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- Outer Face by Matthew E. White
8/10 Mike Staff review, 17 October 2013
Matthew E White’s debut LP ‘Big Inner’ was a big favourite of mine last year, creeping up on me slowly with his silky mumble and understated yet expansive and timeless soul-pop arrangements leaving every track on that one a future classic. Now we’re all acclimatised to his sound he’s back with a new mini-album where he furthers the boundaries of his hangdog orchestrated hangdog pop.
There are five songs here stretching to almost half an hour, White presents a slower-paced and more experimental side with shades of TV on the Radio and early dEUS, shimmering drones of strings and distant gospel backing choirs sit low in the mix while his breathy croon dominates the sound, a comforting yet defeated near-whisper that has become his trademark.
‘Hot Hot Hot’ is particularly trippy, with shuffling tropical rhythms and uneasy looped vocals and sweeping strings and cop show bass, it’s like Lee Hazlewood and Lalo Schifrin blended into an eight-minute slice of honeyed soulpop with a woozy Californian lethargy in its feverish rhythmic stumble. There’s some unexpected Flaming Lipsy bass fuzz right at the end when you thought all the surprises were done with. Not as immediate an offering as ‘Big Inner’ but sprawling and meticulously arranged and inquisitive music with so much going on that you’ll keep noticing new detailss for months to come.
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