Laurel Halo’s debut album Quarantine is out this week, and it’s just as good as we were hoping it might be, full of strange and wonderful sounds, all topped by Halo’s distinctive vocals. Experimental music has a long and proud history of female involvement, from the work of electronic pioneers like Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire through Cosey Fanni Tutti and Ikue Mori and Laurie Anderson to latter-day examples like Diamanda Galas and Gudrun Gut. To celebrate the release of Quarantine, and the fact that there seem to be more fascinating female experimentalists around than ever, we thought we’d put together a selection of contemporary talents whose work we love — some you’re probably familiar with, some you might not be, all of them are great. And, of course, let us know your suggestions.
We’ve been very much looking forward to Quarantine, both because all of Halo’s work has hinted that she had at least one excellent album in her, and because said album is out via Hyperdub, who are one of our favorite labels — albeit, it has to be said, a rather male-dominated part of the music industry up until now. The record doesn’t disappoint, and we’re also rather amused that the first comment that appears on the Soundcloud stream of the album is “Lol don’t get this.”