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Daedelus - Exquisite Corpse


Review: Jack Foley

EVERYTHING about Daedelus smacks of being different - from his strictly Edwardian clothing right down to the name he has chosen for himself (an ancient Greek legend).

The Pacific Coast artist, who hails from LA, is billed as a young musical romantic who gets his kicks from weaving together a true 'love-sound' that falls between honeyed melody and avant-electronics.

He contrasts IDM-styled cut-ups with childlike arrangements from the Thirties and Forties, working with collaborators from the world of hip-hop and beyond.

Hence, his latest work, Exquisite Corpse, includes elements of the traditional (MF Doom, Sci from Scienz of Life) to the poetic (Mike Ladd, CYNE, Laura Darling) to the downright experimental (Prefuse 73, Hrishikesk Hirway of The One AM Radio, TTC), while retaining that trademark Daedelus style.

The result is a curious mix of the mainstream and the offbeat, seamlessly moulded together to create a truly unique listening party.

Opening track, Dearly Departed, for instance, opens with some messy hammond organ before breaking into one of the aforementioned childlike arrangements, with some truly sweet female vocals set over a chilled beat.

Better still, however, are the funky grooves of Just Briefly, a desperately upbeat hip-shaker that recalls the cool vibe of a Holmes retro workout.

Move On, featuring SCI, is another mixed up joyride that veers from the sublime to the ridiculous, while the hip-hop grooves of Drops are probably as close the mainstream as the album gets.

Some of the more obscure and experimental stuff takes some getting used to but it's credit to Daedelus skill as a mixer that he seldom dwells on any one thing for too long, so that the album, as a whole, never feels protracted or dwells where it shouldn't.

It'll come as no surprise, therefore, to find that the artist is signed to the Ninja Tunes label - given that this bears all the hallmarks of a classic new artist.

Exquisite Corpse might not appeal to all tastes, but it does provide an exceptional showcase for a rapidly-emerging artist who can lay claim to the boast that he has very few imitators.

That reason alone makes him worth listening to.

Track listing:
1. Dearly Departed
2. Impending Doom
3. Just Briefly
4. Move On With SCI
5. Now And Sleep (Starring Laura Darling)
6. The Crippled Hand
7. Welcome Home (Prefuse 73 Danse Macabre)
8. Drops (Cyne Collaboration)
9. Fallen Love
10. Welcome Home (With Mike Ladd)
11. i) Sent Off ii) Sus Percoll Jogger Remix
12. The Trains Are Now So Clean
13. Thanatopsis (Featuring Hrishikesh Hirway)
14. Cadavre Exquis Avec TTC

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