By Simon Weedn
With the world of electronic dance music experiencing an international renaissance unseen since the mid-90s, trying to find the truly exceptional acts can be a daunting task. Luckily, Canadians Christian Srigley and Leighton James, better known as Adventure Club, will be rolling through Pomona’s Fox Theater to show residents of the Inland Empire why it’s rapidly becoming one of the best in the genre.
While Adventure Club’s music is undeniably pop-y, hooky and very EDM, many might be surprised to know that the group’s foundations were laid in the several bands Christian and Leighton played in, prior to finding their love of dubstep. “Leighton and I had been in, I’d say probably, 10 bands together prior to Adventure Club,” says Christian. “So we put together a studio to save on recording costs and facilitate our writing process, and during that time we started hearing dubstep remixes of several hardcore bands we’d been listening to, and it kind of opened our eyes to that area of music.” With the seed planted and a small recording studio at their disposal, Christian and Leighton began, at first not so seriously, creating their own remixes and experimenting with the genre. However, once the team started sharing its work, as Christian explains, that’s when things started really heating up. “We started putting out the music we were making electronically on the side, almost jokingly, and it just got so much more of a reception than any of the bands we’d ever been in.”
The duo’s music is loaded with many of the wild synth lines, digital effects, energy build-ups and drops that the dub-step side of EDM scene is known for. The pair also demonstrates an ear for melody and an attentiveness to actual song-crafting that many of their peers seem clueless about.
Many of Adventure Club’s tunes concentrate on weaving beautifully ornate, sonic textures and soundscapes around passionate vocal performances. All the while the group still delivers the hard driving, foot-stomping tempos that drive its fans into dancing frenzies.
Another distinguishing aspect of Adventure Club’s style is its focus, thematically, on super heroes. This is something the band’s fans embrace by arriving in, sometimes, elaborate costumes. About the duo’s gravitation towards super heroes, Christian remarks, “Leighton and I both, myself especially, are pretty nerdy and the first music video we ever did, I just wanted to dress up like a super hero. So we made these costumes, put the Adventure Club logo on them, and made the helmets ourselves out of fiberglass. They were red and blue, so we started to just run with those colors and the super heroes theme, and every opportunity we had, we took to stick with that theme.” However, the group still recognizes the importance of its rock and roll roots and still applies many of the things learned from those days to the music it makes now. “The writing process and the skills we learned from years of writing have definitely helped out in Adventure Club.”
As to be expected, the group’s most recent release, Calling All Heroes Part 1, continues on Adventure Club’s super hero path. The EP marks one of the duo’s first forays into writing and recording completely original EDM material, as much of it’s early success revolved around its remixing skills. Adventure Club wanted to demonstrate that it was something beyond a one-trick-pony, pushing its sound into different directions and down new avenues. “We kind of did a lot of exploring, I guess,” says Christian. “We didn’t want to get type-cast into that one area of music because we like so much more and we play so much more stylistically when we’re performing.”
The group enjoys collaborating with a diverse array of vocalists and the performance by Malaysian artist, Yuna, on the EP’s opening track, “Gold,” is a major stand out. Adventure Club builds such an incredible atmosphere of electronic textures around Yuna’s soft and ethereal, yet powerful voice, that one can easily lose themselves in the vast, vibey and rhythmically heavy song, “There are so many great vocalists out there, who aren’t in the EDM world, that it’s fun to try and find people who haven’t been introduced to the EDM culture and take their hand and do it together,” Christian explains.
With so much going on for Adventure Club right now, and even more on the horizon, there’s little doubt that these Canadians are going to continue their upward ascent into the highest ranks of the EDM world. For any listener ready to answer its call, Adventure Club and its awesome electronic grooves are out there waiting to dazzle ears and rock bodies.
Adventure Club, Fox Pomona, 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona, (909) 283-6976; www.foxpomona.com. Fri, Nov. 29. 8pm. $20-$40.