Drown Out

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Daedelus' thirteenth album and first outing for Anticon finds the Los Angeles electronica veteran continuing to cleverly splice up ambient textures into bouncy beats. Unlike prior releases, there are no guest vocalists on this one, and hyper-compressed synthesizer swells play a bigger part, giving all the instrumentals a pumping pulse. Surprisingly, electric guitar loops come into play this time around, too. He shows off his greatest talent throughout, however, and proves himself a master of tricking out a wide variety of samples, from a swirling choir singing John Dowland's "Come Again! Sweet Love Doth Now Invite" in the mighty "Tiptoes," to a chopped-and-screwed version of 2Pac's "I Get Around" in "Keep Still," to a field recording of skateboarders grinding curbs on "Music Concrete." The album is wonderful background music, with its light and airy style of skittering digital beats and symphonic sound bites. Also worth noting is how Drown Out manages a live quality, not found on most releases from electronic producers who use out-of-the-box laptop software, and this is due to Daedelus' unique "on the fly" style of creating, which involves the punching of pads on of his custom-made bit box controller. Anyone lucky enough to catch his live show knows he is one of the most animated electronic performers in the game, and this energy transfers over to the soundscape of this recording relatively well. It's the type of album that will be most apt to impress aspiring producers, but also hip enough that it could serve as a backing soundtrack for a dinner party too.

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