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Podcast: Erik Kramer’s experimental twist on folk music

The Madison-based musician plays June 5 at Mickey’s Tavern and June 15 at the Bluelight festival.

Erik Kramer’s first solo release, A House, Floating In The Middle Of A Lake, was one of our favorite Madison records of 2017. Kramer combines folk guitar instrumentals with electronics and field recordings, but with an approach that varies a lot from track to track. “Gayatri” builds on an entrancingly bleary bed of synths and loops. “Face Of God On The Forest Floor” is a stately and elegant acoustic piece, framed around a sparse but compelling guitar figure. It’s a record that makes its peace with letting incongruous things sit together.

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Erik Kramer.

Erik Kramer.

“What really gelled the concept of the tape together for me was realizing that I didn’t have to stick to any one genre, that I didn’t have to think about genre,” Kramer says. “I don’t like to think about genre when I’m making my own music. Realizing that and knowing that I could do a solo guitar piece right next to something with a drum machine was extremely liberating.”

Kramer has just recently begun to play more live shows, and he’s got a couple coming up in June. One is June 5 at Mickey’s Tavern with Tigue, the other is on June 15 at the Bluelight Festival in Highland, Wisconsin.

Kramer joined me recently to talk about his solo music and the label he’s trying to start, Anthropocene Recordings.

Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a one-time or recurring donation.

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