Today’s Cool Album of the Day ($#935 in the Series) is Ready Never, Eleutherophobia
Oh, the modern EDM craze. It isn’t my first choice to queue up when I’m making dinner, while I’m at work, or even when I’m driving and just want background music, but it has a special place in my life.
For me, it’s when I’m clubbing after midnight in Nairobi, Kenya, not sure how or when I’m going to get back to the hotel to make the flight home to Kigali tomorrow. Or when I’m supervising a school dance and the kids are bouncing up and down with the lights and the beat and the waves of heat and sweat.
It’s me being 17 and finding the one techno/dance/trance station unexpectedly transmitting to my small hometown in Texas, totally making fun of it with my punk/proto-hipster friends, and then proceeding to listen to pretty much nothing else for the last half of my senior year.
It’s going to a “why not” Paul Oakenfold show in the shadow of Dallas’ skyscrapers, three in the morning and never going to stop whirling those glow sticks every which way and gyrating endlessly with perfect strangers, not even sure what happened to the guy who brought me.
It’s lose-yourself-in-the-moment happiness, don’t think about tomorrow, just live now and think about the consequences later, if you ever have to.
Translated to mean “an abnormal fear of freedom,” the album does it dead level best to release its listener from that fear to just let it all hang out. The epic sweeps and electronic layering are beyond stimulating, the staccato plinking synth gets the blood flowing, and the repetitive vocal blips and bloops are tantalizing – you never know quite when the beat will drop, and they’ll draw it out to draw you in, dropping it only when you feel like you can’t take anymore tension.
The track “Casualties” brings an upbeat reggae dub step that demands to be listened to with lots of people – preferably hundreds, if not thousands – in the summer, under the stars or in a crowded club. It begs for a sing-along – not because the lyrics are life changing or deep – but exactly because they’re not. Sing because it just feels good, not because you have discerned that the final meaning matches your opinions. Release that fear of freedom, and find that it’s pretty easy to be happy, especially when so many happy people surround you.
One thing that separates Ready Never from the typical EDM group is their live performance. From the beginning, they dreamed of making what the band calls “EDM Rock.” The groups’ cofounder Benny Ed impressively multitasks on stage between bass, vocals, synth, and DJ duties, while Clinton Karcher provides the punishing presences of rock and roll drums. What results is a much fuller sound, more in-your-face dynamic than the traditional DJ sitting passively behind the table or speaker stack.
All fans of a more instrumentally-savvy Bastille, a more souped-up Shaggy, and the chill stylings of Knaan, make your way to the nearest dancehall, discotheque or club and bounce to this seriously talented EDM unit.
– Robin Crocker, Portland Oregon, USA