Traversing unfamiliar territories can be a daunting prospect. Stripped from your comfort zone, shivering as the strange and the frightening surrounds you. Is it not possible, though, to at least come away with a new favourite song or band?
Either you’re firmly entrenched in dance/electro and are curious about stringed instruments being at the forefront, or grow slightly tired of relentless guitar riffs and are soothed by electronic textures and shaken by beats that can be just as heavy as downtuned eight-string bowel-churning chug.
With this in mind, here’s five artists bridging the gap between genres, in different ways.
One of the UK’s best young-ish rock bands – with a second (!) blistering second-stage headline slot at last year’s Download Festival under their belts, Enter Shikari seamlessly mix chugging riffs with dance-y bleeps, boops and thuds, always to excellent effect. The two ingredients easily mesh, making dance moshable and rock danceable.
The post-punk legends have always acknowledged their dance influences, usually blending it deep into their favoured brand of hellish noise. Sometimes, however, the scales are tipped just a bit more in the dance fan’s favour. Also lifelong dub fans, bassist and celebrated producer Youth finally completed his three-disc KJ In Dub labour of love, collecting amazing remixes from the band’s thirty years-plus existence.
Amongst a veritable treasure-trove of mixes was a gorgeous interpretation of previous single In Cythera:
Nine Inch Nails
Generally categorised – although categorising isn’t recommended – as angst-ridden industrial rock, mainman Trent Reznor’s penchant for hard beats and ethereal dreamscapes is writ large, not least on the Ghosts I-IV compilation, countless NIN remixes and ditties like this:
Usually found constructing grandly conceptual prog-rock masterpieces, Steven Wilson’s influences are proudly acknowledged as coming from almost every spectrum of music itself – he may usually be wielding a guitar, but makes successful forays into various genres, to unnervingly accomplished results. Indeed, last year’s colossal Hand.Cannot.Erase. album often combined several of these into one song alone. Single Perfect Life may be his most precise channelling of this influence yet, telling a heart-breaking story with electronic scene-setting and beautiful atmospheres and textures.
However, for a ‘purer’ experience, there is his no-nonsense Unreleased Electronic Music, Vol.1:
Slotting back into balls-out rock after previous electronic-leaning flirtations, the festival-swallowing Teignmouth trio’s masterful songwriting and genre-hopping fearlessness nevertheless produced Follow Me, a stonking piece of epic electro-pop with a slamming chorus.
An honourable mention, meanwhile, goes to spooky instrumental The Gallery, a fascinating gem tucked away on Disc 1 of the stadium-bothering band’s Hullabaloo collection: