Posts Tagged ‘Electronic’

AUBERGINE MACHINE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Aubergine Machine. Low-tempo, tranced, sweet. I listened to Sundown this morning, 7:32 AM with not a streak of light outside, anticipating cold and feeling considerably useless.

Aubergine Machine changed everything. Suddenly I was less alone.

I don’t think I could dance to them but I sure the fuck could sway. They are music for meditation. Waking up and living.

Shanti’s voice is a rippling peak, devastating and free. She cites influences such as Santigold (awesome!), Vampire Weekend, and No Doubt. This combined with producer Ian Carey’s undeniable experience, and the results are delicious.

RIVAL EMPIRE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Rival Empire is sexy satire juice. They do funky stuff to the brain, and I like my brain funky.

It would be fair to say the band happened by accident. Matt (vocals) and Steve (all electronic instruments) started mucking around with music in college, and before they knew it, Tim (rhythm and lead guitar) joined the mix, and the muck became a weird, wispy magic.

Their sound`s a collage of commentary: poppy synth spliced with Ronald Reagan clips. They mix repurposed lyrics and minor compositional melodies from Phil Collins, Fleetwood Mac, and Michael Jackson (dancing around the dangerously blurry lines of the Copyright Act), and the result is a dance floor full of yum. Best of all, the lyrics are peppered with a brilliant, conscious wit, one that deconstructs the silliness of society.

Some of the message may be missed by the greater populace, but no matter what, we`ll all have fun.

POP TITILLATION: ROBYN + RÖYKSOPP

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ring the alarm! On May 26th, Scandinavian pop heavyweights Robyn + Röyksopp will release a collaborative mini-album entitled Do It Again. And if the lead single (of the same name) is any indication of what to expect, we’re in for something spectacular. But again, not that surprising considering the fact that Robyn is known for crafting some of the most intelligent, infectious, thought-provoking pop of our time.

Robyn and the Norwegian pair will also titillate audiences this summer on the Do It Again tour. Yes, titillate.

Can’t wait!

Listen to the first release below. Hashtag I freakin’ love Robyn!

GALANTIS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Galantis gives good electro-pop. Composed of Christian Karlsson (of Miike Snow) + Linus Eklow (aka Style Of Eye), the duo blend indie pop aesthetics with subtle dance beats.

Their instantly buzzed-about sound doesn’t come as a surprise though, since Karlsson is not only a part of indie band Miike Snow but also one half of production duo Bloodshy & Avant, who have helped morph new sounds for pop heavyweights Madonna and Britney Spears. Eklow also co- wrote and produced Icona Pop’s international No. 1 smash I Love It ft. Charli XCX.

Their self-titled EP will be released via Big Beat/Atlantic on April 1st.

Listen to the just-released Help below.

PHANTOGRAM CREEPS INTO YOUR PSYCHE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

They describe their sound as “street beat, psych pop”, and upon first listen, it’s easy to understand why. Phantogram is electronic rock that haunts and creeps into your psyche. Comprised of singer Sarah Barthel + producer Josh Carter, this is one duo worthy of space in your ears.

Their new album Voices is super fresh and comes SPIN-approved, who placed the disc on their 50 Albums You Gotta Hear in 2014 list.

Personally, I’m obsessed. Specifically with single Nothing But Trouble. It’s such a dramatic song – I love it!

Dark/raw/synth-pop at its finest.

Listen to the sexy track below!

SOUND STRIDER

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo Credit: Sebastian Andrews]

Sound Strider (aka Sam Waks) is this generation’s answer to Negativland. As with any glitch-hop, his mechanical mash-up’s bound to leave you disoriented. But, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a slice o’ zen within the techno fog.

Sam was exposed to the magic of music at an early age: his dad was the principal cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and in high school Sam made his own break into the musical world by playing the drums in garage and jazz bands. With the 90’s came a new musical frontier in the form of remixes and computerized samples, and it was in the sonic underground Sam found his identity. Not only has he sought to create his own music, but to birth a platform for other artists- he left Australia to convert a 19th century agricultural ruin in France into a recording studio.

