As I began to write this post about electro I found myself embroiled in a rant about ‘new rave’. It was very dull, so instead here is an article which basically sums up my feelings on the matter. With that out of the way I’d like to share with you a few bands who play what I like to call ‘indie with keyboards’.
Brazilian band Cansei de Ser Sexy (Portuguese for ‘tired of being sexy’, CSS for short) are something of a one-off. Many of the songs sound like they were made on a Casio keyboard (and probably were) and singer Lovefoxxx doesn’t seem to fully grasp the English she sings in. For these reasons, you could be excused for thinking CSS are a novelty band, but I would prefer to describe them as ‘fun’, something lacking from a lot of today’s music. Whilst the (brilliantly titled) tracks like ‘Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ and ‘Lets Make Love And Listen To Death From Above’ live up to this, others such as ‘I Want To Be Your J-Lo’ and ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’ are almost vicious in ridiculing their targets. Visit their MySpace to listen.
Muscles hails from Melbourne, Australia and plays upbeat electro-pop. His vocals have been likened to those of Tunde Adebimpe, lead singer in TV on the Radio, who I have previously discussed in this column. The word I come back to again is fun; stand-out track ‘Ice Cream’ features lyrics such as ‘I just wanna dance with my shirt off’ and ‘Ice cream is going to save the day’. Gorilla Vs Bear predict that it will be the ‘2007 summer jam of the year’. I would also recommend the again food-based ‘Chocolate, Raspberry, Lemon & Lime’. You can listen to and download both of these tracks and others at his website and MySpace.
Tom Vek provides something of a contrast to these two bands. Whilst the London based musician’s debut album ‘We Have Sound’ is not strictly electro, it does include electro elements. In particular ‘C-C (You Set The Fire In Me)’ and ‘Nothing But Green Lights’ feature strong synthesised melodies throughout. B-side ‘Things Are Here To Stay’ (mp3) is very much recommended, with a much heavily electronic based sound. As always, you can listen to other tracks at his MySpace.
Finally, I want to mention Death From Above 1979. Songs from their bass and drum-driven album ‘You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’ just begged to be used in electro remixes, and ‘Romance Bloody Romance’ is the result of that. The Dahlbäck remix of ‘Romantic Rights’ (click) is especially recommended. In addition, DFA1979 have produced electro remixes of other bands’ tracks, such as Le Tigre’s outstanding ‘Deceptacon.’ After the band split, one half of it (Jesse F. Keeler) formed MSTRKRFT (Mastercraft), an electro group based in Toronto, Canada. Whilst not remixing tracks by bands such as The Gossip, Bloc Party, and, indeed, Death From Above, they produce original material such as ‘Easy Love’ and ‘Work On You’ which you can hear on their MySpace.
By Jamie Holgate