I am not sure why anyone would choose me to write a review of an EDM album unless they are looking for a pedantic tome and another old guy rant of what is wrong with the music business. I know I am going to sound like a cranky old man but one of the benefits of aging is the fact that I can say what I want and use the mantra “don’t f*#@ with me, I’m old”. As far as I can tell, EDM or electronic dance music became a “thing” in the early 2000’s, thirty years after it reached its peak as far as I’m concerned. I remember when the krautrock movement happened in Germany in the mid-seventies when bands like Kraftwerk, Faust, and Tangerine Dream invented and defined the genre. I pretty much think of it now as I did then. It’s interesting, I appreciate its ingenuity but in the end, it’s not something I would listen to for pleasure. If I was having a party and wanted some background musical wallpaper, maybe, but otherwise, not so much.
With all that out of the way, on to the task at hand. I was contacted by an artist based in Cali to review his new album. The “artist” is Bogglesworth and his album is called ‘Creeperz’. Perhaps it is my ignorance talking but I use the term artist loosely. I am not sure how much actual artistry goes into creating EDM music. I firmly believe that with the right equipment I could create EDM music and based on that criteria, if I could create it, trust me, there is very little artistry involved. Don’t get me wrong, however, the album is everything an EDM record should be. It is slick, hypnotic and I can certainly see the appeal in a sweaty club situation with hundreds of people swaying and grooving to the beats and a light show bathing the crowd in a colored wonderland.
I suppose it is the fact that I don’t have a lot to compare it to but when I conjure up an image of what EDM should be, ‘Creeperz’ has it all. Bogglesworth’s website says the music is “created from obscure and unconventional, fueled by strange”, but frankly, I think EDM as a whole is more about technology and personality than musical artistry. Bogglesworth has earned a place in the EDM landscape but sad to say, it’s just not my cup of tea.
Orchestral music in the realm of “popular” offerings is virtually non-existent today. If an artist wishes to produce music to appeal to a wide audience the conventional wisdom is a traditional rock model of bass, drums and guitars and keyboards. But not all artists are wired that way. Some artists are more serious about their musical accomplishments than others. A group out of London, the brain child of Emil Scyhren, is a classically trained, eighteen piece orchestra whose style is a hybrid of orchestral music fused with rock riffs and urban beats. The group is called Glitched Orchestrals. The eighteen piece orchestra is complimented by Scyhren on his Yamaha digital piano, Stefan Magnus on guitar, Binky Bentley on drums and Susu Kawasaki on bass.
On paper, this band would seem to be a little too “highbrow” for most rock fans and any group of this make up would really have to transcend the perception of an orchestra to survive in the rock realm. Glitched Orchestrals is the real deal. Each track on their new album called “Dances With Whales” creates a mood that fans of any genre of music will appreciate and enjoy. The album was inspired by the underwater photography of Shawn Heinrichs and is a celebration of, and an ode to the beauty of life and mythology of the largest creatures on the planet.
The songs on “Dances With Whales” are a triumph of the marriage of electronic music with a modern rock sensibility. I imagine this falls under the heading of experimental music but casual listeners will not perceive it as experimental. There are ample melodies to relate to and familiar beats to groove to on this album worthy of inclusion in your library. Dances With Whales is available at your favorite online retailer and you can stream it on their website.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.