If you haven't noticed, the winds of change continue to blow strong in the world of music. While before, an artist seeking to create something full in scope needed to be backed by a band or an orchestra, they now have the wonders of technology before them that allow unprecedented access into new musical realms. Add to that the fact that many of those artists, such as Avicii and David Guetta, are taking those breakthroughs and combining them with compelling, and danceable rhythms, giving the electronic dance music (EDM) genre a fresh burst of life. Now, rising artist Tristan Eckerson is set to toss his hat into the ring with his debut EP, appropriately titled Dance Craze.
Eckerson is a classically trained pianist who had played in bands of multiple genres, trying his hand at jazz, blues, and funk as well as punk and pop. Artistic restlessness kept him moving to and fro, trying new musical textures here and there but the one constant was his desire to get people moving. And when he enrolled in a Master's program for Music Production and Sound Design for visual media, he became enthralled with the world of electronic dance music.
"I had spent my entire life playing keyboards and writing music with a pencil and paper, and suddenly I was introduced to this crazy world of electronic music production, and suddenly I could write for an entire orchestra! It changed everything for me," he shares.
Inspired, Eckerson set out to harness those newfound production skills, combining his love of the Dance music genre together with his eclectic musical past, classical and modern flair coming together in an infectious and energetic mixture. And it's done so in a way that is fully intentional.
"Having spent most of my life playing keyboards in bands and listening to all kinds of Dance Music, it wasn't until after college that I really started to get into Electronic Music at all," Eckerson offers. "Once I did, I got hooked, and then when I learned how to produce music electronically, it was all over for me. Ever since then I've been on a mission to create Electronic Dance Music that's full of energy and is danceable, but at the same time is filled with musicality. I want to create Electronic Dance Music that is accessible to people that don't necessarily like EDM. There is so much "Dance Music" out there, created in different ways, from all over the world. I want to broaden the sense of what Electronic Dance Music really is, and incorporate more original ideas, influences, and emotions into my songs."
It’s that vision that fuels the three tracks that make up the whole of Dance Craze. Eckerson kicks things off with the throbbing pulse of “Life,” carefully adding various textures and layers that ebb and flow, highlighting them with digitized vocal elements that bring some added nuance to the proceedings. It’s relentless pace brings listeners into a trance of sorts while the title track builds an accessible bridge into a full on dance mode. Boasting bright synth tones, vocal harmonies, and an infectious groove, its tailor made for the club and is easily the highlight of the three. Lastly, with “POLY,” Eckerson lets his diversity shine, bringing Afro and Latin swagger to his beats and constructing a template of Moombahton-meets-House-and-Techno that is uniquely compelling. There’s a frenetic build to the track, raging guitar pressing the song to a bloodlust of sorts that carries a theatrical tone and ends things on an interesting note.It’s somewhat difficult to judge an artist’s overall creativity and potential in just three songs but, with these three on the Dance Craze EP, Tristan Eckerson makes a strong case for his future. And while the jury is still out on the overall accessibility of these tunes, those who do enjoy a healthy dose of EDM in their listening diet will find plenty to move to here.