Sunday, 07 October 2012 00:00


Ghostly International

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There is no one on the indie music scene quite like Matthew Dear. Since 1999 he has been a DJ, recorded eight albums, nine EPs, remixed many artists including The XX, Hot Chip, The Chemical Brothers, The Juan MacLean and Spoon. He has had three aliases (False, Audion and Jabberjaw), and co-founded ground-breaking record label, Ghostly International, and its dance-floor orientated offshoot, Spectral Sound. Apart from all this, Dear also has a degree in Anthropology, something which comes through somewhat in his lyrics as he sings of the social and cultural status of humanity, with all its quirks and strangeness. He has developed a style he now owns, musically and visually; he is a fan of crisp white shirts and well tailored suits, something you don't see too often at a warehouse rave behind the DJ console.

All this has led to Beams, his latest offering as Matthew Dear, and while not a completely new direction from his previous LP, Black City, it inhabits a different quarter of that city. He told 'The Guardian'; "New York City is a black hole, for this perspective, Black City was being sucked into the black hole, and Beams is the tail of light shooting out the other side. New York is a living machine, it can chew you up and spit you out very easily – Beams is realising your place within the machine." This new LP is indeed not as claustrophobic as Black City, it's more of a party, although an at times weird one. "I thought I'd write a little call to arms to everybody: let loose! Everything's a bit more amorphous in my life now, bubbly and gelatinous. I'm letting things ooze into different places. When you realise there's no clear path or answer, things just are." There are tracks here on Beams ready-made for the dance-floor, be it a dark, smokey and shadow filled place, but one where everbody is welcome, no matter how weird.

'Her Fantasy' dives straight into the atmosphere of what Beams has in store for us. Looping clips of Dear's unmistakable vocals, dense layering and orchestration, high production and beautiful Korg synths which carry the whole track. The video which you can check out below pays tribute to Kenneth Anger, an early underground Hollywood experimental film maker who worked exclusively in short films, with erotisism being an underlying element. It suits perfectly with love, sex and relationships being at the core of Dear's songwriting. The six second outro to this track is awesome as it slides immediately into 'Earthforms', which introduces a funk laden bass line over driving percussion. "It's alright to be someone else sometimes" sings Dear in this groove train of a track.

Van Rivers and Subliminal Kid (Blonde Redhead, Fever Ray) from Sweden were involved in production of 'Headcage', a tale about a teenage boy trying to coax a girl out through her bedroom window late at night, to have some fun. Of 'Get The Rhyme Right', Dear says  "I am a big fan of the rock music David Lynch makes. A song like "Ghosts Of Love" captures the perfect blend of creep and beauty. This song aims at a slightly more dance-floor friendly version of that aesthetic. "Like God, in my disco." ''Temptation' was written about his relationship with his wife of seven years, "It was expunging of the soul in that song: here I am, cut me with a sword, let me bleed, and I'll get back up and we'll move on."

It might take a few listens until you can get into Beams, as Dear's work is dense, and at times hard to penetrate. The payoff is rewarding however and this artist's extensive back catalogue opens doors to other worlds dark and shadowy, unlike anywhere you have been before. Beams is the endpoint, but given the prolific output Matthew Dear is known for, more worlds are yet to be explored.

Dave Roberts - October 7, 2012



Matthew Dear (USA)
From the album, Beams, Ghostly International

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Her Fantasy

Matthew Dear (USA)
From the album, 'Beams', Ghostly International

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March 24, 2015


Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett Official

Milk! / Marathon Artists / Mom + Pop

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1. Elevator Operator
2. Pedestrian At Best
3. An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In NY)
4. Small Poppies
5. Depreston
6. Aqua Profunda!
7. Dead Fox
8. Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party
9. Debbie Downer
10. Kim's Caravan
11. Boxing Day Blues


March 17,  2015



Hand Drawn Dracula

Etiquette Facebook

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1. Pleasantries
2. Brown And Blue
3. Attention Seeker
4. Sleep To Wake
5. Twinkling Stars
6. Promises
7. On And On
8. Outside in
9. Island

Stream whole album here


March 10, 2015


Ripe 4 Luv

Slumberland Records

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1. Crushing Sensation - VIDEO
2. Ripe 4 Luv
3. Crawling Back To You
4. Aquarian
5. Kelly, I'm Not A Creep
6. Dear Drew
7. Living The Dream
8. Wrong Crowd (feat. Jef Barbera)


March 3, 2015



P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd.

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1. Sauna
2. Turmoil
3. Dragon
4. Emptiness
5. (something)
6. Boat
7. Planets
8. Pumpkin
9. Spring
10. Books
11. Youth


February 24, 2015


No Cities To Love

Sub Pop

Sleater-Kinney Official

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1. Price Tag
2. Fangless
3. Surface Envy
4. No Cities To Love
5. A New Wave
6. No Anthems
7. Gimme Love
8. Bury Our Friends
9. Hey Darling
10. Fade


February 17, 2015



Ghost Records

Casa Del Mirto Facebook

Buy here (no vinyl available)

Stream album here

1. Paralyzed
2. Invisible (feat. Avalon Omega)
3. Reflex
4. Where You Stand
5. Pressure
6. Last Blue Wind
7. A Picture Of
8. Butterfly
9. 8 (feat. Aaron Larcher)
10. What I See Inside Of Me
11. Still


February 10, 2015


Natalie Prass


Natalie Prass Official

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1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
2. Bird Of Prey
3. Your Fool
4. Christy
5. Why Don't You Believe In Me
6. Violently
7. Never Over You
8. Reprise
9. It Is You


February 3, 2015


On Your Own Love Again

Drag City

Jessica Pratt Label Page

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1. Wrong Hand
2. Game That I Play
3. Strange Melody
4. Greycedes
5. Moon Dude
6. Jacquelyn In The Background
7. I've Got A Feeling
8. Back, Baby
9. On Your Own Love Again


January 27th, 2015


Viet Cong

Flemish Eye / Jagjaguwar

Viet Cong Bandcamp

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1. Newspaper Spoons
2. Pointless Experience
3. March Of Progress
4. Bunker Buster
5. Continental Shelf
6. Silhouettes
7. Death




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1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
Natalie Prass (USA)
2. Talk Show
Au. Ra (AUS)
3. Find Yourself
Jacco Gardner (NET)
4. Boris
Breakfast (USA)
5. Catastrophe
Yumi Zouma (NZL)
6. Double Talk
Jaakko Eino Kalevi (FIN)
7. Miniskirt
Braids (CAN)
8. Let It Happen
Tame Impala (AUS)
9. Just Yet
For Esmé (CAN)
10. Brown & Blue
Etiquette (CAN)


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