Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged electronic

Electric Green

Fiddler Cady Finlayson and guitarist Vita Tanga bring two disparate locations (Brooklyn and Paris) and musical styles (traditional Celtic music and world music/electronica) together on Electric Green, a ten-song collection of mostly traditional Irish songs, with a distinctive modern twist. In most cases the violin carries the melody while the guitar, acoustic or electric, adds depth and texture.

Monica Droga: Indie Musician, Bollywood Star, Feminist

Gone are the times when people would migrate only to the West to find better lives. Now we witness a reversal of sorts, with NRIs going back to India to seek the same opportunities that their parents or grandparents had left India to find. Monica Dogra is one such NRI who is rocking the independent music scene in the homeland.


With the release of Sharanam Sharon Gannon adds another dimension to her body of work as a yogi, inspirational figure, and advocate of compassionate lifestyles. I have encountered Gannon’s philosophy and teachings in YouTube videos, web and magazine articles, on her website, and in a documentary on raw foods, and have always found myself appreciative of the contribution she makes towards a more peaceful and spiritually grounded world. This musical dimension, unfortunately, fell flat for this eager listener.

Old Punch Card

Over the past few years, Chicago-based singer, songwriter, photographer, and painter Sam Prekop has dabbled in all sorts of music. He’s collaborated with Broken Social Scene, Prefuse 73, and even had his work sampled in a toilet paper commercial. Most well known as frontman for The Sea and Cake, he set out to make a brand new kind of record, in no way resembling anything he’s ever done.

/\/\/\Y/\ (Maya)

A week prior to its July 13th release, M.I.A.’s new album, /\/\/\Y/_ (or _Maya), was made available streaming on the artist's MySpace page.

The Theory of Tides

Oceans and tides have served as artistic muses for centuries, and I was curious to listen to music inspired by a scientific theory that explains "the dynamics of fluidity, the pull of bodies in motion, the ebb and flow of attraction." Upon first and second listen, The Theory of Tides didn’t grab me, but the third time around was a charm, and I found myself appreciating the music more. Lead singer Mirana has the kind of voice that can sound almost dissonant at times, but it suits The Theory of Tides' style of music, which has the feel of urban techno pop.

What Day Is It Tonight? (Live 1993-2008)

Hipster culture exists and sustains itself on a continuous loop, a vicious never-ending cycle, like a Möbius strip or an Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail. Take something once mainstream and now uncool, adopt it with tongue planted firmly in cheek as “so bad it's good,” deem said sound/product/style “cool,” and watch as it is co-opted by a broader audience and becomes mainstream. Later, rinse and repeat. Every once in a while such a revival of the old dredges up some long-lost gem, but most of the time it's just masturbatory.

Fabriclive 48

I was excited to review this album because I'm fascinated by the creative endeavor of mixing existing music together to create something entirely new. I'm a musician, but I know very little about being a DJ—I had heard that no one mixes like the Filthy Dukes, and that their albums were the next best thing to being at one of their events.

Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know

I have never been one to accept iTunes’ genre classifications of the music I purchase. Yes, the categories can be useful, but they never quite fit with my personal interests. As soon as the tracks are downloaded, I quickly listen to the album and decide where it fits amongst my feisty feminist punk rock, hipster late-night sing-alongs, or classical acoustic sleep inducers (to name a few). Admittedly, I am a little bit of a control freak and perhaps a tad obsessive.

Hung Like A Horse

Members of The Locust and Some Girls make up the edgy electro-punk industrial outfit All Leather, mixing angelic screeching over electro beats and spastic hardcore pummeling, which are all packed tight into ten glorious minutes of the [Hung Like a Horse](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002HWUU8G?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkC


I am not a house head, as some enthusiasts of electronic music might insist. I am, however, deeply rooted in my musical past, a history punctuated by middle-American rave culture, pre-emo indie shows in Ohio clubs, and stints at several of the top college radio stations in the U.S. They say it’s bad for a woman’s roots to show, but as one who sports natural color, I have nothing else to hide.

Abnormally Attracted to Sin

It’s a sinful world out there, and Tori Amos wants to talk about a few sins not included in the Ten Commandments. Her tenth studio album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, tackles themes of oppression, shame, intolerance, and abuse of power.

Detroit /Fabric 45 and Fabric 46

These two albums are the products of London’s Fabric nightclub’s monthly CD series. Fabric’s musical offerings span the electronic dance spectrum, and while they are super club with three distinct dance spaces, the sounds of Omar S on Detroit/Fabric 45 are refreshingly minimal. Referencing the famed early 1980s Detroit House scene, the album’s beats are loaded with reverb and recall the work of groups from the 1980s such as Liquid Liquid and ESG.


Jeans Team started life as a Berlin-based video art performance group, but they soon evolved into making electronic music for the masses.

Fabric 40

Mark Farina, a San Francisco-based DJ, is a mainstay on the electronic scene. What began as an exploration of the house genre has now become Farina’s inimitable musical echo. The globetrotting performer is known for his genre versatility, but also his distinctive cocktail of Chicago urban, jazzy reverberation with San Francisco sound. While he’s also known for his down tempo grooves, Fabric 40 is nothing of the sort.


