Release Date: Jul 22, 2016
Record label: Break World Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Last year, Elysia Crampton spoke of building a utopia in the club: to devote that communal, sometimes transcendent space toward an even greater purpose, to make it “scholastic,” a place where people can “think big and talk big.” But now, a year later, what she has built on Demon City sounds like hell. It’s the nightmare landscape that functions, perhaps, as precursor to her utopian vision — the fire we might walk through before we can have our utopia. Demon City is the second proper full-length from Crampton, the electronic producer who has hailed in the past few years from L.A., the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and La Paz.
"Trans is the whereness of withness. " - Eva Hayward, attributed by Elysia Crampton "[A]nd he dropped like an ash tree / which, on the crest of a mountain glittering far about, cut down / with the bronze axe scatters on the ground its delicate leafage. " - Homer, Iliad "The depressive position is a site of potentiality and not simply a breakdown of the self or the social fabric.
Five years after the Continental Congress declared independence on July 4th of 1776, over three thousand miles to the south of Philadelphia, an Aymaran (the indigenous peoples of the Andes and Altiplano) abolitionist and revolutionary named Bartolina Sisa was at the head of an army of some 40,000 in revolt against the Spanish colonial powers in Bolivia. She led a six-month siege of Bolivia’s colonial capital, La Paz. The siege was broken by colonial troops in September, and on the fifth of that month, Sisa was captured, and brutally and publicly humiliated and executed in the Colonial Square.
Electronic music has made great leaps because of science fiction. In the '50s and '60s, some of the world's most sophisticated electronic instruments lived at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, an experimental sound laboratory that developed TV and radio stories. Composer and engineer Delia Derbyshire wrote one of the groundbreaking works of the '60s during her time there—the theme to Doctor Who, one of the first pieces of electronic music to appear on television.
Disorientation is the name of Elysia Crampton’s game. This Virginia-based producer is a genre-fusion wunderkind, and her official and unofficial catalogs are riddled with stretches where it’s deceptively easy to lose one’s bearings. House begets trap begets musique concrète begets New Age begets a DJ-tagged rap mixtape from 2006 — sometimes within the same moment, a Cuisinart of tones.
D.R.A.M. is a 28-year-old singer-rapper with undeniable star power, potentially as much as Fetty Wap, and for the same reasons. He’s a big bundle of positivity, all hugs and cuddles and smiles and awkward romanticism. He belts, though his style is more fluid and soul-informed than Fetty’s bellowing.