As vastly popular as electronic music is today, when many people spot a laptop on stage they also see a huge red flag. But some artists are making the case for electronic music that should even make skeptics stop and listen.
R34L, the music and art project of Sarah Hartman and Cason Trager, brings the recording studio to the stage with their unique brand of live electronic music.
Far from just pressing play, they prefer to deconstruct their tracks in front of an audience, combining the hooks and grooves you might expect with the presence of a high-energy rock show.
“I think a lot of people see a laptop and they say – oh, that’s not music. They don’t see the computer as an instrument,” Hartman said. “But when you use the computer as an instrument, it’s an infinite instrument.”
Instead of playing pre-programmed songs, layers new elements into them as they perform with a combination of electronic and physical instruments, re-mixing in the moment.
“That’s what’s really special about it – every show is a little different, it’s unique, it’s personal,” Hartman said.
Producer Lane (Beckstrom) has performed on stage with groups like Kids These Days, but decided to go solo – laptop in tow – about two years ago. He said his newest album, Recreate, is all about throwing his music at the wall and seeing what sticks.
“There’s a level of control that comes with sitting at your computer and just being able to do anything,” he said.
Whether you’re a skeptic or not, don’t want to miss these great performances. Check out the entirety of the performances by R34L and Lane in the player below.