Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Idealism (Astralwerks)

Wednesday, Aug 8 2007
These days, the rock clique feels no shame getting cozy with boom-thwack club tracks, thanks to the guitar- and synth-wielding purveyors of dance-punk. A purer form of electronic music, one firmly rooted in tech-house but unafraid to employ an occasional post-punk guitar lick, has popped up as of late. Bands like Cut Copy and Justice are among this crop, adding power-chord romps and edgy rhythmic changes to their four-on-the-floor beats.

Germany's Digitalism is the new kid in the club. The duo's music leans closely to dirty house, often recalling pop-tronica pioneers Daft Punk, while still injecting its icy, dark disco with distorted six-string outbursts. Jens Moelle's ESL vocal contributions may be grammatically challenged ("Am I not always be wanting this?"), but they inject warmth into the sometimes-clinical proceedings. Moelle and partner Ismail Tuefekci enjoy breaking up affected vocal snippets into base elements, like on the mood-building intro song "Magnets." This device is also used on their revamping of the Cure's "Fire in Cairo" where Robert Smith's chopped-up refrain floats in over a nasty bassline. Digitalism also offers an effective trance breakdown, nudging a swirling acid synth or drifting melody to a climax of crisp snare hits. For all these tried-and-true tricks of dancefloor tracks, Digitalism's vision is unique, as it seamlessly brings a little rock to its rave.

About The Author

Jonah Flicker


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"