Tickle Torture is the sex-pop soundtrack for a new generation of freaks.
His first EP, Spiritual Machete (2012), felt like catching Justin Timberlake and Prince fucking in a dumpster full of broken synthesizers. Equal parts electro funk and sleaze, his follow up EP Spectrophilia(2014) further expanded this sound, incorporating the influences of trashy disco, experimental hiphop production sensibilities, and 80’s synth drenched R&B classics to create a one of a kind maximalist assault. Recently relocating from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, one man producer, composer, engineer Elliott Kozel has just completed his debut full length LP Lovequake, which explores not just the giddy peaks of modern nightlife, but also the inherent sadness in the 4 am aftermath. Over the 3 years of writing and production, Kozel gathered his influences of early 80’s Chicago-House 12 inches, Egyptian Lover’s sleazed out electro-funk and Prince’s Purple Rain-era balladry into the kaleidoscopic record.
Tickle Torture’s legendary live shows are an intense stage production: half party, half performance art, with a cavalcade of back up dancers, confetti cannons, and video projections intent on enveloping the audience in a Studio 54-esque decadent fantasy. Tickle Torture’s ever evolving aesthetics and songwriting continue the hunt for emotional and spiritual deliverance in the darkest corners of the club, when the throbbing bass from the speakers reverberating in your chest and your own heartbeat feel like they are beating totally in sync.
NKRIOT is an electronic music pioneer and founder of a new genre art concept called Goji. Formed in the summer of 2013 in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, California, NKRIOT began as a chip-tune, cyber-punk project, that eventually transformed into full scale self designed music project which eventually led to the creation of the Goji movement.
Goji involves a combination of synth, prog, and electronic beats, armed with a chromed out electric guitar. It is under goji that the distinctive sound landscape NKRIOT has carefully developed can be understood. It is also under Goji that any other artists that fall short of the genres decided spectrum are welcomed. Goji was developed during the beginning years of NKRIOT while he was trying to find a way to represent the unique style of music he makes. Having experience with a wide range of musical styles and not wanting to conform to the broad genre of “EDM”, the name Goji called out to him. This unique concept takes the bitter and sweet sounds of all his genres influences and incorporates them into one, bringing his live performance to new heights. NKRIOT live has a unique high energy sound which features a custom setup that includes hardware that is designed and built from scratch. During his performances, the audience gets to experience the prominent brilliance that makes the half man-half robot a distinctive original artist.
To NKRIOT, Goji also represents the idea of taking objects that people leave behind and recreating them to be better utilized while teaching others to do the same. Having disassembled the insides of various unused electronic music equipment, such as KORG boards, NKRIOT developed a one-of-a-kind setup that would later become known as the ‘RIOTLAB’. In an attempt to organically interact with the audience, the RIOTLAB is played without any pre-recorded loops, midi, or computer software. Chrome coated, resting on a bed of LED lights and polycarbonate glass, the RIOTLAB is a one of a kind machine that is perfect for a futuristic and technology driven pioneer. Following the development of this unique setup, the NKRIOT helmet was created, soon becoming one of the most iconic pieces of custom hardware in the Los Angeles music community. This recognizable NKRIOT helmet was designed to allow the artist to sing, talk and interact through the head piece itself, a wearable technology like no other.
In the winter of 2013, NKRIOT began with an E.P titled “V.C.R”, that encompasses an electronic and progressive sound that captures the true noise and glitches of a cyber-robot. The single “Virtual Climax Recording” made its way onto radio stations in both Los Angeles, and the UK, including renown local radio station, 98.7 Saint fm. Having been on Saint fm NKRIOT got the attention of independent russian film director, Mary Ignatova. Ignatova traveled from Russia to Boyle Heights to film NKRIOT’s first ever music video. Keeping up the momentum, NKRIOT released an E.P in the summer of 2014 and the single ‘’LP DISCO 83’’ was met with commercial success with an underground rave-esque music video. The video featured a cameo appearance by Jeremy Ruzumna, of Fitz and The Tantrums.
In the summer of 2015, by using technology to share his vision with the public, NKRIOT developed his most interactive creation, “The Holo Display”. The Holo Display is a personal, hand-held, portable device that allows users to simply place the polarized recycled plastic structure onto their mobile phones, to see any holographic video in 3D. He released this device to the public to accompany his latest music video for the song “We are the Future”, which later became a revolutionary anthem and a rally call for RIOTEERS everywhere. To honor his love for the film “Back to the Future”, he worked alongside director Ben Trandem to take viewers on a journey through time in the same way time travel is portrayed in the infamous film. In the video, Nk-Riot drives around in a flashy Delorean seemingly traveling to visions of the future, much like deja-vu. With a little bit of movie magic and his enthralling music, it makes for an amazing handheld adventure when viewed with the Holo-Display. Captivating the Los Angeles electro scene and further establishing himself as an artist representative to a new era in hardware technology based music, NKRIOT began to collaborate and play alongside well known acts and spent much of 2016 centerstage.
With offers to play festivals, exclusive dance parties, and concert events, NKRIOT played a near 600 shows through 2014-2016. Some of the more prominent performances include Coachella after parties, Echo Park Rising, MainFest Alhambra, Night on Broadway. He has also been the opening act for bands such as Les Butcherettes, FartBarf, Kosha Dillz, Big Freedia, Harriet Brown, Arthur Baker, Cut Chemist, De Lux, and Tennyson (Skrillex’s Artist). He also performed on multiple live radio showcases, including KXLU, KSPC, KUCI and KPFK. NKRIOT continues to perform live, but now puts a major emphasis on the performance art factor of his live sets, incorporating imaginative audience interaction tactics and enthralling visual displays. True to his sound but out of growth. The artist who started in 2013 with an idea to do something original and focused heavily on utilizing technology to share his vision with the public, has now progressed and transformed into something beyond expectation.
NKRIOT is currently working on his full-length album called “RIOT” that is set to be released on June 30th. The album will feature 8 tracks that he has written, produced and recorded in just 12 short weeks. It will be a self released album by NKRIOT Productions. The Album will also feature his most anticipated track titled “American Dream”
The message behind ''American Dream'' discusses the ever demanding goal that we as individuals constantly strive for. What is the ideal 'American Dream'? While living in an instant gratification society, are we ever as satisfied as we seem?
You can find “RIOT” and the track “American Dream” on Spotify this summer.