Tag: ODESZA

Over the past couple of years of this site’s nearly nine-year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Blonde Maze, the solo recording project of New York-based electronic music artist, producer and singer/songwriter Amanda Steckler. Now, as you may recall Steckler has received attention across the blogosphere for crafting slickly produced, atmospheric synth pop centered by lyrics that give her material an earnest and swooning romanticism.

Interestingly, over the past year or so, the JOVM mainstay has been collaborating with a number of both established and up-and-coming electronic music producers —  including the Iowa City, IA-born, Duluth, MN-based electronic music artist and producer Kyle Stern. best known as Attom.  As the story goes, Stern quietly sharpened and honed his production skills while earning a degree in Informatics from the University of Iowa. After relocating to Duluth, Stern won remix competitions for Parade of Lights‘ “Golden” and Chromeo’s “Jealous.” Building upon a growing reputation, Stern’s first single “Glow” was picked up on the MrSuicideSheep YouTube channel and officially released on the Big Beat Ignition Miami 2015 Playlist, which he promptly followed up with “Cruise,” a track that was released through MrSuicideSheep’s Seeking Blue Records. Adding to a growing profile, Stern won a remix contest for Odesza’s “White Lies,” which led to his first ever live set at Bonnaroo Music Festival. Since then, Stern has released “Her,” which amassed over 500,000 steams across each of the streaming platforms and “Stay,” which amassed 300,000 streams in under a month.

Interestingly, Steckler and Stern’s latest single, the euphoric “Anywhere”  is a seamless synthesis of the duo’s individual sounds and aesthetic as Steckler’s aching and ethereal vocals are paired with a slick production centered around arpeggiated keys, shimmering synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, chopped up vocal samples and a soaring hook. Unsurprisingly, the song continues a run of swooning singles by the JOVM mainstay that accurately evoke the feelings of being ridiculously, passionately in love with someone — something that even the most cynical of us have felt. As Steckler explains in an email about the song, “It encompasses the euphoric feeling of being in love and the willingness to go lengths for someone even when you are struggling yourself. It portrays dreamy, upbeat, yet longing vibes, something we’ve both felt a mix of in our lives and know people can relate.”

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Mark Dobson, the creative mastermind behind the British electronic music sensation Ambassadeurs has developed a reputation as a producer and electronic music artist for a sound that employs the use of samples that have been processed beyond recognition and that’s informed by dub, hip-hop, jazz, and drum ‘n’ bass. And as result of his signature sound and production style, Dobson has also become a go-to producer as he’s done work for a number of renowned labels including Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune, Moshi Moshi, Fat Cat, Wah Wah 45s, Universal, and Rough Trade — all while heading his own label, Lost Tribe Records and releasing a number of free singles for his rapidly growing fanbase. (He currently has 35,000 followers and his singles on SoundCloud have exceeded over 7 million plays.)

Dobson has received airplay from several BBC Radio 1 personalities,  as well as praise from the likes of The Fader, Mixmag, Vice, i-D, Clash, XLR8R and others, and as a result he has opened for the likes of renowned artists such as  ODESZA, Machinedrum, The Gas Lamp Killer, Danny Brown, Gold Panda, Daedelus and Kelpe, had a 15 date co-headline tour across North America with Daktyl and played at festivals such as Hard Day Of The Dead, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, and The Sound You Need Festival.

2015 has been a rather busy and prolific year for the London-based electronic music artist and producer as his debut effort Patterns was released to critical praise earlier this year, along with a number of EPs. Building up on the increasing buzz and serving as a teaser for his forthcoming 2016 efforts, Dobson recently released his latest single “Halos,” which was written and recorded during a vacation in the country — and in some way that vacation has influenced the single’s sound as it is reportedly much more organic than his previously released work as layers of staccato synths are paired with skittering drum programming, swirling electronics and soulful vocal samples with warm bursts of strings and twinkling keys. Sonically, the song seems to be equally influenced by Peter Gabriel (think of “Shock the Monkey” and “Biko“) as it is by house music; as I listened to the song I was reminded of Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves. In other words, the material manages to be atmospheric and melodic, while possessing a cinematic quality.