Women of Canberra’s Electronic Music Scene

The 1990s to mid-2000s.


by DJ Robot Citizen, updated 2024-03-24


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This article is in reply to a question raised in a post on Facebook in 2024. The post was: “I’d like to ask if there is any female promoters, music journalists, club owners, DJs or industry professionals that were active here in Canberra back then? 90’s, 2000’s?” [1]

My article in reply is below …

Sadly the post indicates how knowledge of what was and who did what is lost through the mists of time; as wave after wave after wave of active scene people move away or retire and the earlier websites disappear.

Hence, decades later, the younger people who become part of a music subculture, they do not know who laid the foundations of it; who gave many years to establish an ongoing viable scene that survives in other forms 20 to 30 years later. Later people may even presume that ‘nothing much happened’ before they and their slightly elder peers.

The reality is Canberra had a thriving electronic music scene in the 1990s and early 2000s. And ladies were a major part of it.

Canberra ladies were:

  • a large % of the local electronic music producers, including a duo who achieved the greatest recognition of all such Canberra projects during those times.
  • were a majority of the event organisers, promoters and DJs – in the music scenes I was mostly involved with – during the 1990s & 00s.


So below are my notes about them, those that I knew, in reply to that question above. My goal is to bring attention and recognition to their creations and contributions, through the notes and links to sites, audio and videos.

[PS – I intend to add images!]

Sections Below:

1] Women of Canberra Electronic Music Projects

2] A list of the club events for the ‘alternative’ electronic music scene; most of the DJs and promoters were female.

3] Community Radio 2XX and the women who ran that.


1] Women of Canberra Electronic Music Projects, the 90s to the mid-00s.

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1A] The following were involved as composers, musicians, producers and performers of electronic music productions.

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B(if)tek was an electronic music group formed by Nicole Skeltys and Kate Crawford in 1994. From 1996 to 2003 they released 3 albums, 5 singles and several promotional videos. They were likely the first Canberra electronic music project to receive regular daily airplay on the national Triple J radio station; most particularly during 1998-2001 with tracks like ‘Bedrock’, ‘We Think You’re Dishy’ and ‘Wired For Sound’. Their 2nd album was released on a major label, Sony/Murmur.

https://biftek.bandcamp.com – contains the albums and EPs

For a B(if)tek playlist on youtube with video clips and tracks see

Nicole and Kate were active members of the Canberra chapter of the Clan Analogue collective. There were around 8 Canberra members in all; with 4 who were very focused and active on this project; and me as the 5th wheel who got involved when they invited me. Hence, of the 4 main wheels, 2 were female; 2 were male [and then me].

Nicole Skeltys

Prior to forming B(if)tek Nicole was active with the group Area 51. They were an all-female band who performed numerous times in Canberra venues during the mid-90s and had songs released on several compilation CD albums. An example track is ‘They’re Human‘ from 1995.
Nicole also released quirky upbeat electronic dance music through her solo project Artificial with albums in 1999 and 2002. An example is the track ‘Can Ya?

She’s been active ever since with projects that cover a range of music styles.


Kate Crawford

As well as B(if)tek Kate has produced tracks since the mid-90s with Bo Daley of Canberra’s Dark Network project. Those tracks have been released under a range of one-off project titles on various artist compilation albums.

In 2018 an album of Kate & Bo music has been released under the name Metric Systems.

I recall that Kate was a presenter on Triple J radio during the 00s. As a writer her articles about musicians and the music industry were published in mainstream media. She has since become an academic specialising in AI. She has articles published in a range of news media in Australia and the USA. Her latest book is Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence.


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A popular Canberra nightclub DJ in the 90s – see notes further below – Toupee produced several tracks that were released on compilation CD albums in the late-90s and early-00s. Some of these were in co-production with Artificial – see notes above.

Some audio tracks of Artificial Vs DJ Toupee:

* ‘Hole in my Programme‘ – released on the ‘ElectriCity volume 3‘ compilation; originally on a 2CD set in 2003.

* ‘Any Ladies‘ – from 2001 is featured on a Clan Analogue compilation album.

