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USRNM

Instant Message EP

(Photogram; US: 27 Feb 2012; UK: Import)

Upon hearing British producer Stuart Bowditch’s debut release under the name USRNM (pronounced “username”), it’s clear the man is educated. With years of experience and training both as a sound designer and as a DJ under his belt, Instant Message EP satisfies on both intellectual and practical levels.


Thematically, the album deals with Bowditch’s distaste for the isolating, obscured meanings of digital communication, with each of the tracks taking its name from Internet chat lingo. Yet, as these Orwellian newspeak terms are paired with Bowditch’s precise, minimal compositions, they reclaim their character, a sense of the humanity previously lost under reductive jargon. USRNM tracks feature pulsing layers of static distortion supporting deep bass and clean percussion, with surprising but not distracting beats and gestures. Instant Message is chill yet groovy, suitable for introspective home and for more experimentally minded club use.

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.


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USRMN - Tru Say
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