Electric IndigoDJ, feminist and pioneer

Connected news 13.04.2021

Suzanne Kirchmayr and Electric Indigo are one and the same: musician, composer, DJ, feminist. An emblematic figure of the Austrian techno scene, Electric Indigo has been playing her music in festivals and clubs all over the world for over 30 years.

Suzanne Kirchmayr, aka Electric Indigo, began her DJ career in Vienna, where she was born, on 15 December 1965, and is now a veteran of the Austrian electro scene. As a teenager, she was fascinated by hip hop, funk and jazz. In the early 1980s, she got into the techno vibe and listened to the pioneering DJs: Jeff Mills, DJ Rush and Mike Banks.

From Vienna to Berlin: behind the decks

In 1989, at the age of 24, Susanne Kirchmayr began mixing in the bars of her native city. The young woman was the first to play techno in Viennese clubs, thus democratizing access to a music that was still little known in the Austria of the early 1990s. Then it was on to the boiling Berlin of the post-wall era. In the irreverent German capital, Suzanne mixed and deepened her techno, rock, indie and electro culture in the legendary Hard Wax record shop, where she worked from 1993 to 1996. At that time, Berlin was a bustling hive of underground activity, bringing together musicians and DJs from all over the world. Suzanne Kyrchmair established herself as one of the pioneering female DJs of electronic music.

Too few women visible on the electro scene

The young DJ was quickly struck by the fact that there were so few women active on the electronic music scene. Moreover, she quickly got tired of hearing, as soon as she performed, how rare it was to see a woman behind the decks. In 1998, at the beginning of the internet era, she founded an international network to support female artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts. Her name has all the makings of a manifesto: female : pressure, female pressure. It's a nod to sexism. International, female:pressure offers a huge database intended to give more visibility to women artists, but also transgender, intersex, genderqueer, a-gender, non-binary... The network gathers more than 2000 DJs, composers and producers from nearly 80 countries. 

Before performing solo under the pseudonym Electric Indigo (her favourite colour), Suzanne joined forces with other DJs for large techno projects, which she produced herself: "Northstar" was born with three other Austrian artists in 1993, "Loisaida Sisters" the following year and "VLP" in 2011. In 2003, resolutely independent, she founded her own label: Indigo:inc.

The best of the festivals

The compositions of Electric Ingido are created in the biggest electro festivals, with adventurous and avant-garde programming: Wien Modern, CTM, Heroines of Sound... The cream of the crop! But Electric Indigo knows how to leave the happy few of the electro scene and mix a whole night at the Berghain. In a career spanning more than thirty years, Susanne has toured clubs and festivals in 45 countries. She has composed music for clubs, sound installations, theatre productions and even short films.

Exhibitronic Festival, DJ set in Strasbourg on September 4th 2020

Institutional recognition...

Electric Indigo has been honored with numerous awards, including the honorable mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2009. In 2013, she was awarded the National Grant for Composition by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

This is the year of Abstrial, a radically contemporary opera by Paola Bianchi, Ivan Fantini, Pia Palme and Electric Indigo:

... But eternal bad girl !

His latest album, resolutely experimental is released in 2018, is called 5 1 1 5 9 3, released under the label "Imbalance Computer Music". Metallic objects and human voices intermingle throughout the tracks, to tell a real sound story, not devoid of shadowy areas... 

With 32 albums to her credit, Electric-Susanne Indigo-Kyrchmair, a rare artist who carries the values of electronic music and open-mindedness as her standard, is not ready to stop building bridges between techno and other music movements, as long as they are conceptual and audacious.

Suzanne Gervais

Photo© Elsa Okazaki


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