It is possible to mix architecture, medieval culture and electronic music. Levente, an electronic music producer from Transylvania, belonging to a Hungarian minority that grew under Ceausescu regime in Romania, built his first synthesizer as a teenager and used electronic music to entertain himself. Later on, based in UK since the 90s, has been releasing his medieval culture and architecture inspired ambient music. Empires of Silence, was released in 1st June 2017.
Empires of Silence gives music to medieval cathedrals such as San Galgano ruins in the Siena region in Italy. Empires lost in time, that have nothing else to share rather than silence, history books, ruins and imagination are now also turned into sound waves. Levente is a proof that architecture can also be an inspiration to create electronic music, as much as for lost empires, such as the Carolingian one.
The album contain 10 tracks, being the first of them Entering and the last one Exiting, to stress the feeling of entering and exiting lost monasteries. After that, eight different medieval monasteries name eight different ambient music tracks. The tracks have long pad notes and basses. That aims to show the big feeling of immensity felt by entering those cathedrals.
Levente’s Empires of Silence is available in Bandcamp and some of his tracks are being streamed by Soundcloud. Such as Under Revolving Skies, inspired by San Galgamo Abbey in Tuscany.
The name tells everything by itself. Brainvoyager, artistic name of Jos Verboven, brings you to a travel on your innerself. Very much alike the synths from Franz Zwartjes tapes mentioned here before. Brainvoyager is also a Dutch producer who brings atmospheric vocals and beats to Synths that make you travel without leaving your current location. His work is influenced by artists such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre which he watched many years before starting to make his own music.
Drifting Memories is his third album from 2014 that came to me on Spotify as a surprise, it contains 4 tracks, all of them bigger than 15 minutes. In total, Drifting Memories has 80 minutes of travel through the world of synthesizers and electronic music. Plus great drum machines. It is ambient music, chill out or downtempo. But it doesn’t make you bored for one single minute, this album has an involving pace, progressing from quieter to more energic vibes in a few minutes, adding exotic vocals and sequences that make your brain tickles on a very pleasant way. Jos seems to be not only very familiar with electronic music, but he is also a great composer and arranger. It is the old school style of electronic music with a contemporary touch.
He has been active since 2012, having songs with four on the floor beats, such as Mesmerize, from his 2013 Compilation. Moreover, Brainvoyager has explored applying his music to videos and choreography, such as a Touch of Oblivion from 2017 below.
It is possible to check more of his songs on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Also, follow him on Twitter to keep updated about his new works.
The EP from GPU Panic, a Lisbon based producer, is an exemplary work of electronic music, what could be called for some IDM music, or non commercial electronic music. This EP has 4 long tracks with aggressive bass, synths and drums that don’t follow the traditional four on the floor style of electronic music, such as techno. The beats are unconventional and mixed with synthesizers that explore ambient, chill-out, industrial and downtempo styles at the same time.
It might not be the best tracks for a Dj set on your neighbourhood club (with exception of Inhale/Exhale and Escape Route that made me personally feel like dancing a lot), but is certainly full of quality and atmospheric until the end, great for listening during a tiring day of work or during breakfast. The work from GPU Panic reminds me tracks from producers like Four Tet or classics of Kraftwerk (such as Escape Route and the breaths from Tour de France) and this great unconventional style of electronic that crosses the limits imposed by genres. Producers who usually do more of the same end up being boring, this is not the case for this EP.
Check out the Souncloud of GPU Panic or support his work buying his tracks on Bandcamp.
Recently I shared in our Soundcloud Profile the newest release from Barcelona based producer OMEGA dB, Speaking With Machines, with Hypersunday Records, from 20th October 2017 (Soundcloud page below). This new release is a very heavy techno style. Hard synths, atmospheric, catchy crude melodies and beats that are dancing and mental at the same, very well produced, with automated synths and well chosen samples. Great for a DJ set that wants to keep the public dancing in euphoria.
First track has no vocal samples, it is called Big Data, touching this subject of contemporary society and life, which brings the themes covered by old style techno. Around 6 minutes track that are no boring at all, it involve the listener from beginning to the end. Second track is called Speaking With Machines, also with around 6min, bringing together with that techno a more videogame 8bits, chipset style, with a sample uttering “Try again”, as if you were playing an arcade, failing, getting up and preparing to “Try again”, very symbolic.
This is his third EP, being the first My Church (2014) and Utopian Reality (2015). Both also having emblematic names when it comes to techno music and contemporary lifestyle, where reification is a constant matter, workers are turned to precariat, life is being constantly converted to virtual reality, such as Big Data, full of machinery and a huge demand for a moment of euphoric dance. You can check his other works on Soundcloud below as much as Spotify.
Coming back to theme of videogame soundtracks on my blog, I found myself listening to soundtrack of Streets of Rage, the famous Mega Drive game where you had to beat everybody on the street and that was completely difficult at the same time.
One of the best discoveries I made recently when it comes to good electronic music is this album, Morning/Evening, by Four Tet (producer Kieren Hebden), released in July 2015. I know he has been around producing good music for a long time (as it’s his eighth album), but the sample with the voice of the indian singer Lata Mangeshkar stroke me deeply. Morning side is an unconventional 20 min track that has been considered Hebden’s second greatest streaming, it’s not by coincidence that one day Spotify discovery algorithms suggested me this.
This album is a proof that electronic music has no boundaries and that the genre limitation is always possible to be corrupted with the producer’s creativity. Four Tet has been attributed as IDM, Intelligent Dance Music, very controversial. For me, I still prefer to think that electronic music, and music in general, should not be limited to a few types of genres where artists should be limited inside them, that’s why each decade more genres arise with talented artists. Genres are important, as they give ideas of how to proceed, but corrupting them shows the talent and creativity of artists.
Morning has an expansive vibe, with emotional synthesizers and drums, that can be dancing and yet evolving for mere listening at home. I would suggest listening it in the morning. As the name says by itself.
Dj and Producer Barchi’s debut single, First Contact, has an emblematic name, as it shows the first work produced by Barchi with the world of techno music. Although the name is First Contact, it shows that Barchi has large experience with minimal techno. Influenced by producers such as Boris Brejcha, this single has dancing tracks with catchy rhythms that are great for a techno Dj set. Jungle Demon welcomes the listeners with a cinematographic vibe. Great basslines that could bring this techno to a more tech-house style. Check below his Soundcloud page. He’s been DJing his tracks in São Paulo and plans new releases for the short term future. He’s also on Instagram.