Artists change course and reinvent themselves all the time. So when recovering DJ Trevor Refix wanted to step away from the clubs and focus more on narrative structure and live instrumentation, he joined drummer Lyell Woloschuk to form Texture & Light, a duo dedicated to showcasing the strengths and emotional depth that electronic music has to offer. They want to avoid the usual obstacles associated with the homogenization of this kind of music, so they approach these sounds from odd angles, incorporating influences from all genres in an effort to expand and blur the lines.
With the release of their debut record, 2013's "The Hard Problem of Consciousness," the duo developed a devoted following in their native Canada and toured in support, bringing audiences a visual and aural experience unlike anything people had seen before. Featuring a mix of live and programmed instrumentation, their concerts are dizzying moments of euphoric synth sensations. On their forthcoming album, "Inner Space Odyssey" (set to be released Oct. 14), the band takes a longer and more in-depth look at how our personal experiences and music intertwine and affect each other in powerful, but often subtle, ways.
On their new single, "Theft of the Sky," the duo embraces the sheen and glitter of their synth forebears and collapses the dance floor underneath everyone's feet. But the bright rhythms conceal a darker thematic provocation—the band attacks a society whose moral direction has been shaded by its love of money; and within these beats and lyrics, you'll find a terse and frustrated voice calling out for answers. Aside from its inherent meaning, the track is also a buoyant and determined pop explosion that carries with it a multitude of effervescent melodies and gossamer sounds. The lively guitars wrap around an ecstatic wash of synthetic noise and bright, synth-strewn rhythms. It's all submerged in a dense, foggy groove of whirring vocals and circuital modulations.
Lyrically inspired by Naomi Klein's book "This Changes Everything," the track first took shape when Trevor found himself perched on the bank of a remote mountain lake watching the moonlight play across the surface of the water. From this experience, he formed an often-vicious and barbed indictment of our political and business leaders' obsession with profit and success to the detriment of everything else. And it's all wrapped up in a gaudy and wonderfully stylized package that delivers a burst of light and fury across your senses. Make no mistake—it's ready for the dance floor, but "Theft of the Sky" has much higher aims. And it hits those marks with every energetic and synth-addled blow to your nervous system.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.