2017 – The Year In Review

2017 has been an eventful year in the world of electronic music, particularly here in the UK which saw some of the classic acts back in action. But it also saw the emergence of some talented contemporary electronic acts as well. Here’s TEC’s review of the year along with our contributor’s lists of songs and albums that they rated in 2017…


2017 started off in a strange place for The Electricity Club as it found itself in a position to discard the accumulated baggage of many years and give the site a ‘soft reboot’. With an agenda that was focussed purely on music, it was a foundation that provided a sturdy structure for the months ahead.

January saw Austra make a triumphant return with their third studio album Future Politics. Along with lead single ‘Utopia’, the album was a reflection of our times as we entered into a turbulent period in global politics. TEC’s review summed up the album as “…a more intimate and personal approach than previous outings”.

TEC favourites Lola Dutronic also made a welcome return, first with a sequel to their classic ‘Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead’ (now updated to reflect some of the losses music suffered in 2016 such as Lemmy, David Bowie and Prince). We interviewed Lola Dutronic to get some gain some insight into how the globally distant pair produce their music. The duo also managed to bookend the year with a further release when they released the wonderful ‘My Name Is Lola’.

Vitalic came back with the stunning Voyager album. Pascal Arbez’s crunchy flavour of muscular beats and hook-laden melodies was present and correct on his new outing. Tracks such as ‘Waiting For The Stars’ suggested an unabashed nod to Arbez’s favourite ’70s and ’80s songs with a Moroder-esque beat driving this squelchy and engaging electropop wonder. Meanwhile, ‘Sweet Cigarette’ offered up a homage to The Normal’s ‘Warm Leatherette’.

TEC’s Lost Album series delivered some eclectic choices from the vaults for consideration. This included U96’s Replugged, Kon Kan’s Syntonic and Gary Numan’s 1994 album Sacrifice, a release which Barry Page suggested held the keys to the future: “Whilst the album often suffers from its use of some rather unimaginative and repetitive drum loops, the album put Numan firmly back on track.”

Sweden’s Sailor And I, meanwhile, offered up brooding, glacial pop on debut album The Invention Of Loneliness. TEC also spoke to musician Alexander Sjödin, the brains behind the outfit, who summed up his methods thus: “I use music as a kind of meditation. I get into this mood where I turn everything else off and just run as far as I can every time”.

In March, Goldfrapp returned to the fold with new album Silver Eye. While it was a serviceable outing of the glam synth workings that the duo had traded on previously, it was also bereft of many surprises or challenges. A return to Felt Mountain glories seems overdue.

Throughout the year, we were won over by a whole host of emerging electronic acts that caught our attention. This included the “ruptured melodies” of Jupiter-C (a duo championed by the likes of Clint Mansell). The “multi-utility music” of Liverpool’s Lo Five drew our focus to the wonders of the Patterned Air label. Elsewhere, the electro-acoustic sounds of Autorotation provided their own charm while the crunchy qualities of Cotton Wolf also suggested an act worth keeping an eye on.

With the 8th March traditionally being International Women’s Day, we thought it was time to add a twist to it by suggesting an International Women In Electronic Music Day. While the commentary of the likes of Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches) and Claire Boucher (Grimes) had blazed the trail for a level playing field for women, it was still depressing to see tone-deaf blog articles that were essentially ‘Birds With Synths’ being offered up as support.

One of our choices for that esteemed list, Hannah Peel, managed to deliver two albums of note in 2017. The personal journey of Awake But Always Dreaming (inspired by her family’s encounter with dementia) and also the magical world of Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia – an album which our review summed up as “a testament to Hannah Peel’s seemingly endless abilities to craft new and intriguing ideas out of the ether. It’s a cosmic journey that delivers.”

Hopes were high that Basildon’s finest could deliver a solid return to form with their 14th studio album Spirit. But the album divided critics and fans alike on a release which TEC’s review summed up succinctly: “…as impressive as it is lyrically, it’s an often challenging and unsettling listen that doesn’t quite meet up to its billing as “the most energized Depeche Mode album in years.””

Despite the controversy, Depeche Mode still managed to put on their biggest ever UK show, with over 80,000 attendees at London Stadium in June this year.

