(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

Mojo Nixon once sang that “machines ain’t music.” Whether or not you agree with that sentiment, there is no denying that audiences have gravitated toward electronic music in large numbers. Electronic music covers nearly as large a scope as rock n roll and provides exactly what the listener needs whether the listener is looking to dance or get mellow. Regardless of your reason for listening to electronic music, these are some of the best acts in the county to explore.

BLOK is a perennial nominee for the best electronic band at the Orange County Music Awards. The reason is probably more apparent if you see the band live as opposed to hearing a recording. BLOK brings a tremendous amount of energy to its live shows. It won’t take long to notice that this band does exactly what an electronic band should do. Namely, it gets the audience moving with a sound that is equal parts electronic music and hip-hop. If dancing is what you want, check out the next BLOK show.

(credit: Free The Robots)

(credit: Free The Robots)

Free the Robots

Some electronic music is good for getting you to dance. Other electronic music is good for getting you into what Dr. John called “Anutha Zone.” Free the Robots falls into the latter category. This is not electronic music for dance clubs filled with sweaty people. This is electronic music for when you want to get mellow on your couch and just let your mind expand. The music has elements of trip hop and acid jazz, but is ultimately hard to classify other than “music for getting mellow.”

(credit: Sonny Spectrum)

(credit: Sonny Spectrum)

Sonny Spectrum

If you haven’t been a part of one, you’ve probably seen video of a club filled with sweaty bodies swaying to an electronic act or DJ. Sonny Spectrum makes the kind of music that begs to be played in a club full of sweaty bodies. The melodies have a hypnotic quality to them, while the rhythms will get people moving. This is an act with tremendous commercial appeal. It’s easy to imagine dance radio stations playing the songs of Sonny Spectrum.

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Lobo Incognito

If you’re in the camp that believes electronic music should help you mellow out and make your mind work, then Lobo Incognito is a band you should check out. The drummer creates trance-like rhythms to go with the melodies that are also pretty hypnotic. If you’re looking for the perfect setting for listening to Lobo Incognito, it’s in a dark club with your favorite beverage in your hand and plenty of time on your hands to go wherever your mind wanders.

Kalva Won

Electronic music can be hard to define because it can encompass so many different influences. Kalva Won is certainly not an easy act to define or describe. The music is kind of an agglomeration of a lot of different types of electronic sounds. The effect could be described as trippy or ethereal. To put it another way, if you think electronic music is played in heaven, this is the sort of music you’d hear. You don’t so much listen to this music as float along to it.

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.