Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:14 am
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There's no question about it: EDM has launched electronic music to unprecedented levels of popularity in the United States. Arena Rock has given way to Arena Rave and promoters and DJs are raking in millions of dollars. But those dazzling stage productions and two-story subwoofers didn't just drop out of the sky: Before EDM, there was dubstep; before dubstep, there was electro house; before that there was big beat and so on and so on. Electronic dance music has been picking up speed for more than three decades.
Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos is a fussy sonic craftsman: A keyboardist and singer who started out working solo on his laptop, he now makes fizzily catchy electro-pop that orbits around monster hooks. He's not, in other words, the first musician you'd associate with a stripped-down performance behind NPR Music's Tiny Desk, where Technicolor production tends to give way to unfiltered voices and bare instrumental essentials.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 12:24 pm
Ask Swedish singer Sarah Assbring, sole member of the moody pop group El Perro del Mar, and she'll tell you these are grim times, but not without a flicker of hope. "In this world, you think you have no reason to believe in love or in anything much," she says. "Then one day, when you least expect it, a light appears on the far horizon. It's a flickering light, begging you to come, telling you to stay away."