Genre: Trance-y Electronic Remixing
I’ll admit, this is my first experience listening through an entire Ellie Herring album, and this isn’t even her music. Or is it? Without much experience with her stuff to compare it to, it’s tough to say – with some experience with the music that has been remixed, it sounds like it’s got to be her music, at least in part. The album takes upbeat songs that were meant to be danced to – music from tUnE-yArDs, Le1f (who was in town for last year’s Boomslang Festival,) even Janet Jackson – and turns them into breezy sequences that make them sound much more like trance music than they did in their original states. That said, the hooks from the original songs are largely retained and the personalities of each artist is allowed to shine through – each song does this in a way unique to the artist whose music is being remixed. Herring, then, just adds her own style – largely by attaching tastefully-busy drums, cascading synthesizers – taking out some of the intensity, and leaving the listener in a trance. Potion Shop is a collection of remixes that Herring has done in the last couple years, but with an upcoming album of original material coming next month, its release is admittedly well-timed. As one of Lexington’s favorite artists, the sounds on this album bode well for what’s coming up in July with Kite Day.
Give these tracks a listen – Janet Jackson’s If, Social Studies’ Terracur, Le1f’s Wut, tUnE-yArDs’ Gangsta, and Ladytron’s Melting Ice.
– Ben Southworth – June 18th, 2013
Genre: Ambient Electronica/ Quasi-Trance
The label “ambient electronica” is a strange one – one that can really mean a lot of things. I guess, to me, it means the sort of music that is made with electronic components, but doesn’t necessarily make you want to dance. And though this EP didn’t have me on my feet, it definitely had my head bobbing along subconsciously. Chimarra’s first EP, Edge Effects, is a 23-minute collection, made up of glitchy drum beats, samples panned to either side of the head, a slew of different synth sounds, and the mellow tone of a euphonium. At first listen, the album is a lot what you’d expect from an ambient electronic artist – the drum beats, especially, remind me of the fizzy rhythms that made up much of Sufjan Steven’s Age of Adz. There are two major things, though, that give this music a different feeling than most other music in this genre: the feeling of a narrative and followable line of song development, and the euphonium. Taking a look at Chimarra’s Facebook page, he lists “the power and beauty of the natural world” as the inspiration for his music – when taking this into account, it makes it a little easier to understand the feeling of calm narration that much of the music has. The choice to include the sounds of a brass instrument – thrown in selectively on euphonium, rather than a sampled sound on a keyboard – is definitely interesting, and it gives the music some really nice dissonance and color. The album definitely rides the line into trance music – it’s pretty meditative and it conveys its ties to the tranquility of nature very well.
Tracks I Liked: Cave Patterns!!!, North of the Light!, Timestream!!
– Ben Southworth – Lexington, Kentucky – May 21, 2013