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The Blue & Gray Press | July 23, 2018

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Plugged In: EDM

Plugged In: EDM


I always love music that tells a lyrical story. It is the reason we all plug into our phones, computers and iPads: to connect and relate to something on the other end.

Recently, however, I turned my attention to music that tells a story without using a single word. Warped sighs and hums fall into my eardrums while a layered beat wriggles in the background.

There is simply no other way to put it: these songs that I am about reveal are alive. They do not tell the same story to every listener because each listener makes their own interpretation.

Orka, a DJ from Miami, Florida utterly stole my heart with “Some Things Aren’t.” It is the first song that ever made me feel so strongly connected to something outside of myself without hearing any lyrics at all.

It opens with a bit of record shuffling and then fades into a stunning violin solo. Edited samples of a man singing enter into the piece, separating itself from the violin. Then, the beat drops, opening the door to a piece of art that can be heard in each sampled beat.

Görkem Han, Jr.’s “Ocean” collapsed on my shores as well this past week. The song feats one key phrase, “in the ocean,” in-between each addition of samples. The piece starts with a feverish guitar solo, captivating the listener’s attention from the start. It is truly a wonderful piece of music. My favorite part is when the music fades out into a man’s sigh. When he exhales, the beat drops again.

Han Jr. is from Ankara, Turkey and classifies his music as ambient and down tempo.

Bursting from the seams of Vancouver, Canada is EKALI. “Flow Fi,” as he calls it on SoundCloud, is the genre he categorizes himself in. It’s a mixture of almost classical, EDM and R&B aesthetics. Although “Contempt” is one of the songs I stumbled across, in further research on EKALI it has quickly become my favorite.

The beat becomes heavily loaded and speaks to the darker sides of the mind. It tells a story that is both intimate and traumatic. Deeply warped sighs erupt in the back of the main beat of the song.

On a lighter note, Yóste speaks to my more happy and adventurous side with the song “Totoro,” featuring Evangeline. Ironically, the name “Totoro” is also the same of a movie I used to love as a kid. This piece definitely takes me back to my childhood because of its light, energetic tunes.

There is so much out there these days, and it would be beneficial to explore it. I hope you take the time to listen to these songs.