Mike McKeever’s IMAGIST project explores the intersection where songcraft meets the rapid technological innovations that completely drive today's memetic musical landscape. Classical training at Columbia, with further education at Brooklyn venues like 285 Kent through playing incessantly with his synth-pop band Life Size Maps, informed IMAGIST’s philosophy: Traditional song-craft does have a place in electronic music, the potential to synthesize myriad genres of the past with the sounds of the future is within reach, and emotion matters more than ever in an increasingly narcissistic world.

For someone who cites Depeche Mode and J-pop as two core influences, it should be apparent that genre is not IMAGIST's concern. In fact, it's this inexperience with the minutiae of electronic music’s genres that inspired the project in the first place. Separated from the coding of EDM’s tribal structures, the sounds, rhythms, and musical devices become one massive pastiche forIMAGIST to explore with a certain innocent, wide-eyed wonder.

Many of electronic music’s triumphs have resulted from similar innocence. The TB-303 was used totally outside of it’s intended purpose to create acid house. Urban legends tell that Freestyle was created after kids from the Bronx looted synths and drum machines during a blackout. Innovation is sparked when music technology is freed from context, applied solely with one purpose in mind: to make pop music. It is this tradition that makes IMAGIST’s music so sincere and exciting. Maybe he’s not doing electronic music the “right” way, but whatever he’s doing, he writes a damn good tune.

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