This is a cracking LP from Travis Stewart aka Machinedrum. He rose to fame amongst footwork fans with the popular 'Room(s)' and then perfected his craft on this here follow-up record 'Vapor City'. An intoxicating blend of thumping house, jungle, bass music and futuristic UK garage, it's an album of incredible production featuring lovely sub-bass, mutated voices, sharp percussion and euphoric soundscapes which suits both dancefloor chaos and engaged home listens.
CD £9.99 ZENCD200
CD on Ninja Tune.
Vinyl Double LP £20.34 ZEN200V
Gold coloured vinyl repress 2LP on Ninja Tune.
- Coloured vinyl
- Includes download code
Machinedrum has a long and varied history, initially pricking our then soft Norman ears years back with a kind of Prefuse 73 like avant-hop style that won him some of our very special plaudits. It wasn’t until 2011’s ‘Room(s)’ however that Machinedrum really hit paydirt and discovered a rag bag of a style all of his own. This bag includes elements of garage, techno, trance, house and dubstep all swirled together to make intoxicating danceable brew.
Fans of ‘Room(s)’ will be pleased to know that this ain't no fuck with the formula, it basically pulls out all the tricks again and is largely just as effective. The major trick he used on ‘Room(s)’ were tracks that started out with pure garage beats but then mutated throughout joined by disembodied voices and other sonic trickery often ending in a completely different place with beautiful lengthy guitar outros. The system works, there is no doubt about that, culminating in an album that has edge and cleverly references the nooks and crannies of dance music history but is also very approachable for those that don’t buy too many records of this ilk.
On tracks such as ‘Don’t 1 2 Lose U’ (please ignore the Prince-aping spelling) such myriad of influences culminates beautiful melancholic electronica soundscapes. He often comes off sounding like Burial’s more outgoing party loving older brother, the influences being more wide ranging taking in Italo-house, euphoric rave and all manner of seemingly upbeat grooves yet injecting them with a huge dollop of melancholy and those beautiful glacial guitars. The ghost of the once-vital Boards of Canada circles around ‘Rise N Fall’ marrying synth led polaroid melancholy with gritty beats and dubstep voices. The kind of music made out of remnants from the dancefloor but which sounds at its best listened to on late night drives. A beautiful, spectral dance record that deserves your immediate attention.
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