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Room(s) is the latest record from Machinedrum and is released on heavyweight electronic label Planet Mu. The man behind Machinedrum, Andrew Stewart, has quite a few albums under his belt which were typically released on the now-defunct (but still awesome) Merck label, briefly moving over to the Normrex and LuckyMe labels for two full length releases.

Machinedrum and moreso this album in particular could quite easily be described as a fruitful blend between Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, and even Autechre to a degree. Musical elements from all three of these kings of electronic music are present in this lusciously created album.

The upbeat nature of the record is emphasized by extraordinarily calculated beatwork while sounding incredibly effortless and unforgiving. The album moves fast with processed vocals dancing throughout energized drum machine beats. It is clear here that its author is heavily invested and influenced by the sort of glitchy/instrumental hip-hop sound that makes musicians like Flying Lotus mentioned above so popular.

Some people may find it tedious to overcome the vocal samples that are used repetitiously throughout the album, however if one looks at the finer details of Room(s), you may find yourself entranced with Stewart’s perfectionist methods of creating songs that somehow sound even more unique than the last. Plenty of booming sub-bass almost usurp other elements that are present in the record giving it a deep textural characterization that enhance the chaotic drum patterns and the effortlessly injected and playfully autotuned male/female vocal sampling.

It is obvious that Room(s) is a new take upon a genre of music that hasn’t seen a lot of coverage and innovation recently since being recognized in the early 1990s. Born out of Chicago, Ghetto house was/is this genre that really took on its own form with sparse use of synthesizers and 808/909 drum machines (among other elements). It was also referred to as Footwork or Juke. By the early 2000s, a lot of this type of sound was absorbed by many of the UK-based producers coming out recently and into a genre now known as dubstep pioneered by artists like DJ Distance.

I don’t know what makes this album as good as it is. Maybe it is the ruthless methods in which everything down to the sequencing is formed and organized. Maybe it’s the way the vocal samples intertwine perfectly with hip hop-esque beats between this wonky fusion of Prefuse 73-style state of the art production and a spacious and playful take on an old genre that has really breathed new life into this type of music.

In the end, Room(s) happens to be one of the most fresh and innovative records of the year authored by one of the most creative individuals in the business.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Planet Mu

Buy this at:

Planet Mu

Bleep

Download.

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