Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged electronica

Talk To Your Body

Brian Emmert and Nathaniel Kane are Das Black Milk’s two songwriters and they’ve done an excellent job on their latest album Talk to Your Body; it’s probably their best work yet. Many of the songs focus on notions of domestic turmoil in a paranoid dystopia, which I think reflects the current time we’re living in.

Fairytales and Lullabies

Sol Skugga is someone I need to keep my eye on. Her third album, Fairytales and Lullabies, is a well-mixed collection of electronica, ambiance, and folk. Skugga wrote, mixed, and produced her own tracks. Clearly a collector of sound, her long list of instruments include vocals, piano, acoustic and electric guitars, "electronic drums in all shapes," ambient sounds, synthesizers, samplings of Nordic nature, and rhythm instrumentation.

Maniac Meat

Sometimes I can send off a record review in ten minutes. Excited by the tunes in my headphones or emanating from my computer’s tinny speakers, my fingers fly across the keys with artistic inspiration. Other times, it takes time and a few repeat spins of the disc to let the music settle into my brain. Tobacco’s Maniac Meat is one such record. You could ask, what’s happening here? A better question is, what isn’t?

Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound

I was about fifteen years old when PinkNoises.com started up. I was very involved in riot grrrl music, so perhaps it's no surprise that I liked a website specifically dedicated to women in electronic music. The writer of this content—as well as the rest of the Pink Noises website—was Tara Rodgers. After years of performing and researching, she came out with a book by the same name.

Fabriclive 49

I recently heard a clip from Fabriclive 49 and wanted to review it. Although I’m not too familiar with techno music (aside from the occasional club visit), I do like it, so off I went. Buraka Som Sistema’s album has a total of twenty-eight short club pieces that are very hard to separate. These songs overlap, interconnect, and pulse. There’s a definite dance vibe to the collection. At the same time, they are rather mellow and spacey in nature.

One Love

French DJ and producer David Guetta’s One Love is a dream come true for dance and electronica fans who like hip-hop too.


Playing in subway stations wasn’t that fun for us At first it was, but now it’s getting old First it was, but now I’m getting cold - “Playing in Subway Stations” I owe my fascination, adoration, and patronage of Anticon artists to my friend Nick. The most taciturn person I know, he is also the reason I became vegan. Not particularly conversant, he may not even know either of these things, though his quiet example has been profound and influential.

Fabric 47

For the thumping album Fabric 47, Jay Haze, the Pennsylvania-born and Berlin-based teamed up with the series of compilation albums produced by the legendary London nightclub of the same name. Haze is the quintessential renaissance man with experience in running multiple record labels and starting up the online electronic music magazine Textone in 2003, all while producing both collaborative and solo albums.

Enjoy Your Rabbit

Sufjan Stevens, god of the indie concept album, is the sort of fellow my evangelical Christian minister grandparents can enjoy. This is not an insult. My maternal grandfather, born in Michigan eighty-some years ago, has never admitted that he enjoys the Stevens album Michigan. I nevertheless suspect that my sometimes secular, former music minister grandpa samples some Sufjan when he thinks no one is around.

My Electric Family

Bachelorette is the electronic dream pop project of New Zealander Annabel Alpers.

Trailer Park (Legacy Edition)

I was twenty and living in Austin when I first heard Beth Orton. She laid the soundtrack to my existential search for love and self and meaning. Trailer Park is the kind of record you listen to while laying on your bed, questioning your life, your love, or playing against the background in a movie scene where you walk along the railroad tracks, hands in your pocket during a particularly emotional moment.

Over Air

One can safely assume that any band that names itself after the main character in Franz Kafka's “The Metamorphosis” is going to be interesting, to say the least. It would not be safe to assume, however, that the music made by Gregor Samsa feels as overwhelmed and ugly as Kafka's evolving man-creature. On the contrary, their creation is a precise tranquil poetry, twinkling and shivering like streetlights on snow.  With eight current members and thirteen past contributors, this mega-group from Richmond, Virginia is bursting at the seams with folks ready to make a joyful noise.

Rocket Science For Dummies

It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that Rocket Science for Dummies is a great album. Astronauts of Antiquity’s singer, India, and guitarist, B. Rhyan, are a musical match made in heaven. They travel further, taking listeners on a well-designed trip of cosmic rhythms. Astronauts of Antiquity’s influence list is long, but they have managed to make an individual, well-crafted sound that, although resembling many, is like none.

