With a million-and-a-half plays, local “melodic EDM” artist Kr3ture’s most popular song on Spotify, “Watch It Grow,” is a dreamy dance tune on which he mixes mellow guitar licks with psychedelic swells and bouncy electro-beats.
At the center of it, Catherine Feeny’s almost conversational vocals transmit a sense of spiritual empowerment in her vocal repetitions that Kr3ture chops up and mixes into a song with no discernable chorus. Yet its melody seeps into the psyche like a gorgeous meditative mantra.
“I made my own hook out of this beautiful vocal verse,” Kr3ture says. “It’s fun to work with a limitation, as long as it’s got that main ingredient, which is—some people call it ‘the juice.’ If it’s got that ingredient, I can make anything work.”
On Nov. 5, Kr3ture will release his second full-length album, On The Brink. It’s a collection of his favorite songs he’s written in the past year. Most of them have a guest vocalist, but there are also three instrumentals, which is more than normal for him. Even though his second-most-popular track on Spotify, “Anthropocene,” is lyric-less, Kr3ture almost always works with vocalists. “Anthropocene” is a desert-blues song with electronic elements and a deep bass drop, a perplexing and infectious blend of genres.
“I can take the place of the vocalist, occasionally, although I’m a little shy with my voice, Kr3ture says. “Sometimes I can do that with an instrument.”
Kr3ture began as a solo venture in 2015, but he’s been making music for 30 years, starting with the guitar and later learning piano, sax and flute. While in college, he started collaborating with Kelly Koval. Their focus was on crafting gorgeous melodies. The emotive string band Audiafauna formed around their songs. Then in 2007, Kr3ture went to Burning Man, where he experienced the power of live electronic music.
“I thought, ‘Why not combine these beautiful, powerful emotional ingredients—ones that pull on the heartstrings, that inspire people, that make people cry and smile and laugh—and then also use the impact of electronic music?’” Kr3ture says. “That dance floor sound of big bass and a big beat that can engage a lot of people to dance and move.”
At one point, Audiafauna was up to seven members. It was always a mix of elements, with electronics being one of them. When the band broke up, he and Heather Christie formed Feral Fauna, which used more electronic elements, mostly because they were a duo and it was a way to fill in space. The emotive component still stayed strong.
“There’s a lot of freedom afforded by electronic music and loops and synthesizers, where you can make a lot happen with just a few ingredients,” Kr3ture says. “My goal is just to make the best music I can that makes me the most happy, and that makes me the most excited.”
The decision to go solo had to do with wanting to continue to create and challenge himself. However, he continues to work with other people.
“I had a lot of fear around doing solo work because I always had, for my entire music career, this beautiful female singer to support. And I really liked that role,” Kr3ture says. “I was a little shy at first of taking the spotlight. Eventually, I mustered the courage.”
For On The Brink, though it’s not a concept album, he noticed a theme emerge: the idea that we are possibly on the brink of something catastrophic. Between polarizing politics and the climate crisis—by day, he’s a scientist—this sense of impending doom hangs over everyone’s head. But he’s optimistic and wants to create music that creates a positive message, so he considers the possibility that we are possibly on the brink of something positive and transformative.
“Whatever challenge I’m going through, I’m learning from it and becoming a better person. Even though we might be on the brink of extinction, which is a pretty dire reality,” Kr3ture says. “I try to focus on how we can make the most of this reality. How fortunate we are to be alive. Hopefully the music can be medicine for people. My intention is just to channel whatever is coming through. It seems like people can also hop on that.”
For more information, check out kr3ture.com.