Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums

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Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums
17. Jamie Woon Mirrorwriting (Polydor)
According to the UK press, Jamie Woon's Mirrorwriting's gestation was a long time in coming and listening to this auspicious debut does little to dissuade that notion. Woon is an obvious studio rat as the album is littered with layered and disembodied vocal effects, a penchant for found sound and two a.m. downtempo after-party beats anchored by omnipresent yet wobbly cavernous bass lines. All of this underlines his prowess as a sonic arranger and the influence of occasional collaborator dubstep purveyor Burial. But there's more to Woon than his perfectionist studio tendencies. Peel away all the production tricks, Woon is an accomplished singer/songwriter in the traditional sense of the word and pens accessible songs despite the experimentation. Despite the reams of reverb, his soulful croon unashamedly conveys Woon's own internal wracking over the minutiae of love and life on standouts like "Spiral" where his shiny taut guitar work is a compelling contrast to the all-enveloping ambience that pervades the record. While it might have been unfortunate that Woon's work eventually arrived coinciding with the fanfare being accorded to the like-minded genre-dabbling of James Blake et. al, Mirrorwriting confirms Woon's work was time well spent.
Del F. Cowie

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