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13 Jul 10
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
20 Feb 12
Played by: Chris Coco, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Vorres - Juno, Danny Drive Thru, Matthew Kyle, J Courage, Djs: Most Charted - Dubstep, Bam Bam Dealers
Review: For a producer who used to be clearly defined in the sliced hip-hop tempo of Dabrye and Prefuse 73, it sure is hard to make sense of Machinedrum these days, and we mean that in the best possible way. As the name might suggest, his latest effort "Nastyfuckk" is a guttural affair, plying those frantic juke rhythms while a synth line satan would be proud of growls away underneath. It's a relatively linear effort and all the better for it. "What U Wanted 2 Feel" flips the script with a slow-lurching rhythm more akin to Mount Kimbie than DJ Nate, complete with treated R&B vocal licks, while Pixelord jacks the track up with a colourful and punchy remix.
25 Jul 11
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Chrissy Murderbot, Shadow Dancer, Chrissy Murderbot, Rough Fields
Review: Travis Stewart has been producing under the Machinedrum moniker for more than 10 years; in that time his sound has gone from IDM through hip-hop and ghetto house, but on Room(s) he takes the blueprint of the subgenre of 150BPM Chicago house known as juke (which has been an underground phenomenon for the past 10 years) and runs with it. Despite the album's 150BPM plus pace (which is never anything less than a complete adrenaline rush, even during it's more sedate moments), fatigue never sets in. This is primarily down to Stewart's rhythm programming. While juke would typically utilise untreated drum machines, Stewart isn't afraid to use organic drum samples. "Come1" for example contrasts euphoric piano chords with a freeform jazz rhythm; he gives the track just enough syncopation to give everything enough room to breathe, similarly, on "Lay Me Down" he employs clattering percussion and reverb in a similar fashion to Burial. Stewart also swathes an impressive palette of colour and texture across the album's whole. His grasp of melodic balance is exceptional; any chords he employs in the tracks add just the right amount of emotional pull without negating their ferocity. In short, one of the best albums you'll hear this year.
21 Apr 12
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot
Review: Off the back of the barnstorming success that was Machinedrum's Room(s) album, here comes an extended version that sees a slew of remixes coming in from likely suspects such as FaltyDL, Lando Kal, Chrissy Murderbot and Traxman. There's also plenty of fresh material from Machinedrum himself, who continues his unique slant on rolling breakbeat rhythms and hyper juke edits. That combination of early jungle ambience and the most utterly modern techniques lends itself to a second disc of material, albeit singing the same song that we heard on the original release of the album.
06 Jun 11
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show)
Review: Sacred Frequency sees New York based producer extraordinaire Machinedrum whet appetites ahead of his forthcoming album for Planet Mu with four tracks of dizzying rhythms and kaleidoscopic sonics. Intriguingly it is the title track alone which will feature on Room(s) - and "Sacred Frequency" is a real delight, filled with fluttering psychedelic touches and dizzying beat programming. Alongside this, "Flycatcha" splays a multitude of scratched melodic touches over a scattergun juke beat, whilst "Fantastix" is a similarly breakneck paced approach to schizophrenic UK rave replete with requisite chipmunk vox. The retooled descent through Motor City Soul that runs through "Listen 2 Me" provides a suitably captivating end to a brilliant set of tracks.
17 Jan 12
UK Funky/UK Garage
Played by: Mental Overdrive, Woodhead, Deepchild, Wildlife!, Dairmount (Room With A View Recs), Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hxdb, Vorres - Juno, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Klipar, Gilus, James Johnston, Nsekt, Liz-E, Astronomar
Review: Having thoroughly re-established himself in the wave of re-appropriated juke on last years Rooms album, Machinedrum steps up with this rapid fire EP of sliced samples and R&B brightness. "SXLND" distils some serious auto-tune mangling into a broken rhythm, while "Van Vogue" captures the feel-good flavour of early nineties chart dance in a strange, understated soca groove. "DDD" is almost outright house music, albeit with plenty more snippets of vocal getting jiggy with each other, but the smooth shuffle is hard to resist despite its prevalence in these times. Machinedrum's versatility can't be argued with, but more impressive is how he maintains his sonic identity throughout. Highly recommended.