The youth subculture is often divided into guitar lovers and electronic lovers. The former spend their evenings in underground clubs in search of local indie bands, while the latter prefer dark clubs and strobe lights and will never find each other.
The reality, however, is not so stark and the overlap between the two continues to grow. New Order paved the way for indie and electronic music in the 80s. With an increasingly synthetic sound and the legendary Haçienda at their disposal, indie and electronic artists were able to thrive in Manchester.
Since then, a number of artists have blurred the lines between indie and electronica, with some calling themselves "rcbackonic". As the world creates more music and has more access to music, people are much more willing and able to explore outside of their comfort zones.
Below, we've rounded up ten of our favorite artists who bridge the gap between the two genres and can push even the most hardcore guitarists into new territory.
Born after the death of Ian Curtis of obscure post-punk Joy Division, New Order saw Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris responsible for sound. Retaining their guitar-focused post-punk roots but incorporating synth and dance elements, New Order skillfully mixes indie and electronic music on hits such as “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle,” intriguing independent kids. like The Age of Consent.
New Order's non-music ventures also exposed independent kids to electronic music. The band were instrumental in founding Factory Records and its iconic backing venue, The Haçienda, which they funded from its opening and throughout its volatile existence. The Haçienda has become a center of Madchester and rave culture, promoting the careers of acid house band 808 State and electronic duo The Chemical Brothers.
Minister of Internal Affairs
Drawing inspiration from the 2000s indie scene, British rap and electro, MIA's sound is an absolute fusion of influences. In his youth he was a big fan of hip-hop, pop, punk and Britpop, influenced by bands such as The Clash and The Slits. After studying art in London, he met Damon Albarn and Elastica, painting for them and accompanying them on tour.
It was this tour that allowed MIA to speak to the electroclash singer and the band Peaches, who encouraged her to start her own music. He has created a unique brand of alternative rap that combines all of his influences and is loved by indie cult audiences and rap fans alike.
There are few names as popular with indie fans as Damon Albarn. The Blur frontman pioneered Britpop in the 1990s and became known for his youthful songs and atonal voice. At the end of the decade, Albarn teamed up with Jamie Hewlett to form a new project, Gorillaz. It was very different from the sincerity of Blur and guitar-driven Britpop.
Instead, Albarn's new project was a fantastic band influenced by electro, trip-hop and dub. Despite the stark differences from Albarn's musical output that Blur fans know and love, his presence opened the door to a whole new world for fans of independent music. Endless Dance" Feel Good Inc. and the unlikely Clint Eastwood gave Albarn fans an accessible route into more experimental territory. His impressive work attracted artists from every genre imaginable, which means indie fans can stay in their comfort zone with Peter Hook, Mark E. Smith and Lou Reed, or go further with JPEGMAFIA and Thundercat.
Arguably the latest London-born indie-tronic band, Hot Chip create a synth-driven alternative dance that appeals to electronica fans and indie kids alike. Their sound is laid back and full of electronic reverb, but Alexis Taylor's vocals have an indie quality to them. Hot Chip music will delight any music lover.
From the brilliant encore of "Over and Over" to the sprawling indie-tronica of "Flutes", Hot Chip creates music so immersive and easy to listen to, it transcends genres and subcultures.
Yes Yes Yes
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are undeniably independent. From the booming guitars of "Maps" to the pitch-perfect climaxes of their latest collaboration with Perfume Genius, "Spitting Off the Edge of the World", Karen O and the band create a distinctly art-rock sound. However, with Heads Will Roll in 2009, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bridged the gap between indie and electro.
The hauntingly beautiful song incorporated dance, disco and synth elements, with Karen Oh repeatedly lamenting, "Men cry, girls cry." In the world of electronics, the Yeah Yeah Yeah initiative continues unabated. A Trak popularized the song with a remix that appeared on Project X in 2012. It became a dance anthem that is culturally significant to this day. Nia Archives borrowed the track earlier this year with “Off Wiv Ya Headz.”
Oneohtrix never advise
Unlike Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Oneohtrix Point Never or the music of Daniel Lopatin only exists on electronic media. The experimental producer uses samples and synths to create unique soundscapes. While it's a fairly accessible path in the electronic realm, sonically it doesn't exactly clash with indie.
Lopatin's independent tendencies stem from his collaborations. In 2017, he made Good Time by beloved independent filmmakers Ben and Josh Safdie, starring punk legend Iggy Pop. A year later, he collaborated with David Byrne on American Utopia , before working again with Safdie on Gems in the Rough. Their song "Babylon" features the vocals of indie legend Alex G. Although Oneohtrix Point never focuses its efforts on electronic music, it does work in the indie realm, which opens it up to new fans.
The early 2020s saw the resurgence of one of indie's biggest moments, the shoegaze. Led by My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride, shoegaze is characterized by heavily distorted guitars, vocals and reverb not normally associated with the electronic realm. But there is a group that has cleverly challenged this idea.
Sweet Trip combined shoegaze with elements of techno, glitch and IDM, most notably on their second single , Velocity. Design: in the album "Comfort" . It's an aggressively dense collection of songs that blend the spicy noise of shoegaze with experimental electronic production. Years after its 2003 release, the record, like Shoegaze, has revived interest in internet circles who admire its experimental approach to the genre.
Belgian electronic collective Soulwax create their own music, but when it comes to bringing independent kids onto the electronic scene, their real appeal lies in their remixes. Soulwax has produced remixes for everyone from Kevin Parker's beloved psychedelic project Tame Impala to Irish post-punk band DC Fontaines and the iconic Warmduscher.
Transforming indie favorites into spacious, danceable electronics, Soulwax paved the way for indie fans to open their hearts to electronics. For example, his Wet Leg remix of "Too Late Now" nearly doubles the length of the original, replaces muted guitars with booming bass, and adds breakdowns to Ryan Tisdale's stripped-down vocals. They have also remixed various indie music peers including Metronomy, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz and Hot Chip.
Australian synth-pop band Cut Copy actively see themselves as a bridge between indie music and electronic music. On Spotify, they describe themselves as the first to "bridge the worlds of alternative rock and dance music", and that's no exaggeration. Their biggest hit, "Lights & Music", is a shining example of fusing synthesized, pop and dance music for indie audiences.
Singer Dan Whitford once explained how the Cut Copy sound came about in the Sydney Morning Herald , saying: I saw a way to bring them together. He remembers people going to clubs or concerts.
Through his work with the experimental indie band Animal Collective and as the singer of Panda Bear or Noah, Benjamin Lennox combines psychedelic and electronic. Creating a new progressive style of indie rock, the multi-instrumentalist combines harmonious vocals, psychedelic sound and electronic production to create songs full of emotion.
Again, Panda Bear's bridge between indie and electro extends beyond his own music. Through a series of collaborations, he bridged the gap between indie and electronic for Animal Collective fans. In 2013, he bridged the two worlds by collaborating with Daft Punk on their electronic single "Doin' It Right". He has also collaborated with Australian electronic producer Flume.
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