01 July, 2008

Hoping the sun won't melt my wings

The new album by electronic music master Daedelus (Andrew Weisberg-Roberts) was released today on iTunes. Daedelus has been around for awhile, crafting fine computer based tunes. Love to Make Music to - besides the fact that it works as great wordplay - is also a slamming album.

I'm often very picky about my electronic music. I feel that music without lyrics is missing an irreplaceable half, unless the music itself is so well-written that it can encompass all of the nuances of great lyrics. In my own mind, Mozart would be overwhelming with lyrics (the complexity of the music itself is already overwhelming). I could also listen to Jimi Hendrix solos for hours at a time without requiring any lyrics at all; despite the fact that Jimi's lyrics are pretty friggin' amazing. Anyway, I guess my point is that I'm not often grabbed by electronic music, which is why I was a little amazed at my own immediate enjoyment of Love to Make Music to.

"Fair Weather Friends" is the first track, and also the first single. It reminds me of The Go! Team and also of Her Space Holiday. The song is circuit-bent to the max, but there's also a lot of cheering going on in the background. Gaming music geeks and cheerleaders maybe seem diametrically opposed, but they're extremely compatible in "Fair Weather Friends". "Touchstone" follows with cameo appearances by Paperboy and Taz Arnold. There are echo sound effects and random guitar licks, and although the lyrics are fairly standard for hip-hop, the song feels futuristic. "Twist the Kids" featuring N'fa also has a futuristic feeling, but the rhythmic beats make it highly dance-worthy (N'fa's flow is also impeccable.) I'm going to skip ahead a few songs to "Make It So" which is surprisingly free of Star Trek musical references. It actually sounds a lot like an eighties dance song, but it isn't obnoxious like most of the real eighties dance songs. "Only For the Heart Strings" rumbles like a dark cloud of static, with it's own electronic heartbeat. "I Took Two" borders on Blue Man Group territory. It has a cavernous sound, that's also very precise and rhythmic. "Hrs:Mins:Secs" would fit right on the soundtrack to Tron. It's dramatically computerized, down to the last note. "Drummery Jam" is my favorite song on the whole album. It runs a piano line up and down, with syncopation exploding in the background. "Drummery Jam" finds a happy place musically; a spot where the music of the last century happily coexists (and cohabits, as it were) with the music of the 21st century. The final song on the album is "You're The One" featuring Om'Mas Keith. It shifts and rearranges itself, with patchwork pieces of music sprinkled underneath the marching band drums.

Overall, Love to Make Music to covers a lot of territory for a fifteen song album. It stretches the very parameters of electronic music, with jazz, pop, latin, and hip-hop inspired songs. I will be listening to this album for awhile, I think. I need some time to digest all of the layers.

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