San Francisco-based Brendan Angelides has been recording under the name Eskmo for just over ten years now, and it's interesting to see that while his dedication to beat-based electronic music remains strong, he seems to have lost all interest in making anybody want to dance. In fact, on his eponymous debut album he seems fascinated by texture above all else; there are beats -- tons of them -- but they defy you to dance more than they invite you to do so, and they frequently seem to be playing a supporting role behind a bewilderingly complex array of glitches, taps, twangs, thwacks, and drips. Consider "Cloudlight," for example, which blends microscopic pitter-patters, drops of water, vocals, and a bottomless dubstep beat. Or "The Melody," which lumbers forward uncertainly and sounds for all the world like the sound of a bear just emerged from hibernation and dancing clumsily while it lip-smackingly eats a hearty breakfast. Or "Starships," with its scary funky monster sounds; or the (frankly rather disappointing) "We Got More," which sounds like electro Tom Waits; or the especially slow, dark, and rhythmically off-kilter "Communication." "Siblings" is quite abstract and also quite pretty, in an odd and slightly unsettling way, and even more unsettling is the album's closing track, a cool and broken-down song titled "My Gears Are Starting to Tremble." Eskmo is clearly a major talent, and if his muse takes him in odd and inscrutable directions, it's almost always worthwhile to follow and listen.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson