TALENT SCOUT - Dream System 8 - KeyboardMag
The LA-based synth duo meld vintage gear with a modern attitude.

Los Angeles synth duo Dream System 8 (featuring Erica Elektra and David Klotz) make no bones about their vintage gear obsession, aurally-evinced on their upcoming debut album We Sleep Again. 

With a meeting of musical and retro-minded perspectives (Klotz has earned numerous Emmy awards as the Music Editor of television shows like “Stranger Things,” “Game of Thrones,” and “American Horror Story”), the band coaxes beguiling textures from their array of 80s era keyboards from Roland, Korg, and Yamaha, (as well as boutique favorites like the Crumar Performer, LinnDrum and Omnichord System 100), 

Check-out their video for the song "Losing All of You" below to find-out why they're on our TALENT SCOUT radar!

NAME: Dream System 8 (David Klotz and Erica Elektra)

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA

MUSICAL TRAINING: (Erica): I’ve been playing piano since I was three years old. My mother, who comes from Russia, has been a piano teacher my whole life, and I grew up with the sounds of classical music being played throughout the house at all times. I was constantly competing, playing in recitals, etc. When I was around sixteen, she gave me an old acoustic guitar my father had gifted her as a teenager, and she taught me a few chords. I began writing songs immediately. In my twenties, I lived with a hip-hop producer, and he taught me how to sequence on an old MPC, so i began to add to the songs i was writing by making beats/sequences, which created a more electronic sound.

FIRST GIGS: (Erica): I was in a riot grrrl (feminist/all-girl/punk) band when I was a teenager. One of our first shows was opening for Sleater Kinney at Gilman St, the legendary punk venue in in Berkeley, CA.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: (David): The Human League and Duran Duran were early influences. Then Depeche Mode, the Stone Roses and I loved Britpop and all of the indie music coming out of the UK in the 90’s.

(Erica): Growing up, I was super-obsessed with girl bands like The Bangles and The Go-Go's. In later years I've been influenced by a lot of female fronted bands like Metric, Au Revoir Simone, and School of Seven Bells.

Photo by Polly Antonia Barrowman

Photo by Polly Antonia Barrowman

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: (David): The soundtrack to "Midnight Express” by Giorgio Moroder and the soundtrack to “Witness” by Maurice Jarre. Also, "Opera Sauvage" by Vangelis and both “Dare" and “Travelogue" by The Human League.

(Erica): I love Swedish indiepop and synthpop, like Fredrik, Royksopp, Burning Hearts, Susanne Sundfør and Sambassadeur. I also enjoy listening to some newer electronic dj's and music (Melokind, Weval, Monolink) as well as sweet-melancholic-pop from artists like The National, Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Stars.

MY BIG BREAK: (Erica): In 2008 I won a social media contest put on by GenArt and Biore Skin Care in search of the "Best Unsigned Female Musician" in America. l won $20,000 and got to be on E! for a quickie interview.

LATEST PROJECT: Our debut album We Sleep Again is being released on February 23rd on Minty Fresh.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY?: (David): We love the Yamaha CS-70m. It sounds otherworldly in a 1970s sci-fi kind of way. It’s lovely for mining those late 70s Vangelis and Tangerine Dream tones. The downside to that keyboard is that you end up just playing it for hours and hours hypnotically and never really getting any work done. The other synth we love is the Roland Jupiter-8 which we’ve probably used more than any other synth on our album for its rich arpeggios and warm pads. It’s quite modern and versatile compared to the CS-70m.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?: (David): Playing live and figuring out how to translate our album to the stage without having to drag 13 keyboards out on the road with us. We also are working on the next album, and have a collection of instrumentals in the works and also an EP of cover songs, too!

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: (Erica): Learn the basics of theory and how to play piano. If you can play the piano, you can play most anything else