Ganjatronics is the two-man project of Doron Sadja and Justin Craun. I was initially suspicious of any group called "Ganjatronics," not least of all because my introduction to the group came in the form of Doron giggling a few months back about coming up with a name for some new side project. They settled on Ganjatronics as the silliest name imaginable for two serious artists out to jam and have a good time without the inhibitions of serious scrutiny or expectations.
Ganjatronics, though, is not just "silly." While definitely silly, the duo's music goes well beyond what the joke-y name seems like it should imply. They are making synth-and-beat-heavy electronic soundscapes that are interesting, introspective, and clever. The words "synth," "beat-heavy," and "soundscapes" generally imply, in my lexicon anyway, dumbed-down easy-listening for marginally hip stoners. Ganjatronics's music, while certainly acceptable to that demographic, goes way beyond that simple categorization.
Ganjatronics makes textural and hypnotic music, that transitions from light and airy moments to downright sinister ones. Tracks like "Kill Club" and "Gut Feeling," off of the "Dark, Cold, Alone" EP, are precise and meditative without feeling robotic or excessively cold. There's a sense that, at any moment, each song might totally breakdown into a chaotic free-for-all which, in the end, never comes. That kind of well-orchestrated tension keeps the tracks, which upon casual listen sound almost ambient, suspenseful, and exciting from start to finish.
"The Forgetting Stage," a two-single summer release available on Shinkoyo HERE is Ganjatronics's latest. The two tracks are far breezier than those off of "Dark, Cold, Alone," losing some of the bite that I liked so much in some of their earlier tracks. The resulting songs, though, are even cleaner and more restrained. "Top Down," in particular, weaves together a few simple elements to create a stunningly beautiful and almost tragic piece of minimalist pop.
Ganjatronics, in "The Forgetting Stage," take tunes which should be, for me anyways, bland ambient tracks and somehow transform the familiar medium and style used into emotional narratives, transcending any sort of genre stereotyping. Instead, Ganjatronics's tracks stand comfortably on their own, with each song a perfect microcosm of exactly what I want to not only hear, but also feel, when listening to electronic music.