Electric E Music Reviews - "SIGHT UNSEEN" , "VELVET CIRCLES" & "ELLA"

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Electric E is back with new EP & LP November 7, 2020 by Jodi Marxbury

In his latest releases – an album titled Sight Unseen and an EP in Ella – the artist known simply as Electric E is making it clear to anyone listening that he isn’t planning on stepping away from his boundary-breaking experimentations anytime soon – if anything, he’s going after this goals harder than ever here. Combining influences that span the pop spectrum but always bring us back to the soul of vintage electronica, Sight Unseen and Ella present themselves as alternative documents through and through, and if you’re keen on music, I think you’ll find them to be everything they’re marketed as.

The EP is more conventionally composed than the album is, but when your title track is bursting with the kind of pop sensibilities this disc’s is, that should be the case. There’s nothing over the top or especially theatrical about Ella’s high or low points; “Again and Again” and “Got to Have It” both touch on a pop/rock component some might foolishly think would be out of Electric E’s reach, and if you ask me, they’re both two of the more stage-ready compositions he’s ever stamped his name on. For a player with an evolving sound, this record offers us a look at his style that sounds as consistent as anything in the mainstream.

There’s definitely an angular feel to the rhythm of Sight Unseen’s “The Rearrangement (Vocal – Urban Minstrels),” the R&B-flavored “I Don’t Take Any Pleasure (Hatred Was Not a Word),” “Situational Sangria (Vocal – Come Down)” and both versions of “China Doll,” but it never verges on sounding decadently jagged. For the most part, Electric E exhibits the kind of self-control I wish a lot of his Seattle contemporaries could bring into their own music, and provided it stays in his compositional repertoire, I think he’s going to see a lot more exposure in the press with his future work.

APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/sight-unseen/1522609041?ign-gact=3&ls=1

You can tell that this artist is coming out of the Pacific Northwest mostly because of his transparent influences – particularly in songs like “World of Mirrors,” “Memory Lane,” “Down By the Sea” and “Timelessness” – though I don’t think he can be accused of recycling any rhythm or rhyming from the storied past his local underground beat has been home to in the past century. Electric E is fairly intense about his original stylization of even the most subtle of details in his material, and were he not, I don’t know if he would have the kind of momentum behind his output that he does this season.

If you’ve yet to sit down with the music of Electric E, I would highly recommend doing so before the month of November has come to an end. Sight Unseen and Ella arguably give listeners the best one-two punch of an introduction to his sound that they could potentially get their hands on before the conclusion of 2020, and although I will say that there are some elements of his artistry that could be exploited better than they have been here, the work this player is producing at the moment is nonetheless critical listening for modern avant-gardists everywhere.

Jodi Marxbury

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ELECTRIC E RELEASES VELVET CIRCLES Posted on November 22, 2021 by Mindy McCall www.indiepulsemusic.com

Musician and singer/songwriter Electric E has long since proven EDM can accommodate and thrive as more than entertainment alone. The Seattle, Washington based author and language arts instructor has extensive experience with film and video production keen listeners will hear reflected in his compositions. His latest release Velvet Circles builds on his past success with an audacious and far-reaching collection of songs.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/erezkats

He’s seldom content pursuing a single path for long. Electric E begins Velvet Circles on an experimental note with “LoveSong”, but his near-collage of musical atmospherics nevertheless remains familiar enough that few listeners will feel alienated. “The Forest”, however, is a much more traditional nod in the direction of psychedelicized pop rock. He starts the album off with two of his best lyrics though newcomers may need some time to adjust to his idiosyncratic delivery.

The album’s title song comes early. It’s a show of confidence in the material that a moment commonly considered to be a definitive statement on any album comes sooner rather than later. The song justifies that confidence as Electric E steps back from the theatrical tendencies of the opening tracks into intimate and acoustic fare. It’s unfortunate the mix buries his vocal, but the track’s mood of meandering weariness lingers long after the final note.

Defiance is a big part of E’s artistic sensibility. He makes music by his own rules, irrespective of fashion, and if his output happens to coincide with recognizable forms, it’s a happy confluence. It isn’t plotted out that way. Songs emerge here, they are not composed. “Little Slips” embodies that quite well. There’s something flinty and hard-eyed about this track, something connected to the blues though E doesn’t overtly embrace any of that form’s conventions. It’s another acoustic track that packs a wallop despite its seeming simplicity.

