Music Reviews

Matthew Dear

Leave Luck to Heaven

Spectral / Ghostly International

This may be his first full-length album, but Matthew Dear (a.k.a. False, Jabberjaw) has several short-format releases under his belt, most notably last summer’s EP1 and EP2 discs, two of the finest records of minimal techno music that 2003 had to offer.

Leave Luck to Heaven is minimalist and stylish, a microhouse album defined by Dear’s melodic sensibilities, twisted playfulness and clever oddities. Taken together, this makes for one of the more listenable and adventurous albums in contemporary techno music.

Don’t be fooled by first impressions. Leave Luck to Heaven may seem unusually approachable and warm at first glance, but the music is ambivalent and unstable, the fine melodies are constantly being destabilized by nervous rhythm shifts, wry humor and dark undercurrents. Ranging from the quiet mania of “But for You” to the eloquent techno-funk of the first single, “Dog Days,” and from the nervous “Fex” to the subtle “It’s Over Now,” Leave Luck to Heaven is a strange yet delicate mish-mash of weird influences and musical deformity, playing like IDM with discomforting pop sensibilities.

Dear has put together a bold and hugely impressive album combining approachability with musical strangeness to surprisingly good effect. Adventurous, relevant and always exciting, Leave Luck to Heaven is the first and last word in microhouse today.

Ghostly International:

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