Introducing The Ironing Maidens and their steamy debut EP, Electro House Wife
Their about to kick off a huge tour of Queensland's best and brightest laundromats.
Last Friday saw the release of Electro House Wife, the debut EP from electronic duo The Ironing Maidens. The whole project is built around themes of domestic labour, technology and the history of women in electronic music, and we're all the way into it. Not ones for doing things by halves, they've adapted actual irons and ironing boards into instruments, while their tunes are filled with samples from domestic items like washing and sewing machines.
Everything about the project is great, they back it up with some killer tunes on Electro House Wife, and you can get to know 'em a little better below ahead of their upcoming Queensland Laundromat tour...
Tell us about yourselves?
We are an Aussie electronic music duo working together on an experimental arts project, The Ironing Maidens, which began when we discovered many of the pioneers of our genre were women, like Daphne Oram, who were totally absent from our formal EMP education! So this was our way of pressing for progress to have women's work acknowledged, be it in the studio, the laboratory, in politics or in the kitchen. Because let's face it, not enough has changed really for women since the '50s in terms of division of labour in the household and acknowledgment of work. We are loving the new journey it's taken us on as musicians too. In the technical realm, we developed our own electronic instruments from real irons and ironing boards, as well as collected sound samples from irons, washing machines and sewing machines. Then musically, collating these sounds with samples from actual 1950s advertising to bring our concepts and messaging around gender roles, housework and technology to life. We recently trialled taking this show out on the road touring laundromats, a totally new venue option that has worked perfectly for our show.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
As producers we work with many electronic genres, but for now old school '80s house music has a big influence on us for both the sound and feel of the tracks, as well as the underlying energy of the movement as a whole. We're talkin' floor-happy house beats and kooky lead lines with driving 303 style bass patterns reminiscent of early Chicago house. The lyrics are a bit tongue-in-cheek as we wanted to talk about these important topics but in a way that is fun, yet musically holds its own.
The concepts of these tracks have been through a process of research, brainstorming, collecting sounds and samples, more research and then construction. I (Melania) tend to do a lot of the melody, chords and lyric work, while Patty is the brilliant producer, pulling together all these elements and giving it an electro housewife feel. We have road tested this show and some of the tracks in Berlin to see how the messages translate and what sounds are working live so that we could bring the recorded version as close to the live experience as possible. It's exciting to bring it home to Australia now.
Can you tell us about your new EP, Electro House Wife?
This new EP we are touring is a journey. It follows the trajectory of our live show, starting out with a bit of house pop and lots of Daphne Oram samples in Composers Of The Future, then into an 'ironic' rap on Do You Get Enough? before heading into downtempo moody land with Dangers Of Ironing. And then we bring you home with some classic old school '80s house sounds in Electro House Wife and Strike While The Iron Is Hot, which are the two singles of this EP. We like to call it a homage to house music and a call to arms for the housewife!
Any shows coming up?
We do! Our tour of Queensland laundromats kicks off 15 June:
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
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
After this tour of Queensland Laundromats in June, we plan on getting stuck in to writing our first album, we've been looking forward to this for a while. We are cooking up a more national tour for next summer to get to the capital cities and summer festivals, and we do have an itch to get back to Berlin again. We will just keep on ironing!
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