Elektronika Night & Day
By Marcus Pan
I keep getting chuckly visions of "Who's On
First?" style comedy when I think of Elektronika. Something like, "Hey, what's
your favorite band these days?"
"Well I know you like electro, but what's your favorite
Now I could take it two ways with Elektronika's choice of
names. On one hand, they could be so presumptuous that they feel they ARE the
be-all end-all of electronica music. On the other imagination will, at
times, completely run its course and you end up naming yourself after what you
do. I can go change my name to Writer for example...either way, they certainly
could have done better with the word that will be used to hereafter refer to
themselves as. Don't name yourself after a genre.
Now, the music itself is actually very good. Harkening back
to 80s style infusions of keyboards, synthesizers, uplifting vocals and wrapped
up in a swift club/house beat, Elektronika certainly do make good electronica.
Fans of Republica, Ace of Bass, New Order there's a lot for you here.
And Night & Day has more than your bargain's share of music with its
two CDs worth of 28 tracks.
The band started as remixers, chopping and reassemgling 80s
new wave and synthpop music for shits 'n giggles. They discovered they liked
the style so much that the four of them: Dan, Dawn, Jacob and Joel, have
decided to do it all by themselves. They kicked out their first album in 2001,
and Night & Day is a 2004 release to follow that up.
Elektronika's music is pretty self-explanable given the
name. While it's quite good, it's pretty standard fare. It is overwhelmingly
catchy and upbeat most of the time, with head bopping beats and good solid
workmanship. Bleed, the opener on the first, Night, CD, is
Republica in nature with moody synthetics that crash into strong power-heavy
chorus sections. Falling Over You switches into groovier territory with
some female vocals now we're hanging with Ace of Bass.
Stars is a very well made, slower moving track that
cuts the speed of Night down to a smooth groove with Dawn's pleasant
vocal score. Foolish Love picks up the pace a bit rhythmically, but
retains Dawn's vocals and the smooth nature of its predecessor. The time spent
cutting up and mixing other people's music from the 80s period has certainly
helped this foursome when it comes to building their own tracks well. They'll
switch comfortably from brooding new wave tracks to heavier techno-laced
heavier songs throughout Night & Day, though most are definitely a
smoother, groovier and softer nature.
One of the problems with Night & Day is how it
can tend to become forgetful as it nears its end. The style of the songs is
pretty similar across the board, with modulations only to tempo and volume for
the most part. This tends to dumb down the CD as a whole and make it drag a bit
as you near the "22nd straight electronica song," for example. It certainly
does not add anything refreshingly new to the genre, just plays within its
There are other highlight tracks to Night & Day
however, such as the bouncy Popular near the end of disc 1
(Night). The opening of disc 2 of the release, Day, called
Ethereal is also a good piece of work and has been featured on radio.
Today is also a gem, as good as when New Order first formed out of the
ashes of joy. The following Gloss is also very catchy and moving.
Positronic is cute and throws a nod to Kraftwerk era vocal processing. The
track Meant to Be is easily one of the best synth pop love songs
released to date.
While Elektronika is nothing new and is unabashadly 80s
electronica and synthpop, it certainly has some decent stuff. There's a nice
collection here on Night & Day and no remixes and rehashes of
the same songs over and over again. The only remix out of all 28 tracks is
I'll Remember You, but it's the only version of this song given on
Night & Day. Elektronika may have taken the easy route to naming
themselves rather than spend time thinking about that but they've at
least taken that time to create a very large repertoire. Club and radio DJs
will certainly find at least a few tracks they can throw out on their floors in
all those 80's retro clubs popping up these days.
Post: 3409 S. 48th St., Tacoma, WA, 98409, USA