July hots up with a barrage of electronic artists for SILICON DREAMS 2017…
2017 marks the return of Silicon Dreams, the electronic music festival whose roots lay in the Vintage Computer Festival back in 2010 (which featured OMD).
The idea of combining vintage computer demonstrations and displays alongside performances by notable electronic bands seems unusual, but in many ways the development of technology is mirrored in both worlds.
TEC was also on hand to cover Silicon Dreams in 2013 when both Heaven 17 and Northern Kind performed and the event also featured a talk by Martyn Ware. TEC writer Jer White penned a review of the event and summed up the day as “synthpop’s still alive and as vibrant as ever”.
For the 2017 event, Silicon Dreams has ambitiously taken on the task of staging 6 acts who pull from both established artists as well as performers who are just embarking into the world of electronic music. The venue of choice for this year’s event has also stepped up a gear with the Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall Music Room setting the stage for 2017’s performances.
Among the musical guests appearing are Australian band Parralox. The Melbourne-based outfit formed by John von Ahlen first came together in 2008 on the back of their debut album Electricity. The album brought the band critical acclaim with Parralox confidently narrowing the gap between synthpop and Pop with a capital ‘P’.
One of the album’s best moments was later given a new lease of life when the Pete Hammond Remix version of ‘Sharper Than A Knife’ was tied together with an amazing lyric video. Von Ahlen’s graphic design skills were let loose on the video which sought to recreate classic record sleeves with a Parralox twist.
Parralox were also recruited to provide support for Erasure on the classic synthpop duo’s Violet Flame world tour – and to lend their remixing talents to 2 Erasure singles. The Australian outfit have also provided support slots for the likes of Little Boots. Parralox have also recently released their latest studio album Subculture which features a variety of guest musicians and singers, including Marcella Detroit and Ian Burden.
Avec Sans are a London-based electro-pop group consisting of Alice Fox (vocals, producer) and Jack St. James (electronics, producer). The band formed in 2012 before embarking on live performances in 2013.
Avec Sans quickly gained recognition for their energetic live shows, which involve hacked Novation launchpads (including one performance at which the outfit utilised 16 launchpads at once!).
Avec Sans supported Ladyhawke on her 2016 UK tour and have played alongside acts such as Little Boots, Capital Cities, Bright Light Bright Light and Pet Shop Boys. They’ve also lent their remix talents for a variety of artists on Sony (Epic) and Columbia Records.
The outfit signed to American indie label Beverly Martel and released their debut album Heartbreak Hi in July 2016. Their new single ‘We Are’ was released in April featuring a brand new mix of the track.
Originally formed in 2009, Future Perfect established themselves as purveyors of a particularly effective dark synthpop that culminated in their 2010 album Dirty Little Secrets.
Consisting of husband and wife team Simon and Rebecca Owen, the electronic outfit are also augmented by Noel Canney. Inspired by a broad range of musical influences including Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and OMD, Future Perfect have crafted their own particular electropop sound.
Future Perfect signed to the Conzoom label and a second album. Escape, followed in 2012. A new EP After The Fall was released in 2015. They’ve veterans of Silicon Dreams in times past and have their own particularly engaging style performing live.
Berlyn Trilogy describe themselves as “retro-futurist romantics with classic electronic structure and a darkly exciting edge”.
Originally formed in 2012, the synthpop oufit consists of James Beswick, Faye Williams and Simon Rowe. Berlyn Trilogy combine brooding synthesisers with rhythmic drum machines and bass guitar which led to the release of their 2014 debut album A Perfect Stranger.
With a healthy interest in live performances, the band manage to combine a dark pop appeal with catchy, danceable tunes.
Caroline McLavy emerged from the Leicester music scene with the release of her debut album Electrostatic, an 11 track album that revolves around themes such as relationships, anxiety issues, frustration and even a track about battling with bailiffs!
McLavy draws from the darker end of the electropop spectrum combined with a dancepop sensibility.
Hailing from Sheffield, Voi Vang describes herself as “Aphotic Pop artist with a love for the dark side…” Her knack for melodic electronic tunes is matched by an effective choreography for live performances.
As well as live performances, the event will feature DJ setlists featuring DJs from the Pink Parrot and AnalogueTrash.
Silicon Dreams takes place on 8th July 2017 at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall Music Room, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP. Full details, including ticket ordering, are available on the Silicon Dreams website.
Details of this and other forthcoming events are available on The Electricity Club Calendar.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.