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Navigating Whitewashing In Manchester’s Electronic Scene

Borne out of the meshing of DIY equipment and technical expertise in the recession-hit warehouses of Detroit, techno is the pioneering exploration of undiscovered sounds by black working-class musicians. Like the creation of hip-hop beats, grime riddims and house instrumentals, the parallels such genres hold with their fellow black music forms is a testament to its creation by those from the African Diaspora. Their raw soundscapes, fast BPMs and heightened rhythms are yet another drop in the musical bucket made by black visionaries across the world.

However, when thinking of electronic music it’s interesting to see what images come to mind. Jokingly referred to in some circles as “oonts-oonts” music, it’s usually seen as closer to white teenagers at debauched festivals than black creatives inspired by experiences of race, class and industrialisation. Decades on from its genesis, the electronic scene feels almost void of black creatives. Shockingly, black women currently make up less than 1% of all music producers and are heavily underrepresented in the sector despite our influence in music development.