Tim Bracken, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Over the past 3 years, the band Drop Electric has forged its own unique path in the local music scene, crafting impeccably arranged ambient post-rock songs.
The band draws influence from electronica and modern rock, but also incorporates the band's love of movies into its music.
The six-piece outfit includes visual artist Patrick Ryan Morris, who directs and edits movies that accompany specific songs during performances.
"Each song has its own video," drummer Ramtin Arablouei says.
"We don't have someone jumping around stage, or a typical lead singer. The multimedia keeps it interesting live."
Drop Electric's diverse lineup also contributes to its eclectic sound. The band's families immigrated to the U.S. from Iran, India, Japan, Mexico, Ireland and Ukraine.
Arablouei says that the band started out as an electronic dance group. After some experimentation, the group allowed its individual influences to mold the songs into what is currently performed.
"For us, it's been a collection of accidents," he says. "It really just came over time, and slowly developed into what we're playing now."
Watch the video for "What Now of Paradise," from Drop Electric's 2010 debut album:
The band's latest effort, "Drop Electric Sample Platter," consists of four striking soundscapes that feature ethereal vocals, reverb-drenched guitar and a variety of sonically altered synth and drum sounds.
The result is a collection of songs that sound truly cinematic.
The lead track, "Empire Trashed," begins with a plodding harmonium line, accompanied by vocalist Kristina Reznikov. Brisk drum loops, strings and guitar are gradually introduced, building to a momentous emotional peak.
Watch the video for "Empire Trashed:"
Another standout track, "Santo Domingo," utilizes Eastern music scales, distorted rock drumming, and prominent guitar and synth call-and-response. The track seems ready-made for use in film.
The band's emphasis on video has led to some of its songs being considered for major Hollywood releases in the coming year.
Listen to "Santo Domingo:"
Arablouei broadly defines Drop Electric's sound as electronic rock.
"It's difficult for us, because from song to song, we sound different. On one song, we'll sound like an ambient post-rock band, and on another one it sounds more like pop."
Watch a 2011 performance at Rock & Roll Hotel:
Drop Electric's use of video in its live performances is mesmerizing, and perfectly complements their atmospheric style.
Who is going to the concerts?
Arablouei says that a large part of the audience appears to be college-aged.
"Now, there are always people with glow sticks," he says.
"We're not an electronic dance music group, but people treat it like that."
Considering the band's eclectic output and heady stage show, it's easy to see why fans of experimental music are showing interest.
Drop Electric performs at the 9:30 Club Saturday, Sept. 22.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)