When you tune into “Soundfounder,” KUTX’s thoughtfully curated electronic music show at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, host Andrew Brown wants you to feel welcome and inspired.
The world of electronic music is wide and varied, so Brown’s show focuses on a mix of local artists – such as Austin producers Botany, The Deli and BoomBaptist – and abroad, as well as classic electronic music from the early 90s and 00s.
Brown, who also goes by the name Soundfounder (a moniker he conjured as a high schooler in San Antonio) says he wants listeners to relate to the music and understand that electronic musicians are true musicians. “The full spectrum of human emotions goes into creating electronic music,” he says.
When he’s not spinning music on KUTX, Brown makes his own music under the name (you guessed it) Soundfounder. Pre-pandemic, you may have seen him DJ live at Austin-area clubs or at Fun Fun Fun Fest (RIP). And when he’s not making music, he’s evangelizing the genre through Exploded Drawing, a (pre-pandemic) monthly event he produces, and his record store Exploded Records.
Since the tender age of five, Brown knew music was his calling. He was struck by the orchestral and choral overdubs in Beatles songs that combined to create what he calls “an epic sound.”
“I had a lot of music concepts in my head that I wanted to get out into the world,” he says “Growing up, I took guitar and piano lessons, but it was hard to create those epic sounds I loved with an acoustic guitar. Later, I learned that musicians were creating epic sounds with samplers and synthesizers – it turns out you can incorporate orchestral and choral music if you get really good at sampling and sequencing.
One of the attractions to electronic music is that there are few barriers to entry. With a laptop, software and the patience to learn, musicians can record an album by themselves at home.
“I love that electronic music is so DIY,” he says. “You don’t have to wait for anyone to give you a budget or permission to make music. I used to be in a band and there were constant obstacles: The van broke down, the drummer didn’t show up or there were conflicting artistic visions among the band members.”
In addition to more creativity and independence, there are economic factors driving the genre’s popularity. It’s becoming less profitable for a band to tour, so Brown is starting to see mainstream musicians adapting and experimenting with electronic music.
“There’s a shift happening right now where traditional musicians are crossing over to electronic music,” he says. “Take Jackie Venson, she’s an amazing blues guitarist, but has realized that having a band all the time doesn’t make bank. By shifting her way of thinking, she has created ‘Jackie the Robot’ a mostly electronic Jackie, which is gaining her new fans.”
In contrast to Europe, many people in the U.S. have not considered electronic music to be a pure form of musicianship – until recently. It used to be “other.” Brown says he’s been impressed with Austin’s burgeoning electronic music scene.
“The number of Austin venues that book electronic music is on par with Seattle Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City,” he says. “You need a good sound system to have a good show. In Austin, we have great venues with great sound systems, including the Parish, Empire Control Room, Vulcan and the Mohawk. The Austin scene is growing rapidly.”
Asked how he stays on the cutting edge of the electronic music scene, Brown says he has long-term relationships and collaborations with record labels, thanks to his store Exploded Records, and he has a massive music library. “You can get super nerdy about this.”
To learn more about Soundfounder’s Exploded Drawing event, check out this “Texas Monthly” article.
~ Erin Geisler
Photo By Kate Blaising
Calliope Musicals Build Something New
Their new EP ‘Between Us’ is out 4/23
by Jeff McCord
Austin’s Calliope Musicals often call their music psychedelic, but don’t expect fuzz drones and sitars. They’re psychedelic only to the extent that their wild technicolor pop feels mind-expanding. Over the years their songs have exploded with ideas, pushing the limits of what three minutes could constrain. Yet on their new EP Between US, out April 23 on Spaceflight Records, something new takes over – call it rhythmic purpose.
“Moonchaser” is a hooky pop-rocker that sticks to a hard driving blueprint. And the single, “Can You Tell Me”, beats an incessant pulse to a joyous finish. Production is still crazy, but everything feels more in service to the songs. Frontwoman Carrie Fussell says her favorite thing about the band is that “it never gets too hung up on staying within the boxes we have built in the past. Describing the new EP (four new songs and a remix of Color/Sweat’s “Fear This Body”), Fussell describes it as “filled with features from so many people we love and played with over the years. It’s really an amalgamation of a couple of time periods and that’s a new thing for us.” It’s also resulted in some of their most powerful music to date.
KUTX Artist of the Month April 2021
Carrie Fussell of Calliope Musicals performs “Moonchaser” and “Can You Tell Me” for KUTX Pop-Up Session.
Cameras and Edit: Michael Minasi, Audio Mix: Jake Perlman, Producer: Deidre Gott
Photo courtesy of The Seratones
Shreveport, LA’s Seratones blasted off back in 2016 with their gritty proto-punk/southern garage rock debut, Get Gone but the band has emerged from their three year chrysalis more soulful and self-assured than before. The intermingling of punk and soul makes sense for singer AJ Haynes, who grew up singing in church but found that “punk and garage were the closest thing I could find to the feeling that I found in church growing up,” she told Jody Friday afternoon.
The Seratone’s just-released sophomore record Power is a clear evolution from their raucous whiskey-tossing debut. Don’t be mistaken, theres still plenty of foot stomping grooves on the new record, but Hayne’s has turned her microphone towards a country in social and political turmoil–and with a voice like hers, it’s hard not to listen.
Check out the full interview and all the songs from her Studio 1A session below!
Host: Jody Denberg
Audio: Jake Perlman
Producer: Deidre Gott