Nine Inch Nails (12/7/2008)

I've never been a diehard Nine Inch Nails fan, but have listened to them on and off since high school. I've never seen frontman Trent Reznor or his music as misogynistic; in fact, "Closer" is one of my all-time favorite songs. And to be fair, the only semi-nude images on visual display in this show were equal opportunity, male and female. Whatever else you want to say about them, NIN gave fans in Portland, Oregon their money's worth.


Plenty of famous (and not so famous) DJs have contributed to the FabricLive series: James Lavelle, Jacques Lu Cont, Diplo and even the late John Peel. So Baltimore “dirty rap” superstars Spank Rock had a lot to live up to with their mix, the thirty-third in the series. And while other albums may have been better mixed, or contain more unknown tracks, there is almost no competition when it comes to plain old danceability. Spank Rock are, by their own admission, all about the debauchery that comes with partying, so they know what they’re doing with a mix CD.


I’m not usually a headphones-in-the-outdoors type of girl, but I knew I had to take this one to the park. For real. This was an album requiring devoted listening.

Backspin: A Six Degrees 10 Year Anniversary Project

"Everything is closer than you think” is the motto of indie label Six Degrees, moving on the perspective that everyone is connected by six degrees of separation. Now a leader in global pop music, the San Francisco-based company was founded ten years ago by two former Windham Hill employees, Bob Duskis and Pat Berry.

Poor Aim: Love Songs

I got agitated with the first song on this album. Might be the mood I am in – I just didn't feel like hearing the lyrics, "I waited for days. I can't believe you didn't call me." This song is called "Hey Boy." I had heard of this music before, and I am a fan of K Records, but I wasn't into this. There are a lot of remixes here of songs that didn't interest me much in the first place. Insipid lyrics and electronic blips are the bulk of this. I did enjoy the song "Hock It," maybe because it had what I considered to be a healthy dose of bitterness and aggression.

Elysium for the Brave/Elysium Remixes

You know you’ve heard that sexy, haunting voice somewhere before. If you’re no stranger to sci-fi, you may have heard Azam Ali’s vocals on the soundtrack of such movies as Children of Dune, Matrix Revolutions and Earthsea, among others.


I have to admit, I was a bit concerned when I hit play on the first song of OOIOO’s album, Taiga. I’m not one to discredit noise as a musical form; I even own an album or two by Agoraphobic Nosebleed. However, there’s only so much “noise as art” that I can take at a time, and as the droning and incoherent screams of “UMA” came rushing into my headphones, I was seriously contemplating the ibuprofen in the bathroom cabinet. Luckily, the repetitive yelps of the first song are not present throughout, and there are some good moments.


In a music genre that tends to sound much the same, Mahogany has come back after a five year absence with a new album that manages to stand out from the rest. Connectivity has eleven songs that mesmerize. This listener is reminded of ancient chants. The soft male and female vocals lull one into a scene not unlike Mahogany’s album cover. My favorite song, “Renovo” is one wave of strings and horns with almost a classical feel after another.

Sangue Puro

Sangue Puro is entrancing from its entrance. We don't question the electronics, but we wait for a rhythm, a melody and a disposal. Here is a band with some notoriety, yet this album sounds utterly bizarre if you compare it with previous takes. It's more noise, less pop. It works for me better, in the way that Erase Errata works for me, as infectious and more exciting at each listen.

Transparent Things

“We were just pretending to be Japanese,” say Fujiya & Miyagi. Surprise! Fujiya (reference to the cult record player) and Miyagi (pop reference to Pat Morita’s Karate Kid character/racist stereotype) are three white men from Brighton, UK. Much like fellow Brits Hot Chip, they bring minimalist, poised electro with their ambiguous irony. Fujiya & Miyagi cite Krautrock such as CAN and Neu! as influences. Certainly the German imprint is there in the album’s low-key, layered grooves and artful calculation.

Lovers and Crypts

Straight outta Brooklyn, New York, Bunny Rabbit is a sound that is to be forgotten, at best. The music is drab and the beats predictable. Vocally, this is a woman who portrays herself as a sex object, who believes her only value is in being used for sex and nothing more.