The awesome thing about music is that it inspires so many people. Artists and creators can be influences by so many things from their formative years. Yes, even videogames and their music can spur on an individual to pursue a career in music. So that’s why I’m covering artist Christa Lee today.
Based out of Olympia, Washington, I first heard Lee’s music when someone randomly shared a link to the track, Maternal Horn. The song, although house in nature, is catchy, upbeat, and the composition sounds like it’s home to a 1990s videogame. Well, that’s all quite deliberate when it comes to her song compositions.
She describes herself as a musician critic, multidisciplinary artists, and a cultural omnivore. It’s also important to note that she was a kid that grew up during the Sega Genesis era. She’s a modern day producer that can create songs with a solid inspiration from games of years past, among other things.
Her multifaceted background can be heard in each track. She’s a favorite of mine mainly because she creates songs that don’t strictly belong to a genre. She takes that expertise to formulate synthesized sounds that don’t adhere to “any rules”.
Her most recent album, Welcome to the Fantasy Zone was released this August. This is a twelve track collection that ranges from drum/bass, electronic, experimental, dance, funk,jazz, and vaporwave.
My favorite track, would probably be Boulevards of Fury. The six minute jam leads in with magical sound effects and then the bass quickly picks up. It then becomes a fast paced piece of electronica also accompanied by drums. As the 1:20 minute mark hits, a distinctive evil witches laugh can be heard.
Why is this there? I don’t know but it fits and works with the track as it continues moving along.
My second favorite track hands down is Precious Planet. The track is sampled/inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog CD, (1992, SEGA CD/Mega CD, Composed by Naofumi Hataya, Masafumi Ogata and Spencer Nilsen). The track is infused with pulsating funk, accompanied with thumping bass, that’s supported with a brief guitar here and there.
At the half way point of the track, it slows down and it becomes something else, unlike the speedier first half. It’s like the song has two acts like an old school Sonic stage. It’s a combination of both the appreciation and the understanding of techno and its ambiance. You can feel how this and the entirety of the LP was a labor of love.
Now, if you give a listen to her other works you can hear that she likes to adapt often. I would like to assign the genre of experimental to her work overall but strict labels don’t do musicians justice.
That’s why I enjoy songs like Dancing in the Interim, where it’s funky electronica. I’m not even sure if that’s a classification but I’ll gladly give it that distinction. It’s dance and edm by nature but that seems too board. This why I’ve left Lee’s music on shuffle/loop for weekends. That range of synth pop, house, and etc is encompassing and engrossing.
Now, I recommend strongly following Christa on social media, for a number of reasons. You’ll probably learn a thing or two about say, Twin Peaks and other obscure shows. She regularly discusses older music that influences her to this day. If you like a good conversation on music, games, and TV she offers a unique perspective.
I have no idea when her next album is coming but she did end Welcome to the Fantasy Zone with a hopefully soonish? As a fan, I hope she continues creating, staying true to the music, and has a lengthy music career. Anyway, I’ll end by saying, yeah you and I maybe listening to electronica. But I’m playing Christa Lee and maybe you should too.