Electronic music has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Though it began its development with simple tones as early as the 19th century, electronic music has gone polyphonic in a major way. It has moved on to overtake the media as one of the dominant sources of musical sound in pop music.
While artists like Wendy Carlos and Karlheinz Stockhausen have paved the way for electronic musicians to succeed, some modern electronic musicians are adding a pop feel to a genre that started out as highly experimental.
Elemental Electroacoustic Tracks
Dan Deacon -Wet Wings
Electroacoustic music is a broad category that generally involves the manipulation of recorded sounds to create a musical experience that could not be created by an acoustic instrument or human performer. With electroacoustic music growing in popularity, several musicians have elected to apply heavily electroacoustic composition qualities to music with pop sensibilities. Dan Deacon is an example of an electroacoustic musician who is thriving on keeping it simple.
“Wet Wings” by Dan Deacon is minimalist electroacoustic music at its best and most well-defined. This track features a single vocal sample looped on top of itself until the repetition begins to produce some unusual and inventive sounds.
Immovable Objects – Raindrops in Evening Traffic
When former guitarist/vocalist Matt Gagin from Ambient rock act Waterline Drift forms an amorphous creative electroacoustic project, Immovable Objects emerges. Live performances of Immovable Objects debut album, “Hoping It Stays Just This Broken,” regularly featured vintage films edited to fit the music mix. The electroacoustic track “Raindrops in Evening Traffic” features vocals over a myriad of electronic and recorded instrumental sounds that create an ambient experience similar to an ambient lovechild born from a stackpile of Brian Eno, Sufjan Stevens and The Smashing Pumpkins circa Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
Though Immovable Objects has gone in a new direction, focusing on a more energetic rock sound for the upcoming album, set to record in April 2011, but “Raindrops in Evening Traffic” remains a quintessential electroacoustic track for newcoming listeners to the electroacoustic genre.
In a Trance
Brian Transeau (BT) – Firewater
Trance is a driving dance music style with a hypnotic nature designed to put the listener into a trance-like listening state. Brian Transeau,better known as BT, is one of the masters of trance. Firewater is a startling composition featuring a mixture of electronic and recorded sounds, including nature sounds and a relaxing piano.
Transeau is an American-born composer whose work has appeared in a variety of movie soundtracks and whose work as an electronic musician and DJ is wildly popular.
Chill Out Trip-Hop
Portishead – Roads
Featuring an unforgettable female vocalist over slow beats and hip-hop samples and scratching, Portishead is probably one of the greatest bands ever, and you can listen to any of their tracks with confidence that it will be an awesome electronic experience.
“Roads” is a good introduction to Portishead and makes some trippy sounds happen if you blast it in your car while driving on the freeway. If you want a Portishead album, check out Roseland NYC Live.