In 2015, the lineup at the EDM-centric Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas — America's largest music festival — sported 199 acts. Eight of them were women. That's a figure so disparate that it's almost comical, but it's far from atypical in contemporary dance music. It also embodies one of the big challenges for women breaking through in electronic music: How can they grow their careers when the mainstream dance music infrastructure seems to be almost purposefully aligned against them?
Discwoman, the New York-based DJ crew and booking agency, aims to both challenge that bias and provide an alternative to it. The trio — Emma Burgess-Olson, who performs as Umfang, Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson and Christine Tran — is a fixture in Brooklyn underground nightlife, known for booking mini-festivals of entirely female bills. Its politics may be the conversation-starter, but its musicality and commitment makes just as strong a case for an inclusive vision of electronic music.
Discwoman's sound tilts toward harder-edged techno, but the radical premise of the group has earned it global fans.
The group makes its L.A. debut on Friday, in a collaboration with local promoters Fine Time. Umfang is joined by like-minded DJ's and producers including Volvox, Cherushii and Dahlia. It may not single-handedly right the ship when it comes to dance music's disparities, but it's a party that, simply by existing, may start repairing the damage.