Listen To This: New Electronic Music And Synth-Pop Out Of D.C.

By Ally Schweitzer and Joe Warminsky

The latest electronic music out of the D.C. region includes a hip-hop-infused head-scratcher from Ricky Eat Acid.
The latest electronic music out of the D.C. region includes a hip-hop-infused head-scratcher from Ricky Eat Acid.

Catching up on the newest works from D.C.’s diverse electronic-music landscape.

Dawit Eklund, Ouroborous
Recommended tracks: “Litchi Juice,” “Lies Are Chic (Makeshift Mix)”

So far, stout head-nodders haven’t been the domain of D.C. electronic label 1432 R, but imprint co-founder Dawit Eklund maximizes the 4/4 energy on “Litchi Juice,” and keeps it bubbling on two versions of “Lies Are Chic.” But don’t view Ouroborous as a departure from 1432R’s heavily Ethiopian vibe (see: E.R., Mikael Seifu). Instead, it’s a complement: All those Horn of Africa sounds have been filtered with American house freakitude in one small way or another, and this EP proudly flaunts those roots. (Joe Warminsky)

Ricky Eat Acid, “Dear Lord”
Recommended track: The only track, “Dear Lord”

Former calzone delivery guy Sam Ray, aka producer Ricky Eat Acid, has always liked futzing around: The Maryland native (who also plays with Teen Suicide and Julia Brown) started out diddling with pop and hip-hop, then graduated to thinky ambient works on his debut Three Love Songs, titling his compositions with long, vague phrases (“Driving alone past roadwork at night”; “God puts us all in the swimming pool”). Ricky Eat Acid’s latest track, “Dear Lord,” throws hooky hip-hop, techno tropes and piano chords into a Magic Bullet and watches them whirl. (Ally Schweitzer)

Future Times Records’ Vibe 3
Recommended tracks: Protect-U, “Krums,” Juju & Jordash, “Soggy Bottom,” DSR.MR, “Crystal Jungle”

Like a lot of Future Times releases, the vinyl version of the new compilation Vibe 3 is already sold out (one retailer allowed one per customer). For most of us, though, those “out of stock” notices don’t matter, because the label made these goods highly accessible on the digital tip. (The Internet hasn’t always been a priority for the Vibe series.) Considering the Future Times crew’s knack for sequencing tracks, the digi flow makes more sense, anyway: 14 cuts, a global outlook (the crew extends from Vancouver to Amsterdam at this point), tons o’ bliss and myriad lessons about popped percussion and manipulated frequencies. Lay ’em end to end. (JW)

The Walking Sticks, “The News”
Recommended track: The only track, “The News”

The Walking Sticks started as a folk-pop band. You wouldn’t know it from the Maryland trio’s new single, “The News,” a squelching earworm with singer Chelsea Lee crushing — crushing! — the vocals. The single is officially out Nov. 20 on Play Me Records. (AS)

Brett, On Account Of Your Love
Recommended track: “On Account Of Your Love (Club Mix)”

Originally based in the D.C. area, Brett now operates out of Los Angeles, which seems like the right spiritual home for the group’s bittersweet synth-pop. On Account Of Your Love is Brett’s latest EP, released on L.A.’s Chill Mega Chill label, which promises a vinyl edition next year. Also coming in 2016: Brett’s sophomore LP, the followup to their 2014 self-titled debut. Look out for that March 11 on Cascine. (AS)

Benoit & Sergio, “Dancing Shoes”/”Old Streets”
Recommended track: “Old Streets”

Benoit & Sergio, the globe-hopping party boys who started in D.C., return with two low-key house concoctions. Like earlier tracks “Walk and Talk” and “New Ships,” their vocals still ooze drowsy sleaze — the kind you might encounter in the last hour of an after-afterparty. The 12-inch is out Nov. 17 on Soul Clap and digital versions are available now on SpotifyiTunes and Beatport. (AS)

Brutalism, No Rave
Recommended track: “Friday Night”

One of the more absurd new groups out of D.C., Brutalism keeps its tongue firmly in cheek. Debut single “Friday Night” was a deceptively peppy murder ballad; “New Empire” pledged allegiance to a draconian political regime. But on the trio’s new tape, No Rave, Brutalism takes the insanity down a notch with a track we haven’t heard before: “Human Being.” (AS)

Other new local music: The latest from rock groups More Humans, Swings, Polyon and The Split Seconds.