Daniel Avery

Drone Logic

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After a string of impressive singles and an exciting entry in the Fabriclive series, techno producer Daniel Avery's debut album Drone Logic fulfills all the promise of his early work and delivers something pretty special. Inspired by classic albums by the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Underworld, which were more than just a seemingly random series of tracks strung together and more a kind of listening experience where the sounds, moods, and beats ebb, flow, and build into a cohesive whole, Avery aims very high here. Taking elements from a wide range of electronic styles from acid house and classic Detroit techno to IDM and electro, throwing in some unexpected hints of shoegaze and Neu!, and always making sure to weld mind-expanding melodies onto his alternately soothing and slamming beats, Avery has crafted an album that equals his inspirations and definitely rewards repeated spins. The extremely precise care and feeding of both the rhythms and bleepy synth melodies give the album depth, making it easy to sink deeply into the album's warm textures. Even though almost every song breaks the six-minute mark, there's never a moment of boredom or a time when you start to wonder what the next song sounds like. Avery's skills as a producer and songwriter keep you riveted to the matters at hand, whether you're dancing to the bouncing beats of jams like "All I Need" or drifting off on an inner space journey on songs like the very Autechre-sounding "Free Floating" or the burbling "Need Electric." Even when the beats are tightly wound and punchy, the overall musical equation is tilted more toward the introspective side, with a predominance of melancholy bleeps, chopped-up vocals, and an overall lost-in-thought feeling that gives the album a weighty feel and makes a deep imprint on the listener's brain. That Avery is able to get this deep while still making sure the songs, and therefore the album, have a gently propulsive forward motion is the trick that makes the album something worth exploring. The more you do, the more you'll discover, and the stronger its grip on you will become. The times have changed enough in the music world that Drone Logic won't get the same recognition and acclaim that albums by Underworld or the Chemical Brothers (or even Plastikman or Orbital) received 20 years previously, but it's every bit as good and expansively musical as anything from that era.

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