I’ve spent a disgusting fraction of my winter break embarking on various clicktrances, in to all manner of vaguely embarrassing and totally useless topics (The Elder Scrolls Lore? Rimfire Rifles? The hunt for new Electropop?). I’d really love to know the etymology for “Clicktrance;” it gets used on BoingBoing frequently, but I’m not sure if that is where it was coined. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, a clicktrance is a common (and my favorite) term for the situation where one finds something marginally interesting/attractive/etc. online, and, hours later, discovers they’ve been intently link following from it. The phenomenon still always makes me think of the Eugen Roth quote I posed a while ago while griping about Distractability.
As for the last clicktrance topic, lately I’ve been noticing the only way to actually find interesting music on the Internet is by finding some weird little scene and browsing in it. The last round of unusual finds I listen to consistently (A Kiss Could Be Deadly, Electric Valentine, Hyper Crush) are all out of the same Southern California scene that I stumbled upon via Pandora, then clicktranced through their mutual linking. Another more recent (for me) example of the phenomenon: earlier in the break I found my way into a link cluster for some British pop starting (Warning: The following links may consume hours of your life)here, and here. Most of what turned up ranged from unremarkable to truly awful, but had a few gems. These include
Ellie Goulding – A pretty good, synth-dressed version of the “Girl and a Guitar” archetype.
Little Boots – Imagine if the “Girl and a Piano/Guitar” archetype were translated to “Girl and a bunch of bitchin’ synthesizer gear” in the best way possible.
Example – His older pure storytelling hip hop is terrible, but he has found quality pop hooks, and produced the following two tracks, which are pretty amazing. Apparently there is a whole album like that coming, and I will obtain it on first opportunity.
Loebeat – Noise meets Pop, it’s truly something different. The “Dicey $Verbs” videos are fascinating, basically ambient/noise with storytelling value. The player on their website includes direct links to the MP3s so you can make it portable for when the odd sounds haunt you hours later.
Later in the same foray, I got off the British common thread and found a couple other winners. The pick of that batch was from the always exciting electronic, girly, and morose vein: Fan Death, who are probably named for the very, very weird Korean superstition. They only have a handful of tracks available (including creepy-awesome videos for 3 of them), but they are all excellent, and there is supposedly an album coming. Also, the leads’ names are captivatingly ridiculous: Dandelion Wind Opaine, who is apparently a fixture in the Vancouver techno scene (?) and Marta Jaciubek-McKeever.
In general, I’m so pleased the Kid + Pop Sensibilities + Synthesizer = Electropop/Synthpop genre is being legitimized by acts like Owl City. His current tour mate, Lights, is pretty fun as well, but a little too saccharine for my tastes.
All the links in this post should be copyright-legit; it would be irresponsible to just link easily available torrents for everything with a published album…which is irritatingly only about half of the bands listed.