Ewan Pearson

Fabric 35

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Like many DJs, Ewan Pearson has recorded under a variety of monikers: Maas, Dirtbox, Villa America. Contributing to the Fabric series under his own name, he picks up where minimal techno leaves off, applying a dubwise sensibility to songs and beats that draw deeply on a variety of club and house styles. Two things set his work apart: a restrained sense of experimentalism that keeps his sounds unique without letting them become self-consciously arty, and a sense of humor. For all of its self-proclaimed hedonism, wit and humor are too often lacking in club music, and Pearson helps to correct that problem on this album by including such wry fare as "Ali McBills" by Jahcoozi and the fun (if insubstantial) "Panopeeps (Origin)" by Kaos. At times the line between subtle and boring is blurred a bit too much, and both the pedestrian "Nimrod (Marc Houle Is a Nimrod Mix)" by Marc.Ashken and the only slightly more interesting "Push in the Bush" by Gui.Tar fall to the wrong side of that line. But sometimes a deep and salutary weirdness emerges from what sounds at first like standard-issue club fare -- notice, for example, the twisted organ and Black Ark background sonics of Simon Baker's "Plastic," or the way that Beanfield's "Tides" sounds like Billie Holiday fronting Nitzer Ebb. Very nice overall.

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