With the release of the Vampire LP next week, Portland's Litanic Mask emerge among Rip City's boom in electronic-based music. While the butt of jokes by outsiders continues to lean on 90s slackerism for the modern bums, the city's electronic scene quietly gains momentum with each progressive release. Helping change the stereotype of what a Portland band looks like is Litanic Mask, consisting of head technician Mark Burden, synth and percussion multi-tasker Andrea Kulish, and vocalist Kenna Jean.
Litanic Mask's debut, Vampire, draws on the mythical conceit of vampires as our inhuman counterparts reflecting our inability to connect. In contrast to the album, the group's mix developed via organic connections that presented themselves as the band thumbed through their beloved collection. Litanic Mask's mix runs the gamut from current heavy-hitters like Popcaan and Factory Floor, local Portland legends like The Wipers, and timeless pop adventurists like ESG and OMD. The group explains their mix further:
We all picked songs for this mix with no specific theme, but it seems to come together in its own way. The first half is about sound and rhythm, and the perspective of the listener. The second half is more about eliciting a feeling, and the connections that can be made through timeless pop songs. There’s a detour to older punk music with the Edith Nylon track off the Female Fronted Punk compilation and our hometown legends the Wipers. Somewhere on our MPC is a really strange and raw attempted cover of “No Fair”. Sort of fits with this mix, choosing to see the connections rather than the differences.
Connections Mix tracklisting:
01 Popcaan, “Everything Is Nice” (excerpt)
02 Orphx, “Vanishing Point”
03 Kelela, “Enemy”
04 Factory Floor, “Fall Back”
05 ESG, “UFO”
06 DBC, “Pris”
07 Molly Nilsson, “In Real Life”
08 Edith Nylon, “Edith Nylon”
10 The Wipers, “No Fair”
11 Pod Blotz, “Secret Door”
12 OMD, “Almost”
Litanic Mask's Vampire LP is out April 29 on Audraglint.