Jay Murphy, the sole proprietor of electronic dance music project Up Until Now, does not hold much regard for the EDM descriptor that is applied to the music he makes.
“The term EDM is giving a bad name to electronic dance music,” Murphy said. “I feel like a lot of the times EDM can be pop music. It all kind of sounds the same and a little generic. I like more styles of music than just electronic music and I try to infuse that into what I do.”
The Athens, Ga.-based musician is scheduled to present his brand of electronic music on The Basement stage Thursday night.
Murphy often tries to interweave non-electronic musicianship with his produced music.
“That was the thing, I always wanted to incorporate traditional instrumentation on it and have a guitar player play a part that sounds like it was produced electronically, or take something organic and make it blitzed out or to do something unique with it,” he said.
Murphy’s drive to create an expansive style of EDM might be connected to one of his favorite artists and influences: Stevie Wonder.
“Even though you may not hear it in the music, my biggest influence is Stevie Wonder. He’s someone who writes, produces and arranges all of his own music. He plays the majority of the instruments on his record,” Murphy said. “That was a huge influence on me growing up, and I just think he’s an amazing songwriter and singer.”
Like Murphy, Vince Bonanno, who graduated from Ohio State with a degree in marketing Autumn 2013, differentiates Up Until Now from other artists who make electronic music.
“I actually like (Up Until Now), and I really don’t like EDM music that much. (Up Until Now’s music) actually has a song structure which is good,” Bonnano said. If he were to see live electronic music, he would “choose something along those lines.”
Though having performed as Up Until Now for about three years, this project is the product of musical modernity. Murphy found that playing music by himself in the 2010s was doable and not as atypical as it was in past years, he said.
“Over the last five, six years, it’s been more acceptable for people to see just one person on stage,” Murphy said. “You didn’t see it as much in the early 2000s.”
The Basement tends to be a venue designated for new artists that might not have broken through to mainstream audiences yet like Up Until Now, said Marissa Luther, marketing director at PromoWest Productions.
“There’s a few different things, theories that we work on when we book that venue,” Luther said. “It’s mostly the up-and-coming bands. It might also be a band that’s unsure of its popularity still.”
Even in its few years on the music scene, Up Until Now has seen growth, Murphy said. The newest release for which Murphy is touring, “Come Too Far,” is his fourth, with each release seeing sonic development.
“The first stuff I was doing was definitely more up-tempo, more house beats and stuff,” Murphy said. “I was trying to go for a certain sound. As I kept doing that, I kind of just threw that all out the window. I started making tracks that I thought were good, and not really focusing on any genre or anything. I like so much and I felt like I was limiting myself.
“Once I threw that out the window, I was much happier with the product that I was putting out. Letting a song be what it is, letting the sounds be what they were. Just doing what I thought was good and what I thought people might like.”
Up Until Now is scheduled to take the stage at The Basement, located at 391 Neil Ave., with doors opening at 7 p.m. The Puzzled Pieces is set to open, and tickets are available for $10.