​New book highlights the pioneering Latin American women in dance music

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A new book is due for release next month exploring the pioneering Latin American women who helped to forward the sound of dance music.

Switched On: The Dawn of Electronic Sound by Latin American Women is set for release on Saturday, March 2, via Berlin-based publishing company Contingent Sounds.

The 210-page book is said to be the “first” of its kind dedicated to the female talent in Latin American electronic music, looking back at the “avant-garde” and early experimental music of the 20th century.

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Switched On features personal essays, archival photos, and interviews with pioneering women, including Elsa Justel, Margarita Paksa, Nelly Moretto, Teresa Burga, and more.

The book also includes interviews with French-Uruguayan composer and pianist Renée Pietrafesa Bonnet, who researched and performed early electroacoustic music, and German-Chilean composer Leni Alexander, who studied electronic music in the 1960s and taught young and disabled children.

Switched On is edited by Luis Alvarado, an independent curator and researcher, and Alejandra Cardenas, an experimental musician, artist, and researcher.

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“The texts presented here bring us closer to the work of a new generation of researchers who have focused on offering a non-canonical reading of the history of music and technology in Latin America,” reads the foreword.

“In a way, this publication is the record of a new vision, an account of the condition of being a woman in the field of music technology at a time when this was a predominantly masculine domain.”

A playlist of early electronic music and compositions from Latin American women has also been created alongside the book, highlighting the scale of influence on modern dance music. Check it out here.

Pre-order Switched On: The Dawn of Electronic Sound by Latin American Women here, and check out a photo of the book below.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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