Derailed: Electronica 2009

Every so often I will be posting under the ‘Derailed’ heading. This is for posts that are outside my normal comfort area…indie rock/pop.

As most of you know, I have no love for electronic music. Sure, I like electronic elements to my music, hence The xx, Animal Collective, jj, Miike Snow, Soulsavers and even Neon Indian showing up on my Best Of lists. But I wouldn’t really consider those artists Electronica. They still fall under the indie rock/pop label in my world.

When I talk about Electronica as a genre, I am referring (and maybe I’m wrong here) to trance, techno, ambient, dubstep, drone, etc. Music that is usually instrumental and created without the use of traditional instruments. Instrumental music is hard for me to get into. I think one of the main reasons my taste in music crosses so many boundaries is because I am in it for the story. Of course I love the music itself, but it’s really the lyrics, the songwriting, the storytelling that gets me.

I don’t eat ‘E’ like Pez and hang out all night in front speakers pumping bass while tripping on the flashing lights (anymore…that was so 90’s!), I don’t smoke weed and listen to the same sound drone on and on in my headphones, and I don’t dance…period. Which means I don’t have much use in my life for this genre.  So really, you should not take my advice on this particular type of music.

That being said, there are always a few releases each year that catch my ear. They just sound good. Most of them tell me a story without words. Sometimes they are just dark, like The Knife, Burial, or one of my favorites this year, Fever Ray. Sometimes they just stand out from the masses like Dan Deacon and Memory Tapes.

The point to all of this is that I am no expert when it comes to these blips, beeps, bits and bass. All I know is what sounds good to me (and what doesn’t bore me out of my mind or give me a headache). In addition to the artists listed above, here are some others I can recommend.

Ben Frost – By The Throat (avant-garde/dark ambient)

Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue (experimental/folktronica)
Bibio  – All The Flowers link

Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care (electropop)

Phaseone – White Collar Crime (electronic/mixtape)
Phaseone – White Collar Crime (free mixtape via GvB)

Pictureplane – Dark Rift (electronica/electropop)

Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country (ambient)

Vitalic – Flashmob (electronica/techno)