Archives for posts with tag: Experimental electronic music

Continuing the electronic music theme from the previous post Vera Vice are an experimental electronic duo from from Tallinn, Estonia, and “Down the River” here is from their 2020 album “Vera Versa”.

Vera Vice are Helen Västrik and Ave Vellesalu. They met at the Estonian Academy of Arts and started by building their first synthesizers in old cigarette boxes, before borrowing equipment from friends and teachers and continuing experimenting with sound, and now creating their music with keyboards, drum machines, analog synths, effect pedals, etc. Prior to this their music experience was singing in choirs, so their initial lack of knowledge and skills in electronic music provided them with the “idea of unsystematic freedom and possible accidental success.” 

Vera Vice’s music inhabits a liminal space somewhere between the bass-heavy dub expansiveness of Australian duo HTRK and the more dreamy pop melodicism of NZ duo Purple Pilgrims. Their voices are an equal force in their music to the icy but colourful electronic minimalism. That idea of “unsystematic freedom” and arts background may explain why their music sounds so distinct and often bypasses the conventions of the genre taking unexpected ambient diversions and creating it’s own introspective sound-world. “Vera Versa” is my first purchase from Estonian musicians – thanks to the power of Bandcamp – and is unlikely to be my last.

carla dal forno 2019Each stage of Carla dal Forno’s journey from Melbourne’s experimental electronic pop underground via Berlin to London has been matched with an increasing sophistication of her DIY dream-pop electronica.  “Took a Long Time” is the second song shared from dal Forno’s second album – “Look Up Sharp” – ahead of its October release.

On the basis of the two songs from “Look Up Sharp” shared so far, the new album strips even more of the lo-fi atmospheric haze from dal Forno’s sound while still maintaining an edge of detached unease.

“Took A Long Time” finds dal Forno sounding like a atmospheric stand-off between the fidgety crystalline minimalism of Melbourne dub electronica outfit HTRK and the uneasy post-punk electronic dream-pop of Dunedin’s Death and the Maiden.  

“Look Up Sharp” will be released on LP and CD (as well as digital download) on dal Forno’s own label Kallista Records on 4 October 2019.

Synth Sisters mirror“w/o/n/d/e/r/f/u/l” is the opening track of Synth Sisters’ second album “Euphoria”, released earlier this year on Osaka label EM Records.

“w/o/n/d/e/r/f/u/l” is the only track on “Euphoria” with vocals but it sets the scene for the voiceless wonderlands of sound that follow it. The synth soundscapes throughout the album are rich and layered, falling somewhere between retro synth soundtracks and darker, weirder and more intimidating sonic atmospheres.

Synth Sisters are Osaka-based artists Rie Lambdoll and MAYUKo who have also collaborated as the more confrontational noise-focused Crossbred, which probably explains the unyielding uneasy listening, ambient-with-attitude edge to the music on “Euphoria”.

There are reminders of those pulsing early Tangerine Dream masterpieces, woven into the more ambient disorienting soundtracks of the likes of Future Sound of London. It’s all presented with the audio equivalent of a TV cartoon show with over-saturated colours and the brightness tuned up.  “Euphoria” is quite gloriously euphoric.

Helena Celle.jpgBeaming in from outer space, like a time-delayed broadcast from The Clangers planet 50 years ago, comes the malfunctioning dance music of “VR Addiction” .

“VR Addiction” is from an intriguing new release from Glasgow, Scotland based computer programmer Kay Logan under her current alias Helena Celle. The album – “If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, Then You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst” – is released through Glasgow experimental/ underground electronic/ Alt-Normal label Night School Records.

If lo-fi electronica is your thing then this is a hissing, buzzing, fidgeting world of virtual unicorns and code dragons. “Recorded exclusively using a faltering MC303, live in a room straight to consumer dictaphones” gives you an idea of how this audio performance art was made. It’s great. There’s a real sense of life, adventure, happenstance, and wonder in the music on the album, attributes which can be absent from more structured, genre-conforming electronic music.

Don’t know if this music is “questioning the hegemony of neo-liberal ideas and their intersection with capital, culture and social practises” as claimed in the explanatory notes. Are these satirical? It’s hard to tell with commentaries on experimental or conceptual art sometimes. Can it not just be adventurous fun with sound which allows each listener to apply their own thin veneer of reasoning to it as they see fit?