As much as the underground music scene aspires to see itself as gender equal, more often than not behind the mixing desk at concerts and parties the hands are those of male sound technicians. For Lola Tseytlin, Russian born, Israeli raised and Berlin based, that reality is all too familiar. As an active participant and event organizer in the Israeli alternative music scene of the early 2000’s, often Lola has been the sole female sound technician, MC or musician to be found among the rough edged, “do it yourself” spaces which young Israeli culture jammers and street artists would reclaim for their own, transforming deserted factory spaces into thriving community centers, or rotting old train stations into days-long music festivals and techno raves. During the wild years of the Tel-Aviv scene in a decade that started with a Palestinian uprisal and racial riots, and which ended with a economic depression, Lola has been at the forefront of sound system and rave sound system crews, organizing summer school to the neighbourhood kids, as well as parties, concerts, political and solidarity events. Under those conditions, the “Do It Yourself” approach was not just an ideology but a necessity, which gave Lola the chance to not only be in charge of sound systems, but actually build them herself.
Growing up in Israel is a struggle, especially as a woman, as a minority and as a member of a counter culture. Lola’s experience, in her journey to claim her own position as a female in a male dominated scene, is a central experience in her journey as well as her current project, “SoundSysters”, along with fellow German native sound tech Eddy (Adina) Fellows. The two, since joining forces in 2013, have been amplifying and managing sound systems all over Berlin, but are as passionate about their work as well as about empowering fellow women, non-binary and transpeople to step up, and follow their passions. Their work has included giving out sound system managing workshops to immigrant women, as well as being in charge of high profile live shows in Berlin, such as the Kumbia Queers shows. Now, working as full time team, an event with the “SoundSysters” in charge of the sound system, benefits from the shared experience and dedication of its members, but it also means being part of an ongoing project that is a “business” as much as it is about community, solidarity and vision.