Electronic music has been intertwined with and entangled in experimentation since its inception; the development of the synthesizer in the sixties saw to this. Now, in 2022, the genre has seen a wave of experimental female artists. Here are five women who consistently push the genre's boundaries into new realms, and in-so-doing, continue to kill the scene.
Aussie-born, Berlin-based Samantha Poulter has made waves throughout her career and the release of hit track ‘What You Like’, with fellow female DJ/producer yunè pinku, only propelled her to new heights. One of the more housey artists in the list, she has enticed clubbers, ravers, and festival go-ers alike. Smooth, ethereal, hyperfeminine vocals layered onto groovy tempos make for ideal listening in the dance or on your lonesome; Poulter caters to more than one kind of electro-head. ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About’ echoes the familiar feel-good notes of Kerri Chandler, whereas ‘Rush’ takes on a deeper, breakbeat sound. She says herself that she doesn’t belong in any specific music scene, which is arguably the very nature of the electronic genre: to experiment and push far-reaching boundaries. Having worked with the likes of Dusky, Caribou and Groove Armada, we can expect big things from Logic1000 as 2022 progresses.
2. Sofia Kourtesis
Sofia Kourtesis - even the name sounds colourful. A Peruvian upbringing shines through her tunes, giving listeners a naturally euphoric feeling. ‘Estación Esperanza’, Kourtesis’ most recent release, literally translates as ‘Hope Station’, accurately capturing the joyful buoyancy of her music. Opening with a Peruvian chant for hope and equality, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize Kourtesis’ own passion not only for electronic music, but also for the liberation and freedom it allows. You can’t help but move to ‘By Your Side’, a track that undoubtedly shakes convention with its soulful feeling and danceability. Even her artwork is infectious: vibrant shades of yellow, pink, orange, and green are consistently drawn onto the faces of every release. With any luck, she’ll drop a banger in time for the height of festival season this summer.
Since her first EP release in 2016, Elkka has only got better. As a Cardiff-born/London-based artist, she understands the assignment from UK electronic listeners. Her tunes are characterised by an overall feeling of elevation: EPs ‘Euphoric Melodies’ and ‘Harmonic Frequencies’ capture this perfectly. The clever synth melodies of ‘Voices’ and ‘Head Back’ have propelled her forwards and upwards in the electronic scene, emanating names as big as Four Tet and Caribou. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community (and recently engaged!!), Elkka offers clean danceable beats with no compromise. Founder of the label ‘femme culture’, Elkka and her collective push women in the industry to rewrite the narrative surrounding electronic music experimentation, pushing them to create forward-thinking sounds together.
4. Loraine James / Whatever the Weather
Having released under both titles, James, and her alias 'Whatever the Weather', has a firm handle on the more ambient side of electronic music. The multifaceted producer made waves with ‘Glitch Bitch’, a certified banger that remains her most popular track. Since then, James has progressed into a slower, more floaty direction with the release of her EP ‘053’ in collaboration with TSVI this year. This is the beauty of the electronic genre – it can encompass everything from the vocal ‘Running Like That’ to the crowded beats of ‘17°C’. Given that James has been particularly active this year, releasing an album under Whatever the Weather and an EP under Loraine James, it is likely that we’ll see more tunes from her again soon. But who knows whether she’ll lean more towards a chilled-out ethereal vibe, or return to the bopping loops of her original tracks.
Teisha Matthews needs no introduction at this point. Arguably the biggest artist of the article, she has made a BIG name for herself in the UK over the past year or so. Just 2 weeks ago she dropped ‘Giving Up’, consisting of breaky electronic beats, deep bass and bouncy synths ideal for bopping to. However, her most important moment of the year so far was feating in ‘fabric presents’, with which she took listeners on a journey through various grooves. Even further, International Women’s Day saw DJs TSHA and Effy collaborate on an all-female electronic, techno and house playlist, which introduced me to a range of women who needed to be championed in the scene. TSHA has now amassed a whopping 1.7 million Spotify listeners and she shows no signs of slowing down. The UK is loving her fresh, new wave take on electronic house – ‘BOYZ’ especially captures her essence in its effective loops, broken beats and spacey breather moments. It is safe to say we can expect her musical growth and popularity to continue throughout the year and beyond.