10 Nov 2006

Shelectronica? A Neologism

Ok so I thought of this word and sought other documents describing the same thing. Non-existant. In this speedy world of information and communication, Google has nothing for Shelectronica and no one's yet mentioned it in print, yet I use this word a fair bit! It describes not only electronic music by women but a more feminine realm of sound in electronica - the sound art and noise scene is often a harsh environment to play in, creating the same tone of sound as the industrial age from whence it came. Electronica is for me divided into the sounds of the world of industry or the sounds of natural world, all played through products of both the industrial and natural world. Any acoustic instrument or non-electronically produced sound that is processed by an electronic object becomes electronica.

This genre most often reflects both the microchip that runs our lives and the bulldozer that constructs it. It is the synthetic ingredient in our food and the unnatural fibres on our skin. It is the minute sound-wave that triggers the automatic doors at the shopping market and the microwave that cooks or packs our food.
It is the engine that moves us and the telephones, computers and wires that link us together. However when electronica moves into the realm of the natural, of the flesh, or of the unspecified, I feel it becomes Shelectronica. Just as in literature there is a female narrative voice, there is a male one which can be adopted as a style in each writer, regardless of their actual sex. Just as, according to the teachings of yoga, there is a feminine side of emotions and desires in every man: there is the male side of future and action in every woman.

Feminism is a term that's been much debated. It has winningly been defined as the valuing to the point of having to struggle for, of every person's freedom. I won a debate University College on this point: that feminism was the right of a man to grow his hair long without discrimination as much as it was of a woman to shave hers with the same freedom. So to talk in terms of male and female values, roles and even audio preferences does not mean each feminine definition is confined to women. It is clearly a cross over area, as in Hindu mythology the art of war is personified by a goddess (Sri Mahakali), so is the sweetness and gentleness of speech personified by a god (Sri Krishna).

Shelectronica then can be described as the feminine side, an area with blurred boundaries but existent all the same, of electronica in all of us.

It is fair to say that there are fewer women in electronica than men, that most of it is made on what are known traditionally boys-toys, and that women working in this field could do with a boost.

Therefore tune in to
Resonancefm on Friday 24th of November, 7-8pm to hear the rest of this discussion, with guests along with some amazing tracks from the Women Take Back the Noise album. 
The interview with Cosey Fanni Tutti, part of this radio show, is now available HERE.