies, or pimped out on their looks. So breathe a sigh, because we lucked out. Not do we have some incredible, and successful, female dubstep artists out there, but one of the key taste-makers who helped define the genre was DJ Mary Ann Hobbs. Her 2 hour special ‘Dubstep Warz’ that hit Radio One way back in 2006, and her subsequent compilation ‘Warrior Dubz‘, greatly helped launch the careers of heavyweights Burial, Spor and Ikonika. One big shot of oestrogen at the very beginning, and dubstep’s explosion online has only helped women climb up the ranks.
Gestating up under the WWW hotlamps, new music is evolving through DIY and audience participation. The outdated prejudices of faceless cigar-chewing fatcats are increasingly taking a backseat to the trigger fingers of the people – meaning if something’s good, there’s more of a chance it’ll get heard, regardless of the artist’s junk. Of course, it helps that dance music has a tradition of pseudonyms; abstract monikers allow women to slip under the radar of would-be sexists until their banging tunes are firmly etched in their listeners’ minds (see the multitude of “She’s a girl?!” comments across YouTube). But sly shimmys aside, we’re advancing. And blowing some subs in the process.
Pretty much all of the below ladies (bar Ikonika, who has enjoyed massive radio play thanks to the aforementioned Hobbs), have blown up online. Emika, now signed to Ninja Tune, mixes sweetness and light with cut-glass samples, while down-under wonders Vaccine and Kito both create bass-filled soundscapes that serve to rattle hearts, as well as the chests that contain them. Relative unknown Alexis K‘s brutal remix of Agent K‘s ‘Sierra Leone’ should satisfy those Nero-loving folks amongst you. And Marina Faib‘s shimmering brilliance is difficult not to fall for.
Now turn this lot up. They’re deserving.
5) Simularcrum – Ikonika
4) Cold Rain – Marina Faib
3) Cold – Kito
2) Breathless – Vaccine
1) Drop the Other – Emika