Elsewhere, another of the old guard was also facing a productive year. Marc Almond released new compilation album Hits And Pieces, which spanned his extensive career from Soft Cell through to his more recent solo work. Although not as comprehensive as 2016’s Trials Of Eyeliner, TEC’s review suggested “…the new compilation offers a more concise selection of music that still manages to cover Almond’s extensive musical career in fine style”.

April saw TEC looking at the dark wave delights of Dicepeople, whose ‘Synthetic’ offered up “brooding gothic synth melodies against a burbling electronic background”. But their cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Strangelove’ showed the outfit could also deliver muscular electropop that still retained their own unique style. Speaking to Dicepeople’s Matt Brock in an exclusive interview, TEC discovered the band’s strong cinematic touchstone. “Cronenberg’s Videodrome is another huge influence for us with its exploration of very dark themes involving control, voyeurism and the nature of reality as shown via layers of screens (a recurring theme in Dicepeople).”

Marnie released her follow-up to 2013’s Crystal World in the form of Strange Words And Weird Wars. The album demonstrated the Ladytron member’s knack for tunes, which our review summed up as “…a solid album of contemporary electropop that listeners will find intelligent, engaging and yet also fun. Strange Words And Weird Wars is a continuing demonstration on why Marnie is one of electronic music’s most precious assets”.

The emerging generation of electronic artists kept producing new acts of interest throughout 2017. Pixx (who cropped up on our radar after supporting Austra) released The Age Of Anxiety, which our review described as “an album that offers up a combination of smart pop tunes married with thoughtful lyrics”. Hannah Rodgers, the talent behind Pixx, also addressed the surge of nostalgia and retro acts with a philosophical quote: “There are a lot of people who are just trying to recreate things that have already been done, because they’re almost scared of the way modern music sounds, but we do have technology now that allows us to make quite insane-sounding music. And… we are in 2017”.

Kelly Lee Owens was another emerging artist who released her eponymous debut this year. The TEC review summed it up: “At heart an electronic album, the tracks contained within dart between ambient soundscapes and beat-driven compositions”.

AIVIS, a new act that had come to TEC’s attention via The Pansentient League’s Jer White, delivered their debut album Constellate. As with acts such as Lola Dutronic, AIVIS consists of a duo located in separate countries – in this case Aidan from Scotland and Travis based in Ohio. Their use of harmonies and warm synths led us to conclude that “Constellate is a smooth collection of subtle electropop”.

Irish outfit Tiny Magnetic Pets had a good year in which they released a new album and went on to support OMD. The 3-piece unit had made their UK and European live debut back in 2015 championed by Johnny Normal. Now in 2017 they brought new release Deluxe/Debris to bear. TEC’s review gave the album an honest appraisal: “They’ve got the chops to push the envelope, but there are times on this album where, arguably, the band appear happier playing from a safe position. When they introduce their more experimental side, or opt for a more dynamic approach, Tiny Magnetic Pets shine brightest”.

Voi Vang’s powerful voice and dancepop sensibilities made her one of the star turns of 2017. Meanwhile, Twist Helix woke us up with their “dramatic tunes and big, euphoric vocal melodies”. Our Teclist reviews also had good things to say about Elektrisk Gønner, OSHH and Russian outfit Oddity.

Elsewhere, the classic synthpop acts still had a strong showing this year. Erasure released the downbeat World Be Gone, a more reflective album that was heavily influenced by the troubling political climate (a persistent theme for many other releases this year). OMD returned with the follow-up to 2013’s English Electric with The Punishment Of Luxury. The album wore its Kraftwerk influences on its sleeve for a lot of the tracks, while the title number offered a commentary on commercial culture.

German pioneers Kraftwerk brought their 3D experience back to the UK and TEC’s Rob Rumbell offered his thoughts on their Nottingham concert: “…sensory overload… which left you awe-inspired and breathless”.

Blancmange presented a superb compilation of their first three albums titled The Blanc Tapes which we summed up as “the perfect archive for Blancmange’s often-overlooked musical legacy.” Neil Arthur also delivered new studio album Unfurnished Rooms, which prompted an honest critique from TEC’s Imogen Bebb: “whilst as an album it isn’t always easy to listen to, it makes for a welcome new chapter in Blancmange’s ongoing story”.