He’s already helped new artists break into the scene, all the while honing his own experimentation.

Enter the Intrepid Travels EP, a sophisticated mindfuck. My head’s still unsure what to make of it.

Maybe it’ll make sense when my skull stops spinning.

CVRCHES

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

CVRCHES: worth a listen, on and off the stage.

Formed in Glasgow, this stunning synthpop isn’t the sound you’d expect to find in my speakers. I’ve had such a love-hate relationship with “newer” forms of music, particularly when they’re enhanced or even defined by computerized samples and digital instruments. Yet I’m finding SO MANY acts within those realms who are intelligent, socially-conscious, and truly talented. All the more reason to press play before you judge!

CVRCHES have a lush trance not to be messed with. Lauren, Iain and Martin have teamed up to create three EPs and one full-length album (The Bones of What You Believe, 2013). It’s always so exciting to see new bands at the start. You wonder where their music is going to take them.

Most recently CVRCHES came into the cyber-spotlight when Lauren spoke out against online misogyny in a blog post. A treat for the temporal AND frontal lobes? Yes please!

NEW ELLIE GOULDING – ‘BURN’ [VIDEO]

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ellie Goulding recently dropped the single Burn and has now premiered the video that accompanies the track, which the blonde songstress co-wrote with hitmaker Ryan Tedder. Produced by Greg Kurstin, Burn is a radio-friendly slice of electronic pop that cements Goulding as an American staple, alongside other Top 40 mainstays.

The video captures the light (pun intended) of the song perfectly, featuring visuals suffocated by endless orbs of glowing sparks.

“Strike the match, play it loud, giving love to the world,” Goulding sings. “We’ll be raising our hands, shining up to the sky.”

Burn will be released on August 11 via Cherrytree Records.

Watch the just-released video below!

THE FRAIL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

California electro-poppers The Frail are creating buzz with their new track You Just Wanna Leave. Perfect for summer and backed with a cool new video, the track is taken from the San Francisco-based band’s forthcoming debut album, LoveDeathLegend.

Directed by Frank Door, the You Just Wanna Leave video is a series of black-and-white scenes with pops of color and features the band on a summertime road trip. The end result goes down smooth.

The Frail’s debut, LoveDeathLegend, will drop later this year.

Check it!

ROBYN DROPS GENDER-REVERSING VIDEO FOR ‘U SHOULD KNOW BETTER’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The random return of Robyn!

Although it’s been three years since the release of her kick ass Body Talk, Robyn has decided to release a conceptual video for U Should Know Better, her collaboration on the album with the one and only Snoop Dogg.
Not only is the video cool and original (something Robyn’s become a poster child for), the video breaks into the topic of gender, as Robyn and Snoop are replaced in the clip by youthful, cross-gender versions of themselves. Robyn is played by a young platinum blonde boy, while Snoop appears as a lanky teen girl with braids.

The video was conceptualized by Robyn and Decida, her longtime stylist and choreographer (who was also responsible for the moves seen in Dancing On My Own).

Decida wrote a press release to accompany the release, saying:

Hopefully the U Should Know Better video sparks some laughs, but also thoughts on what identity really is. Would you be the same person in another context? Does society have certain expectations of a person based on class, gender, colour, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and cultural background? How much do these expectations then affect your so-called self? I kind of like the idea that we grow up in a transnational pop cultural mosh pit were you can choose who you want to be instead. All of this is what our 2FACED1 project is about, to know identity is dependent on context and therefore is something fluid.

Robyn never disappoints! Love it!

Video + behind-the-scenes clip following.

FRIDA SUNDEMO

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Frida Sundemo is an artist on the rise, creating finely-tuned synth pop that could easily be filed next to Robyn, Lykke Li or Lights. Her new single, A Million Years, is creating buzz with its elegant vibe and smooth undertones.

