YOU CAN’T DANCE LIKE THAT

I need ur help !!

female djs

My dissertation is titled ‘Conceptualising Gender in Alternative Spaces: Sexism, Feminity and Boundaries in Club Cultures’. For my study I am aiming to conduct an auto-/ethnographic research study in to dance music subcultures and the misogyny and limitations for women within.

When I say dance music it includes house, techno, tech-house, bass, jackin, dub, drum n bass, jungle, lo-fi and all the other off-shoots of electronic dance music. From the lack of female DJ’s on an average dance event lineup to the rampant sexism and harassment experienced by most female clubbers, it is more than obvious that the dance industry is a heterosexual, masculine-dominated one.

So for my thesis, I don’t just want to recall the negative experiences from women on the dancefloor, but I want to begin to analyse the construction of dance music spaces, and how these have come to be male-coded spaces. To do this I need the opinions of both men and women…

Some of the issues I have come across and have interested me in exploring further revolve around dance and sexuality. Much of the academic research surrounding dance music/club cultures have found that women who display outright feminity (for example, wearing heels and a clutch bag, dancing in a feminine manner) have been viewed as less legitimate of a partaker of the music, purely because of their femininity. Other studies have found certain DJ’s relate certain sounds to women, (e.g vocals in house tracks) and play these tracks to attract women to the dancefloor because if the women are dancing, the men will too. This, of course is based on sexist stereotypes. Women are scrutinised for not conforming to male expectations of dance, or how they should act and behave if genuine followers of the music.

“The participation of women who are ‘regulars’ is validated in part by their choice to adopt masculine styles of dancing.”

These gender obstacles are experienced by female DJ’s too. Nina Kraviz recalls a time in which she was criticised for sitting in a  bathtub in one of her videos, as this was interpreted as ‘sexual performance’. The issue here is that this naturalises masculinity. By suggesting anything a woman does is a “blatant use of sexuality and superficiality” only enforces the male gaze by presuming anything a woman does is to gain the attraction of men. Thus “there is no conceptualized space in which Kraviz can embrace or even reveal a feminine sexuality without it being seen as selling out or cashing in.”

This experience of Nina Kraviz made me think about the act of going to a club and dancing as a female in a completely different way. Is the way I am positioned, and what I do only validated in relation to masculine ideals? Can hyper-sexuality and hyper-femininity be expressed by women within dance scenes without delegitimizing their position as partakers of dance music?

To try and answer these questions I would like to gather the answers from individuals who consider themselves to be part of the dance music subculture and would regard dance music to be a part of their identity.

If you are female or male or any other gender and would like to be involved in an interview or focus group to talk about your experiences (harassment and sexism) and your views on gender in dance music then it would be a great help!!

Please get in contact via my instagram @babylannay or email me at lannaytooze@gmail.com 🙂

thank you

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10 YEARS OF AUS MUSIC

AUS

Aus Music the record label founded by Simple Records Will Saul and Ninja Tune’s Fink turn’s 10 next month, and to celebrate they are hosting a series of events throughout April and May around the UK where you can see a number of the biggest and best artists from the label. The label is hot on the scene, with new releases premièring weekly and shows from artists hitting NTS, BBC, and Rinse regularly.

An essential component of the UK’s dance scene over the last decade, we can thank Aus Music for introducing us to, and producing tracks from some of the hugest names on the scene today including Bicep, Joy Orbison, Huxley, Midland and many more. For Aus Music’s London event Will Saul brings his imprint to XOYO for a big celebration to mark ten years in the game. The lineup is yet to be announced and they’re keen to keep us guessing, I predict Bicep, Midland, Will Saul, Tom Demac and Joy Orbison. Any guesses?

Get your tickets for 10 Years of Aus Music at XOYO here.

Aus was one of the first record labels I can remember being extremely fond of and I will still find old playlists full of the array of massive hits that Dusky, one of my favourite duos to date have released as EP’s on Aus Music. Think ‘Careless‘, ‘What I never Knew‘, ‘Atone‘. So to celebrate I’ve created a playlist of my top 10 Aus Music Tracks, take a listen below.

5 NEW YEARS EVENTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

SOUTH

GILES

  • LONDON – Head down to Village Underground in Shoreditch if you’re looking for some tropical vibes and funky beats to take you into the New Year. The unforgettable Gilles Peterson and Hyperdub legends will make this more than your average night!

bicep

  • BRIGHTON – Irish house Duo Bicep have had an amazing year and their popularity is growing more and more! With the release of the phenomenal ‘Just’ earlier this year, you can count on Bicep for constant tunes. So if you’re in Brighton then Patterns is the place to be for this Miami themed madness.

MIDLANDS

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  • BIRMINGHAM – If Rainbow Venues huge annual New Years Eve event doesn’t tickle your fancy, then why not check  out Amusement 13 on New Years Day for a 12 hour indoor festival featuring some massive names such as; Zomby, Loefah, Toddla T, Zed Bias, Amy Becker plus many more acts.

WEST

bristol

  • BRISTOL – What a ridiculous lineup… Bristol is going all out with this NYD event at Motion. A huge club filled with huge names, this night will promise to keep you dancing until the early hours. A Techno dream!

NORTH

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  • LEEDS – For lovers of Jungle, Dub, DnB then Leeds is the city to be in on New Years Eve. Expect a heavy night with great vibes! Featuring music from the likes of Om Unit (jungle set), Metalheadz own Doc Scott and Remarc with a 90s set. Find the night at Leeds West Indian Centre.

 

PC MUSIC AT XOYO

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XOYO hosted its first PC Music night last night and what a success it was. The atmosphere from the get go was incredible, smiling faces bouncing around as much in time as they could attempt to to the fast and disjointed electronic sounds of Danny L Harle and A.G Cook.

I along with my friend found ourselves giggling as soon as we entered room 1 of the club just at the ridiculousness of  the sounds of PC filling up such a commercial London club and at what was an almost out of this world experience that is hard to describe without mentioning the likeliness to a happy hardcore rave. Perhaps one of the most eccentric underground music scenes in London at the moment, yet we were all there for the same reason… there was a strange sense of unity you don’t often get from techno nights.

The Princess of PC  Hannah Diamond made and appearance as the special guest and heightened the atmosphere even more, promptly followed by Kane West who changed the tempo from the more extreme experimental sounds of PC that to a more bass filled dancey vibe. The crowd were in full swing and yellow foam letters were flying around the room.

Unlike many other music genres and the repetitive slump that can be easy to fall into, it was strange and refreshing to end the night on the same level we started with, we left on a high and with the feeling we had really experienced something!