Howard Jones also went down the compilation route with the comprehensive Best 1983-2017 which the TEC review suggested: “this 3-CD set will have a special appeal not only to loyal Howard Jones fans, but also perhaps a new audience keen to experience the appeal of this pioneering electronic musician”.

While there were bright moments in the year, the music scene also saw tragedy in 2017 with the loss of Can’s Holger Czukay, trance DJ Robert Miles and Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi.

Barry Page provided some long-form features which took the focus to Norway’s a-ha, particularly the side projects that the likes of Morten Harket and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy have embarked on.

Speaking of a-ha, although the idea of an acoustic album by an electronic act seemed absurd, it was a concept that the Norwegian outfit embraced for Summer Solstice. The breath-taking arrangements for classics such as ‘Take On Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’ proved that a-ha still had the chops to surprise people.

Meanwhile, Midge Ure’s own orchestral-inspired approach for Ultravox and his solo numbers resulted in the release of Orchestrated later in the year. TEC’s Jus Forrest summed things up: “As an album, Orchestrated is diverse enough to pique interest. It’s contemporary enough to be relevant, and there’s enough classic tracks to reach out to fans”.

The soulful tones of Fifi Rong returned, this time with a bolder electronic sound on ‘The Same Road’. TEC’s review concluded that the new song “…demonstrates that Fifi Rong is capable of adding plenty more colours to her musical palette”.

Kasson Crooker, formerly of Freezepop, also provided some gems throughout 2017. There was the Gishiki album released under his Symbion Project banner – a release that we summed up as “one of the standout electronica releases of the year.” Meanwhile, he launched new outing ELYXR which was designed to be a collaborative project introducing different singers for each subsequent release. This included the warmth of ‘Engine’ as well as the punchier (and lyrically timely!) ‘Godspeed’.

2017 also delivered a diverse selection of electronic music events that showcased a multi-line-up of diverse acts. May saw Synth Club Presents, which included the ever-excellent Vile Electrodes as well as the sultry delights of The Frixion and the energetic pop of Knight$.

Culled from their 2016 album Ath.Lon, in June Greek duo Marsheaux unveiled a new video for ‘Now You Are Mine’.

Meanwhile, July delivered one of the bigger events of the year with Liverpool’s Silicon Dreams. Combining established artists with newer acts, this year’s event pulled together an all-star schedule featuring Parralox, Avec Sans, Future Perfect, Berlyn Trilogy, Caroline McLavy and Voi Vang. As TEC’s review stated: “The 2017 incarnation of Silicon Dreams serves not only as an evening of entertainment, but also as an example of the importance of grassroots electronic music events. By showcasing both up-and-coming talents alongside more established acts, it’s an event which demonstrates a legacy in action”.

August presented the Electro Punk Party which offered up some of the more alternative acts on the scene. This included Dicepeople, Microchip Junky, Hot Gothic, the dark surf guitar of Pink Diamond Revue and the anarchistic LegPuppy. In fact, LegPuppy demonstrated an impressive schedule of live performances throughout the year as well as releasing songs such as the wry observations of ‘Selfie Stick’ and dance-orientated ‘Running Through A Field Of Wheat’.

The regular Synthetic City event returned, this time at Water Rats in King’s Cross. The evening brought with it some superb performances from the likes of Hot Pink Abuse, Eden, The Lunchbox Surrender, Train To Spain and Parralox (marking their second UK live show this year). The weird and wonderful Mr Vast topped things off and the whole affair was superbly organised by Johnny Normal.

Susanne Sundfør, who released the superb Ten Love Songs album back in 2015, brought a much more challenging release in the form of Music For People In Trouble. The album weaved in acoustic touches, spoken word segments and often unsettling soundscapes. But the epic ‘Mountaineers’, featuring the distinctive voice of John Grant, had an almost physical presence with its hypnotic tones.

The mighty Sparks returned with new album Hippopotamus and delivered a superb live performance in London back in October. The same month, the 22rpm electronic music festival took place. Showcased by record label Bit Phalanx, the event featured the likes of Scanner, Derek Piotr, Digitonal, Coppe and a truly stunning performance from Valgeir Sigurðsson.

