EDM is the hot acronym in the new music scene, standing of course for “Electronic Dance Music.” Some party-goers feel that EDM is an extension of the rave scene from the 90s, while others see the current electronic music climate as a completely different animal. In Aubergine Machine, the argument is settled as Ian Carey, a well-known Miami house producer from rave days of yore and talented newcomer Shanti Ellis team up to bring classic style and fresh technique to the new music and dance scene. In true rave/EDM style, the duo release their music in singles rather than albums for easier play in the clubs, and since their inception in 2012, Aubergine Machine has released a full 16 singles. Their latest, Sundown, is a fun, pretty mashup of post-dubstep and tech house, once again blending old and new music styles and merging sub-genres within EDM.
Ian Carey began his career in electronic music when there was no confusion about what to call it. The rave scene in Miami in the early-to-mid 90s spawned some of the most well-known sub-genres to come out of the clubs in that period, including progressive breaks, Miami Bass or Booty Bass, and tech house. Carey became well-known for his floor-shaking mixes in the 90s. By 2003, however, the stateside rave scene began to wane, so Carey moved his sound to Europe where the dance music was still going strong. During his time in the Netherlands and England, he began working on production in earnest, and earned a top ten slot in the UK, Belgium and New Zealand for his single Get Shaky. He has worked with a gallery of famous artists in multiple genres such as Snoop Dogg, Afrojack, Tinchy Stryder, Basement Jaxx, Diplo and Sewdish House Mafia, to name just a few.
With his impressive production resume and with the South Florida dance scene returning to its former glory, Ian Carey returned to Miami with the intention of making new music in the U.S. again, and met Shanti Ellis. Though she was relatively unknown at the time, Shanti clearly had a sense for electronic music which inspired Carey, and the two had similar philosophies about creating new music which also incorporated classic rave style. Ellis cites her influences vocally as Vampire Weekend, No Doubt and Santi Gold, so she brings a fresh indie feel to the harder club edge of Carey’s beats. All these elements are very evident in the duo’s new music, as Ellis and Carey work to merge genres, time periods and timbres to create something which appeals to old ravers and new EDM fans alike.
Sundown, released on Aubergine Machine’s Soundcloud page in October, successfully realizes Ellis and Carey’s vision of creating new music which reaches out to the older electronic generation. There is no mistaking that this song was meant to be played in a club setting. Framed by Carey’s trademark techy, bass-driven beats, the tempo switches from dubstep to trap to house and back again so flawlessly that it is clear only a seasoned DJ who knows how to mix all types of music has created the backing track. The pairing of new musical beat styles like dubstep and trap with hard house may be unexpected, but audiences from both camps will appreciate the interesting flow created by this mashup.
Despite being club-ready, Sundown is also a very pretty, almost ambient track thanks to the melodic oversamples and, of course, Ellis’ vocals. Her voice has a brassy timbre which is well-suited to the echoed quality of many techno and house songs. Her lyrics are simple and party-inspired but also connote a deeper more tribal meaning to music, which is then complimented with Carey’s keys, which match Ellis in the melody.
The video for Sundown shows Carey and Ellis paying homage to their native Florida, as it is filmed mostly in the Everglades and on the beaches of South Florida. Fans might think the video was shot in a foreign location, as Ellis is dressed in somewhat tribal garb and indeed the song has that quality as well. The point of this seems to be the duo’s loyalty to Florida, underlining the fact that there is plenty of beautiful nature right in Florida, and that the spirituality of that nature is everywhere one looks. Directed, edited and produced by Carey and Ellis themselves, the video brings the concepts of the spirituality of party music and nature together in much the same way Aubergine Machine bring together old rave sounds and the new musical sound of EDM.
Ian Carey and Shanti Ellis truly are a musical marriage made in heaven, as Carey brings 20 years of experience in electronic music and Ellis brings a fresh, modern sound to each single they release. Both seem to have a very clear vision of where they want to take this project. Each single they release is a well-produced, well-thought out piece which works both in the clubs for raucous parties and in a more relaxed, outdoor setting, just appreciating the wonder of the world. Sundown and all of Aubergine Machine’s tracks are available for streaming on their Soundcloud page, listed in “Sources.”
Review by Layla Klamt
Soundcloud.com (Aubergine Machine)
Bio/Interview, Aubergine Machine provided by Independent Music Promotions