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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:

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.


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