DJ Toupee Moriarty has a mixcloud channel of DJ mixes made in the 2010s at

Discography: https://www.discogs.com/artist/23641-DJ-Toupee

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Somaya Langley

Somaya has collaborated on producing electroacoustic soundscapes from the late 90s through the 00s.
Some of these were presented live in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and cities in Europe.

These projects include: ‘HyperSense Complex’, ‘Collars’, ‘gesture≈sound’, ‘Mobile Patters’, ‘MetaSense’, ‘re:Skin’, ‘STATE2STATE’, ‘Under Observation’ and ‘ID-i/o’ which is described as ‘a solo live wearable sensor-based electronic audiovisual performance project’.
To learn more about these projects and who was involved see the site link below.

Somaya has also been involved with:

* co-producing events for live electronic music. These include the renowned Electrofringe festival in Newcastle in the late ’00s; and the eXXentricity club events in Canberra during 2003-04.

* plus a decade of presenting the Subsequence radio show on 2XX.
An audio track is available for ‘Shimmer‘.
It was released on the ‘ElectriCity volume 4‘ compilation, originally on CDR in 2004.

In 2016 Somaya presented a talk for ‘Failure Lab‘ [youtube channel] about the great challenges of being a sound artist with projects and relationships across the planet.
Somaya’s site: https://www.criticalsenses.com

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Kerry B Artimovich [aka. Jane Citizen, DvaD9]

Originally from the USA Kerry was a partner in the Canberran EYE and E.L.F. projects during the 2000s. From 2001 she performed live synths, samples and vocals alongside Robot Citizen for numerous performances as E.L.F. in Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle. An example is the ‘Live @ XXL’ album and the 2002 live track ‘Music is​ .​.​. Here to Protect You‘.

Kerry contributed to the 2001 track ‘A Nice Walk in the Park‘, released under the E.L.F. title in 2003, on the ElectriCity’ compilation CDs. “A Nice Walk” was then featured on national radio Triple J, on specialty shows and also their daily playlist – making it the second or third Canberra electronic music project, to achieve that major milestone – the aforementioned B(if)tek being the first.
Kerry added sounds and vocals on numerous EYE recordings; notably on the 2002 electro-rap-rock song ‘Workers United‘ which was released on several CD compilations. She also features on other tracks on the ‘Propaganda Machine‘ albums; such as ‘This System [will eat itself]‘, ‘Taliban: Made by the USA’, the demo of ‘Just The Way You Are‘ as well as ‘CIA Robot Assassin’ initially released as E.L.F.

How did Kerry find her way to Canberra from the USA? In 1998 she found a flyer for Canberra record label Blatant Propaganda on the floor of QXT nightclub in New Jersey USA. From that, several years later, she was living in Australia.




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Sarah Solaris

Sarah was a co-host of the long-running BeatRoot radio show on 2XX in the 2000s. It was broadcast on many stations around the nation via the community radio network.
She and her gentleman radio partner also produced electronic music. They released some through different project names on the ElectriCity CD compilations. They were:

SolarisIf a Centipede Could Skip  [released 2003]

Chindogu CircuitOperation Benny Barbarosa [released 2004]

As Solaris they performed live at the 2003 eXXentricity event, which launched the first ElectriCity compilation CD set.

During the late 1990s she may have been involved with the N.E.T Collective and Keystone band – details I endeavour to verify.

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1B] The following ladies were involved as Vocalists on electronic music productions by Canberra artists.

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Helen Razer

In the late 1980s Helen performed rap vocals with The Pheromones who performed a style of hip-hop-electro-rock. They developed a fanbase in Canberra. A live track appeared on a 1990 compilation of various artists “We’re not Square“; a vinyl album, released by radio 2XX. During that time Helen was a program presenter on 2XX. From 1990 to 1998 Helen was a program host on national radio JJJ; the ‘Helen & Mikey’ breakfast show, ‘Ladies Lounge’ and also ‘The Racket’ heavy metal program. She is an author of several books and many articles in news media.


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Pia Utopia

Pia J. Simmons [aka Pia Utopia] was active during the mid-1990s with the N.E.T Collective. It is described as “a musical ensemble of artists that performed and/or recorded in different combinations of bands and groups (with members often using different aliases), based in Sydney and Canberra during the 1990s.” [1] Her vocals appeared on CD compilations during 1996-1998 in tracks by the groups Keystone and EYE.


