There is a plethora of unique, genre-bending bass and EDM here in the bass capital of the world — not only from international artists stopping through on massive tours but also multiplying from within the Mile High City itself. In many ways, EDM remains a male-dominated industry, but with even the tiniest amount of exposure and research, you’ll find there is a beautiful and explosive scene of femme creators to explore, especially in Denver. 303 Magazine spoke with five Denver-based women currently making massive waves in the EDM scene. From NotLö and VEIL to CloZee and Maddy O’Neal, read on to take a tour of modern femme EDM history. An audio tour is also available on the 303magazine Spotify!
First on the agenda is NotLö, who started as a house party DJ and has followed her dreams all the way to a show at Red Rocks with PEEKABOO. NotLö, who uses sound to its full spectrum with a ride range of inspiration, emphasized her desire to “convey organic and lush — but also dark and mysterious — atmosphere as well.”
It often seems like NotLö’s uses every instrument available in Abletonto build depth inher tracks. Each song takes its sweet time to move over listeners like an ominous cloud, heavy with mystery. According to NotLö, fans should expect, “high energy and very cinematic visual elements” at her live shows. “Thanks to my lovely visual arts team, Joseph Allen & Alyssa Miller, we have created a brand new visual world to step into.”
Denver has proven to be just the right spot for NotLö to cast her creative shadow. “I always want fans to feel like I am here for them. It’s been amazing to meet the beautiful people that support me so much, I cherish every single one of them,” NotLö said of her local fanbase.
NotLö seems to have also found her style soulmate here in Denver with fellow dark arts bass master VEIL. The pair collaborated on a two-track EP in 2021 curating a rattling alien sound, likely the soundtrack to an unexpected, but welcomed, abduction from our physical world.
With a particularly sinister sound, VEIL has been working hard to build complex landscapes within her music. Wubs that seem to have traveled from the deep seas of unknown planets or the dense forests that enclose secrets from before our time fill VEIL’s magnetic, death-defying beats. With 15 years of music now under her belt, VEIL has had the “pleasure to dabble in lots of different niches.”
With her music career starting at shows during Burning Man back in 2013, VEIL considers herself a curator. “I was always a selector and someone who wanted to curate the mood with music.”
Another important piece of VEIL’s investment in the musical sphere is through her own label, Street Ritual — a label that, in true Denver fashion, is ”dedicated to sounds of the underground.” Aspiring artists can find a helping hand from the label boss VEIL herself on Street Ritual’s website.
With complex musical composure come equally complex emotions. “I want fans to engage with the entire experience and allow themselves to feel things outside of their own comfort zones.” VEIL said.
“Music is a gateway to whatever you want it to be — that’s what is so special about it. It has the power to bring a human to tears, screams, movement, laughter, joy, astonishment; it is there for you in whatever way it needs to be, whenever you need it. I can’t think of anything else more powerful than that.”
Just this February, VEIL came together with Yoko, another femme Denver EDM extraordinaire, creating the track “BAZAAR” on a 2023 electronic compilation album. VEIL also recently performed a haunting set at Red Rocks with Subtronics, one of her musical inspirations, and crew for an epic snow show.
READ: Subtronics Unleashed the Perfect Storm for Red Rocks Night Two
In moments of auditory darkness, VEIL is there. Truly immersive scenes unfold through each project many of which feel shockingly reminiscent of an Ari Aster movie soundtrack. Experience this unidentified power locally at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on June 8th.
Moving in the direction of warmth, technicolor and temples of sound, Bass Temple provides an often flashy, almost club sound. “I love the feeling of getting totally immersed into another world and just feeling in awe with life.” said Bass Temple when discussing the “inner journey” that her music takes fans on. Bass Temple thinks of music as “a genuine expression of feeling.”
