You need to hear The Ironing Maidens’ EP, ‘Electro House Wife’
After learning of the work of pioneering synth composer DAPHNE ORAM, a musician who practically invented electronic music back in the 1950’s, friends Patty Preece and Melania Jack were pissed. How could the massive influence of Oram and so many other woman in electronic music of that era be so unheard of in modern music circles? Energised by this discovery they banded together to form THE IRONING MAIDENS, a duo exploring stereotypical representations of womanhood of that era through the medium of electronic synthesis and live performance. Their latest EP, Electro House Wife, is a complete definition of the project, celebrating the continued efforts of women in a domestic setting and the musos that inspired the duo through innovation.
Across the EP, the duo samples documentaries, sexist advertisements and after school specials over 303’s and house inspired beats. Gender roles are thrown into question through their lyricism, highlighting the seemingly outdated stereotypes of the 50’s that are still prevalent today. The collection of tracks runs the electronic gauntlet, from the techno banger of the title track to the ambient synthesis of ‘The Dangers of Ironing’, all the while linking each other with dated imagery and exploring the themes of sexism and gender roles through the lyricism.
But the best way to experience The Ironing Maidens isn’t through headphones, as their live show incorporates even more elements to their story telling. The duo play almost exclusively in laundromats, sampling the ambience of washing machines with contact mics and completely transforming the spaces with lighting and projections. They’ve incorporated irons and ironing boards into their live performances, using them as controllers and drum pads to mesh with their tech and turning the traditional symbols of female domesticity against themselves.
The exciting dawn of electronic music just happened to be in the era of limiting gender roles and “traditional” womanhood, with the contributions of women in all fields being neglected and these societal rules setting the foundation for a culture that still lives on today. With this project, The Ironing Maidens have brought the invisibility of women’s work and influence to the forefront, celebrating the achievements of women in the home and in the industry. The duo are just about to set off on a laundromat tour of QLD, with nine days spanning the big cities and smaller towns. Check the dates below to see if they’re coming to a laundromat near you! Buy tickets for their QLD tour here.
Fri 15 Jun – Kirra Beach Quickie-mat Laundromat, Gold Coast
Sat 16 Jun – Morningside Laundromat, Brisbane
Tue 19 Jun – The Cotton Tree Laundry, Maroochydore
Thu 21 Jun – Ezee Laundromat, Bundaberg
Fri 22 Jun – Barbie Jean’s Laundry Clean, Boyne Island
Sat 23 Jun – Super Clean Laundromat, Rockhampton
Mon 25 Jun – Dougz Sudz, Mackay
Tue 26 Jun – Australian Laundries, Townsville
Fri 29 Jun – The Laundry Express + After Party @ Three Wolves, Cairns
PHOTO via Facebook
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL