Editors' pick

Identity Festival 2012

Dance/Electronic
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Editorial Review

An album worth a 10-year wait
By Mark Jenkins
Friday, July 27, 2012

Albums aren’t as important as they used to be, especially in dance music, but it’s still a little surprising that it took Eric Prydz 10 years to release one. It’s not that the London-based Swedish composer- producer has been lazy; the deluxe edition of “Eric Prydz Presents Pryda” attests to that, with three discs of nearly all of his output. The main event, available as a single CD, is a selection of strong new material.

Prydz’s style, whether labeled “trance” or “progressive house,” features the usual ingredients: beats, loops and drones, with occasional vocals and other embellishments. Spacy numbers such as “Beyond 8” echo cosmic German techno as well as the American minimalism that inspired it. The producer also gets funky on tracks such as “Mighty Love (Instrumental),” stripping ’70s disco to bass and strings, and the Afro-Latin “Javiar,” which features what sounds like live percussion.

A synthetic dance beat usually enters at some point, but Prydz shows a taste for the organic. Some passages feature piano, and “Allein” includes a vocal chant that links it to the grander side of alt-rock. At his most anthemic, Prydz makes minimalist dance music with maximum sweep.

Best day for adults to do errands

If you're out July 27 and find yourself thinking, "Where are all the teenagers?" chances are they're wearing ridiculous clothing (or not much clothing at all) while getting wild to the nonstop beat of electronic music. After a successful inaugural run last summer, Identity -- the country's first touring, all-electronic music festival -- is back for a second go-round, with a full day of house, techno, dubstep and other genres that go "oontz-oontz." Headliners include Eric Prydz, Wolfgang Gartner and Paul Van Dyke, and the teenagers won't just be in the audience -- French house disc jockey Madeon is 17, and Porter Robinson will turn 20 two weeks before the tour hits Washington.

--David Malitz, June 1, 2012