Italo Disco. Its been awhile since I heard a reference to the slightly arcane (well in America) genre that is responsible for the majority of 1970′s to 1980′s European electronic dance music. Although Italo Disco has faded in the past few decades, its’ influence holds strong in contemporary electronic music, as Los Angeles’ The New Division proves in their futuristic, ambient sound. The quartet produces a wide ranging catalog, encompassing both upbeat and dreamy electronic music that showcases their musical diversity. “Starfield”, a chilled out dance song serves as a middle ground for the group’s spectrum of sound. The synth serves as a focal point as a steady drum beat and guitar riff branch out from it. The seamless melding of synth and drum create an intriguing mid-tempo beat that one could either chill out or dance too.
The New Division expands on these two alternating qualities in their remixes of “Starfield”. The “Starfield (Alaska Reinterpretation)” exhibits the ambient side of the band, diving into their Italo Disco roots its’ very atmospheric sound that emanates from faded vocal echos and a secure backing beat. It is defiantly a song to listen to in a darkened environment (like Alaska!) where the visceral aspects of the melody can properly wash over your mind and body. “Starfield (John Glenn’s Finest Taste Remix)” has a fantastic dance-ready beat and places the vocals in more traditional light as they serve as the song’s center. Singer John Kunkel’s voice in itself is a powerful tool, his talent aligns him with the vocal likes of electronic greats Depeche Mode and New Order.
The New Division follow one of the key ingredients in creating superb electronic music, which is spot-on, precise delivery of the artist’s vision. The high production quality put into their music is something to marvel out (especially since they are unsigned) and it seems that the L.A. scene is taking notice. Their self-titled EP was released in August of last year and their second EP “The Rookie” should be dropping sometime this fall. If you enjoy any aspect of the 1980′s, space, and/or the future, The New Division deserves a spot on your iPod.
By: Stephanie Glass