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.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article