Artist: James Blake
Album: CMYK EP
At first listen this Dubstep EP sounds like the sexual union betwixt an Atari ST and a ZX Spectrum. But pay close attention and these finely crafted tracks open up rhythmically and emotionally and reveal their true inner self, powerfully emotive modern music. There are only four tracks to enjoy here, from the barely dance-floor ‘CMYK’ which utlilises a powerful vocal hook alongside trademark shifting time signatures. ‘Footnotes’, has a killer baseline, with oodles of sub-bass to cackle your Gladdis and ‘Postpone’ which is good old fashioned other-worldliness which only the bent of mind can fully appreciate.
Artist: Matthew Dear
Album: Black City
On ‘Asa Breed’, Matthew Dear’s previous output, reviewed in these esteemed pages, Dear gave the impression that his lengthy career was about to define itself. The album, although anomalous, was a decent model, hitting the right chord and expediting a chirpy pre-club mood. It was a pair of trousers one could see Dear comfortable in. On Black City we are told starkly that those trousers have been torn off as a new wave of tracks and a whole new vibe takes hold. This time it’s darker and hungrier, not exactly post-club, but post-mood, void filler, a nicely spliced, beat laden excursion into licentiousness
Artist: Arcade Fire
Album: The Suburbs
Decidedly upbeat when compared to its predecessor ‘Neon Bible’, ‘the Suburbs’ opens chirpily with a cruise down a suburban street in a convertible, breeze in your goldilocks and Aviator shades atop concave conks. You can sing-a-long to this shit, instead of drowning yourself in the soppy sorrow of Bible. But is that a good thing? Well, unless you’re an introspect, ebullient Emo with a forked tongue and cider-breath, you’ll dig the pop tinge of Arcade Fire’s latest, because it’s richly constructed with a bitter middle, like a Devonshire scone filled with marmite. This album sits daintily and dangerously, a guiltless tempest of tunage, very acceptably pop.