Published Sep 24, 2015Prior to this self titled Inverted Dancefloor release, New Zealander Bevan Smith has performed as Signer and Aspen, in addition to being a member of collectives that include Ruby Suns and Skallander. Over the past decade, his musical output has drawn from a variety of genres including IDM, ambient and techno, to list a few.
Inverted Dancefloor is undoubtedly a culmination of these various sonic explorations, though the results leave one somewhat wanting. Every track features Smith's vocals, which can best be described as a blend of Jay Jay Johanson meets Hot Chip. The vocal phrasing is always in understated, sheepish falsetto spurts.
As for the music, the aforementioned genres all blend together in a poppy stew that has the potential to be a complementary blend of ingredients, but Introverted Dancefloor suffers from a pervasive sameness. After energetic opener "Happiness Is Such A Mess" sets high expectations for the remainder of the album, second track "Pipe Dreams" is an omen for a record that whose homogeneity from track to track too often blurs the boundaries of the songs. Within a few more songs, the vocal delivery and arrangements become too predictable, with the exception of a handful of tracks, the best of which is "Even If You Try."
Introverted Dancefloor is worth at least a spin to find the gems here; the trouble is that they are too few and far between. (Carpark)