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Daedelus - Denies the Day's Demise

Daedelus, Denies The Day's Demise

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DAEDELUS, aka Alfred-Weisberg-Roberts, follows his hip-hop album, Exquisite Corpse with his shot at techno in the form of Denies the Day’s Demise.

The LA-based musician always tries to do something a little bit different and is consistently regarded as one of the Ninja Tune label’s most eclectic artists. But, as is always the case with people who like to experiment, not everything works.

Denies The Day’s Demise is therefore an extremely odd listen – fractured, disjointed, occasionally inspiring but more often than not a little annoying.

It seldom settles into any sort of distinct rhythm, keeping listeners on their toes throughout and missing as frequently as it hits.

The PR credits this latest offering as the sound of Daedelus at his most naked given that it features no collaborations and focuses completely on the live elements of his previous recordings rather than his well-known sampling.

It also refers to it as a cross between “a child’s temper tantrum to stay up late” mixed with “a grand desire to save the world”. It actually gets better as it goes along.

Opening track, At My Heels includes spoken vocals in the mould of Lemon Jelly set against a livewire percussion and a cinematic backdrop of swirling strings relayed in the style of old romantic Hollywood. It’s a heady concoction, sometimes successful, but at other times too disjointed to properly settle into.

And so follows the rest of the album… Sundown begins well, encompassing A Southern Hemisphere sound complete with a Brazilian bloco band, before throwing in more fractured vocals and a samba style rhythm, while Nouvea Nova hints at jazz, with shuffling beats and an equally giddy electronic influence. It’s all over the place at times and could just as easily piss people off, as have them dancing.

The same could be said for the likes of Viva Vida, Samba Legrand and the off-kilter Lights Out, which change tempo more times than I could care to remember.

When it works, however, the album does give rise to some highlights. Sawtooth EKG is a mish-mash of samba, carnival style rhythms and classic Hollywood romanticism, as is Dreamt of Drowning, which makes use of some lovely horns and melodies. It also contains a post-bossa hipness that is frequently quite alluring.

And then there’s the beautifully realised Sunrise, which contains a stirring beat and all the inspiration of a wonderful early morning. Again, there’s a sweeping cinematic scope to it that is difficult not to enjoy.

Listening to Denies The Day’s Demise, there’s no denying the wealth of ambition coming from Daedelus’ livewire mind – it’s just that those occasional child-like outbursts sometimes need to be reigned in so that he can focus on the business of saving the world (if you know what I mean).

Read our review of Exquisite Corpse

Track listing:

  1. At My Heels
  2. Sundown
  3. Nouveau Nova
  4. Viva Vida
  5. Samba Legrand
  6. Like Clockwork Springs
  7. Lights Out
  8. Bahia
  9. Our Last Stand
  10. Patent Pending
  11. Sawtooth Ekg
  12. Dreamt Of Drowning
  13. Sunrise
  14. Petite Samba
  15. Never None The Wiser