The Sound Of Arrows brought out their newest album since 2011’s Voyage. Stay Free offered a much more grounded approach to electropop than the dreamy moods of their previous release, but still managed to deliver some cinematic pop moments. Their pop-up shop to promote the album was also a nice touch!

PledgeMusic has proved to be a vital lifeline for many artists in recent years. It’s a funding option which delivered for everyone from Ultravox to OMD. Gary Numan used the platform to fund his 21st studio album Savage (Songs From A Broken World) which provoked critical praise and which Jus Forrest suggested delivered “a flawless production of intrigue; a soundtrack that brings together the atmospheric, the lonely, the eerie and, in places, the added drama of colourful crescendo”.

Empathy Test, an electronic duo from London, also chose the PledgeMusic route and achieved such success that they decided to release not just one, but two albums together. The stunning Losing Touch and Safe From Harm revealed a band that could combine mood and melancholy in an impressive collection of songs. TEC’s conclusion that compositions such as ‘Bare My Soul’ demonstrated a band capable of delivery that was both “mythical and melodious”, also showed the heights that contemporary electropop can ascend to.

As the year drew to its conclusion, there were still some gems to pop up on the radar. Canadian sleazy synth specialist TR/ST teased us with ‘Destroyer’, a nocturnal affair that (along with the year’s earlier release ‘Bicep’) paved the way for a new album due in 2018.

Scanner, who had delivered a stunning performance at the 22rpm event, also unleashed The Great Crater, an album of mood and often brooding unease. Our review’s final conclusion was that “The end result is less listening to a body of work and more being immersed into a physical experience”.

Curxes brought us the hypnotic delights of ‘In Your Neighbourhood’, which paved the way for new album Gilded Cage.

As the winter months drew to a close, we took a look at Parralox’s latest release ‘Electric Nights’, which proved to be a euphoric floor-stomper. Meanwhile, Norway served up Take All The Land, the debut solo album by Simen Lyngroth which TEC’s review summed up as a “beautifully well-crafted and intimate album”.

Perhaps one theme that 2017 demonstrated time and time again is that electronic music continues to evolve and thrive, particularly at the grassroots level where emerging acts are less focused on being a pastiche of the bands of 40 years ago. Instead, there’s a fresh and dynamic scene which has seen a genre looking to the future rather than the past.

This doesn’t scribble over the achievements of decades of previous electronic acts. That history and legacy continues to exist, but perhaps the idea that acts don’t need to be beholden to the classic acts is a concept that younger artists are more willing to entertain.


CONTRIBUTOR’S LISTS

IMOGEN BEBB

Top 5 Songs Of 2017

OMD – The Punishment of Luxury
Gary Numan – My Name Is Ruin
Sparks – What The Hell Is It This Time?
Alphaville – Heartbreak City
Tiny Magnetic Pets – Never Alone

Top 5 Albums Of 2017

OMD – The Punishment of Luxury
Tiny Magnetic Pets – Deluxe/Debris
Blancmange – Unfurnished Rooms
Superdivorce – Action Figures
Brian Eno – Reflection

Favourite Event of 2017

OMD at Liverpool Empire in October.

Most Promising New Act

Superdivorce


JUS FORREST

Top 5 Songs Of 2017

Among the Echoes – Breathe
Tiny Magnetic Pets – Control Me
John Foxx and the Maths – Orphan Waltz
Gary Numan – My Name is Ruin
Gary Numan – Bed of Thorns

Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Jori Hulkkonen – Don’t Believe in Happiness
Gary Numan – Savage (Songs from a Broken World)
Tiny Magnetic Pets – Deluxe/Debris
Hannah Peel – Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
Richard Barbieri – Planets + Persona

Most Promising New Act

Spaceprodigi


BARRY PAGE

Top 5 Songs Of 2017

OMD – Ghost Star
Waaktaar and Zoe – Mammoth
Depeche Mode – Cover Me
Simen Lyngroth – The Waves
Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – The Marble Sky

Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Waaktaar and Zoe – World Of Trouble
Simen Lyngroth – Take All The Land
a-ha – MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice
Empathy Test – Losing Touch
Sparks – Hippopotamus

