Machinedrum: Many Faces

By , Aug 13 2010

Available on: LuckyMe mini-LP

LuckyMe is a key piece of Glasgow’s new breed of creatives currently grabbing electronic music by the throat and threatening it with the future. As their recent curation of a stage at major electronic festival Sonar displayed, this crew of artists, designers and DJs have begun to emerge from the North and extend their creative tentacles across the globe – with releases from an international collection of artists establishing them as a label mangling hip-hop into all kinds of innovative new shapes.

Machinedrum is the alter-ego of one Travis Stewart, a man whose musical wardrobe incorporates a wild array of styles from booty house to IDM-associated electronica. If his dress sense was as wide-ranging as his music then he’d probably look ridiculous, but on record his genre-splicing gels perfectly, as regulars at his New York club night Cassette NYC would testify. Many Faces acts as an ace introduction to Stewart’s productions and what shakes the speakers at his night for those not already familiar.

Opener ‘Sakatak’ and ‘Carry the Weight’ will be familiar to those who still can’t stop gorging on Hudson Mohawke’s Essential mix – the recently Warp-signed Mohawke an artist who’s often cited Machinedrum as an influence on his own twitchy hip-hop. These tracks are funk-filled blasts of computer music, but combine their digital vibes with enough warm blood and melody to extend their reach further than you might expect from something this experimental.

On Many Faces’ flip, ‘It’s that Bass’ combines a juddering wobble with clipped 2-step drums while Night Slugs’ Bok Bok runs off with ‘Carry the Weight’ before handing it back coated in acid. This mini-LP’s B-side is darker and more garage-based; aimed more directly at the hips than its dreamier first half, but it’s far from disposable, and makes up for an engaging release that – for many – will act as an introduction to an artist long overdue success.

Jim Ottewill

3.5
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