Italian duo plays in Bend

Hit up the Astro for cool, synth-y beats

Published Mar 21, 2014 at 12:11AM

Saturday night promises to be very busy at The Astro Lounge, with electronic dance music by Knight Riderz and a few other DJs spinning into the wee hours of the morning, and before them, a performance by a duo called JoyCut.

Knight Riderz is based in Edmonton, Alberta (that’s Canada for all you budding Magellans out there), which, as the crow flies, is nearly 750 miles from Bend. That’s a long way. Normally, that would win the “Who Traveled Farthest to Play The Astro Lounge Tonight” award.

But here’s the thing: Joycut is visiting Bend from Bologna, Italy, nearly 5,700 miles away.

So let me tell you more about Joycut. They’re a couple of dudes who make what you could call dark-wave electro-pop, where the collision between sunny, synth-y melodies and a sort of stormy, industrial undercurrent never ends.

JoyCut took its name by smashing together the downcast Nick Drake song “Joey” and Pink Floyd’s challenging 1983 album “The Final Cut.” They’ve been together for a dozen years and just recently released their third album, “Pieces of Us Were Left on the Ground,” a primarily instrumental work that sounds something like The Cure, Mogwai and Gui Boratto sharing a glassy-eyed ride on an emotional roller coaster.

Anyway, the members of JoyCut — whose names are a mystery, I think to most people and certainly to me — are on their first proper tour of the United States, and they are far, far from home. But more importantly, their sound is icy cool and it’s something we don’t see a lot in this area, so go show ‘em some support, eh?

Joycut; 9 p.m. Saturday; $5; The Astro Lounge, 939 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www.astroloungebend.com.

— Ben Salmon