‘Electrospective’ Celebrates Electronica’s Roots & Pioneers

KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley aims to enlighten the EDM crowd with a dose of history and electronica culture.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

Earlier this week, Jason Bentley – famed music director at KCRW-FM (89.9) – co-presented a party celebrating the new compilation "Electrospective" at Hollywood's AV Nightclub. The radio personality is set to boost the EDM presence on-air by hosting a one hour radio series chronicling the electronic music catalog of EMI Music, Mute, Virgin, and Astralwerks. 

In the span of 15 hour-long episodes, Bentley plans to feature interviews with "electronic music visionaries," producers, and DJs including Paul Oakenfold, Steve Angello (Swedish House Mafia), Miike Snow, Daniel Miller (founder of Mute Records), Steve Aoki and more. 

“There’s an entire generation whose access point to electronic music is Skrillex, and they need to know the contributors that got us here,” said Bentley. “The new surge at the pop level has given us an opportunity to educate and shine a light on the innovators.”

The compilation and wider interview series of “Electrospective” provides a master class in music-production history, tracing it from Daphne Oram’s midcentury BBC sound experiments to  Brian Eno’s ambient studies. But with tracks from Guetta and Swedish House Mafia, it also embraces the ways electronic music has morphed with pop and dance music over decades into the defining sound of youth culture today.

The Tuesday party, which also coincided with the one-year anniversary of the dance magazine Magnetic, hosted DJ sets from HARD Events founder Gary Richards (under his Destructo alias) and house maven DJ Colette — representative of the dual schools of popular and exploratory electronica that “Electrospective” documents.

Bentley's interview series has already included Mute Records founder Daniel Miller and Miike Snow, the wonkier project from dance-pop producers Bloodshy & Avant. The back catalog of EMI is a particularly rich vein to tap for the series. Even as a major, the label has long championed electronica pioneers such as  Eno, Daft Punk and the Pet Shop Boys that laid tracks for today’s mainstream rave staples.

“It’s natural that the scene is having an identity crisis right now,” Bentley said. “But the strength of this music is that it’s always been so future-minded.”

Stay tuned at CraveOnline for our exclusive interview with Jason Bentley, including more details on what to expect from Electrospective in the near future!