A softly sung hook crooned by a guy that sounds like the Weeknd or Adam Levine? A big pulsating rhythm section that erupts the crowd in stunning glory? A quick build and drop that makes Deadmau5 step away from the laptop? Elephante has all the spokes of a veteran DJ artist in 2016, and his songs swoon and swim with utter glory.
What makes Elephante both spectacular is his ADD-inspired pulse on modern music. In “I Want You,” the artists gets to the big drop within 45 seconds. There is hardly a dramatic build. Everything is exploding almost right out the gate. Why wait for the action when you can just skip ahead in the video? It is the ADD culture that has no time for tension and escalation. This may all make me sound like a grumpy old man, and I can accept that. I can also accept that part of Elephante’s charm and attraction is unabashed willingness to take it there- make it big and keep them up in the air. Admittedly, I heard the radio edit of “I Want You.” It’s likely a shorter and more refined example of what could be an epic 10-minute building jam on its digital EP release.
Elephante is touring smart in 2016. Spanning most major stops in the United States (excluding Portland- they may still be stuck at the Modest Mouse and Brand New show). He is keeping the dates big, but exclusive, only making it to the top 10 or so cities in the US. It will be the University of Central Florida’s absurdly large stadium in Orlando and Boston’s Venu Theatre that will provide a fantastic backdrop for his inspired take on modern pop- all synthesized and filtered through songs that are purposefully short. His new single, “Black Ivory,” sounds like an army marching over Skrillex. It’s big and beautiful, and it ends just as most artists are warming up.
Elephante has yet to release an album, but that is perfectly fine. Triumphantly, Elephante knows that a show is really the “stage” for the DJ. Who is listening to grandiose DJ music off of Spotify, unless they are hosting their own little house party? It’s all about the dance, and Elephante knows his music relies on big beats and chanting fans, as the brisk through one three-minute jam after another.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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