Favourite Event of 2017

Depeche Mode at London Stadium, June 2017

Most Promising New Act

Simen Lyngroth

Best reissue

China Crisis – Working With Fire and Steel


JER WHITE

Top 5 Songs Of 2017

Tiny Magnetic Pets – Semaphore
2raumwohnung – Lucky Lobster (Night Version)
Sylvan Esso – Die Young
Pixx – I Bow Down
Vitalic (ft. David Shaw and The Beat) – Waiting for the Stars

Top 5 Albums Of 2017

2raumwohnung – Nacht und Tag
The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics
AIVIS – Constellate
Jupe Jupe – Lonely Creatures
Vitalic – Voyager

Favourite Event of 2017

Kraftwerk in 3D at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Most Promising New Act

AIVIS


PAUL BROWNE

Top 5 Songs Of 2017

Susanne Sundfør – Mountaineers
Empathy Test – Bare My Soul
Austra – Utopia
TR/ST – Bicep
Curxes – In Your Neighbourhood

Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Empathy Test – Safe From Harm/Losing Touch
Hannah Peel – Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia
Austra – Future Politics
Susanne Sundfør – Music For People In Trouble
Sailor & I – The Invention Of Loneliness

Favourite Event of 2017

Synthetic City 2017

Most Promising New Act

Empathy Test


AIVIS – Constellate

Subtle electropop from the globally-spanning duo…

When the talents of electronic duo AIVIS first appeared on our radar, it was a refreshing change of style that offered a captivating sound culled from a thoughtful take on electronic music. Consisting of Aidan, who hails from Scotland, and Travis who’s based in Ohio, the geographic distances did little to stop the pair from working together.

AIVIS cite a broad range of influences, including Robyn, Grimes, Marina And The Diamonds and CHVRCHES, although Hurts is probably the most obvious point of comparison when looking at their tunes in detail. With Aidan providing melodies, vocals and song structure, while Travis offers up beats, basslines and instrumentation, the duo have swapped files back and forth over the internet to build up a catalogue of intriguing songs. In an interview with The Pansentient League website, Aidan described the music of AIVIS as “Catchy emotional insidious glitchy electronic pop”, which sums things up nicely.

The first offering from AIVIS came via ‘The Wilderness’, which we liked for its nice use of harmonies and a smooth, warm feel underpinning the engaging vocals. The sparse percussion adds to the charm and the result is a song that breathes emotion (they also found time to pull up Dancing With Ruby on remix duties).

Now, AIVIS have launched their first album in the form of Constellate. As the band put it: “When we look at the night sky we see countless little twinkling dots. We connect these dots to create shapes and tell stories. Dots that look just millimeters apart are often separated by billions of light-years.”

“In the age of the Internet we are like dots in the night sky. Each of us a star in the online universe, spread across the globe in different cities. Most of us will live and die without interacting with the majority of the rest of the world, only our local cluster.”

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The material on Constellate doesn’t deviate much from AIVIS’ favoured flavours. The duo draw from a much subtler set of colours in their particular musical palette. As a result, Constellate delivers intriguing and often thoughtful compositions that are a gear change from pop bangers and dance floor fillers.

Opening track ‘Forever Gold’ delivers restrained beats while distant percussion fires in the background. Meanwhile, there’s a more suitably brooding quality to ‘Dark’, a track whose bassy tones give way to rolling vocal melodies that, out of all of Constellate’s material, tacks closer to the style of Hurts.

There’s other gems on offer, including the rapid-fire delivery of ‘Flick’ and the crushed melodies of ‘My Archipelago’ – a lyrical musing on youth and the passage of time.

As ever, much of AIVIS’ strengths lie in their use of vocal melody, particularly a talent for harmonics. Although Aidan’s Scottish brogue comes to the fore on ’Record & Surveil’, a timely composition on surveillance culture with some squelchy beats thrown into the mix.

Elsewhere, there’s a more reflective tone to ‘Question Why’ with melancholic synth washes. Closing track ‘Sky’ has an effective and polished production at its heart, which delivers a crisp slice of electronic pop.

Constellate is a smooth collection of subtle electropop that offers a stylish addition to 2017’s busy catalogue of electronic releases.


