Sunday, December 4, 2016

3 Feet High & Rising: Toxit Members Justin Billinger & Ferry Ridderhof Re-form as Elektrostal; release Daft Punk, Iggy Pop & Justice-influenced Hello world 101 (Vinyl Recording)

"We started out asking ourselves the question, 'if Daft Punk didn’t originate from France, but rather a dank dystopian nightmare of a Moscow suburb, what would that sound like?'" reads the brief, slightly tongue-in-cheek, description included on Amsterdam-based Retro-Future Elecrtonica band Elektrostal's Soundcloud page. Elektrostal consists of self-described "song-writer, agitator & synth whizz" Justin Billinger and "floppy label writer, Atari [engineer], vocals & synth [programmer]" Ferry Ridderhof. Billinger & Ridderhof unleashed their appropriately-titled 7-track debut EP, Hello world 101 on vinyl record and high-quality MP3, FLAC, etc. download as recently as November 11th, 2016; a mere six days later, Elektrostal uploaded a digitized vinyl copy of Hello world 101, which consists of "a 96 Khz 24-bit recording of the vinyl album with a classic Technics SL-1210 turntable." Elektrostal readily list Iggy Pop, Serge Gainsbourg, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, deadmau5, Kavinsky, Giorgio Moroder, Justice, New Order, MGMT, and Neu! amongst their greatest sources of influence—although, I would likely most liken Hello world 101 to Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard's beloved 2003 Electro-Pop project with producer Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), The Postal Service.

Justin Billinger lists his "main reason for starting Elektrostal" as "so he could eventually buy an Aston Martin" and Ferry Ridderhof's was to "pose with analog gear and ancient tech." It appears as though Ferry Ridderhof & Justin Billinger first collaborated on a 1992 white label 12-inch titled Some Mushrooms Approach EP under the short-lived project name Toxit; "in 2015, Ridderhof and Billinger hooked up once more and re-discovered their mutual passion and fascination for pure, raw Electronic music. Although previously caught up in the music-making process involving mainly laptop computers, they instinctively knew something was missing. With a renewed and fresh vision and using solely their favorite bits of vintage analogue equipment—ranging from boutique stomp-boxes to highly [collectible] Russian synths-on-steroids—they incorporated and blended this into their own [personalized] and methodically structured studio workflow." Elektrostal's Hello World 101 is currently available from their Bandcamp in a number of formats including vinyl LP, digital download, and Technics SL-1210-ripped vinyl MP3's.

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