Steward

Steward

Goodbye to Everything You Love

Darla

Steward is Stewart Anderson, previously known as Boyracer, and one of the fabulous new crop of electronica solipsists that bring new life to a genre that quickly grows sterile. Compiling tracks from all sorts of foreign vinyl-only releases, Goodbye to Everything You Love is twenty-five collages of sound, drawing from sources both recognizable and obscure. I’ve got to hand it to Steward — when he goes obvious, he goes all out, as in “Backpedal,” which subtly alters Trio’s “Da Da Da” with a floating melody and twinkling keyboard line. Elsewhere, the opening drumbeat of “Mickey” makes an appearance, as do a handful of grandly identifiable B-52s loops. It’s the kind of shameless lifting that can only be pulled off by the most deft sonic burglars, because whatever you do with your loot has to completely overwhelm its origins.

Steward also distinguishes himself for his sense of melody, far more straightforward that any dance or ambient track gets, and choice of distortions; these compositions will probably be more understandable as pop songs than assemblies of sound. The repetitive and well-crafted songs make me think of what might have happened had New Zealand’s Tall Dwarfs begun twenty years later. Very intriguing.

Darla Records, 625 Scott #303, San Francisco, CA 94117; http://www.darla.com

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