Dubspot blogger Rachel Dixon presents five female producers who are influencing their genres with unique contributions: RYAT, TOKiMONSTA, Vaccine, Kate Simko, and Cooly G.
Women are making waves (and .wavs) in electronic music. While this is not earth-shattering news to most, there is an emerging group of prolific female producers who are not to be missed. The sheer number of women releasing quality tracks is great enough that chopping this list down to only five was a very difficult task! However, after some deliberations, chop I did. These five women are garnering critical attention, and they deserve your attention as well.
TOKiMONSTA (Brainfeeder / Alpha Pup)
LA native Jennifer Lee, a.k.a. TOKiMONSTA, makes R&B-influenced indie dance tracks and is affiliated with the Flying Lotus/Brainfeeder crew. Often, her work reminds me of Lone but with a more traditional pop song format. Her second full-length album, Half Shadows, proves her to be more in charge of her style than ever before. “Go With It” will surely be the soundtrack to many warm weather adventures.
Cooly G (Hyperdub)
Cooly G is a UK funky producer from Brixton, UK, a single mother of two and a former semi-pro footballer. I love her for her unmistakable brand of genre-defying, bass-influenced tracks. Her full-length album, Playin’ Me, found its way into my rotation due to its sparse main elements juxtaposed with bass lines that demand attention. Her recent remix of The Knife’s “A Tooth For An Eye” is a hypnotic retool that focuses on the best elements of the original and spins them into a tribal whirl.
Kate Simko – (Spectral Sound / Get Physical)
A prolific producer and DJ hailing from Chicago, Kate Simko makes minimal techno sound downright warm and earthy, just the way I like it. Simko’s music is versatile, great for both the dance floor and your headphones. She got her start making music alongside Spectral Sound regulars, and has been listed as one of XLR8R’s top ten Chicago DJs. Her latest EP, Lost in London, draws inspiration from her recent move to the UK. My favorite track of hers is the entrancing classic, “Take You There.”
Vaccine (Hotflush / Nonplus)
Vaccine takes everything that can be sexy about dubstep – light vocals, smooth bass lines, dramatic snares – and spins it into a dark, gauzy web. She was the first female producer to be signed to Hotflush recordings, and has gone on to release tracks on Nonplus. Her sound is heavy enough that you might forget Vaccine hails from Southern California, but light enough to listen to in the early hours of the day. This 2007 single, “Breathless,” is a great example of her style.
RYAT (Brainfeeder / Obvious Bandits)
RYAT is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer who signed to Brainfeeder in 2012. The mysterious LA-via-Philly artist has released two full-length electronic albums and created classically-influenced live pieces. Her vocals sound like an Ella Fitzgerald/Bjork hybrid, and her production is experimental and percussion-heavy. The songs on her 2012 release, Totem, were varied in energy and style, but I particularly liked the development of “Howl.”
Dubspot guest blogger Rachel Dixon was a Handel and Haydn Vocal Apprentice, studied at New England Conservatory, briefly sang lead vocals for the Phoenix punk band Scrimshaw, managed the guestlist at Boston nightclubs Avalon and Axis, and was on the design team for the Dance Central video game franchise. She is a published fiction writer, bedroom songwriter, and poet who lives in New York City with her dog.