Frida is currently at work recording the follow-up to her debut, The Indigo EP, which is set to drop later this year.

Listen to the soothing + melancholic A Million Years below.

Pretty!

LOREEN DIRECTS STRIKING VIDEO FOR ‘WE GOT THE POWER’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Swedish singer/songwriter and Eurovision 2012 winner, Loreen, has really caught my attention with the new video for We Got The Power. Written by Ester Dean and produced by Patrik Berger and Easter Berger (Icona Pop/Rihanna/Robyn), the video (directed by Loreen herself) is captivating and striking.

Says Loreen, when speaking on her direction: “I always have a clear picture of what I want to convey in my artistry and feel a great responsibility for the things I release. Moving images, for me, creates an extra dimension to the music. In addition, we need more female directors in the industry. More women who dare to take place, just like the video for ‘We Got The Power’ is doing.”

Girl power!

Watch the visual feast unfold below.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW W/ ANOOP DESAI!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: First things first, you’ve really surprised me with the direction of your new single Love War. I’m hooked! I love that you’ve broken the mold of American Idol. Was it always your intention to steer towards electronic music?

ANOOP DESAI: Not consciously, no. It was really a process of musical evolution for me. Going to shows, being around music as a professional, advancing as a writer, etc. It was an organic process for me, just trying to find my voice within the genre for the past three years. People may have a memory of me from “Idol” that seems different from the new sound, but it’s really just filling a niche in EDM that I felt was there for the taking. My rule when making this latest record was that I could only make music that I personally liked. It was a decision that seems to have led to a wider appreciation of my music, which I’m thrilled about.

RB: The video treatment for the song is incredible. I’m really impressed with everything your doing at the moment. Can you tell us a little about the visuals in the clip? (I’ve noticed some horses and country scenes which I think are cool, meshing with your North Carolina upbringing.)

AD: We filmed parts of the video in the North Georgia mountains, parts of it on a white backdrop with cool lighting, and of course there’s the military footage in there. It’s meant to be jarring but also visually clear. And you sort of hinted at it, the idea is that the song is referencing a past gone by while really trying to express the reality that struggle still plays in everyday life. Essentially, no one comes out unscathed from a Love War.

RB: What artists have you been inspired by with regards to this new sound/style?

AD: This answer really changes weekly for me, but I think at the time I was writing Love War I was listening to a lot of Bassnectar, The Weeknd, the first Ellie Goulding record, and because I was a recent Atlanta immigrant, LOTS of hip hop. I’m in a space right now where I’m really into James Blake, Kishi Bashi, Purity Ring, Active Child, M83, etc. (and still a lot of hip hop), so we’ll see how that affects the next batch of stuff I’m working on.

RB: You must be stoked about your debut album? Any idea/timeframe as to when it might drop?

AD: So stoked. I think I owe it to myself and my fans to make sure that it has everything behind it that it deserves, so there’s of course a financial and promotional element there that we need to set up when it’s done. We’re already done with half of it, and I’m personally aiming for late this year or early next year. In the meantime, I’m releasing a new remix package of Love War in June.

RB: Like most girls and soccer moms, I loved you on American Idol! [Laughs] What I don’t love is hearing that you experienced some racism after the show. That sh*t really bothers me. But major kudos to you for being able to be vulnerable and real and open about it. I think that type of honesty encourages change.

AD: Thanks. It’s nothing new, although it was new to me at the time. I don’t think it’s headline news that there are dumb people in the world, but it’s always weird when that kind of stuff is directed at you. I’m fully aware that I don’t get as much of that stuff as a lot of other people. As messed up as it is, sometimes people have to be peer pressured into acceptance. (I hate the word “tolerance”.) Hopefully, the kind of mainstream success I am working towards can be part of that pressure.

RB: Do you feel like your experience on the show pushed you in a way to break away from the more safer styles/genres the show seems to embrace/push winners towards? Meaning, there’s not many artists from the show who are doing what you’re doing right now, which is making really rad electro music!