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Lady Hannah Cadaver [Annalise Goddard]

She has been a vocalist and performer for several Canberra electronic-based bands. Her vocals appear prominently as a member of The Closet Stiffs who released a mini-album tiled ‘Non Violent Electronica’ in 1999. Tracks include ‘Black & Gold‘ & ‘Modern Animal‘.
She also performed on tracks by EYEKadoish’ and AYAAphazia‘, released between 1998 and 2002.


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Cris Clucas

During the 2000s Cris often performed vocals with music by producer and DJ Ashley Feraude at the Academy nightclub. I recall they recorded numerous tracks in the early-mid 2000s. ‘Something New‘ was one of them, released on the ‘ElectriCity volume 4‘ compilation in 2004. Her vocals also appear on ‘Light Storms‘ [2008] by Canberra hip-hop project D’Opus and Roshambo. Cris released an excellent album of her own acoustic-based music in 2002. An example is the track ‘Oceanna‘. She also performed in the band Cuss who released an album in 1996.


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1C] The following lady was involved as a recording studio engineer whose work included some electronic music productions by Canberra artists.

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Linda Radclyffe

Linda was a program presenter and recording studio producer at Canberra radio 2XX during the mid-1990s. She recorded, engineered and produced numerous bands for a 1996 compilation CD titled ‘These Songs and More‘. In the late ’90s she moved to Sydney and became an audio engineer at the national Triple J station. She was prominently active on the ‘Like A Version’ series and the ‘Live at the Wireless’ program, as well as many live concerts. She has worked on albums by dozens of artists.



2] A List of the Canberra Electronic Music Night Club Events and Who was Involved.

Preface Notes:

I’m writing below about the scenes I knew best. While I was involved as a DJ with the techno club and rave scene early on, in the early-mid-90s, my main focus became the alternative music scene, or “alt-scene” for short.

Our alt-scene club nights usually happened on Thursday nights. Whereas the more mainstream electronic dance music events occurred on the weekend nights. Our nights focused on the following ranges of electronic music – electronica, synthpunk, cyberpunk, electronic body music [EBM], electro industrial, intelligent dance music [IDM], darkwave, electroclash, electropunk, futurepop and so on.

Overall we didn’t really promote our DJ names much during the 1990s. Quite often they weren’t on the promo materials of our club nights. We liked doing clubs that brought friends together for music we liked. We didn’t think of DJing as being a serious thing.

As some DJ names are ambiguous I have placed after some an [f] for female or [nb] for persons identifying as non-binary, two-spirit, gender-diverse, gender-fluid etc.

Relating back to the original question, that prompted this article …
As Canberra is a small city I’d say that, relating to electronic music, only one person in this article could be called an “industry professional” – meaning someone who worked full-time hours and was paid for it over numerous years. That person was Sylvie Stern, the manager of Heaven nightclub [1994-2001] and presenter on community radio 2XX [up until 2015]. I refer to her several times in the notes below.

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The Alt-Scene Electronic Music Clubs in Canberra of the 1990s:


1992-1993 event called ‘Mudclub‘ at The Zone venue in Braddon in 1992; then at The Base in Manuka 1993.
DJs: Mel [f], Clint, Robbie [nb] – who became DJ Robot/Citizen years later.
Event organiser: Clint Hurrell.

1993 club ‘Cactoblastis‘ at The Base venue in Manuka.
DJs: Mel [f], Carly/Kali [f] and Robbie [nb].
Venue manager: Ken Jensen.

1993 rave ‘MENTASM‘.
Saturday 31st July 1993 at The Griffin Centre in Civic.
DJs: Ming D, Left Right Centre, Ken Cloud, Chris Fresh, Mystik, Mush E, Ken Jensen, Robbie [nb] and Mel [f].

1994 club ‘Planet Pumpkin‘ at The Asylum venue.
DJs: Alex, Carly/Kali [f], Toupee [f] and Robbie [nb].
Event organiser: Alex.
Venue manager: Craig and Steve.

1994-95 club ‘Petrol‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Alex, Robbie [nb] and I think perhaps Red Sonja [f].
Event organiser: Alex.
Venue manager: Sylvie Stern.