Constellate is available now via https://play.google.com/store/music/album/AIVIS_Constellate?id=Bodwzz5njcjaexltyex6lcq2b7i

AIVIS are performing live on 13th October at Stereo, Glasgow (supporting Low Island). Tickets and details: http://aiv.is/tickets/oct/glasgow

Web: http://aiv.is
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AIVISofficial/


AIVIS – The Wilderness (Dancing With Ruby Remix)

AIVIS get the remix treatment from Dancing With Ruby

Previously, the debut release of electronic music duo AIVIS in the form of ‘The Wilderness’ had struck a chord of sorts here. The TEC review noted the “nice use of harmonies” and the “smooth, warm feel underpinning the engaging vocals. The sparse percussion adds to the charm”.

Now the track has been given the remix treatment by fellow electropop duo Dancing With Ruby, giving the composition a whole new lease of life.

AIVIS consists of Aidan Smeaton based in Scotland, and Travis Murphy based in the US. As with many outfits, the geographical distances seem to be less of an issue when files can be swapped back and forth over the internet.

In an interview with The Pansentient League website, Aidan described the music of AIVIS as “Catchy emotional insidious glitchy electronic pop” while Travis adds “Lately I’ve been saying think of Lorde with a male vocalist and darker vocals but more instrument heavy”.

Meanwhile, Dancing With Ruby is the electropop venture that Matt Culpin embarked upon post-Northern Kind, alongside Charlie Sanderson. The results were the 2015 album In the Interest of Beasts and, more recently, the Animals + Arachnids EP.

Tunes such as ‘Dance Move Feel’ and ‘Animals’ have both an energy and a simple, captivating quality to them. This is synthpop executed with the emphasis on “pop” (Dancing With Ruby managed to get mentions in our sister site Wavegirl’s Songs Of The Year in both 2015 and 2016).

As a collaboration, this seems like an unlikely pairing, with AIVIS aiming for a more esoteric approach to electronic music, while Dancing With Ruby are firmly in Camp Electropop.

Yet this remix manages to combine the best of both outfits. The airy delights of the original are given a more robust foundation by the more upfront electropop additions. Meanwhile, Charlie’s distinctive vocal style slides in easily as a counterpoint to Aidan’s wistful voice.

This release, which also features remixes from KEYTNE and Alpine Blizzard, shows how there’s a magic to be gleaned from two distinctly different outfits pooling their talents.

An AIVIS album is already in the works which the pair describe as featuring “Hooks, hooks and more hooks!”. Meanwhile, Matt and Charlie are still writing and recording with a view to pulling together a successor to In the Interest of Beasts.


http://aiv.is
https://www.facebook.com/AIVISofficial/

http://www.dancingwithruby.net/
https://www.facebook.com/dancingwithruby/

Dancing With Ruby are appearing at the forthcoming Dave Charles Music Extravaganza 2017, alongside Tenek, Republica, Sinestar, Rainland and John Costello among others. The event takes place on 1st/2nd September 2017 at Club Enigma, Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Tickets via http://www.seetickets.com/event/the-dave-charles-music-extravaganza-2017/club-enigma/1060436


Teclist: AIVIS, DUCKS! and DALHAM

This weeks tunes of choice alternate between the smooth synthpop of AIVIS, the lo-fi charms of DUCKS! and the analogue electronica of DALHAM.

AIVIS – Sky


Consisting of Aidan and Travis, the former from Scotland and the latter from the USA, the duo that make up AIVIS had a bit of an issue with geographical distance to contend with. This didn’t stop the pair working together over the internet, a collaboration that delivered the smooth synthpop warmth of ‘The Wilderness’.

Now a new song has been unveiled by the pair in the form of ‘Sky’. The accompanying video for the song is a sort of travelogue, which shows Aidan in the US as Travis takes him around Chicago and the pair share cultural exchanges (such as introducing Irn-Bru to America). As for ‘Sky’ itself, it continues in the tradition that AIVIS have been cultivating with a particular electronic warmth topped out by a smooth vocal delivery from Aidan. The track has an effective and polished production at its heart, which delivers a crisp slice of electronic pop. In an interview with The Pansentient League website, Aidan described the music of AIVIS as “Catchy emotional insidious glitchy electronic pop”, which sums things up nicely.

