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  • Sachi Kobayashi

    Great feedback, Tom! I'm optimistic too. Though tech mastery (especially in music) has often been considered the domain of men, and though the phallic nature of the electric guitar has long been noted, personal computers make music tools even more accessible to female musicians. Plus, the internet allows a certain level of anonymity that allows gender to be less at the forefront and more ambiguous.

    I'll have to check out Fatima al Qadiri.

  • Tom Maybrier

    I really enjoyed this article! I'm not even going to hazard a guess as to why but I've noticed that the male dominance of the music industry seems to go hand in hand with the machismo and bravado that our culture's celebrated as "rock'n'roll" for so long.

    If you look at genres that are operating outside the mainstream music industry, the balance skews closer to 50/50. Music without broad cultural appeal doesn't seem to need it's women to be "sexy", though some artists certainly bridge both worlds, with mixed results, in my opinion.

    A pioneering woman in electronic music not mentioned here is Eliane Radigue - she started created minimalistic electronic drone in the 1950s alongside the legendary Laurie Spiegel.

    At 82 Radigue is still working - she released an album last year and has continued to perform worldwide.

    My outsider's impression is that the mainstream electronic music scene is just as regressive as 1980s Glam Metal was in regards to women.

    Despite that, there are an increasing number of women pushing the boundaries of the underground electronic scene, both musically and in a feminist sense like Karin Dreijer Andersson, Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard's work as CREEP.

    My favorite by far is Fatima al Qadiri, a New York by way of Dakar artist whose juxtaposition of Muslim holy prayers, retro-futuristic post-dubstep/hip hop and 90s trance is the only thing more original than her distinctively female and Muslim visual aesthetic of hijabs, heavy eye makeup and "internet art."