Daedelus

Love to Make Music To

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On his 2006 album Denies the Day's Demise, Daedelus created a sunny whirl of chirpy electronics, frothy samples, and pervasive Brazilian influences that was arguably the best record of his career. Proving that he's not content to make the same record over and over, on 2008's Love to Make Music To Daedelus strips back his sound a bit (a tiny bit) and pumps up the jams a lot. Using a bunch of guest appearances from rappers and vocalists and a beat-heavy sound, he's focused more on the dancefloor than in the past. Instead of just making a straight-up party record, though, the same sense of lighthearted, anything goes soundcraft flows through the album like great bolts of sunshine. Try as he might to make hedonistic, druggy tunes, Daedelus can't help throwing in every sonic idea that might (or might not) fit into his songs, turning them into wonderfully top-heavy and warped jams that hit both your feet and your brain equally. Even the silliest song on the record, "Bass It In" (nice Buffalo Gals sample!), features vocals that are sped up and slowed down at random, making it impossible to enjoy without noticing how clever the production is. And the production is clever. Also, smart and fun and thrillingly daft. In other words, just like every other Daedelus album. Mixed in with the party jams are a couple of more thoughtful tracks (like the melancholy "Only for the Heartstrings" and the fractured New Order tribute "Make It So") that give the record some dynamic flow. The various guest appearances add some variety, too. The rapping from Sa-Ra's Taz Arnold on a couple tracks, the soulful vocals from Paperboy and Erika Rose (on the almost radio-ready "My Beau"), and vocodered harmonies from Laura Darling on the icy smooth "If We Should" are all positive additions to the album. N'fa's innocuous verses on "Twist the Kids" are a definite negative, though. Luckily, they are the only blot on an otherwise excellent record. Love to Make Music To may not be the best Daedelus album, but it's not far from it -- and that makes it just about the best electronic pop you are likely to hear in 2008.

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