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Miami Horror
Miami Horror

Ben Plant, the producer and electro-musician at the center of Miami Horror, has a very careful and focused approach to music.

The first Miami Horror EP, 2008’s Bravado, was a solo effort and it sort of served as a practice run — an earnest but self-conscious first try.

“It was just five songs. Very simple,” Plant said. “I guess I was still learning then.”

As he wrapped up Bravado, he brought in guitarist Josh Moriarty, drummer Aaron Shanahan and keyboardist Daniel Whitechurch to change up the sound. The new group started playing all over Australia and got a few big-name boosts opening for Phoenix, Friendly Fires and La Roux.

In the two years after the release of Bravado, the group was steadily putting together their full-length album. Again, Plant wanted to take his time and make sure everything was right. The result, 2010’s Illumination, achieved the sound he was looking for: not glossy and not too hi-fi.

“Obviously I wanted it to be reasonably polished but … I noticed with a lot of electronic music that I used to like, they would lose me on the second or third album because it would be too high quality,” Plant said. “And there’s a lot of bands that still keep a certain sound or texture to their mixes that I think has more character.”

Some of that lo-fi texture magic on Illumination comes from playing with different guitar sounds.

“[It was] Josh just playing guitar and putting ideas out there and me going, ‘Oh, that’s actually a pretty good idea.’” Plant said. “That kind of combined things that people wouldn’t normally combine in dance music.”

Dance music it definitely is — and that makes for a fun live show. Some electronic bands have difficulty playing live because so much of what makes them good happens in the studio, but Miami Horror is fortunate in that some of the band thrives in the studio, while the rest thrives on stage.

“For me, personally, I think that I like the album better,” Plant said, “I don’t know, just considering what I look for in a band, I don’t really like live music that much, whereas our lead singer does. He brings a lot of energy to the stage. It depends on what part of it you’re into.”

The band has three more shows in the states, including Thursday’s show at Denver’s Bluebird Theatre before heading back to their home, Melbourne, Australia. Once they’re home, Plant says he’ll start working on a new record.

“We started, just, really,” he said. “I’m hoping I’m gonna head back to Australia in December, January and February, and I’m gonna hopefully have some ideas to take back with me.”

No word yet on what those ideas might be, but you can bet they’ll be carefully thought out, and you can hope they’ll keep you dancing.