Dropwise Blue, I Dub Thee No More!

Toronto-based musician and visual artist Craig Hooton, aka Dropwise, has been tinkering with sound and steadily releasing material independently for many years. His latest recording, perhaps constructed in the dark days following a break-up, is his most intricate and groovy material yet; this is the type of production that is likely to get noticed by trendsetters in electronic music if it is properly promoted. The title track has a twisted bass line and keys that snake their way through a shaky rhythm before blips take over and tickle the eardrum. "Grasshopper Stomp” and "Grasshopper Romp” (the remix) are Pole inspired dub techno tracks complete with crackle and hiss that’s tweaked out with a resonant filter and Dropwise’s patented sparse and staccato keys. Cinematic and visual, IDM tracks "Seeing Ceiling Goop Grow” and "Hailstones & Glowing Embers” paint pictures with sounds and take the listener into an authentic aural environment. Finally, there are a couple of dance numbers, "Bouncy Castle Romper Room” and "Back Pocket Full of Booty” that harkens back to the early days of rave without sounding dated. This is an awesome album by a talented painter, illustrator and musician with a dope, hand-illustrated cover as well. (Independent)