The Women of WAKAAN Festival 2022
The lack of representation for women DJs and producers in the EDM community has long been a topic of discussion, but it’s never been much of a debate. It’s a fact — the EDM genre is dominated by male musicians.
It’s more important than ever that our industry makes a conscious effort to shine a spotlight on women creatives who are paving a way for a more inclusive future in music through sonic innovation and distinct intentionality. Thankfully, Liquid Stranger is doing just that at this year’s WAKAAN Festival, which will feature some of the most dominant forces in modern bass music. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, many of those forces are women.
From established powerhouses to up-and-coming stars, feminine energy will be in full force at WAKAAN Festival. Read on to learn about some of the acts you can’t miss during your journey up to the Ozarks next weekend.
NotLö makes music to raise the dead. Her sound is as deep and grimy as it gets, giving her tracks the feeling of a midnight cemetery set crowded by zombies and ghouls.
On stage, she’s a devilish preacher spreading the bass gospel with bloody sermons and heavy drums. There’s no choir here — only dismantled skeletons shaking their bones in the dirt and breaking stained glass windows with smashing low frequencies. Her eerie approach to the genre has earned support from some of the industry’s legends like Zeds Dead, who recently featured NotLö on the We Are Deadbeats Vol. 5 mixtape.
If NotLö’s music is made for a cemetery seance, then VEIL’s sound exists in the underworld. There’s something about VEIL’s dangerously deep and distorted bass that begs you to run through hell, guns blazing, to challenge Lucifer’s reign. Surely, Lucifer wouldn’t stand a chance. Yeah, VEIL and NotLö are known for their insane B2B sets, where the power duo bounce seamlessly from one dark banger to the next, but make no mistake — both of these ladies stand powerfully on their own.
Redrum’s music is in touch with the spiritual world, but in a different way than NotLö and VEIL. Her music is a dark potion, concocted with a hefty dose of eerie samples and the strange sounds of medieval laboratories and wiccaning ceremonies — a ritualistic celebration and welcoming of new pagans into the spiritual community. This is especially true on the Chaos Theory EP, recently released on WAKAAN and more ghostly than her previous projects.
Khiva is an interesting identity in the modern bass scene. If there are three things that define Khiva’s music, it’s her rap influence, spooky soundscapes, and horror-themed elements.
With tracks like “Blood Bank,” “Where the Reaper Stood,” and “Swampmonster,” it’s clear Khiva has an affinity for horror culture, which she weaves into tracks between high-energy rap verses covered in deep basslines and plenty of reverb-laden vocals. Khiva enjoys rapping these verses live at most of her performances, which makes Khiva’s sets exceptionally fun and engaging. If there was a soundtrack for sneaking into an abandoned theme park under the supernatural gaze of a full moon, Khiva would be the perfect composer.
A young Canadian producer with a future bass aesthetic, Canabliss has carved a sassy, confident style drenched in glitchy aesthetics and surprises at every turn. At times — like on “Currents” — her music represents the hypnotizing soundtrack of alien abduction. It’s pleasantly atmospheric and shockingly dystopian, a mix of pulsating bass and extraterrestrial frequencies. She’ll be making her WAKAAN debut at Mulberry Mountain next weekend, and will surely pull out all the stops for her big moment.
A Hundred Drums
Gabrielle Watson, AKA A Hundred Drums, is one of the hottest up-and-coming bass and trap artists in the industry, period. Based in Denver, CO, the well-respected, undeniably original producer has forged a lane of her own through years spent on the road supporting industry giants like CloZee, REZZ, Zeds Dead, and Mersiv. Her deep, spooky frequencies rooted in tribal atmospheres and spiritual ambiance has earned her some pretty impressive accolades, including a $10,000 grant as a recipient of Excision’s Bass Music Initiative. Along with massive support from the Deadbeats label, A Hundred Drums is just getting started.
CloZee is as dynamic as they come. The French producer has touched every sound from chillstep to future bass, injecting a healthy sense of purpose into each track she lends her talents. Since moving to Denver, Colorado last year, she’s established herself as a pioneering tastemaker with her Odyzey Music label, which features experimental and global bass artists like Super Future and Tripp St. CloZee’s music is a psychedelic jungle caught between the dawn of bass music’s next evolution and a beachfront temple overcome by the rising tides of empathetic intentionality, expressed through worldly soundscapes and grand sonic adventures.
Zingara is a relatively new face in the electronic music scene, with slingshotting success aided by her viral Tik Tok sensation, “Astra,” which immediately caught the attention of LSDREAM and others, who have made a point of including the track in their mixes and performances throughout the past two years.
Recognition is coming at a breakneck speed for the young artist, who was recently featured on the We Are Deadbeats Vol. 5 compilation. She also announced her first headlining tour across America. At just 23 years old, Zingara has secured a clear and definitive path to success and respect in the bass community through explosive, melodic bangers like “Space Candy” and celestial sonic journeys like “Galactic Federation,” which will surely make for a high-energy performance at this year’s WAKAAN Festival.
Sharlitz Web feels like looking into an infinity mirror dosed on LSD. It’s spacious, euphoric, and wonderfully disorienting. Fueled by the tragic loss of her sister, Charlotte, Sharlitz web is defining a legacy for her late sibling, whose spirit lives on through Web’s dark melodies and deep bass. Her sounds have a slight industrial edge at times, but in general, her music exists in a tangled forest crawling with mythical creatures of the deep, dark night. We’re definitely caught in her web, and you should be too.
It’s easy to liken Sacred Snow to Khiva, given both artists are female rappers that incorporate their smooth vocal style and flow over bass-saturated beats. However, dig a little deeper and it’s clear both of these artists have their own distinct sound and style. While Khiva is more concerned with the spooky, darker side of electronic soundscapes, Sacred Snow is more melodic, with a calmer delivery and luminous flair. Her slower aesthetic is a picturesque winter day covered in a fresh coat of snow and a light breeze swirling the frozen powder all around with every bass drop.