By Jena Ardell
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There's something disgustingly appealing about electronic house and dance music. Some might accuse it of being the new disco. And why not? Dance music gets your booty moving. The best electronic artists avoid too much repetition. They break beats and shift melodies without losing that ass-shaking momentum. Emerging personalities are creating a new breed of electronic artist, and while Moby and Fatboy Slim might be brand names, electronica goes far deeper.
Westbury's Sodalite (performance name of Josh Conlon) is an ass-mover. "Jumping About" has the obligatory house bass and drums with hi-hat tinkles, adding arpeggiated keyboard bloops and beats. A sample of what sounds like a renegade Spice Girl provides the vocal hook ("I'm not finished jumping about yet..."). There's a happy sort of feeling to the song not always present in electronica. Clocking in at just over six minutes long, "Jumping About" has a lot of movement and flavor. "Max Rebo" starts a bit like Van Halen's keyboard intro to "1984." Claps and various forms of percussion toss the beat around until, you guessed it, that bobbing bass drum beat assumes its proper place. Sodalite avoids the tendency of many electronic artists to overstuff a song, and on this track, goes minimal. Simple, ready for the ecstasy-taking crowd, "Max Rebo" doesn't surprise so much as it throbs.
Sodalite says on the website that preview song "LehtzGoh" is one of his "old-school" songs, and he's probably referring to the now-overused techno technique of sampling movie dialogue. In this case, it's Bluto's motivational speech from Animal House. And while the track has some Nine Inch Nails synth hits and bits that kinda cheese it up , it still rocks. And hey! There's that bass drum again.
Ever notice that the harder-edged electronic artists seem to be the most underground? With the constant mutation of the entity known as electronica, an artist like Sodalite may have a chance at a bigger audienceas long as a higher profile label gives him a push. I'm sure Bluto would be proud.