‘Sky’ is available via Spotify https://goo.gl/M8quTy, iTunes https://goo.gl/J0mW5J and Amazon https://goo.gl/L3lXva

http://aiv.is
https://www.facebook.com/AIVISofficial/


Ducks! – Giant World


Ducks! consists of Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan, Berlin-based Australians who have been crafting their own style of electronic music since 2014. The pair released their debut album Ding Ding Ding last year and have also recorded music for art-world memoirs and surrealist radio adventures.

‘Giant World’ has a crunchy, lof-fi quality to it. It’s a track with a beguiling combination of electronics and indistinct elements that lend the whole composition a certain charm.

‘Giant World’ is taken from their new album Nak Nak which the duo describe as an album that will “explore the life aquatic, from tiny ponds and rock pools to great, dark oceans; from the imaginary childhood sea of blue crepe waves and paper fish hung from coat hangers, to the real thing; huge, teeming with life, but so alien to the everyday world of humans that it might as well be outer space”.

https://soundcloud.com/ducksmakemusic
https://www.facebook.com/ducksmakingmusic/
https://twitter.com/Ducksmakemusic


Dalham – Waves


There’s an oddly unsettling tone to Dalham’s cinematic soundscapes. An electronic producer who cites influences ranging from from science fiction scores, late ’90s era Warp and modern hip hop, debut album Waves will appeal to fans of the likes of Boards Of Canada.

Gems such as ‘New Sun’ and ‘Prism’ offer up an immersive ocean of analogue delights, while ‘DXX’ is an oddly hypnotic, discordant affair.

https://dalham.bandcamp.com/album/waves


AIVIS The Wilderness

New synth duo AIVIS offer warmth and emotion in their debut release…

It’s always refreshing to discover new electronic bands that offer intriguing, original sounds and can be influenced by a variety of bands without having to mimic any of them. Ultimately, it’s always about the tunes and thankfully new synthpop duo AIVIS have done some sterling work on debut release ‘The Wilderness’.

There’s a nice use of harmonies at play here with a smooth, warm feel underpinning the engaging vocals. The sparse percussion adds to the charm and the result is a song that breathes emotion and a sense of style.

AIVIS consists of Aidan and Travis, the former from Scotland and the latter from the USA. The pair originally met online in 2014 and have been collaborating ever since. AIVIS (which is contraction of the pair’s names) and debut release ‘The Wilderness’ sees the culmination of that collaboration and shows an accomplished pair of hands at work. With influences including Robyn, La Roux, Grimes, Marina And The Diamonds, CHVRCHES and Hurts in the mix, it’s a good foundation for engaging electropop.

Lyrically, ‘The Wilderness’ deals with breakups and the emotional turmoil that comes in the wake of the end of a relationship. Born out of personal experiences, Aidan delivers a compelling vocal that tugs at the heartstrings. It’s also served up with a polished video shot in Illinois during the summer (and also marked the first time that Aidan and Travis had met in person).

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The issue of geographical distances involved in any musical collaboration is less of a problem than it would have presented in a pre-internet world. It’s something that hasn’t affected outfits such as Lola Dutronic or Minor Victories. So AIVIS can happily swap music files online and build up the finished songs accordingly. Glasgow-based Aidan provides the melodies, vocals and song structure while Travis in Ohio offers up beats, baselines and instrumentation.

In an interview with The Pansentient League website, Aidan described the music of AIVIS as “Catchy emotional insidious glitchy electronic pop” while Travis adds “Lately I’ve been saying think of Lorde with a male vocalist and darker vocals but more instrument heavy”. The pair also add that fellow Glaswegian electropop outfit CHVRCHES remain a strong inspiration. “They’re definitely heroes of mine” adds Aidan, “and I look up to them for their songwriting and for their authenticity as artists”.

An AIVIS album is already in the works which the pair describe as featuring “Hooks, hooks and more hooks!” and while they haven’t quite tackled the issue of live shows as yet, it’s clear that they’re more than capable of committing to the recorded medium for now.

AIVIS offers up a warmer side of synthpop with an engaging harmonic quality that is certainly worth checking out.


An interview with AIVIS:
http://pansentient.com/2016/11/introducing-aivis/

Web: http://aiv.is
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AIVISofficial/

This article originally appeared on the Wavegirl site.