Similarly to NotLö and so many other EDM artists Bass Temple began with DJ sets, back home in Hawaii, which evolved into producing. Bass Temple described her choice to stick with music passionately, saying “I fell in love and was hooked for life.” This common EDM gateway drug of DJing seems to have some lasting effects on musicians, “I think coming up as a DJ had an impact on my production style as well as thinking about how a track can be incorporated into a full set.” commented Bass Temple.
Bass Temple has immersed herself in the community here in Denver, both with artists and fans alike. Bass Temple sees music as a collaboration. “I really enjoy getting to know my fans and really appreciate people who reach out or come talk to me after a show. I think it’s really a collaborative experience so I love getting to connect with people,” she said. The plethora of musical friends and collaborators is also an incredibly big part of Bass Temple’s life here. “There’s lots of opportunity to connect with artists. This also really helps to keep me inspired and motivated to keep pushing myself further.”
On the other side of the world, CloZee, a French producer, felt Denver calling her home just like Bass Temple. Now perhaps one of the most famous femme EDM artists, CloZee has been spreading her international bass music far and wide with the help of her adoring fans. With striking intensity, CloZee uses her music to address life’s philosophies and complexities. Anything from infinity, ghosts, and inner peace to forest and jungle sounds are on the table.
Outside of production, CloZee started Odyzey Music in 2020, which her team describes as an “artist-friendly” label, and her work with artists here in Denver continues to evolve rapidly. Most recently a collaboration with Ganja White Knight, another international EDM force, brought the dark fantasy element that bass head fanatics can’t get enough of.
Another very exciting drop this past year was the CloZee and Maddy O’Neal single, “Zest Please.” Watching the mix of styles and energy is something all local EDM fans should definitely take the time to experience. With such a malleable genre, the collaboration and highlighting of talent possible is fascinating and beautiful.
READ: Maddy O’Neal Talks “The Rush,” Mission Ballroom and Becoming her Own Band
CloZee has also been known to chill backstage, experiencing her fellow Denver artist’s shows firsthand and even in the case of INZO, making an appearance with some raw and totally unique live collaborations. Luckily for fans, CloZee has a lengthy tour schedule this year, including a headlining performance at Sonic Bloom here in Colorado this June.
Last but certainly not least is Maddy O’Neal. She thrives in the crossover between wave and bass. In line with the album art full of symmetry and references to both nature and the human form, O’Neal’s beats swirl around listeners’ heads like flower petals in spring. However, with a quick turn, funk emerges with a heavier bass sound, that somehow remains light on the eardrums but rattles you in just the right way.
Raised with two musicians in her house, music has always been a relevant piece of O’Neal’s life. Despite this, O’Neal described a fear that she had “missed the boat” because she hadn’t stuck with an instrument in her younger years. An introduction to electronic music spurred O’Neal to learn about the production of music itself. With the help of youtube, and a willingness or curiosity to experiment, fans now have the EDM sensation vibrating souls with every song.
These days O’Neal describes her sound as “feel-good” bass music. “My intentions are to lift people up and inspire while also hitting them with the physical feeling of when a bass hits you straight in the chest. That is powerful,” O’Neal explained.
Within the genre that is “constantly evolving,” O’Neal is a definitive creative force. With an upbringing in indie rock and blues, O’Neal finds herself gravitating towards what she describes as the “soul element.” In reference to her own desires for music O’Neal clarified, “the soul with the grime is the perfect combo for me.” O’Neal’s 2022 project, Ricochet is a great place to hear this very sound.
O’Neal describes music as her “escape and mediation.” She continued, saying “music is a universal language that has brought me so many of my best friends in this life. It’s my mode of translating thoughts and feelings and creating something from nothing… my contribution to society.”
If you are looking for more badass bass women in recent 303 coverage, check out CHYL and Softest Hard, who recently made their way through Denver on Habstrakt’s Distorted Reality Tour.
Denver rave-goers can also experience many of the artists mentioned above and so many more at Sonic Bloom this summer. If you already have your tickets be sure to check out, AAYA, Hex Kitten and Yoko’s sets!
Know a local edm femme not on our radar? Give them a shoutout in the comments!