“My Life” opens with passages of muted but nonetheless shimmering beauty between segueing into another relaxed acoustic jangle. The low-fi sonic architecture of Velvet Circles may be a turn-off for some listeners, but Electric E’s admirers will hear the sound as another instrument of sorts, another “voice” in his overall art. “My Life” has all the intimacy you expect from a song titled as such and shares it with listeners in a wholly unique way.

There’s no question a dream-like quality surrounds each of the album’s dozen songs. It manifests itself differently each time, sometimes with only subtle variations, and “Niche” is no exception. It’s one of the tracks that, despite its acoustic arrangement, would clearly work well with a rock sound. E’s vocal clearly reaches in that direction. “Never Had a Chance” closes Velvet Circles with a fist in the air. There’s a head-down push into life with this song, a sense of growing disgust in the song’s speaker, and the forceful way E attacks his acoustic guitar backs it up. It’s an emphatic ending to an album brimming with emotion and paid for in tears and countless hours. Someone like Electric E isn’t looking to get rich. He’s just looking to survive and, if he can pull that off, love.

Mindy McCall



Courting our affections with a tempered tonality that will quickly swell into something quite divine and powerful even at moderate volumes, the opening bars of the Ella EP and its English title track immediately tell the audience to buckle-up and brace themselves for sonic magic courtesy of Electric E this fall. In this cut, its Spanish counterpart, the potent club tune “Again and Again” and bludgeoning post-rocker “Got to Have It,” Electric E is cutting away from the crowd with a sonic intensity that stands alone in his Seattle scene this November, and if there was any debate about whether or not he could bring the heat prior to this EP’s arrival, the discussion should be put to an end by the time 2020 meets a conclusion. 

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/electric-e/ella-english

Besides Ella, Electric E has also dropped a full-length studio album in Sight Unseen this fall that deserves just as much credit for its originality – if not a touch more. Opening with a ringing phone in “Timelessness,” what we find on the other end of the line isn’t a friendly voice but instead a crisp beat that evolves before our very ears into an elaborate tour de force before we know what to do with ourselves. The passion hasn’t even reached the cathartic fever pitch it ultimately will in “World of Mirrors,” “Down by the Sea” and an alluring “Around the Night’ yet, but already it’s obvious that we’re going to be in for a progressive atmosphere here; in any other scenario, I don’t think the backdrop would be quite as beautifully smothering as it is in this situation. 

“Memory Lane” ups the crunch factor just to turn us over to a pair of mixes each for “China Doll,” “Situational Sangria” and “The Rearrangement” that could have made for quite the stimulating EP all on their own, but I don’t find them to be thunder-stealing in the context of this LP at all. There are a lot of ways to go about making the kind of anthology that Electric E did in this album, and although you could say his was absolutely one of the more complicated and self-challenging on the table and be completely right, it doesn’t negate just how much of a charismatic presence each one of its songs has because of this very reason. 

APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/sight-unseen/1522609041?ign-gact=3&ls=1

With the exotically arranged “Maria” and a new jack swing-styled “I Don’t Take Any Pleasure (Hatred Was Not a Word),” Sight Unseen crosses the finish line and mercifully lays its textural wallop down like a weapon that has been stained red with the blood of a bitter battle, but I would be lying if picking the tracklist right back up again wasn’t tempting for a critic like myself. After spending a lot of time breaking down the in’s and out’s of Sight Unseen and Ella, there’s only one conclusion that can be drawn – Electric E is onto something genuinely special inside of the studio, and if he’s wise, he’ll get back into the grind and continue cultivating it while the creative energy behind these two records is still simmering. 

Garth Thomas

Electric E Releases “Ella” and “Sight Unseen” (INDIESHARK Music Magazine)

November 6, 2020 MUSIC REVIEWS

Multilingual poeticisms. Raging bastions of white noise manipulated into bittersweet melodicism. Harmonies that test the limits of their own construction. A rhythm that doesn’t seem to know where it’s going – or why it’s even chugging forth in the first place.

There are contradictions, conflicts and aesthetical riddles that follow us down every seedy rabbit hole that Ella and Sight Unseen have in store for listeners everywhere this fall season, but as anyone who has heard the music of Electric E beforehand is already more than aware, this is exactly what you should be expecting amidst the dreamy tonal and textural communique this up and coming Seattle player is building his reputation on.