It’s a moment of experimentation, but it’s so difficult to let go of the past

By Tatiana Parkhomova

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The electronic music space is a realm where tradition and experimentation intersect. From the avant-garde sounds of IDM Aphex Twin and Autechre to the simplicity of internet-born microgenres like Vaporwave, the scene is always transforming. Emerging and established artists are stepping away from traditional old-school Electronica and sophisticated beats to strive for something simple yet captivating. 

French artist Abran combines ambient and rhythmic techno to achieve a rich sound. The creation process begins with musical instruments. “I often start by finding chords on the keyboard to set a harmonious, calm mood. Then, I record all the synthesiser elements around these chords: the bass, an airy layer, and arpeggiated melodies. Finally, I create an effective drum rhythm with organic percussion samples and groove variations to achieve a natural sound. The whole thing is mixed electronically on the computer to combine all the pieces while adding dynamic effects and depth.”

His inspiration comes from artists with a similar artistic vision.“I take a lot of inspiration from the creative process of the duo Kiasmos and Parra for Cuva, who are artists with great classical mastery and techno influences.”

Abran believes that electronic music emerged out of synthesising sound. “The ability to emulate any instrument on a computer has made music much more accessible, leading to the emergence of simplistic as well as highly technical genres. Electronic music is a wonderful land of creativity.”

When it comes to the future of electronic music, Abran’s view is optimistic. “Music evolves like fashion does. We will discover new genres in the future, and old musical styles will return and merge with electronic music, as we already see with reworked classical repertoires like Boulanger Fragments Reworks on Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. I think I’ve found a style I love, and I will continue to compose within it and keep myself updated with new technologies in music.”

Again, from France, electronic sensation Nascaa composes dreamy and narrative music. He is known for combining Techno, IDM and Electronica to create a truly emotional experience. Nascaa’s creative process is different for every project. “Sometimes I start composing from a melody, sometimes from the harmony, or even from the percussion. I think it’s important to find the right balance between a process we’re used to, to develop a musical colour and new creation processes.”

He draws influences from a variety of different genres and music labels. “My musical influences come from electronic music labels such as Erased Tapes, Infiné, or Mesh. But also from Post-rock, Jazz, Trip-hop, or classical and scoring music.”

Nascaa also believes that the simplification of music is not exclusive to electronica. “Globally, I feel there is a strong comeback from techno music, with BPMs tending to get faster and faster. Maybe the internet-driven tendency and the explosion of streaming platforms generate the need to catch the listener’s attention quickly. But at this point, it’s not specific to electronic music. I think there is indeed a trend in production for a more minimalistic way of composing with fewer elements, sometimes less pronounced melodies, and a more organic approach to sound.”

When asked about the future, Nascaa stresses the importance of following one’s artistic direction rather than trends. “I think that, despite the temptation of the trends, it is important to keep focusing on the music you wish to create more than the music that pleases the listeners. Even though both are important, of course.”

Additionally, he is hopeful about exploring visuals, which is a part of his unique artistic vision. “For the future of my project, I wish to develop and consolidate the atmosphere and the story opened with ‘Vibrations’ through other releases, immersive live audiovisual shows.”

Alfredo Violante Widmer has been known for blending timeless emotional neoclassic and fast-paced electronic beats since 1994. He believes the state of today’s electronic music is completely different from when he first started. “Back then, electronic music was punk. All you needed was a sampler, and you were in the game. It was also incredibly innovative, but now it has yet to be. Nowadays, a kid would probably get some beats done and vocalise on them. It’s a different culture altogether.”

Alfredo believes that music simplification happens organically. “Naturally, post-Internet artists will cannibalise all genres, as they did with D&B to create Liquid. This perspective on the evolution of music is enlightening, as it shows how even genres like IDM, Braindance, or Tech-step will be regenerated. Simplification always happens with new trends. Actually, it’s only simple music that is adopted by a large group of young people.”

Alfredo gives a hopeful answer when asked about his role in adapting to the changing trends and technologies that shape the scene. “The role of a young artist is to break the rules and create something new. Someone like me must listen and embrace everything new without fear and adapt it to their experience to create something different.”

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