1995 club ‘Fudge‘ at The Asylum venue.
DJs: Carly/Kali [f], Toupee [f] and Robbie [nb].
Event organiser: Carly.

1995-96 club ‘Boiinngg‘ at The Asylum venue.
DJs: Toupee [f], Mel [f] and Robbie/J.Citizen [nb].
Event organiser: collective.

1995 club ‘Cloud 9‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Toupee [f], Mel [f], Ben Conant and Robbie/J.Citizen [nb]

1996 club ‘Oblivion‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Jo Cramer [f], Valentina [f], Emma Lea [f] and J.Citizen [nb].
Event organiser: Jo [f].
Venue manager: Sylvie Stern.

1995-96 club ‘Canberra House Authority‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Toupee [f], Jon Wicks and others.

1995-96 club ‘Parklife‘ at the Heaven venue.
Main room: Sonja [f], Blake, Robbie/J.Citizen [nb]
Back room:
– before midnight: Jo Cramer [f] and J.Citizen [nb]
– after midnight: Toupee [f], Speedloader [Sean Sullivan] & other Heaven regulars like Dmitri.

1997 club ‘Millenium‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Jo Cramer [f], Valentina [f], Emma Lea [f] and J.Citizen [nb].
Event organiser: Jo [f].

1997 club ‘Paroxysm‘ at the Heaven venue.
DJs: Jo Cramer [f], Patrick, Ben Conant and J.Citizen [nb].
Event organiser: Jo [f].

1998-1999 club ‘Narcissus‘ at The Gypsy Bar venue.
DJs: Shelle [f], Amanda [f], James and DJ Citizen [nb].
Later a range of others including Patricia Hunt [f] as ‘DeadKitty’ or ‘LingeriePanic’
Event organiser: Shelle then Caroline then Patricia.
The club event was later held at the Akuna Club venue.

1998-2000 club ‘Nexus‘ at the Heaven venue.
Event organiser: Jo and then DJ Citizen [nb] 1999-2000.
DJs: Jo Cramer [f] and DJ Citizen [nb].
After Jo moved away, Lisa Kewley was the DJ partner with Robot Citizen in 1999.
After Lisa moved away Annette ‘Nettie’ was the DJ partner with Robot Citizen in 2000.
I recall that after I [Robot J. Citizen] temporarily retired in mid-late 2000, from running events, which ended NEXUS, that Nettie continued with an event called ‘Halo’ until Heaven closed in late 2000. Her DJ partner was Gerard.

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That covers ~95% of the alt-scene music clubs in Canberra from 1992 up to 2001.


We can see from the above that the majority of DJs and event organisers just so happened to be female. 🙂

In our alt-music scenes, during the 1990s, if someone wanted to do things like DJ &/or organise club events, all they had to do was have a certain degree of talent, motivation and be good to get along with.

An older archive of related notes for the events noted above are at

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Regards the more mainstream dance music club scene, I wasn’t involved and had neither time nor interest to attend events, so I can’t write with knowledge about that. My impression though – from seeing flyers and posters at the clubs I DJd at – is the DJs were nearly all guys.

An exception I know of …

Bec Paton

was a popular Canberra DJ in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Her CV states her genres of interest were or are “hip hop, funk, soul”
I gather she moved to Sydney in the mid-late 2000s.
For some of her DJ mixes see https://soundcloud.com/bec-paton
Those include a set at the Subsonic music festival of 2013.
As of 2024 it appears Bec is living and working in San Francisco.




3] Community Radio 2XX and the Women who made it happen.

Prior to the mid-2000s radio was THE place to hear music and related news. The internet took away a lot of the audience from the mid-00s on.

In Canberra, Community Radio 2XX was the station that most supported the local scenes. Through the late 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s Community Radio 2XX was the focal point for alternative music – including electronic music – in Canberra.

The administration office management team were nearly all female people through the late 1980s and 1990s and up to 2004. A different times there was: Maeve Wingate, Liz O’Brien, Ann-Marie, Sylvie Stern, Lea Collins, Emma Groube, Emma Gibson, Tanya McConvell and Indra Esguerra [up until when I became station manager for a while in late 2004 through early 2005]. Other staff during the 90s and 00s were Tristan Ray and Kimmo Vennonen.

