Published Jan 01, 2006Just when you think the often overly analytical micro-house/minimal techno subgenre has worn out its welcome, another ginsu artist chimes in with a surprisingly fresh variation on the laptop'd theme. Like Akufen, Matthew Dears debut artist album isnt necessarily "different than its peers, but it sure as hell is better. The Detroit techno producer has made a splash of late, releasing numerous twelve-inches under the name Jabberjaw and False (not to mention touring with Richie Hawtin) but the name thatll make him famous is his own. For Leave Luck to Heaven, a rough translation of the word "Nintendo, Dear uses all the essential minimalists tools glitches, hiccups, brrrs, blurps and tik-tacs, but he manages to infuse it with not just warmth, but an unexpected sexiness. The synth stabs on "The Crush are great for a dance floor slow-grind while "Youre Fucking Crazy offers a perfect robot porn soundtrack (and not overly-fussy protocol droid sex, either). But on insta-classic "Dog Days, Dear takes it much further, breaking out a ridiculously electro-funky synth line while his modulated voice sings out the hook like a latter-day Prince. Dears vocal tracks are easily the best on the album, if only because they so brazenly reveal the pop heart beneath all the micro-beats.
Why did you decided to include vocal tracks? Some of my biggest musical influences are derived from pop, and I guess I was just trying to recreate that medium through electronic music. Most of the lyrics from the album were spontaneously written, in almost a subconscious stream of thought.
Do minimalist genres get unfairly dismissed as too intellectual? I've found a circle of friends and colleagues in Detroit that beg to differ and can really appreciate a simple record late at night. If you're not careful though, they may throw a drink at you just for fun. That doesn't seem very intellectual at all, does it?
Have you been surprised by your mainstream critical reception? Well, hopefully this isn't all just a "hot minute kind of thing. I'm all for reaching more listeners, and it is great that the press can help achieve this. It is relatively surprising that these magazines [Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone] wrote about my music in a world dominated with mainstream media imagery and pop chart ideology. Most of the music magazines are filled with intellectual and creative writers, but unfortunately their true tastes aren't always accepted for print. It wouldn't sell any shoes, would it? (Ghostly)