Matthew Dear’s records have been remarkably consistent in terms of both quality and in his successful rebooting of Teutonic electronica (“Teutronica?”). Whereas modern music can be stylish yet uninvolving, Dear has a clever way of getting under your skin through a sequence of beats or an unexpected key change. ‘Beams’ continues his excellent form.
Dear’s voice may not appeal to everyone. Imagine hearing The Human League’s Phil Oakey the morning after a particularly heavy night on the tiles and you wouldn’t be far off the mark. However, his music is often tailor-made for the dancefloor; bouncy opener ‘Her Fantasy’ is a chip off the old Hot Chip block whilst ‘Headcage’ aims for Junior Boys-style sensuality. ‘Earthforms’ is more downbeat and robotic and therefore in keeping with Dear’s familiar style but he never loses that gift for finding something infectious.
With that thought in mind, ‘Up & Out’ is typical Dear genius; all tight rhythms and sharp metallic hooks whereas ‘Get The Rhyme Right’ possesses an unshakeable groove and unexpected melodic about-turns. Furthermore, for those who find Dear’s music rather cold, look no further than the warm washes of sound which accompany his soothing tones for ‘Ahead Of Myself’.
So overall it’s business as usual for Dear but whilst he’s still able to craft cunningly addictive and intelligent pop songs, there is absolutely no reason to complain. More of the same German-style efficiency next time please, Matthew.
Hot Chip, Tarwater, Colder