Back in the 1980s, there was a female producer and remixer called Yvonne Turner. You might not have heard of her – I only discovered her existence around three years ago – but she played a crucial role in the development of house music dubs.
Were it not for her pioneering work in the formative days of house music, the likes of Masters At Work would have been laughed out of the room when they created that dubby mix of Debbie Gibson’s “One Step Ahead” in 1990. The result of MK cutting up vocals for his dubs would have been the scratching of heads. Polite reaction would have “that’s nice, but when does she start singing?”.
However, being a woman in what remains a giant men’s club is a thankless task. Her role in her own productions and remixes was frequently downplayed – infact, she was sometimes written out of the story altogether. And the appalling treatment of women in the music industry goes on – only a few weeks ago, I published a few short stories from an anonymous female DJ of many years.
So when James Blake released an album and his girlfriend Jameela Jamil was credited as a producer on it, many were quick to dismiss…
Depressing, but not the least bit surprising. Indeed, it’s only the very real threat of libel proceedings which deter me from publishing some of the horrendous stories of sexism and whitewashing which I get sent. If the extent of what one particular gentleman whose name keeps popping up was to emerge, his career would probably come crashing down.
So the whitewashing of women out of music continues. Unless they’re singing or dancing, no one seems to believe it happened – and even then, the armchair critics aren’t short of spite to spout…