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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:

Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


Media
Machinedrum - Roll & Feel feat. Nami Unreal
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