BERLIN — Not long after 4 a.m. on a recent Sunday, Kerstin Egert (a.k.a. Tama Sumo), a resident D.J. of the revered techno club Berghain, was playing to a raucous, packed dance floor in the club’s upstairs Panorama Bar. As is usual at that hour, the line outside was long and getting longer, in this case for a lineup that included the Dutch-born producer Steffi; the Munich-bred D.J. Virginia; and Avalon Emerson, an American techno producer who has emerged as one of the most sought-after D.J.s on the international touring circuit.
All across the city, women were on the decks, from About:Blank, where the Italian D.J. Madalba was playing a closing set, to Tresor, one of the city’s oldest techno clubs, where the resident D.J. Barbara Preisinger was headlining her own monthly event.
Women have long been active as D.J.s in Berlin, arguably the world capital of underground electronic music, but they have surged in prominence and visibility in the past few years. A growing network of booking agencies and community groups run by women have helped bring female artists out of the shadows, dispelling the boy’s club atmosphere of the past. All-male club lineups are largely gone, while influential music publications like Pitchfork, Mixmag and Fader are rich with praise for female artists based in Berlin. And with international tours, those artists, in turn, are helping to diversify festival lineups and club scenes throughout the world.
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