Author: Julia Sachs

Worthy
Disbehave
Anabatic Records
Street: 06.10
Worthy = Lee Burridge + Claude VonStroke + deep playa at Burning Man
As someone who has more recently jumped from the EDM bandwagon to the world of deep house, this album was instantly added to my growing playlist of funky jamz for any occasion. For his debut album, Worthy creates a wonderfully produced album full of spacey vibes and haunting techno beats that weave between the line of heavy, underground club records to chilled out, hypnotizing deep house and back. Highlights of the album include “Dark Bridges,” a funky techno- driven track with house elements, “Damm Fine” and the album’s opening and closing tracks, both titled “All Our Souls.” ’Tis the season of summer desert parties, and this album would be the perfect complement to something like Element 11, Project Space or Burning Man. –Julia Sachs

 

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Clay
Building Blocks
Self-Released
Street: 05.31
Clay = The Glitch Mob + CocoRosie

I liked the funky, slow electronic sound that Clay put together for this album. However, the wide variety of sounds made it seem weird—the songs would go back and forth from experimental electronic to jazz. I liked the track “Arctic Anthem” because it almost sounded Eastern, but used a lot of electronic influences. I can tell that the artist is talented, and I enjoyed listening to this album, but it’s not something I would go out of my way to listen to on a regular basis. I don’t mean this in a bad way, though. I liked the album a lot—it’s just slow and relaxing. My favorite song was “Fog” because the vocals mixed beautifully with the music and it sounded very well produced. I would have to say Clay is one of the better local artists I’ve heard lately. –Julia Sachs

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COMA

In Technicolor

Kompakt Record Label

Street 04.29

COMA = Daft Punk + Big Gigantic + house music 

It seems to me that the new trend among electronic artists is to include classical instruments in their production. In the opening song “Hoooooray,” COMA uses an accordion as well as other traditional instruments to create a slow and funky sound that gives electronic music a refreshing twist. The third track, titled “Cycle,” is a faster-paced electronic song with synthesized pop beats and a repetitive playback of an electronic snare. I enjoyed that the album didn’t have many tracks on it that had added vocals, as sometimes that takes a perfectly good electronic song from good to overdone, but was happy with the tracks that did. The album shows that this up-and-coming group knows how to make good club music, and I look forward to seeing them gain popularity over time. –Julia Sachs

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MourningCoup

Mourning Coup
Baby Blue

No Sun Recordings
Street: 08.17
Mourning Coup = Beats Antique + Crystalrœses + M.I.A.

Dark, ethereal electronic beats backed by echoing vocals are what make up this experimental album by Mourning Coup. The artist clearly channels elements of nature in the music, as various animal sounds or wind-like flutes are strewn throughout the background of nearly every track on the album. The music is solemn—almost weepy—and filled with a lot of emotion, which is a quality that can be felt on first listen. Though the album is nearly impossible to find—any Google search resulted in almost solely photos of Blue Ivy Carter, Beyonce’s daughter—but once (or if) you find it, it’s worth a listen. –Julia Sachs

Pillar Point

 

Pillar Point
Marble Mouth

Polyvinyl Record Co.
Street: 01.22
Pillar Point = Animal Collective + Kitsune + Sgt. Pepper–era The Beatles

The second studio album from Throw Me the Statue’s Scott Reitherman, Marble Mouth captures the melancholic, eclectic soul of the Pacific Northwest in an album. The Seattle-based artist uses synthesizers and his own echoing vocals to create an album full of discotheque-inspired tracks that bring the listener back to the sound of the ’70s and ’80s. The highlights on the album include “Touch,” with repeating lyrics like “I can’t wait / I can’t wait for your love,” over a bass- and synth-heavy disco beat, as well as “Dreamin” and “Diamond Mine.” Fans of any electronic music made before 1990 will find solace in this gem. –Julia Sachs

Masked Epsilon
Crystal Catacombs
(Original Soundtrack)
Self-Released
Street: 06.06
Masked Epsilon = Anamanaguchi + Conquer Monster + The Legend of Zelda

As someone who has maybe played two hours of video games in her entire life, I’m not exactly the person to ask for opinions on a new one. However, this well-produced album is the soundtrack to a locally made online game that’s almost as nostalgic as blowing the dust out of your old Nintendo cartridges. The pixelated graphics fit perfectly with the chiptune soundtrack, and the game has an interesting story to go with it—a sailor spends days on end searching for the legendary “Crystal Catacombs.” Fans of both chiptune music and nostalgic video games will enjoy this release. The album can be found on maskedepsilon.bandcamp.com and a demo of the game can be found on LevelsOrLives.com. –Julia Sachs

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Famous Relatives
Electric Signals
Tush Records
Street: 05.31
Famous Relatives = Phoenix + Foster the People + MGMT
 
The combination of indie pop and electronically made beats gives Electric Signals that late-summer-afternoon-concert feel. The relaxing, synthesized vocals and blended mix of sounds in tracks like “Painted Picture” and “Sidewalks” remind me a lot of the experimental producer XXYYXX. The song “Night In” describes the entirety of the album perfectly because it’s the type of thing you would listen to when you’re just chillin’ at home with some friends. I listened to it on my deck at sunset, and it was a good complement to that sort of environment. My favorite tracks on the album were “I Think We’re Alone” and “Can We Love and Understand,” as well as “Always on My Mind.” –Julia Sachs
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James Younger

Feelin’ American

Light Organ Records

Street: 06.25

James Younger = Neon Trees + George Harrison + Vampire Weekend

Manchester native James Younger crafted his debut album after hitchhiking across America––how Jack Kerouac of him––and writing 11 pop rock songs about his experiences on the road. His music style sounds like a modern version of George Harrison with more of a pop edge. The songs vary in pace and lyric subject but stay in a similar range of sound. However, the song “Two Of A Kind” almost leans towards the country genre while the song “Running Wild” has a much faster pace and sounds like more of a pop song. The album in its entirety sounded pretty decent and seems to capture the feel of America if it were going to be put into a 34-minute album. –Julia Sachs

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Adam Shaikh

Adam Shaikh

Adam Shaikh
Basswalla

Black Swan Sounds
Street: 05.26
Adam Shaikh = Beats Antique + Bassnectar + The Glitch Mob

As bass music flourishes, a new generation of talented artists has emerged—and Adam Shaikh is among those. The British Columbia native has produced and curated an album of songs that blends classic, bass-heavy drumbeats with an Old World twist by adding traditional Eastern instruments such as the didgeridoo and sitar, among others, to create a fantastic bass album. Fans of the original Bassnectar sound will appreciate tracks like “Basswalla,” “Cultivation” and “Still Shakin.” The album is available for streaming and download on the Black Swan Sounds website, blackswansounds.com. –Julia Sachs

Conquer Monster – Metatransit

Conquer Monster – Metatransit

Conquer Monster
Metatransit

Self-Released
Street: 10.16.15
Conquer Monster = Anamanaguchi + Mario Kart 64 OST

Not only do local duo Daniel Romero and Joshua Faulkner produce their music using reworks of old video game controllers, but their new album, Metatransit, was released in conjunction with the comic book Purge Worlds. The album follows the story of the comic book, adding suspense in all the right places, and follows the story of two musicians in a save-the-world-esque story set in a dystopian future. The album itself is electronically made, bringing back the nostalgic era of 8-bit video games and the sounds of the early ’90s. My favorites on the album include “Dystopian Underworld,” “Waveform Distortion” and “Noise Decay.” Both the album and comic book are available at local record stores or online at conquermonster.com. –Julia Sachs