Sunny, Strange Sounds From a New Generation of L.A. Producers

Suzanne Kraft. Photo: David Fisher

Every week or thereabouts, Mutant Dance Moves takes you to the shadowy corners of the dancefloor and the fringes of contemporary electronic music, where new strains and dance moves are evolving.

While fall has finally descended upon the East Coast, the sky a slat of gray to match the sidewalks in hue (to mention nothing of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and more Nor’easters to follow), the sunshine still feels eternal out in California. So while Brooklyn’s producers churn out gritty, tough tracks in their unheated loft spaces, the sort of music wafting out of L.A. right now tends towards the mellow, medicinally enabled, Balearic end of the dance-music spectrum. But it’s also getting very weird. And while a few years back, the scene in L.A. seemed meager in comparison with what was happening elsewhere, slowly the city has given rise to a new generation of producers, with all sorts of new strains arising.

“A few years back, the scene in L.A. seemed meager in comparison with what was happening elsewhere, slowly the city has given rise to a new generation of producers, with all sorts of new strains arising.”

One of the most noteworthy is Suzanne Kraft, an electronic musician who turned some heads when her debut EP Green Flash (sleeved in a bright lemon and lime schema to match the candied tracks within) dropped on the excellent German imprint, Running Back. Only, Suzanne Kraft turned out to be a lifelong Los Angeleno, 21-year-old Diego Herrera. “I’ve never identified with ‘Suzanne’ in any feminine way,” he clarifies via email. “But it creates a distance/barrier between me and my music that I can sort of hide behind. Although a couple of times I’ve met some chicks who have been disappointed to learn I’m a guy.” Herrera got turned onto gateway electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada in middle school and started making his own tracks soon after. And he’s been part of L.A.’s eclectic and deep Dublab stable for a few years as well.

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