Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Amazon Last Minute Christmas Sale Save Big On Tech After Black Friday

It's not too late to pick up tech gifts from Amazon. It's Last Minute Christmas Deals sale has discounts across smart home, laptops, monitors, speakers and other gadgets.

Âme - Dream House Music Album Reviews

Âme - Dream House Music Album Reviews
The Berlin tech-house duo’s debut album purports to expand its palette, but an impressive list of collaborators can’t keep the music from lapsing into middle-of-the-road anonymity.

It’s hard to remember, but the oft-overlapping genres known as tech house and minimal were once bastions of experimental dance music. As the 1990s bled into the first decade of the new millennium, producers like Richie Hawtin, Akufen, Cassy, and Levon Vincent explored a lean, groundbreaking hybrid of techno’s futurism and house’s funk. Sturdy, endless grooves bolstered druggy detours, glitchy hiccups, and startling ambiguity. Breakout star Ricardo Villalobos matched DJ celebrity with a recorded output of tunneling vortexes, hour-plus-long remixes of folk melodies, and feverish mirages. He was recognized for his efforts with a cover story in The Wire, his name next to Whitehouse and Laurie Anderson.

But as the aughts drew on, a sense of futility crept into the party. The music’s immaculate strangeness began to seem fussy and irrelevant as dubstep, grime, and rawer strains of techno came to the fore. It was at this crossroads that Innervisions, the label run by Berlin’s Dixon and Âme, stepped in. Their output cleaned away the freaky debris of minimal, bolstered the production to soundsystem-rattling perfection, and coated everything in a warm, welcoming glaze. Their signature has been one of the most influential in modern dance music: Resident Advisor’s readers repeatedly voted Dixon as the No. 1 DJ of the year, and EDM’s flirtation with four-on-the-floor piggybacks directly on the smooth, crowd-pleasing drops Innervisions perfected. If the label remains a template for dance music’s current mainstream, the duo Âme arguably embody one of the most distilled iterations of that formula. Now, 14 years since their first release, they are releasing Dream House, their debut album.

Âme made a name for themselves with tracks like “Rej” and “Balladine”: monstrously effective dancefloor bombs that built shamelessly towards huge moments but were tinged with just enough melancholy to keep things tasteful. Dream House, however, is billed as an expansion of their voice. Moving away from the club, the record draws an eye-grabbing list of collaborators, including Matthew Herbert, Cluster founder Roedelius, German art-punk veteran Gudrun Gut, and Planningtorock, and attempts 11 mood pieces, genre workouts, and studio experiments. Like all their work, Dream House sounds expensive and carefully constructed. It’s also punishingly square.

The record suffers from a false binary which remains endemic in dance music: the questionable idea that fun, energetic work should be saved for 12”s while albums are reserved for Serious Artistic Statements. The press release for Dream House explains that it’s “an evocative home listening journey,” as if no one ever listened to energetic music at home. It’s an absurd proposition—imagine Metallica crafting Kill ‘Em All or Yoko Ono prepping Plastic Ono Band deciding to tone it down for “home listening.”

Of course, Âme aren’t obligated to rev their motors if they aren’t in the mood, but Dream House is so bereft of substance that you sense the duo backed into these tracks via mood boards and career strategization rather than genuine inspiration. There’s not a wrong note on the entire album, yet nothing leaps out at you either. It’s a polite wave of empty gestures and aesthetic nods, neither demanding to be heard nor allowing you to be overwhelmed.

The duo draws from Can’s humid wiggle, EBM’s primitive futurism, Pet Shop Boys’ studio perfection, Tangerine Dream’s layered arpeggiations, and "Miami Vice"’s steely soundtrack. These influences could suggest an arty cruise through the 1980s, but Âme’s years of big-room gigs don’t fall away so easily. Everything winds up tech-housed in the end. Sometimes it’s harmless, as on the perfectly lovely chillwave instrumental “Futuro Antico,” but elsewhere things get rough. Herbert, the loungey dark prince of minimal, layers his vocals on “The Line”: “Still just sitting around,” he croons over a melodramatic builder that could pass for the Chainsmokers on a Peter Gabriel binge; “it would be a curious thing if I felt the fury was real.” This from the guy who once sampled a pig being killed to raise “complex questions about our relationship to these often-maligned and misunderstood creatures.” Meanwhile, “No War” loops its title with insulting banality, as if Âme were blithely proposing world peace over oat milk cappuccinos.

Mostly though, Dream House is simply anonymous to the point of invisibility. Heard in a clothing shop or a commercial, you wouldn’t notice a thing, but that’s just the rub. The duo spent three years on this album, and in that time scrubbed it clean of almost any identifying marks or glimpses of spontaneity. In the group’s bio, they describe their music as “strumming at your heartstrings.” This isn’t a good thing. If Âme wanted to make a truly serious artistic statement, they could have risked looking ugly, weird, or uncool. Instead, Dream House forsakes even the grandiose manipulations of their EPs for a placid, empty surface. It looks good on paper. It will sound nice while you cook dinner. Then you’ll forget you ever heard it.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos are the perfect thing for a busy weeknight dinner. They are easy to throw together using leftover chicken and can be customized using whatever Mexican toppings your gang enjoys.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Preview

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator gives wing to Ford’s luxury-SUV ambitions, with sensational style and Lincoln’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator gives strong evidence that Ford’s luxury bona fides don’t start and end with the full-size Navigator.
Revealed at the 2018 LA Auto Show, the 2020 Aviator leaps into the niche between the Navigator SUV and the Nautilus crossover, as it revives a nameplate Lincoln hasn’t touched since the 2006 model year.

Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) Review

Asus has revamped the ZenBook line with a whole new design, including a lighter build, redesigned hinge, and a light-up numpad built right into the touch pad
Should I Buy The Asus ZenBook 14 UX433?
The ZenBook 14 is a very promising shakeup to the Asus laptop line. It’s smaller, lighter, and better looking than any of the previous models, without having to sacrifice either ports or powers. There aren't many laptops around that can offer you a 14in display in a body this compact while still giving you USB-A and HDMI ports, not to mention a Core i7 processor.
Unless you're an Excel addict you can probably safely ignore the glowing numpad - it's a fun gimmick, but most of us will probably forget it's even there, and without tactile feedback it's hardly a proper replacement for the keys. Still, this is a strong enough laptop elsewhere that it doesn't need that gimmick to get by, and there's plenty to recommend it otherwise.

2019 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage challenges the assumption that there are no bad new cars anymore.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact car that prioritizes high fuel economy, a good factory warranty, and a low base price over comfort.
It’s offered in hatchback and G4 sedan bodies, and is available in base ES, SE, and GT trims. We’ve given the Mirage 3.3 out of 10, one of our lowest ratings for any new car.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Review

Nth Time's a Charm

If you groaned at the thought of another "Spider-Man" movie, fear not because you weren't alone. How many times can one character be rebooted or reimagined before it becomes insufferable? Apparently we aren't there yet, because "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Everyone's history with the movies about our favorite neighborhood webslinger differs. Sam Raimi's trilogy has its diehard fans (despite only producing one truly great film) and the Andrew Garfield-led "The Amazing Spider-Man" movies were cut short when they didn't meet expectations (the first one is good!). Last year, Jon Watts' "Spider-Man: Homecoming" found Tom Holland in the title role, providing a fun, well-rounded look at the character, which had been missing for a while.

Like Fan Page