Ten years after his full-length solo debut Now You Know, Sepalcure’s Travis Stewart is back with his sixth album under the Machinedrum guise, Room(s), and it is – put simply – the “dance” album of the year. Other electronic outings (Planningtorock, James Blake) may offer more depth and leave a longer-lasting impression, but in terms of cheap thrills and sheer energetic excitement, Room(s) is the one to beat. A lot of reviews have fixated on the pitch-shifted cut & paste vocal samples, and admittedly they do play a major part; at once euphoric and ghostly, they add these tracks a warped pop sensibility, imagining what Burial would sound like if he actually made music for the dancefloor as opposed to the night-bus home. The clattering percussion and relentless, propulsive rhythms push the album firmly into “footwork” territory, but with its swirling, aquatic synths it leans just as heavily on vintage Detroit techno as it does on the modern sounds of Chicago. At times almost jazzy, nearly always soulful, Room(s) is an exhilirating, organic treat, and “bass” music at its very best.
Listen: “She Died There” http://soundcloud.com/pdis_inpartmaint/machinedrum-room-s-she-died