Wrongkong bounces through the speakers with a mix of haunting electronic and club sounds. They defy typical song structures through their use of daring beats and tempos, which makes their self-titled debut album both energetic and soothing.


If you want to get the party started, here is the album to get the job done. Fabriclive.36 features James Murphy and Pat Mahoney on this release of electronic disco to minimal disco. The Fabriclive.X repetoire features a new artist release on a regular (if not monthly) basis out of the Fabric night club in London. These works are compliations of artists spun up for the night club dance crowd.


Volta, the sixth studio album from Icelandic musician, Bjork, delivers the kind of offbeat, quirky music that only she could make. With its lo-fi sonics, Volta sounds less polished than some of Bjork's previous releases, which is refreshing.


On Charlotte Martin's latest album, Stromata, the songstress presents her most experimental work to date. Stromata presents Martin's typically earnest and honest lyrics against a complex background of synthesizers and electronic beats. Her influences on the album are so varied - from techno to folk to Middle Eastern - that the album lacks a sense of cohesion.

Peace is Burning Like a River

Bitter Bitter Weeks’ third album has a sound that reminds me a bit of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service—with eclectic lyrics and a chill beat throughout the album. I put the album to the test during rush hour on the Washington, DC metrobus. Despite being stuck due to a car pileup and missing my connector, I arrived at my office relatively calm, a task only classical music or Céline Dion could do, but with a much cooler edge.

Rashaya & Resistance Cruisers

Matt Weston’s album Rashaya is a fantastic piece of modern art. It is unique in that it is not a standard drum performance one would find at a symphony or pop music concert. Listening to Weston’s music is a different experience in and of itself; there is a variation in the sounds that is reminiscent of the Broadway show Stomp. The tracks have a surprising amount of expressive emotion produced from the unique instruments.

Remixes Compiled

Ever since their first LP, Farenheight Fair Enough, I have enjoyed the graceful marriage of technology and music of the Chicago-based duo, Telefon Tel Aviv. They are described as producing “ambient techno” music. Regardless of categorization, Telefon Tel Aviv continues to be soulful and inventive. Put out by Hefty Records, their newest release, Remixes Compiled is an exciting collection of remixes from the past seven years. Organized chronologically, the album exhibits development from beginning to end.

The Third Hand

Fans of RJD2’s previous albums might want to prepare themselves. Over the course of time, many musicians go through extreme changes and tweak their sound a bit. This can certainly be said for The Third Hand, on which RJD2 demonstrates an entire album with (gasp!) his own vocals. Known for his electronic music and quality of production, it comes as no surprise that The Third Hand is pieced together so well. Perhaps this new change in sound will anger older fans, but this album sounds like more of an experiment than a life change for RJD2.

No Need to Be Downhearted

The latest album from Electric Soft Parade, entitled No need to be Downhearted, is fantastic. The album has a mix of easy listening pieces that are perfect for a relaxed evening and fun light hearted songs that can put a smile on just about anyone’s face. As the band’s name suggests the music has a soft, electronic accompaniment that rounds out the music, along with catchy beats, enjoyable guitar and meaningful lyrics.

Franchise Player 02

Joey Youngman’s Franchise Player 02 is an excellent collection of dance songs marketed for sophisticated urban hipsters, who prefer their dance music steeped in brainy jazz music.

Those Things

Miguel Migs' Those Things blends a fantastic mix of electronic, soulful, jazz elements together, complimented by stunning vocal performances, to make this follow-up to 2003’s Colorful You an instant favorite and leave its listeners wanting more!

Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

When I started to listen to Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, I thought “Oh, folk rock, how… er… nice.” Not that I have anything against folk rock, but… Then the beat kicked in. Forty minutes later, I was still dancing in my seat. This music rocks! The lyrics are good poetry about love, sex and strong women. There are some out of the ordinary instruments used on this album, such as a glockenspiel. I like different; it makes my senses perk up.

Foo Foo Yik Yik

Dynasty Handbag’s Foo Foo Yik Yik is the product of one-woman mind-blower Jibz Cameron with her trusty keyboard samples and drum machine. Her tender and humorous singing, moaning and whispering get into your brain quickly and stays put long after you’ve turned off the music. The album sounds like I thought I did Christmas morning 1984 when I got my Casio keyboard and spent the morning riffing to the ‘demo’ sample.

One Score and Four

The Good Players coalesce around the refined songcraft of one Stephen Nichols, equal parts weak-in-the-knees crooner and twisted studio-as-instrumentalist. Their most recent EP, One Score and Four, channels Jeff Lynne’s aesthetics of orchestral rock excess into the 21st century, absorbing the aleatory dissonance prevalent in contemporary electronic/art music while somehow leaving pretension to us music critics. This is itself an impressive aural feat, but how he and his dirty dozen manifest this meticulous multi-dimensionality live has to be seen to be believed.

Revenge of the Killer Slits EP

The Slits are back! If you are not familiar with this band, the most recent release, _Revenge of the Killer Slits _EP, is a good introduction. For those who relished their punk and dub fusion back in the '70s, this sample of three songs is enough to get you back in the mood. Reggae calls are answered by techno-alternative dance beats in the first track, “Slits Tradition.” The beat is basic and backs up nicely the chanted lyrics and bits of spoken word. The Slits even find room for a couple of quick jazzy riffs.