The collaborative outfit return with a taste of summer…
Earlier this year, Seattle-based electronic musician/producer Kasson Crooker conceived of a new project, titled ELYXR. The aim of the new musical venture was to collaborate with a variety of singers to produce a series of releases that would feature an intriguing combination of talents.
The first of these releases, ‘Engine’, which was premiered here on The Electricity Club back in May (see review here) engaged the talents of Elissa LeCoque from Brooklyn indie-electronic act Kodacrome. The result was a subtle, layered electronic pop outing that, combined with LeCoque’s soulful vocals, lent the whole composition a certain sadness.
Equally, ‘Godspeed’ (featuring Naoko Takamoto of Princess Problems) which marked the second ELYXR release had an unsettling raw energy to a timely musing on America’s troubled political climate.
A founder-member of legendary synthpop outfit Freezepop, as well as creating Symbion Project (whose Gishiki album lent a more reflective element to the electronic musician’s musical palette), Crooker has just released the 6th ELYXR single titled ‘The Last Day Of Summer’. While previous releases have focussed on female vocalists, for this latest outing Crooker has opted to work with Brian Hazard of Color Theory.
Hazard is no stranger to the world of synthpop. Color Theory has been active for many years, with some intriguing outings peppering the California-based musician’s career. This includes a jazzy cover version of OMD’s ‘Hold You’ for an album of covers dedicated to the iconic Wirral band. Hazard also conceived of Color Theory presents Depeche Mode, a modern take on the classic electronic outfit.
Yet Color Theory continues to output great music in its own right. Check out the synth goodness of recent release ’The Ghost In You’ by way of example – an engaging synthpop cover of a Psychedelic Furs song.
“When Kasson asked me about collaborating, my first thought was, ‘Why haven’t we done this already?’” comments Hazard. “He gave me a wonderful idea for the lyric, which I elaborated on and free associated from until it told its own story, a distant cousin to the one it came from.”
‘The Last Day of Summer’ offers a shimmering, sunny number that brings some brightness to the winter period. At the same time, the lyrics revolve around the revival of memories and the immutable passage of time. ‘The Last Day of Summer’ also has a poignant feel, being dedicated to the memory of Bryan Rudell of synth outfit Duck Duck Punch, who tragically passed away earlier this year.
Prior to this release, ELYXR have also released a whole selection of electronic gems. ‘Planes’ featured the return of Kodacrome’s Elissa LeCoque on a sultry synthwave outing. Meanwhile, ‘Crystalline’ employs some chiptune elements combined with the engaging vocal talents of Katrina Kope (Purr Gato).
ELYXR remains a fascinating musical endeavour by the ever-talented Kasson Crooker and suggests that more intriguing collaborations may well be lined up as 2018 approaches.
‘The Last Day of Summer ‘ is out now on the Speed Of Dark label.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.