For a few years now, I see and meet plenty of feminist enthusiasts who try to develop new networks, events, workshops, festivals dedicated to women and feminism in the often male-centric experimental and electronic music scenes, where indeed, most djs represented are men, most famous electro-acoustic composers are males, most power electronics artists are males, most famous electronica artists are males and so on and so forth.
Many of those who call themselves feminists and quite rightly scream and shout that they want more equality, more exposure and recognition and want to offer women more opportunities to access the electronic and experimental music world have for most a western-centric vision of the scene.
Never did I see them promoting female artists in the field of electronic and experimental music who come from Asia and Africa (or even Latin America). The victims of exclusion exactly behave like their oppressors and should definitely admit that their fight is a failure and will remain so unless they include all women of the various scenes (including underground rock, metal, punk, grindcore, etc.), no matter what their ethnicities, nationalities, geographic locations, social classes are.
Of course, I hear some of you fulminating against me, accusing me of disempowering them, telling me : “But we didn’t know ! We never heard about them ! How could we imagine there were women doing this music in those places !?” (sic).
It sounds to me like those men telling :”Seriously ? You know of women building modular synthesizer ? I never imagined that it would be ever possible !”
This is one of the problems of the Western World, it is so much self-centred that it often lacks of imagination and curiosity (even not going so far away as Asia or Africa, how many times did I hear some being surprised that there are musicians in Sardinia or Kosovo or whatever remote village lost in the Swiss mountains who do play underground music).
Now that we live in a more and more interconnected society, to me it is some kind of pure egotism and a certain form of social racism to imagine that only women (or people in general) in the west do compose electronic, experimental music or punk, metal, oi, you name it… In the time of the invasive internet where those who want, especially those who pretend to fight for some rights, can search, deeply, all kinds of informations using search engines, social networks, databases, music streaming services, it is a shame to see that those born in the “wrong” place still often remain excluded.
I remember women from some networks I will not name here telling that they wanted full support and promotion for women´s projects but how many of them bought or promoted the works and publications I was telling them about ? How many of them attended the concerts I organised ? Very few ! Some even decided to work in closed circles, excluding men from their networks or activities, even those who supported them from the beginning. Some gave me the feeling that they were working for their own ego, that the feminist fight was an excuse for them to clime higher and reach the peak… I may be wrong, I wish so but this is how I perceive this situation for many years.
Now to conclude this small article, here are a few CD references among many others, and following those, you´ll find a non-exhaustive list of under represented women. The CD list is only a small sample that what is currently existing, of course.
Art of the Muses (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2012, international) with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang [Taiwan], Aki Ito [Japan], Itta [South Korea], Tomoko Sauvage [Japan], Kismett [Singapore], VAVABOND [China], Pei [Taiwan], Verita Shalavita Koapaha [Indonesia], Lương Huệ Trinh [Vietnam], Lau Mun Leng [Malaysia].
Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session (CD, 100Copies, 2013, Egypt) with Asmaa Azzouz, Shorouk El Zomor, Hala Abu Shady, Jacqueline George, Nina El Gebaly, Ola Saad, Yara Mekawei, details on 100Copies.
_Litter – Newfound Grids (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2013, Lebanon)
VAVABOND – HOLOGRAM OF sea (CD and digital, C.F.I Records, 2012, China)
PEI – Normality Envision (CD, Sub Jam, Kwanyin Records, 2007, Taiwan), details and extracts here.
Leila Bela – Angra Manyu (CD, Ellahy Amen Records 2003, Iran/USA), details here.
Hui-Shen Chang Alice – When She Was Asleep (Cassatte, Antifrost, 2011, Taiwan).
Okkyung Lee – Noisy Love Songs (CD, Tzadik, 2010, South Korea), details at Discogs.
And one more western oriented ones that I anyway find worth to mention (and because most feminist activists I talked to in the scene told me they never heard about it and it´s a pretty good one !) :
Women Take Back The Noise (3xCD, UBUIBI, 2006) with Michiko Kawagoe, Dark Muse, BCO Women’s Auxiliary, Passiflora, Suzanne Quincey, Ava Mendoza, Meri von KleinSmid, Analog Tara, Fe-Mail, Experiment Haywire, Hertta Lussu Ässä, Cosey Fanni Tutti, etc.
This non-exhaustive list comes from this database I´m permanently working on, this database contains more than 1500 references for Africa and Asia. I could have added more of them but sorry, my time is limited at the moment !
Note I noticed that the formatting of the list appears incorrectly but I can´t correct it for some odd reasons…)
Rula El Bahr Soundcloud [electronic, sound art, lives in France, see Kamekaz]
Farhadian, Thea Site [electro-acoustic, improv, video, lives in the USA]
Arrebato (Li Huihui) Tudou Douban (豆瓣) Soundcloud (1) Soundcloud (2) Bandcamp [sound art, see lllllllllllHH, Hhiña, Kazorp, Arrebato]
Chen, Audrey MySpace Discogs [sound art, improv, free jazz, lives in Germany]
Chen Yi Discogs [electro-acoustic, classical, lives in the USA ?]
