Electronic Music in Oakland

Electronic music has quickly become an integral part of Oakland’s musical landscape. From underground house music to experimental ambient sounds, there are an impressive number of artists worth discovering here.

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Emily McLean

Emily McLean creates music that strikes a balance between serene and stimulating – an expressive trifecta. As part of Oakland collaborative production agency The House of Malico, her tracks contain catchy hooks and lush synths; one such example being her signature track Wand O’ Wonder; but Seconds Before is also considered among her most noteworthy releases in this genre.

Music fans love announcing new releases and discovering fresh talent – here are a few that you might want to check out and follow for updates about their newest work! Check them out and follow them on social media so you never miss a beat when discovering music!

The wizard apprentice is no traditional DJ; she considers herself an “(e)motion graphics artist,” using music to display her artistic talents and personal style. A natural showman, she excels at being dramatic. Additionally, she dabbles in more obscure genres like Afrobeat and Electronic music.

“Kate Ainsworth has amassed quite an impressive resume since arriving to the Bay Area five years ago, winning multiple accolades along the way – including being honored as Best Female Artist at 2017 SFJAZZ Awards and performing alongside Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar on stage! Her creative renaissance continues apace; we can only wait to see what comes next from this incredible young lady.”

Chrystia Cabral

Chrystia Cabral is one of the artists defining Oakland’s experimental music scene. She creates haunting, genre-crossing experimental pop under the magical moniker Spellling and her self-released debut, Pantheon of Me (2017) received wide critical acclaim; leading Sacred Bones Records to sign her for her follow up full length release Mazy Fly (2018/19).

As an artist, Cabral prioritizes intersectional issues and social justice through her music. Her songs reflect her own experiences. Additionally, she is an active member of Sins Invalid – an organization dedicated to supporting people with disabilities – has organized punk festivals for black and brown musicians, and regularly offers workshops that dismantle dominant narratives in music.

Cabral’s third full-length release, The Turning Wheel (Sacred Bones / June 25), showcases her music in its most expansive form yet. A collection of songs that examine our world and how humans cope with it.

There are themes of humanity’s unsustainable future, divine love, and the unpredictable ups and downs of life all present here. The music is intricately orchestrated yet melodic – recalling Yoko Ono or Siouxsie Sioux’s dreamy soundscapes for inspiration.

Although ‘The Turning Wheel’ is an expansive, complex, and sometimes confronting album, it remains enjoyable listening. Track ‘Haunted Water’ stands out as an emotional yet defiant tribute to people of color’s struggles.

Cabral’s track was accompanied by an animated video she made with her husband Andrew that depicts how displaced peoples came together to build new lives, proving once again that we are more than the sum of our differences.

Cabral’s art practice extends well beyond creation as she also serves as a primary school teacher, volunteering her time with children and young adults alike. Furthermore, she’s a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights as she has participated in several LGBTQ+ nonprofits over time.

She credits her musical upbringing as being heavily influenced by an eclectic selection of music collected and enjoyed on vinyl by her father; this remains an influence today in her compositions and performances. She enjoys incorporating visual arts into her compositions and often performs her works live at unusual venues like chapels and former mortuaries.

Red Corvette

There’s plenty happening in Oakland’s electronic music scene right now. From upbeat, party songs to dark and mysterious electronica, it can all be found here – with Red Corvette being an ideal starting point.

DJ, event curator and visionary representing Bay Area sounds by playing hip hop, R&B, experimental trap music, soul and electronic. She serves as Rayana Jay’s official DJ as well as being HellaJawns event experience curator and Women Sound Off co-founder and working to increase inclusivity within music industries.

Her skillfully spun Bay Area slaps are perfect for any party, while her outstanding fashion sense and energy make her the ideal DJ choice when dancing is required.

Emily McLean creates upbeat and forward thinking music with her soft yet airy vocals. A member of The House of Malico collaborative production agency, her soft vocals blend beautifully with the mellow synths and beats she creates. Check out her most recent track here or stay up to date with future releases here.

Cal in Red are an Michigan-based brother duo who recently released their new single “Corvette,” dedicated to their grandfather. The track explores suppressed emotions and how they may lead to greater issues.

Listen to it below, and catch them live when they come on tour!

Steven Roberts inherited his gorgeous 1964 Corvette from his family before birth, and has been an avid car enthusiast ever since. Steven also enjoys drag racing!

His car was given to him as a present from his father and is one of his prized possessions for nearly 25 years now.

He grew up in Concord, California and dreamed of owning a Corvette since childhood. However, it wasn’t until later in life when he finally experienced how thrilling they could be to drive and own one himself.

After getting married, his wife used a hammer and screw driver to wreck it further.

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono was at the heart of one of the most influential music and art movements ever. Married to John Lennon, she helped shape music videos, films, artwork, and other forms of expression that transformed our perceptions of world events.

Originating from Tokyo, Ono relocated to New York during the 1960s. Her loft soon became a gathering point for artists drawn to her radical conceptual work. Some critics found her works too radical at first, but soon enough they were recognized and she started organizing events that encouraged audiences to interact with it. Ono married avant-garde composer La Monte Young and collaborated on organizing events encouraging audiences to interact with her art work.

In 1964 she created an innovative piece called Cut Piece that allowed audience members to cut pieces off her clothing using scissors–an unprecedented move in feminist art! This initiated a close connection between viewers and artist and ultimately helped pave the way for Conceptual art’s inception.

Anthony Cox (divorced 1969). They had one child together – daughter Kyoko in 1963 – before moving to London, where they collaborated on various creative projects together.

Ono’s avant-garde career was deeply affected by her relationship with John Lennon, who died in 1980, yet she remained involved in music and the arts. She continued producing music and films as well as working on various memorials to Lennon such as a short film released posthumously in 1981.

Her music blends elements of avant-garde pop, folk and experimental genres to produce an irresistibly psychedelic sound, earning her widespread renown as one of the founding fathers of electronic music and acting as an inspiration to younger musicians.

As well as her music, Ono was known for her advocacy of feminism and making bold political statements. In addition to publishing books and writing plays and films herself, she also published books by other writers (such as Harry Nilsson).

Yoko Ono was born February 18, 1933, in Japan and raised primarily in Tokyo by aristocrat parents who exposed her to an oppressive society.

Yoko Ono studied philosophy and writing at Gakushuin University in Tokyo under Marx, Sartre and Dostoyevsky before dropping out due to academic rigidity.