From any historical vantage point or current global event, a perpetual element of flame can be applied and used to describe numerous situations of conflict, struggle (past and present) with vague glimpses of possibility and progress through the skeptic lens of uncertainty. And as our surrounding world burns on an axis of inequity, Washington's D.C.'s Drop Electric captures their own responses to the day's chaotic state of urgency with the premiere of their upcoming title track from their forthcoming Lefse full-length, “Waking Up to the Fire”. This is not your ordinary fire drill, as Kristina Reznikov, Ramtin Arablouei, Neel Singh, Sho Fujiwara, and Kevin Marrimow band together and awaken to the blaze as they rise to the emergency with street-skipping beats, voices, synthesizers, and their assembled emotions of passion plugged into the decks.
The key's modulate like analogue wood panelled appliances would that take up almost a quarter of any 10 x 10 feet room. The opening track initiation strums like harp strings that start the song's central mode of cognition. Once the low level synth growl begins, it stays like a background moan from the tuning frequency feedback on the AM dial, or like the electric buzz from a retro Stylophone. New keyboards join in like component-kindling to the band's collective bonfire, as the rhythmic entrances takes the pace down the escape paths and through the doors painted with the red words, 'EXIT'. Then climbing into the digital alteration and mathematical scales arrives the next synthesized counter part that spurns on the vocals that break through the danger. The accumulation of notes and progressions keep the stakes high and situation simmering and smoldering with a deep degree of tension. The surfacing of vocoded effects stir these moods further as trumpeting horn presets delve into Drop Electric's hard fought heroics until the last thing heard is the left over percussion crackle and rattle, like the glowing life force and souls of embers burning bright beneath the buried rubble.
Kristina talked with us a bit about Drop Electric's redefinition of creative approaches, composing songs different than the previous, formidable beginnings, elemental functions, and coming together to contribute in creating a project of great passion.
How did you all come together as a band in DC?
Most of us grew up around the District. The band has been around as some form for a few years. We experimented heavily with several genres throughout the years, but definitely leaned toward both electronic and post-rock sounds. A year after self-releasing the 2010 album Finding Color in the Ashes we added a few members, through Craigslist, of all places, and our sound has definitely grown as a result.
What does Drop Electric meant to you all? What is the story behind the album and title track, Waking Up To The Fire?
Mainly, Drop Electric is a creative, passionate project that is a driving force for all of us. We all have 9-5 jobs, and our band serves as our release. There has never really been any conscious thought to write what would be considered poppy or would make us millions of dollars – we're doing it because we enjoy it. We just want to write music that is beautiful, heavy, and unique; music that hopefully audiences can connect to emotionally. This way of thinking has us not really fitting into a specific genre at times, and “Waking Up to the Fire”, both the album and the title track, could be seen as a direct result of that.
What is your collective approach into creating your own controlled audio electrical fires?
We are always pushing each other to write inventive lines, progressions or songs that could take the band into new places. Nothing is sacred, and criticism is healthy.
“Waking Up to the Fire” is an album that utilizes hip-hop beats and has a heavy emphasis on vocal lines, which is a huge departure from our previous album. Our goal as of late has been to write songs that don't sound like anything we've written previously.
Elements always seem to have a big place in song writing, was the element of flame for you all in in Drop Electric?
That is an interesting notion. As I look back at other album titles and song titles, elements do seem to be a pattern. We never intentionally approach our song writing with elements like fire in mind but I guess we do approach a lot of emotional themes that encompass imagery of elements like fire and water. The title of the song is more related to the sense of urgency we feel as artists and young people living in 2013. It almost feels like we wake up to the reality that things are falling apart and the fire is overtaking us. It us kind of hard to look at the state of things in the world and not feel that urgency. In the end, we hope the emotional symbolism of fire and flames is something captured in our music and lyrics.
Drop Electric's new album Waking Up to the Fire will be available October 22 from Lefse Records. Catch the following album trailer now.