Shock Machine is the hazy electronic pop project of James Righton, best known for his work with nu-rave pioneers Klaxons. Righton's father, also a musician, encouraged him to play in bands while he was still in high school, and his dedication ultimately paid off with Klaxons' success in the mid- to late 2000s. When the group disbanded in late 2014 after the release of their third album, Love Frequencies, and a farewell tour, Righton began working on his own music under the Shock Machine moniker. The March 2016 "Shock Machine" single offered the first taste of his atmospheric sound in March 2016, which he expanded on with the Open Up the Sky EP later that year.
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