‘Pyros’ by Metaspion is an experimental EDM track that pushes genre boundaries
While I consider myself a fan of most all types of music, one genre that I enjoy but can’t say I have as much knowledge about is EDM, or Electronic Dance Music. I can name maybe one or two EDM artists off the top of my head and if someone starts parsing the genre down into subgenres, that’s about when my eyes glaze over and I start to feel lost in an ocean of subtleties that I can’t say I have much knowledge about.
That said, though, from my vantage point, there exists two major types of EDM — the kind that’s adored by those who frequent the clubs that gets major play from DJs, and the kind that extends beyond the club into the greater listening public. Songs such as “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento or “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake ft. Lil’ Jon, for example.
With that said, we come to the song “Pyros” by Metaspion, a Norwegian electronica artist. Right away the first thing that stands out is the fiddle riff that serves as the hook between the hip hop-infused verses. It’s got a Celtic feel to it and listening to it you’ll wonder “Is this supposed to be here? I’m enjoying it, but this isn’t normal, right?”
Which, it turns out, according to Metaspion’s release material, it isn’t. He states, “It was a “wow!” moment when I first put an 808 kick over a Hardanger fiddle playing a folk riff. I remember thinking this is something the world has never heard before. It was like something exploded or caught fire. Which later led to the lyrics.”
For those not aware, an 808 kick is the catch-all term for sine-wave based kick drum tracks.
This song is what Metaspion, real name Morten Richter, is dubbing a folktronica solo project. “Pyros” also features Skam R’ Tist on the vocals.
“It’s a fusion of the old and the new: traditional Scandinavian folk music and the quintessentially modern genre of electronic dance music or EDM. Richter plays the majority of the instruments on the album himself with the occasional guest appearance,” he says.
It’s a unique experiment that I give credit to the artist for trying. It shows his willingness to experiment without any worry about if it falls flat or not. While I wouldn’t say it’s the most substance-filled experiment, it does make you feel the urge to get out and start moving on the dance floor.
The lyrics are somewhat generic verses about explosions and fires and getting lit, but, it’s clear that they’re not intended to be the main drawing point.
And this all brings me back to my original point. Can this song, if given the right marketing, break into the mainstream and be something that’s not just a song that club goers will enjoy?
Perhaps. Given the fickle nature of what becomes viral, it’s hard to tell sometimes, especially when you consider how bizarre and/or unlikely some of the best mainstream hits have been. I mean, c’mon, who could’ve ever guessed that “What Does the Fox Say” would become as big as it did?
For the time being, I think Metaspion has a strong single here that’s got a unique element that may spawn more nontraditional instruments playing a bigger part in the EDM scene. If that becomes this song’s legacy, even if a different track gets the credit, as is often the case when genres expand beyond their current scope, fans of Metaspion will know where the idea got its start. That’s more than I, or anyone who writes about music, for that matter, can take credit for in our lifetimes.