ladyz in noyz 2014: marlo eggplant on women making a racket

February 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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1 clara rockmore

[Editor’s note: OK folks, I’m delighted to welcome the second of RFM’s new writers.  Marlo de Lara, or mj dela, or @marloDeWawa or, as she is best known to readers of this blog, marlo eggplant is a noise musician and thinker whose effervescent enthusiasm, startling breadth of knowledge and knuckles bloodied from the coalface all make her the perfect January signing.  Here she guides us through some of last year’s highlights from women in noise so you can get click happy.  Over to marlo…]


Well first off, right on: to Monsieur Midwich, to another year of radio free goodness. Kudos to the fine gentleman to make an initiative to have a more diverse staff! [Editor’s note: *blushes*]

Festivals, shows, and compilations still continue to lack visibility of women sound artists and musicians, but times have changed a lot! (Thank goodness! i could write a lot of old timer sounding crap about my own journey and experiences but you could probably find that stuff online already.) Major props to festivals like Tusk and Colour Out of Space for their diverse musical lineups and workshops, but outside of the UK there is also much action! So even though 2015 has been kicking it for over a month now, i thought i would give a little shout out to the lesser known projects/festivals in 2014 that succeeded in showing the multitude of women making good music. (Disclaimer: i was involved with some of these projects. So there.)

Shout outs:

2 int noise conf

1. International Noise Conference 2014 (Miami, FL, USA)

If you don’t know who Rat Bastard is or the Laundry Room Squelchers then you probably live under a rock! Arise from under said rock! Rat has played regularly in the UK and has successfully thrown the International Noise Conference and corresponding USA/Europe/Asia INC tours for twelve years.  This festival is seen as the noise mecca party time of the year. Last year, it still had “over 100 artists with sets of 15 minutes or less” play for several maddening days, but with tons of women performers. The festival was even referred to as “Year of the Woman”.

Projects such as Cock ESP, Irene Moon, Eva Aguila (a.k.a. Kevin Shields), Unicorn Hard On, and Dromez made it apparent that if you are looking for good performers at a festival then it shouldn’t take any effort to find talented women on the bill.


2. Urban Arts Berlin’s Synthesis Volume 1 (Stream for free and download for 10 euros)

This German arts organization made an international call out to women working in the sonic field. The result was a diverse selection of artists from all around the world: Vietnam, China, South Africa, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Europe and USA are represented. From sound collage to pop electronica, from free improvisation to contemporary classical, the curator has brought an international showcase of women who are making music professionally. My favorite tracks feature the self made instruments of Margriet Kicks-Ass (Netherlands) and the droney delight of Jessica Ekomane (France).  The Bandcamp download has links for all the artists so you can get deep on their other works.

3 tit wrench

3. Titwrench (Denver, CO, USA) and Titwrench (Stockholm, Sweden)

Since 2008, Titwrench has been organizing events that promote “female-identified musicians and emerging artists pushing the boundaries of genre and form.” This festival has always had a big dose of and a big love for noise. Last year, the American festival took a rest to assist its sister satellite festival in Stockholm, Sweden establish itself. From contact mic workshops to sound installations, Titwrench continues to extend its reach. (Some UK artists participated in a sound installation for the festival:  Ingrid Plum, Rebecca E. Davies, Sarah McWatt, Daria Ramone, Kate Fear (Ceramic Hobs), and Freudian Slit [Editor’s note: my new all-time favourite label name].)


4. Ladyz in Noyz Australia Volume 2

In August 2014, Lara Soulio curated some brilliant musicians in Australia, released another compilation and held a party to celebrate in Melbourne.

In 2011, Ladyz in Noyz Australia began its sister collaboration with the Ladyz in Noyz ongoing series which was created by me (initially on the label spleencoffin and now on the label Corpus Callosum) that continues to celebrates women in noise and outsider musics. Now i wanted to avoid tooting my own horn about my projects so please hear this as a toot for these Australian sound artists. Featuring extended vocalists [Editor’s note: very tall women?], electronic manipulations, and harsh noise, musicians such as Bonnie Mercer (The Grey Daturas), Kusum Normyle, Cat Hope, and Rosalind Hall won’t steer you wrong. These women have pulled it together to release some painfully lovely tracks and some that soothes the ears. Listen to their first compilation here and you can buy Volume 2 via Corpus Callosum (in the UK) or here (if in Australia).

This is definitely not an exhaustive list but the proof in the pudding that women are all over the place making good music and performing. So bring it on 2015!

P.S. If you really want the goods as far as an excellent compilation of women in noise goes then try to find a copy of the classic Women Take Back the Noise curated by Ninah Pixie from Big City Orchestra. The 47 artists include such greats such as ioioi, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Ava MendozaAnalog TaraJessica Rylan, and Noveller (who was also featured on the original Ladyz in Noyz compilation). If you want to get even more in depth, pick up the book Pink Noises – women on electronic music and sound and learn more about women’s perspectives on sound.

5 pink noises


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