Will Hermes
January 09, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Leave Luck to Heaven

Current Status
In Season
Matthew Dear
Ghostly International

We gave it a B+

Now that the majors have largely written off DJ music — even standard-bearer Astralwerks is turning its attention to garage rock (Caesars) and singer-songwriters (Sondre Lerche) — the best beat sculptors are likely to be found in the underground. Maximal techno minimalist Matthew Dear records under the monikers Jabberjaw and false. But he issues his most high-profile cuts under his birth name via Ann Arbor, Mich.-based label Ghostly International. Dear’s debut LP, Leave Luck To Heaven, expands on the warm-hued splatter paintings of his early-2003 efforts, EP1 and EP2. He’s kept the amorphous sub-bass and sibilant timbres that make his tracks so cozy but added fuller melodies and processed vocals. Tracks like the hiccuping ”Dog Days” recall classic ’80s tech-funk. But Dear’s dark breakdowns and agitated rhythms are all his own, and they’re proof the underground remains an inspiring place to be. B+

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