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Machinedrum

Want to 1 2?

(Normrex; US: 12 Apr 2009)

The fourth original album from Travis Stewart’s Machinedrum is a disappointment. I really want to see the guy do well, as he has done in the past. 2002’s Urban Biology was a cinematic, ambient glitch-hop masterpiece, and the albums and remix compilations released in the years surrounding it were all solid.


However, since at some point over the past five years, the Machinedrum style has gone stale. At the very least, it has not progressed in the slightest since 2004’s Bidnezz. Want To 1 2 still has all the thug glitch-hop posturing you could want, but it seems uninspired after all these years and Prefuse 73 albums. It comes off unfocussed and muddled under a wash of cheesy ‘80s pop and late ‘70s funk chiq, which was likely intended to make it sound fresh enough to sell to the Urban Outfitters crowd.


Most of the album sounds generally noisy, and it is hard to tell how much of the distortion is purposeful or simply lazy. To be blunt, Want to 1 2 smells half-baked. It is still a cut above the majority, in the same league as edIT and the later works of Prefuse 73, but I know Travis can do better if he stopped listening to the barstarlets in the front row and really applied himself to his craft.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys, with a butt that won't quit.


Media
Machinedrum - Roll & Feel feat. Nami Unreal
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