I have oft-derided the electronic music soundscape, so perhaps some of you will take some satisfaction in me having to eat my words when it comes to LA-based producer Adult Karate.
I make no excuses regarding my distaste for electronic music. It’s an entirely alien world to me, having grown up on a diet of classic rock, ’90s alternative, and punk music. The electronic and dance influences I was exposed to were negligible — a Madonna track sandwiched between the CCR and Joe Cocker songs, video game music, and the Spawn soundtrack. That was it.
By the time I got older and electronic flourishes became more apparent and then absolutely dominating in music, I had already submerged myself deeply in the more extreme genres, which, for the most part avoid overt electronic influences (though with a number of notable exceptions).
Then along came The Faint. Danse Macabre is a gem of a record that successfully merged alternative, post-hardcore, and most definitely house into a palatable package perfect for us punks who felt there was something not quite right with electronic music.
Adult Karate’s LXII reminds me somewhat of that album. The hooks and production are slicker, more pop than post-hardcore influenced, but those first electronic influences I was exposed to — The Faint, video game music, and that definitely catchy Spawn soundtrack courtesy of The Crystal Method — definitely all sound present to my untrained ears. The electronics are sparse, and they are used deliberately. Despite using all synthesized instruments, the sound feels organic, aided by the smart use of not-overtly autotuned vocals.
So much electronic music, to me, sounds like it’s assaulting you (ironic, given my typical genre preferences), like it’s actively trying to trigger migraines or bash your brains in with bass. Adult Karate is way too cool for that. It sidles up to you, clad in cool ’80s synthwave sunglasses and a Drive-style satin jacket, all smiles and dark, smoldering looks, and convinces you to take a joyride.
For more info: