Monday, March 24, 2008

If pop and minimal house had a baby

This is the only way I know to describe Matthew Dear’s newest album Asa Breed. The songs are surprisingly catchy. They have memorable melodies and decent vocals for a Dj/Producer.

The last DJ/Producer I liked, who decided to become a pop artist, was a disaster. To this day, I refuse to listen or watch RJD2 live. I don’t have tickets to go to his show in April because I am in great fear that he may sing. There is something wrong about paying to see on of the most creative hip-hop instrumentalist drop his craft to pick up a microphone and sing like an American Idol.

Matthew Dear is another story all together. Dear was born in Texas and moved to Michigan as a teenager. In Michigan, he was inspired by the now famous Detriot Techno Scene. While Attending College at Univeristy of Michigan, he started his own record label - Ghostly International. That record label has grown to the success that it has today, launching every Dear album since its’ inception.

I actually enjoy Asa Breed more than his earlier work in 2003/2004 (Leave Luck to Heaven/Backstroke). Both albums got critical acclaim for bridging the wide gap between Pop Culture and Techno. Both of these alums are great minimal house albums but I still believe they are a little one dimensional in comparision to Asa Breed.

Asa Breed not only displays Dear’s skill to produce music in many styles but with a variety of live arrangements. The sound is rich in production and extremely polished. One of the best elements of Asa Breed is the evolution of his song writing skill and how it relates to his production. The shining example is “Give Me More” which is a synthesized ballad meets acoustic guitar. Four years ago this track would be incredibly out of place but with Asa Breed it works to perfection. Here is a little taste of what else you will find on Matthew’s Latest release:

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