Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tracklist for Tuesday January 27, 2009

Jordan Aguirre - G-Storm
Artist of the Year - Yeah!!!
Crystal Castles - Air War
Ladytron - Black Cat
Cut Copy - Out on the Ice
Kids on TV - Cockwolves
Telefon Tel Aviv - The Birds
Faunts - Memories of Places We've Never Been
Thunderheist - Bubblegum
FFMusic DJ - Chrono Corridor
Squarepusher - Illegal Dustbin
Fever Ray - Keep the Streets Empty for Me
DAT Politics - Magnetic Attraction
I Am Robot and Proud - Something to Write Home About
Amon Tobin - The Killer's Vanilla
Jordan Aguirre and Jason Miller - Brinstar

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's the Difference?

Often (yet not always) I find that new-comers to the world of computer-produced music find themselves in one of two places, one of which is bad. Either they believe that all electronic is and sounds like European Trance, or they stumble upon one sub-genre other than cookie-cutter trance and actually give the music a chance. I mean, don't get me wrong, there isn't a single, best type of electronic; each listener (as like any other umbrella genre) needs to find their preference.

I shall digress into highlighting a few of the most presently popular categories:

Trance is that standard european sound with heavy synths and strings, often accompanied by that deep bass kick followed by a cymbal.

Electro-House is the home of popular bands like MSTRKRFT and Justice.

Glitch is a more eclectic genre, where in describing it using the simplest terminology sounds like an aural clusterfuck. Artists like Mouse on Mars and Autechre call this one home.

Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) is the offspring of Detroit techno where the musical style is more dependant on the individual than any specific genre, giving birth to unorthadox artists like Bjork.

Ambient is the genre in which the music acts as more of an atmospheric blanket than incorporating any real rhythm. The solemn tone of this faction is present in the works of artists like Aphex Twins and Manual.

Indie-Tronica / Electro-Pop is another one of the most popular sub genres. Many recognizable artists fuse the elements of pop-based vocal roots and electronic rhythm, such as Junior Boys, The Postal Service, and Ladytron.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Pulse on CJAM

Tune in Tuesday, January 20 from 10:30pm - 12:00am for some fashionable and impressive electronic, hosted by yours truly.

CJAM 91.5 FM -- Redefining radio in Windsor and Detroit.

Australia Does It Again

With a backward gaze toward the best releases of 2008, a select handful come to mind. However, in the electronic scene, few stood up to the unyielding musical brilliance of Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours. Though less technical with respect to their sound, the Melbourne trio once again proved themselves as master producers.

Moving away from their previous dance-punk sound, In Ghost Colours promotes a warm mixture of catchy synth keys and playful vocals. Often labeled as more "pop' oriented, the album still maintains its synthetic core. The band's electronic prowess bleeds through the pop-vocals effortlessly in "Out on the Ice Again" and resonates through multiple-instrument elements and drum kits in "Lights and Music".

Usually when a vocal strain is so upbeat and catchy it forces the listener to forget about or ignore the melody. Yet from front to back In Ghost Colours will have you singing the lyrics and dancing to the impressive rhythms simultaneously.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Side Project: Fever Ray

The Knife's Karin Dreijer begins 2009 with a breakaway side project labeled Fever Ray. Dreijer has always been known for her excellent work as The Knife, along side her partner in acoustics (and brother), Olof Dreijer. The two of them have toured world-wide and have three full length albums: the 2001 Self-Titled release, Deep Cuts from 2003, and 2006's acclaimed release Silent Shout.

Although not a drastic change in sound, Fever Ray works solely on Karin's musical strengths. There are tracks that feature the signature, deep vocal distortion as is expected of her, along with an appropriate pairing with face-up vocal work that remains unedited. Refreshing, as per usual for The Knife, Fever Ray retains a foreign element to its sound. Being a native of Sweden, Dreijer creates a sound with characteristics that fans of North American electronica are not familiar with. A listener perhaps would have a pre-conceived notion of general vocal distortion to make the lyrics sound robotic or synthetic. However with The Knife and Fever Ray, the product is more ghostly or banshee-like.

The album begins with an eerie first track (and first released single), "If I Had a Heart", and continues as a lush, dark, and textured sound-scape until its finish. Overall a very anticipated release which will be in stores later this year on Rabid Records.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Immolate Yourself

January 20, 2009 marks the release of Telefon Tel Aviv's (Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis) newest LP titled Immolate Yourself. The album works to reconnect the more modern and minimal, glitch style that the duo is known for with a throwback of ephemeral vocals from their earlier work. The vocal stems and synth sets used to distort them are used in a manner similar to the stellar M83 album Saturdays = Youth from 2007.

Though still tying into classic Telefon Tel Aviv roots, Immolate Yourself is a definite shift of paradigm, almost like their own Human After All, wherein Daft Punk strayed from their comfort zone in an attempt for something fresh. However, Immolate is more reinforced as an album with strong continuity and persistent audio assaults of beautiful synth change-overs, a high saturation of ambient rhythm supporting the foreground, and powerful vocal breakdowns. This is especially notable in the opening track "The Birds", which builds up with muffled keys to a powerful pinch pattern, and again in "You Are the Worst Thing in the World."

A move to a new record label may also have contributed to a change in style. Now a member of BPitch Control, the team notes that:
"Gone are all of the high-definition micro-edit minutiae in favor of a new approach to texture for us - long form."


01 The Birds
02 Your Mouth
03 M
04 Helen of Troy
05 Mostly Translucent
06 Stay Away from Being Maybe
07 I Made a Tree on the Wold
08 Your Every Idol
09 You Are the Worst Thing in the World
10 Immolate Yourself

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"This Lady...Does She Perhaps Have a Name?"

With the late 2008, self titled release, Pip Brown of Ladyhawke has prominently placed herself in a rising position within the electro-pop scene. The New Zealand native blends rhythmic guitars and bass with a pronounced and classical (almost vintage 1980's) feel of electro. Her lower, classical vocal range provides for a more unconventional, yet refreshing foreground to create a multi-modular cascade of sound, each element blending effortlessly with the other.

Though this release is a new addition to the game, by no means is Brown an inexperienced musician. She had previously been involved in two native Australian bands. Wellington was an initiative straight out of high school that she started with some friends, which led her to eventually pairing up with Nick Littlemore of Pnau to form Teenager. After two years collaborating with Nick, they parted ways so she could begin to focus on a conceptual solo effort dubbed Ladyhawke.

The album can be purchased both through Amazon and in the iTunes store. Click to preview a selection of tracks.