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Matthew Dear - You Put A Smell On Me
Oct 04, 2010
Total plays:
8 times
Why do we like this?
From the beginning of his career, Matthew Dear's most impressive feat has been his masterful blending of pop music with more obscure and experimental styles. He has been able to make minimal techno an amazingly casual and accessible listen while maintaining complete integrity to himself and the genre. As his music became more obviously rooted in pop, the songs never became saccharine "” they are hauntingly or bizarrely pop; pop music in spite of itself. His latest, Black City, continues along this same path. The album is dark, moody, strange, and experimental, but still a remarkably easy listen, as if a Top 40 artist accidently let a producer with panache and artistry into the studio.

After hearing this album, one DJ told me Matthew Dear is losing his edge. I couldn't disagree more. No, it's not techno and probably won't do much for most dance floors, but this album is nothing if not edgy. If you were expecting something similar to his earliest singles, or grooves anything like recent collaborators like Seth Troxler, you might be disappointed. But I welcome a change of direction for Matthew Dear. After all, his real gritty beats have been reserved for his Audion moniker anyway.

Black City is a brooding, synth-heavy pop album that demands comparisons to pop artists like Chromeo, Hot Chip, or the newest from !!!. There seems to be little Detroit influence in the album, and instead the sounds and vibe are drawn from other avant-pop artists like Brian Eno, David Bowie, and David Byrne. Fans of "chillwave" or 80s-inspired pop groups like La Roux are likely to won over by Matthew Dear's distinctive voice and lyrics, even if they find things slightly weirder than what they're used to.
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