Radio 2XX has had scores if not hundreds of people come and go – volunteers who hosted a wide range of radio programs, including several electronic music shows and some of those who DJ’d in venues … about half if not most of the 2XX people were female. To attempt a list of everyone who ever did something at 2XX would be unfair to all those I overlook.

I’ve narrowed the list below down to:

* who was involved with hosting electronic music radio shows, over several years; and

* who organised or helped greatly to put on numerous events, like club nights and gigs with electronic music.

I recall that during the 1990s and early-2000s the relevant radio shows were:

Beatside – for electronic dance music.
Hosts included Rob C, Emma Groube [f], Emma Lea [f], DJ Citizen [nb], Rohan/Roshambo.

Subsequence – for a more adventurous experimental range of electronic music.
Hosts included founder Bo Daley early-mid 1990s, later on Somaya Langley, Emma Groube [DJ Meethod] and Sam Karmel, to the mid-late 00s.

Know Your Product – a show dedicated to Australian music.
Hosts included Linda Radclyffe, Matt Levey, Laura, DJ Citizen.

Local Anaesthetic – a program devoted to Canberra music, bands and artists.
Hosts same as Know Your Product above. Originally it was focused on guitar-bands. I brought in the emerging local electronic music.

Beatroot – for a wide range of electronic music.
Hosts included Sarah and Allan.

S.I.N.G.E.D. – for Synthpop Industrial Noise gothic Electro Darkwave.
Hosts from 2001 to 2006 included DJ Citizen, John P.W., Patricia Hunt [DeadKitty], Jay.

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Regards supporting the Canberra electronic music scene, during the 90s and early 00s, some of the most active women at 2XX were:

Sylvie Stern:

As mentioned above Sylvie was the manager of the Heaven nightclub from 1994-2001. During and after that she also:

* hosted a weekly Arts program on 2XX, up to 2015. She covered a range of arts with reviews, interviews and features on contemporary productions in Canberra.
* was active in the administration of the station, was on the board.

* co-ordinated many of the annual ‘radiothon’ fundraiser weeks; which included club events at several venues.

Here are some 2015 articles about Sylvie:

“First word: Sylvie Stern was matron of the underground”
– https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6072759/first-word-sylvie-stern-was-matron-of-the-underground/

“Canberra mourns 2XX presenter Sylvie Stern”

“Obituary – Sylvie Stern”

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Emma Groube [DJ Meeethod]

During the latter half of the 1990s Emma G was a co-host of the Beatside and Subsequence electronic music programs. She also devoted time to work office roles during the late 1990s.

Indra Esguerra

Indra was station manager from around 2000 to 2004; the time I think of as ‘the golden age of 2XX’ – a friendly environment with a great mix of people working on projects.
Indra supported the presence of more electronic music shows, of related nightclub and concert events and the production and promotion of the ‘ElectriCity’ compilation CDs in association with the radio station.

Somaya Langley

Somaya was involved with electronic music radio shows such as Subsequence for around a decade in the 90s to mid 00s.
She organised related 2XX club events like “eXXentricity” in 2003, which featured numerous live artists and DJs.

Jo Cramer

Jo is listed above among the DJs for Heaven nightclub c.1995-1998. She also hosted the Beyond the Grave radioshow on 2XX 1995-1998; as well as the industrial music show Screaming Corpse for a period around 1997-1998. Those programs included darker electronic music in genres such as electronic body music [EBM], electro industrial, cyberpunk, cyberpop, futurepop and so on.

Patricia Hunt

In the early 2000s Patricia was an organiser for the Narcissus club event, was DJ DeadKitty at that and at club Corrosion. On radio 2XX she co-hosted several related radio programs, S.I.N.G.E.D., Frock Off, and a morning 7-9am drivetime show. She was also on the station’s board.


So that’s my article … A summary of the ladies I’ve known who were involved with Canberra’s electronic music scene during the 1990s and first half of the 2000s.

I hope I’ve done everyone justice, without being too concise nor verbose. It’s been a fun trip down memory lane. I hope everyone I’ve mentioned, who is still with is, are doing well.

As this is a draft I intend to later add visuals/pictures/clips and notes about other people.

with best wishes,

DJ Robot Citizen

Feb-March 2024.

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Footnote reference:

[1] FB post was at

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