Seattle Music 2014: Electronic/Dance

Get your groove on to these local electronic and dance bands
Vox Mod (aka Scot Porter), photographed backstage at Showbox, July 8, 2014

What’s your favorite current Seattle band? If you have trouble answering (or if you draw a blank after Macklemore), we’re not going to judge. But we are going to suggest it’s time to check in with the city’s thriving indie music scene. New local bands are exploring sounds, blurring genre boundaries (though we’ve wrestled them into categories here) and playing vibrant live shows all over town (see our Live Music Venue guide). Even with this sampler of 50 bands, we haven’t scratched the surface of Seattle music. Listen right here—where you can stream songs from all 50 bands—and also try tuning in to KEXP (the city’s unsurpassed discovery engine for local music) for a whole week. Soon enough, you’ll have an answer to the above question—and you might just go on and on. Peruse the local bands in the other genres here.

Vox Mod

Gateway Bands: RJD2, Air, James Blake
Vox Mod is Scot Porter, but everything else about the band is always changing. A creator of futuristic, synth-heavy music that feels like laser beams shooting straight to your brain (in a good way!), he can make music with a wicked diva (Miss Adra Boo), a genius producer (Erik Blood) or an enigmatic songstress (Irene Barbaric). He’s a self-described “sound designer and collector,” an “observer and aesthetic abstractor,” and he’s composing and playing a live score for the screening of an influential cyberpunk anime film at Northwest Film Forum this month (9/13; nwfilmforum.org). Most importantly, he produces electronic music full of heart. voxmod.com
How would you describe your sound? “An electronic and organic fusion ritual. An exploration of sound, reality and humanity.” —Scot Porter

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Beat Connection

Gateway Bands: Beach House, New Order
The Beat Connection boys met at UW and have since grown into a well-known band of merry minstrels—if minstrels were equipped with synthesizers and samples. The trio’s music has a fun-loving, danceable vibe that is impossible to resist. They’re sort of like the Pacific Northwest’s version of the Beastie Boys, replacing fast-paced raps with a playful, ’80s-pop style. Their recently released track “Hesitation” reveals a new fondness for funkiness. beatconnection.bandcamp.com

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Say Hi

Gateway Band: Moby
Eric Elbogen is the one-man band behind this project, writing and playing the parts (and bringing in friends when he plays live). With his latest album, Endless Wonder, he is onto something special: The sound is conspicuously playful, but there is an ever-present sense of serious craft. His Elvis Costello vocals and Gary Numan synth sounds are completely irresistible and pair perfectly with lyrics like “Love’s such a drag.” sayhitoyourmom.com

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Erik Blood

Gateway Band: DJ Shadow
Known for having a hand in many projects at once, as a music producer, Blood facilitates superb songs from Seattle luminaries such as THEESatisfaction, Shabazz Palaces and The Moondoggies. But recently he’s been getting back to his own work, as evidenced by his latest album, Touch Screens, hailed for its exquisite pop production and sensuality. Much like Katie Kate and Vox Mod, Blood can’t be locked in any genre box. He’s part rock, part spiritual, part electronic, part force of nature. Listen and you get the sense of the aurora borealis shimmering just for you. erikblood.com

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Arkomo



Gateway Band: Beck
People know Sam Anderson from Seattle band Hey Marseilles, but the talented musician (who plays guitar, keys and classical stringed instruments) has a new project all his own: Arkomo, the name of which comes from Anderson improvising phonetically with different appealing sounds. Listeners may want to check out his song “Close” (on the album Ace Imagery), which begins with cello and is accompanied by a brooding drum, quizzical guitar and the voice of a melancholy angel. arkomomusic.com

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The Flavr Blue


The Flavr Blue (Parker Joe, Hollis Wong-Wear and Lace Cadence), photographed at Neumos, July 17, 2014

Gateway Bands: Lorde, Hooverphonic

One of Seattle’s favorite culture creators (known for adding the female hook on Macklemore’s “White Walls,” and helping to produce his “Wings” and “Thrift Shop” videos), Hollis Wong-Wear plays up her party side with this project. A musical shift from her beginnings as a poetic spoken word performer in the Seattle duo Canary Sing, The Flavr Blue is hypnotic and it rages; it is both the calm and the storm. Her voice is a bright bit of musical light, illuminating all it touches. theflavrblue.com

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