Abney Park, The Clockwork Dolls, and the Current Sound of Steampunk Music

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So thus I woke up, made myself some earl gray tea and thought “I’d like to subject the world to my new favorite music.”

For those not familiar with “Steampunk“, the first thing you should know is that it is a word that is quickly becoming overused in my lexicon. The second thing you should know is that it it is an artistic genre that celebrates a kind of whimsical DIY mentality coupled with an oft-dark, oft-humorous, oft-mad aesthetic lodged somewhere between Jules Vern and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

One of the reasons I enjoy this “scene” so much is that its primary expression, if you will, is the creation and modification of new machines to look old or old machines to stay looking old but work like new. If you check out Datamancer on the blog roll to your right you will, fairly quickly, get an idea of what I mean.

But as in life, there are other avenues to show one’s “steaminess”, and though I have a personal aversion to groups that base their identity around music genres, “steampunk” does have some kick-ass sounds. Especially for fans of old industrial, synth-pop, psychedelica and classical music… because that is essentially what most of it sounds like.

My favorite thing about these groups and their music is they are not just “musicians playing instruments on a stage”, but storytellers and performers on a level that I haven’t seen since attening Larry Tee’s weekly “Berlininsburg” Party at The Luxx in Williamsburg about a million years ago.

Check out this music video from The Tenth Stage. They have live performances too, but the video was too cool not show.

Abney Park designs and fabricates much of their own equipment. If you like this song, hit up their website, for a modest sum you can own their entire discography, and if you, like mine self, are in the midst of a second ice age, you can breath a sigh of relief that you neither have to leave the house nor use iTunes.

Abney Park – Airship Pirates

Life’s Decay is a bit of something different. It’s a one man project that’s spanned a couple of years. His production is exquisite and strange and reminds me of the entire movie “The City of Lost Children”, which I’ve always wanted to perpetually live in, so this music is a good surrogate.

Life’s Decay – Gloria
Life’s Decay – InkSterna

The Clockwork Dolls, besides having quite possibly the best name for a band ever, these ladies also make some epic neo-classical alongside more subtle classical inspired synth-industrial music. They’re on Gilded Age Records, which, from what I can gather, is the first “Steampunk” oriented record label.

The Clockwork Dolls – Maiden Voyage (Dysentery Mix)

Feel free to download these (I got them complimentary off the the artists’ various promotional vehicles.) And if you like them, please feel free to patronize these fine performers!

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Topics: Music, Steampunk

1 Comment.

  • 1 Anonymous Feb 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    The synthetic dream foundation makes really great steampunk music too!

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