Machinedrum – “Tell U” (ft. Rochelle Jordan) (Singles Going Steady)

Machinedrum dutifully carries the torch of Flume and SBTRKT’s brand of look–before–you-leap EDM.

A. Noah Harrison: North Carolina-bred producer Machinedrum has kept close tabs on the unfolding and uncrinkling world of electronic music, injecting the finesse of footwork and UK bass into his fine-tuned sets. This sexy slab of bashful dance pop hits in just the right places. Whatever the configuration of your feet at the moment of the drop, “Tell U” is guaranteed to trip you up into cutting the rug. Machinedrum dutifully carries the torch of Flume and SBTRKT’s brand of look–before–you-leap EDM. [7/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Machinedrum backslides into a more amateur sound on “Tell U”, a track too rough for his usual dreamy oeuvre. Choppy beats change over the course of the song in a way that sounds less like a musical progression and more like indecisiveness. There are some good sounds in the mix, too, which makes the track even more confusing, raising a number of questions. Why all the clutter? Is this watered-down trap? Soft glitch? No matter what it’s called, there’s no doubt that Machinedrum has done better. Hopefully, this is just a bump in the road. [3/10]

Andrew Paschal: Though the structure and composition of “Tell U” remain constant throughout the track, Machinedrum takes us through three fairly distinct phases that are defined almost entirely by tone and texture, each punctuated by short pauses. Things start off smooth, enveloping, and inviting; then, the sound thins out a bit and becomes more restless and driving; finally, the sound is refracted into a chunky bass line that persists for the final thirty seconds or so. The vocal motif also varies little, and the literal content of the lyrics matter little: instead, it is the mere presence of a voice always on the precipice of initiating a conversation that lends the constant reminder of human warmth. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: The synthetic atmosphere provides a playful, twichy vibe that makes for an interesting listen. It’s highly reminiscent of Joe Williams’ recent Motion Graphics project, but the Auto-Tune really depreciates the value and prevents it from achieving the desired uniqueness. Kind of a missed opportunity. I like it but don’t love it. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.00