Following hot on the heels of his universally-acclaimed Leave Luck to Heaven, Matthew Dear returns with the mini-LP Backstroke, on which he expands his stylistic boundaries and solidifies his place as not only a master of micro-house, but also as a major force in experimental pop.
Here, vocals feature more prominently than ever, infusing the music with stunning accessibility and depth while more familiar elements of Dear’s otherworldly style are kneaded into a perfect mix. Also at the forefront are stronger inclinations for tunefulness and the avant-garde, as dark cacophonies of swirling, disembodied voices often give way to gorgeous melodies that carry the record along seamlessly. Within all these songs, thoughtful lyrics also demonstrate a disarming penchant for the poetic that is all too rare in the increasingly clinical genre of electronic music.
Showing a healthy heart at the core of the machine, the oddball pop of Backstroke accomplishes what few records can: an overwhelmingly successful fusion of disparate elements that work perfectly under the guidance of a relentlessly clever and innovative mind.
“Backstroke’s high quality lies in its inclusive take on the last 20 years of dance history. Dear’s decision to add lyrics to the mix on his first LP, Leave Luck to Heaven, was an important one that aligned him with Lil’ Louis’ ‘The Conversation,’ New Order’s ‘Blue Monday,’ and Plastikman’s Closer. On Backstroke, Dear, who recently made Detroit his home, continues to speak about relationships, the generation gap, and even the future, while expanding his beats to include a Paradise Garage-like disco effect on ‘And in the Night.’ The album is sure to be a summer classic.” -Earplug
“Backstroke represents a step in the further development of Dear?s distinctive sound…polished and highly individual.” -Little Detroit
“Four stars.” -Blender
Depending on whom you ask, Matthew Dear is a DJ, a dance-music producer, an experimental pop artist, a bandleader. He co-founded both Ghostly International and its dancefloor offshoot, Spectral So...check out Matthew Dear's page and other releases