For a few years now, Netflix has been the essential steaming service and content house for TV and film — as of January, during peak hours of internet use, it accounted for a staggering 37% of total traffic.
A little less obvious is the provider's laurels in music. First off, there's the wide selection of rock docs of enough variety and quality to give a teenager with $7-a-month a serious head start on the canon. For younger crowds, they've invested in shows like Beat Bugs, an animated series pulling lessons from The Beatles catalogue. Last week, Netflix announced a like-minded series inspired by Motown, with Smokey Robinson supervising the choice of artists to perform the Detroit label's cadre of soul hits.
Released on July 16, Stranger Things continues this excellence in music on one of Netflix's prestige shows, hiring Austin duo SURVIVE to soundtrack the story of a town haunted by the disappearance of a young boy. Just as the plot takes its cues from '80s horror, SURVIVE shares artistic DNA with soundtrack synth master John Carpenter, responsible for Halloween, The Thing and Escape from New York.
Unless you have eight hours to burn on TV-bingeing, don't press play on Stranger Things. But when — the supernatural, gravitational draw of this show makes watching it a "when" not an "if" situation — pay attention to SURVIVE's exquisite synth work. Building and releasing tension with a master's touch, when their ominous touch comes in, the duo threatens to steal the scene.
In the past few years, If you've been attending electronic music gigs in South Texas, you'll inevitably have run into the duo of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. K23 gallery, fans of the band's former label Holodeck Records, have hosted showcase nights in their sweaty, rockin' spot. With this national spotlight, the band has graduated to genre giant Relapse Records for their next album RR7349, due out September 30.