New York–based art-pop band The Blow (Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne) have been making music for over a decade, but it was only recently that they discovered an underappreciated history of women in sound and music production. While male producers and musicians like Philip Glass and Steve Reich have been written about and documented extensively, the work of female producers and early electronic musicians like Wendy Carlos, Laurie Spiegel, Delia Derbyshire, and more have essentially been ignored and undervalued by music historians. To combat the stereotype that production is solely a man’s job, The Blow created an online archive, womanproducer.com, to collect photos and clips of female producers in history. Recently, the archive has expanded into a live event series at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, featuring performances and talks by artists like Zola Jesus, Neko Case, and more.
On “The Stakes” this week, we talked to Maricich and Dyne about what compelled them to start the archive, the importance of recording the act of women producing and working in their studios, and why it’s still so hard to see female artists as producers and makers of their own sonic universes. Here’s an extended cut of our conversation!