Pan Daijing Soundcloud Tumblr Instagram [noise, industrial, ambient]
Shenggy (Cosmic Shenggy) MySpace1 Myspace2 Rock In China Discogs [sound art, noise, minimal techno, see White]
VAVABOND (Vavabond) Site MySpace Soundcloud Discogs [sound art, ambient, noise]
Azzouz, Asmaa Discogs [electronic]
Bosaina Site Soundcloud Facebook [electronica, electro-pop]
El Zomor, Shorouk Discogs [electronic]
George, Jacqueline Soundcloud [electronic, sound art]
Abu Shady, Hala Youtube Vimeo [sound art, video art]
Hani, Dina Soundcloud [electronic, field recordings]
Mattar Nahla Site [electro-acoustic, classical]
Mekawei, Yara (Yara Mekawi) Blogspot, Soundcloud, Facebook, MySpace Twitter Tumblr Meetphool [electronic, electro-acoustic, audio-visual, sound installation]
Saad, Ola Soundcloud [sound art]
Menstrual Synthdrone (Dyah “Woro” Isaka) Soundcloud [drone, noise]
Sabrina WordPress [noise]
Sarana Soundcloud Facebook [drone, noise]
Shalavita Koapaha, Verita Bandcamp [contemporary classical]
Bela, Leila (ليلى بلا) Site MySpace Discogs [noise, sound art, lives in the USA]
Bigdeli Shamloo, Sara Soundcloud Twitter [electronic, sound tracks, lives in France]
Hatam, Farahnaz MySpace [sound art, lives in Germany]
Pazhutan, Honey Haq Site Soundcloud [see vH+] / vent aitcH Plus (vH+, V H +p) Site Soundcloud [ambient, drone, see Honey Haq Pazhutan]
Asher, Meira Site MySpace [industrial, sound art, lives in the Netherlands]
Elyakim, Dganit MySpace [electro-acoustic, classical]
Olivero, Betty Wikipedia [electro-acoustic, classical]
Rosenbaum, Keren Facebook Discogs [electro-acoustic, jazz, classical]
Andraos, Joanna Site MySpace [electronica]
Chlela, Liliane (Queen Lil) Site Soundcloud Facebook [ambient, improv, psychedelic, improv, see Hezbel Taleta]
Dally, Rhéa (Rhea Dally) Facebook Soundcloud [chip tune, breakcore, lives in South Africa]
Sehnaoui, Christine MySpace Blogspot [jazz, sound art, lives in France]
Zaven, Cynthia Soundcloud Youtube [improv, modern classical, electronic]
Ang, Lydia Soundcloud Youtube ReverbNation [film score, ambient, new age, electro-acoustic]
Cheryl Ong & Vivian Wang Youtube [drone, industrial]
Ding, Debbie Site Soundcloud Twitter [sound art, audiovisual]
Kismett Bandcamp [sound art]
Reiki, Jean (DJ Reiki) Site Bandcamp Soundcloud Twitter Facebook Youtube Mixcloud Indabamusic [ambient, electronica]
Tara Transitory Site MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronica, ambient, sound art, see One Man Nation, lives in Spain and Asia]
South Africa :
Beckmann, Inge MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronic, contemporary]
Isadora Dustmite Junk MySpace Bandcamp Facebook [electro-acoustic, noise, sound art]
Schneider, June [electro-acoustic, multi-media installations][1971 ?]
South Korea :
Itta (있다) https://www.youtube.com/user/TxNxGxRMySpace Facebook Twitter MySpace [sound art, ambient, minimal, member of 10 and Tengger]
Okkyung Lee Site MySpace [classical, improv, sound art, lives in Germany]
Shin, Amy Soundcloud [classical, sound art, post rock, etc., USA/South Korea] – she´s an American of Korean descent who migrated to Seoul.
Ha Jane Facebook [improv, see Pika & Pikasland] – from the US I think but lives in Seoul.
Asma Shams (شمس أسمى, Asma Ghanem) Soundcloud [sound art, ambient, lives in Palestine]
Anchih Tsai [electro-acoustic] Youtube – unfortunately, she passed away a few months ago.
Betty Apple (ßetty ∆pple, Reiki Jelly, Yi-Ping Cheng, Xiao-Biao, 瀟薄 ) Site Soundcloud Twitter MySpace Tumblr Youtube Vimeo Mixcloud Soundcloud (Reiki Jelly) Facebook [sound art, noise, electronic, techno]
Hui-Chun Lin Site MySpace [improv, sound art, classical, lives in Germany]
Hui-Shen Chang Alice Site [electronica, sound art] – she mostly experiments with her voice when she plays solo.
Kueiju Lin [classical, improv, sound art]
Lai Chi-Hsia Site Soundcloud [sound art]
Pei Site1 Site2 [minimal sound art, onkyokei, lives in Switzerland]
Pei-Yu Shi Youtube Facebook [sound art, electronic, folk, audio-visual]
Luo Chao Yun (駱昭勻) Site MySpace [traditional, classical, improv, sound art]
Ah! Kosmos Site Soundcloud Soundkick Facebook Twitter Instagram Last.fm [electronica]
Gürkan, Gülce Özen Site Bandcamp MySpace Soundcloud Vimeo Discogs [electro-acoustic, sound art]
Pase, Tuna MySpace Facebook Soundcloud 1 Soundcloud 2 Soundcloud 3 [electro-acoustic]
Cao Lan (Cao Thanh Lan) Site [electro-acoustic, sound art, free improv, classical, see Parallel Asteroid, Swiss Army Wife, lives in Germany]
Lương Huệ Trinh (Luong Hue Trinh) Soundcloud MySpace Facebook [sound art, electro-acoustic]
Ngọc Trần Thị Kim (Ngoc Tran Thi Kim) Weebly Youtube [sound art, electro-acoustic, classical]
Nguyễn Nhung (Nguyen Nhung) Site Bandcamp [dark ambient, drone, minimal electronic, noise, electroacoustic, classical, see Sound Awakener]