Pink Noise Zine; Celebrating Women DJ's & Producers

Published in Culture, Life & Style on Oct 09, 2018 by Tim Marner™

The Lowdown

Pink Noise is the DIY zine on a mission to celebrate the diversity of women DJs and producers worldwide. Influenced by underground British rave and zine culture, the DIY publication is challenging the normalisation of an otherwise male dominated industry. Founders Moira Letby and Anastasia Glover, both hailing from Derbyshire in the UK, recognised the lack of accessible information for women interested in the various facets surrounding DJing and music production. With Pink Noise, the pair are digging deep into the underground scene to cast a spotlight on the eclectic spectrum of female innovators making waves from within. The zine’s first two sold out issues have featured Miley Serious, Meat Free, Discwoman’s Umfang, Kidä, and the anime artwork of Miu Hatano. Pink Noise aims to remain as inclusive and resourceful as possible, sharing diverse perspectives and opinion pieces alongside how-to guides on topics such as “how to throw your own club night” and “how to get your first pair of CDJs”. I-D magazine recently spoke with Moira and Anastasia about the zine’s conception and where it’s going next.

How did you meet and realise you possessed a shared passion for electronic music?
Moira: Me and Anastasia both come from a little town in Derbyshire in the Midlands. We went to the same school. Anastasia was in the year above me and I started Pink Noise on my own when I started university two years ago. I was posting about it, released the first issue, and then Anastasia got in touch over Facebook and it went from there. Music-wise not a lot of people in Derbyshire are into that sort of music because they’re not exposed to it. There’s not really a great clubbing scene.

Anastasia: I think when you’re from where we’re from it's quite special because you’re outnumbered by people who haven’t really got an interest in anything to do with the arts. So when you are, you kind of find people who are into that quite easily. 

I’m curious about your background in music. Do the two of you DJ?
Moira: No, we don’t. It’s something that we’re both really interested in doing. I’m a graphic designer, so my background is predominantly art-based but it’s always been an interest I’ve had. When I moved to London I started going out clubbing and my interest grew from that.

Anastasia: I’m quite musical myself and grew up with a lot of instruments in my life. I don’t produce music but it’s something I’m about to learn. I’m just learning Ableton at the moment. My passion for electronic music was discovered when I was growing up because my dad was into acts like the Chemical Brothers, so I was listening to a lot of that. I was watching an acid house documentary with my mum and I’d never heard anything like it in my life, and asked my mum what it was -- she told me it was Voodoo Ray. That’s the moment when I felt like I really [became] engaged in electronic music.

How did you come up with the idea for Pink Noise ?
Moira: It started up three years ago. I would find myself going out and being the only girl at the front. I realised through speaking to people that it wasn’t necessarily that women weren’t interested in that type of music, it was more because the environments aren’t that inviting. The way I started listening to electronic music was partly because my male friends DJ'ed or produced music. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just don’t think it’s open enough. It’s not advertised towards women and I wanted to make something that motivated and excited me.

Anastasia: As Moira said, people who are getting into electronic music, who are women, tend to do so through men; and men, whether they like it or not, do often make women feel a little bit excluded. Whereas Pink Noise zine includes all the girls in it together, so we’re all in the same boat and can give each other this welcome-ness.

Moira: I think it’s important to mention that a lot of guys buy it as well, not just females. It’s quite mad the actual amount of men that buy it because I thought, with it being for women, that a lot of men would be confused and think that meant they couldn’t read it or weren’t welcomed. It [doesn’t] bruise their ego in any way to get something that wasn’t actually purposely made for them.

What do you feel is different about this publication?
Moira: We try to make it as educational as possible in terms of having guides and information that’s helpful. It’s got a really big attitude to it; we don’t shy away from saying things. For instance, the next issue will be filled with political opinion pieces and commentary on things that are happening right now on the scene. Some people might shy away from that because they’re worried people might get offended or it might be slightly controversial, but we try and push through that. It involves opinions from real, normal people as well as DJs.

How do you feel the reaction to Pink Noise has been so far?
Moira: We’ve had such positive feedback. We get constant messages on Instagram and stuff, especially about how Issue Two has really pushed people to do what they want to do and start their adventure into music. That’s been really nice and we’ve had so much support.

Anastasia: It’s crazy just how many places we’ve managed to hit. We get orders from California, Berlin, Amsterdam, even Texas — which is pretty mad when I think about that because we’re from Ashbourne. The fact that something we’ve created is even reaching Texas is just mental. We even get orders from Australia.

What can you share about the next issue, and what are you excited about in terms of its future?
Moira: We don’t wanna share too much but we do have an interview with someone who is my and Anastasia’s idol. In terms of our future at the moment, we’re looking at different options for us to print and produce and grow because we have limited resources. We would love to be able to run workshops, events and nights, and release even more content.

Anastasia: I would say for the next issue we have a little bit of an advantage this time because people actually know who we are now, so people are more likely to give interviews. When we started out, we had to really try to prove ourselves to get interviews off certain people. Now we have a big pool of people wanting to get involved.


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