AD: In a way… I tried to do the “safe” thing at first and it just didn’t really work for me. On a critical and personal level. Like I said earlier, my rule for the new sound was that I had to like everything that I was putting out there. I didn’t have that rule before, and I think it showed. At first, I pushed myself towards that bubblegum ideal because I felt like that was what my audience wanted. Whether that was smart or just pandering, I don’t know, but it definitely didn’t get me where I wanted to go. As I’ve begun to write more and really focus on the craft above anything else, I’ve evolved as a musician and as a fan of music. And, of course, that will never stop.

RB: This is a staple in questions I ask artists: What’s a few of your current guilty pleasures? Music or non?

AD: The new will.i.am album, bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

RB: Last album you purchased.

AD: James Blake – Overgrown. It’s just complete mastery. I went to his show at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC the other night and it was literally awesome. Although I’m also a fan of the new Charli XCX, Django Django, and Major Lazer records.

RB: Are you planning on touring with the upcoming album release?

AD: This fall, but no dates are set in stone yet.

RB: Finally, I wanted to say that BiggerThanBeyonce focuses a lot of energy spotlighting incredible indie artists like yourself. Although difficult at times, do you feel a sense of personal triumph and victory being free to make the music you love?

AD: Of course! It is difficult at times, but that’s going to make what’s ahead even sweeter.

TWO CHAPELS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Electro meditation coming your way!

Some days you need to plug in and let music do the thinking for you. When your brain is up in the aches there’s nothing better than submitting yourself to a sound that strays into the ethereal.
Today, Two Chapels is the numbing agent for my emotional toothache.

This downtempo duo consists of Jenn Grossman and Marc Wilhite, both electro composers with a yen for sensual audio entanglements. Jenn takes to the recording studio with singing while the both of them work together to produce a dream-like instrumental backdrop. Think Massive Attack with female vocals: trance-like, responsive, a template of internal, emotional movement. If they hope to shake the boat while simultaneously quelling the storm, their new single Forgotten does just that.

I found this song subtle but effective. I had to keep it on a continuous loop before realizing the depth of its composition. Forgotten is evocative, haunting, yet altogether calming. The sound ossifies all organs until everything inside you is still. Jenn’s voice strikes out against the murky swamps of sound, acting as your spirit guide through a landscape that is both aimless and beautiful.

Some modern acts leave me cold, but right now I’m nothing but warm.

Do you feel it?
 

MY WOSHIN MASHIN

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve got my fingernails stuck in this sound.

I know I’m not the person you’d expect to see chugging a Russian/German electronic rush. (Especially from a band so distractively badass!) What can I say? Talent’s talent, regardless of genre affiliation.

My Woshin Mashin (yes, you read that right) is a three-man set, each member more crammed with skill than the last. At first the sound came off almost too dangerous for my unprepared ears, but I quickly grew to love the chaos.

The feedback hits hard, screaming of underground clubs and violent dreams. You may think this group’s only prerogative is to fill up all respective dance floors, but I assure you there’s more than meets the dehydrated eye. If you listen, you’ll find a message in between remixes.

When it comes to social commentary, Evil Must Die (their 2013 album) has its bases covered. The band members themselves explain it best:

“Our first album was… hard beats, funny lyrics, dance tunes… a very funny album. But when we were working on Evil Must Die, we decided to concentrate on things from the real world- degradation of the television, money as a modern god, animal rights, really bad people we know and their behaviour, the loneliness of true heroes, etc. By this album we’re trying to say that people must be more intelligent and simple; they must try to change themselves into a better way and try to find the real values of life. It’s not about the money, a good job, democracy, power, expensive stuff, social networks or television. It’s about the inner God who can be described simply: Love.”

In other words, these blokes will compel you to rave and philosophize simultaneously. Magic.

Get a sampler of the album below, and prepare to be dosed!