The electronic music world is growing by leaps and bounds as technology keeps evolving. The amount of artists in the genre is astounding and yet there are only a select few of them that have really intrigued me. One of the artists that has peaked my interest is David Castillo’s project (If you don’t know who David is, he’s the co-owner and booker of Saint Vitus Bar) CONFINES. The sound of CONFINES is dark and vibrant with tinges of industrial, techno and some synth pop. Think Depeche Mode (Songs of Faith and Devotion era) mixed with a little Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb and a dash of early Ministry. On his debut EP, Work Up the Blood, David said “My ideal for this EP was to create dance music that incorporates the rhythms and bass heaviness that get me excited to move, while juxtaposing it with a memorable mood that gives it depth.” And he did just that. Work Up The Blood is more than your run of the mill electronic music album. David’s singing voice helps to take this to a whole other level. The intensity in his screams to delicate melodies create a killer ebb and flow to accompany the controlled chaos permeating from the speakers.
For a long while now, I’ve had a very interesting relationship with electronic based music. For me, when it comes to this genre, I always tend to go towards the artists with real depth and integrity. So much in the world of electronic music is fluff and just button pressing. When a real artist comes along and expands upon the norm and mixes other bits, that’s when it becomes something more. For example, one artist that I’ve been keen on for a while now is Perturbator. James Kent aka Perturbator got his start playing in Black Metal bands. If you are aware of the ambient nature of Black Metal, you know where this is going. Since 2012 though, he’s been releasing some of the best synthwave music. Armed with vintage synths, an array of instrumentation and a sort of John Carpenter vibe, it’s no wonder Perturbator has caught on with so many people. His latest album, Lustful Sacraments, is truly something awesome. It’s drenched in darkwave, post-punk, industrial and ambience. The album is sort of trippy/psychedelic in ways too. It’s one of those albums that you can put on while doing something else but, don’t be surprised if you wind up getting so into it, you forget you had something else to do.
I really enjoy when I get a new band/artist in my inbox to check out. I listen to everything that gets sent my way. Sure there are things that I don’t like but, then there are things that I come across that I enjoy and definitely think that those of you that read Audioeclectica would enjoy too. Recently one of those artist that was intrigued by is Betty Moon. Betty has a new album out called Hellucination and the first single from that, “Crazy” is quite the infectious track. You might have even heard Betty’s music featured in a variety of television shows and films including Californication and Dexter. The thing that intrigued me most about this was that it wasn’t your run of the mill pop or electronic music. Musically, it’s poppy and full of hooks but, there is real depth to the words and it’s not superficial. Betty has a very sultry yet raw voice to go along with a rock n’ roll attitude, which helps to separate her from the rest of the pack.
It seems like these days electronic music is at the forefront of all genres. There are a lot of electronic “artists” and it’s hard to keep up with this growing genre. Luckily, I’ve developed a filter for finding the good ones. Which is why you need to check out Ritualz, the one-man army of producer/vocalist JC Lobo. Rather than be inspired by the likes of the DJ’s of today, JC has taken his love of bands like Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode to create music that stands out from the pack. Ritualz new album entitled DOOM, is lush with emotionally charged dark goth pop songs along with a layer of gloom and hooks that captivate your ears.There are songs on the album that will make you want to dance and then there are others that will hypnotize you. It’s great to hear electronic music with more of a post punk edge to it as opposed to the same stale beats and rehashed hooks. JC Lobo is on the right track to captivate audiences and leave his own mark in the genre.
The 80’s and synth driven music is coming back in a huge way. With the success of things like Stranger Things and EDM culture, it’s not surprising to see this new wave of 80’s influence peaking through. Let me introduce you to Wolf & Raven, a very 80’s synth driven group that seems perfectly stuck in the early mid 80’s. Their dreamscapes and pop sensible sound is reminiscent of something you might recognize from a movie like Real Genius or even Cloak and Dagger and dashes of the early era of M83. Wolf & Raven is made up of two brothers Chris and Anthony Greninger, who make up this dreamy synthwave group. Their new album Ace of Space, “was written with the idea to create a soundtrack that could have been used in an 80’s anime space opera; inspired by cartoons, video games, and movies, it has a wide array of influences to create an audible escape into a multi-layered musical world.” After hearing a few of the songs, this is a perfect description for what they are unleashing to the world. You can pre-order the album on vinyl HERE via Sofa King Vinyl.
Because electronic music has become such a force within music, I felt compelled to start a category to feature the best electronic artists I’ve come across. Beats Per Minute will showcase all these bands/artists and give you a nice cross section of different styles and genres within the electronic music scene.
For this first one I’d like to introduce to you Robots With Rayguns. Formed by Lucas Patrick Smith in Phoenix, Arizona, Robots With Rayguns oozes with synth driven ballads a la 80’s New Wave and bits of modern electronica. The latest release Slow Jams is a concept album that incorporates all new songs along with revamped versions of older RWR songs. After taking the time to listen to the entire album, there is definitely a sense of continuity between all the songs and it creates a very intriguing “good time” vibe. The way the songs play out in the “ballad” format gives the album a bit of a 70’s R & B vibe as well.
Normally this isn’t something I would gravitate to but there is certainly something catchy about Robots With Rayguns that sticks out. The “good time” vibe that I mentioned above is contagious. You could put this entire album on while having a party, and I’m sure you’d start seeing people dancing out of nowhere.
Pre-order the 2 x LP vinyl via Sofa King Vinyl HERE