Seven Local Acts to See at SXSW Music

Dylan Cameron

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Seven Local Acts to See at SXSW Music

"I was exposed to electronic music at a really young age," explains electronic maven and musical scion Dylan Cameron, 31. "My favorite records were Kraftwerk's Computer World and Yellow Magic Orchestra's first record – stuff with not very much singing at all, and not a whole lot of guitars or drums going on. That was the first thing I really connected to, because of the melodic palettes that you can draw with synthesizers. It just sounded more imaginative to me."

Those connections inform Cameron's progressive output, thoughtful and imaginative in each twist and push of a knob, especially live where his rhythms evidence a mad science. Son of veteran Austin drummer Lisa Cameron (Roky Erickson, the Lotions, Glass Eye), he got into hardcore well before many of his native contemporaries. Phasing through and out of punk equally early, he'd ventured back into electronics and also into hip-hop by the time a sonic and cultural rift developed between the genres.

"People were moving more into identifying with not just the music behind punk, but the culture, the appearance, everything," he says. "I was becoming more and more interested in electronic culture."

Former drummer for metal act the High Cost of Living, Cameron's evolution toward electronic music and hip-hop signals changes in much more crucial, personal elements.

"There's nothing more engaging than performing or watching heavy metal, but then when the band's done, you're still left with the culture," he offers. "There's a lack of diversity and a negative atmosphere [in the metal community], a sort of aggression, hostility."

Infinite Floor, last fall’s acclaimed electronic debut through Austin’s Survive-associated Holodeck Records, tallies more jigsaw puzzle than LP, its intricate modalities borrow indirectly from like-minded “specificists” like Montreal’s Amon Tobin.

Disillusioned with hip-hop and increasingly commercial push-button bass music, Cameron found himself unable to continue drumming due to severe back problems brought on by a terrible car accident in 2006. The subsequent layoff and isolation prompted the intricate, sinewy Infinite Floor, last fall's acclaimed electronic debut through Austin's Survive-associated Holo­deck Records. More jigsaw puzzle than LP, its intricate modalities borrow indirectly from like-minded "specificists" like Mont­real's Amon Tobin, carefully positioning every booming kick and steely swirl.

"It felt kind of like – at the ripe age of like 25, 26, 27 – I was pretty much done, so that's where the title came from," says Cameron. "Without a sense of stability or truly being grounded, hence, the word 'floor,' it's hard to actually make a creative statement without answering the question, 'Why the hell do this, and for who?'"

Dylan Cameron

Thu., March 16 @ Hotel Vegas, 8:10pm

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