Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Daedelus - Love To Make Music To

Reviewed this for Three Bar Fire again. Take a look and have a listen, its the business.

Daedelus- Love To Make Music To (Ninja Tune)

Daedelus aka Alfred Darlington has been dropping hip-hop flavoured electronic bombs seemingly from the dawn of time, boasting nine albums and a score of EPs to his name. Released on Ninja Tune, this latest offering is billed as a imaginary story which begins during the 1894 Chicago World’s Fair and concludes a hundred years later.

There’s a danger of classing every Ninja release as significant; more often than not however their intrepid brand of fearless experimentation throws up obscurity rather than a stone cold classic. ‘Love To Make Music To’ (clever eh?) is a real revelation though; a melting pot of soul, funk, break beat , electro and dirty rave music assembled with the skill of any classic hip hop cut ‘n’ paste merchant.

Darlington himself cuts an interesting character too, a mid American versed in the culture of underground hip hop production (who rocks Edwardian garms at every opportunity) who apparently encountered a ‘Road to Damascus’ type conversion to the burgeoning UK breakbeat rave sound of the early nineties, on a family trip to London. It takes a true outsider perspective to create a tribute album of sorts such as this. Unlike someone like Burial whose rave homage is bleak and liquid in keeping with his south London location Daedelus taps into the uplifting, euphoric side of the rave experience managing to keep it upbeat without sauntering into mainstream cheese.

Whilst there are rave elements to these songs, the sampled intro from Lennie De Ice’s proto jungle anthem ‘We Are I.E’, for instance, crops up deep in the mix at one point, proving that this is not a by the book rave pastiche. It’s a potent mix, referencing at times influences as diverse as The Avalanches, early Moving Shadow, the sonic terrorism of the Bomb Squad and the experimental electro found on Warp in the mid nineties.

The album opens on a Balearic summer soaked high point, with the sixties-fuelled ‘Fair Weather Friend’, released as an EP last year, with its driven beat and naive female vocal cutting a definitive opening. From here on in the album flits from the dark brooding techno of ‘Hrs:Mins:Secs’ to the smoother R&B influenced cut of ‘My Beau’ and back again. It’s a strange brew that Daedelus throws up here, and in hindsight its all the better for it, with the only down point being an wilful eclecticism that makes ‘Love To..’ a little too hard to pin down

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