electronica Archive

Album Review: Ryan Summers — ii

Picture this scene in your mind’s eye: a desolate, windswept landscape, mostly monochromatic and largely devoid of detail, yet with ominous pockets of darkness that suggest an unknown danger lurking just out of sight. What might the soundtrack for that scene be? Ryan Summers’ ii provides one possible answer. A collection of synthesizer-based instrumentals, ii

Gary Numan: Adventures in Dystopia, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… [Numan continues his his response to Bill Kopp’s question about soundtrack projects] What I’m trying to do as I get older is to try to make my life more enjoyable, and less stressful, and to be able to do more and more what I want to do, rather than what I

Gary Numan: Adventures in Dystopia, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Are you ultimately optimistic or pessimistic about humanity’s future? I’m optimistic, actually. Again, to go back to the Paris Accords, I think that is a remarkable achievement to have the entire world – bar one [nation] – sign up for something where they were putting our planet before national interest. I

Gary Numan: Adventures in Dystopia, Part One

When Gary Numan worked his way into the collective public consciousness in 1979 with his worldwide smash single “Cars,” he presented an icy, detached, robotic and ever dour persona. The real Gary Numan is nothing at all like that image: he’s funny, animated and disarmingly candid (“I’ve got Asperger’s,” he admits. “I’m brutally honest because

Allen Ravenstine’s “Terminal Drive”

Note: An edited version of this feature appeared previously in Keyboard Magazine. Allen Ravenstine is best known as the synthesist for Cleveland’s underground experimental rockers Pere Ubu; his work is featured on all of the albums that band made through 1991, and a number of live and compilation releases. But around the time of recording

Beats and Melody Coexist Naturally in Tokimonsta’s Music

The musical roots of producer/DJ/recording artist Tokimonsta extend in some fascinating directions. Jennifer Lee is Tokimonsta, and though her music is generally classified as electronica and instrumental hip-hop, she comes from a classical background. That musical foundation is something she seems to distance herself from and embrace in equal measure. “When I was playing classical

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival: Local Focus, Careful Growth

Now in its 10th year, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (October 12-14) is a world-class event spanning 7 venues and three days. But the festival grew from modest beginnings. BEMF co-founders Katie Longmyer and Jen Lyon began by taking over a piece of land in Gowanus and creating “a pop-up, daytime thing where there would

New Release: RBTS WIN’s “Sensitivity Kit”

The RBTS WIN trio – synthesist Javier Bolea, vocalist/synth player Cliff B. Worsham and guitarist Josh Chassner – makes modern, electronic-based dance music. But RBTS WIN – a fixture of many Moogfests – draws upon some very old-school influences. In addition to a strong hip-hop sensibility (“Javi and I caught the initial wave of hip

Album Review: Yonder — Pearl Diver

Some music insists upon itself; rock ‘n’ roll, for example – when it’s done right – is designed to be impossible to ignore. So, too can other forms – progressive rock, jazz, blues – have an element of showiness in their presentation, one that seems to imply, “hey, check this out.” Other musical forms can

Album Review: The Undergrowth — Synergy

Asheville-based The Undergrowth isn’t a band. And it’s not a person. Instead, it’s a collective of musicians and producers working nominally under the musical umbrellas of electronica, drum and bass, ambient and psychedelic genres. The open-ended collective has featured at least 50 different artists, both from Asheville and around the globe. Though the music is