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Exquisite Corpse

Daedelus

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Album Review

Daedelus' fourth album finds the Santa Monica-based producer at the peak of his considerable powers. Exquisite Corpse is a near perfect blend of the densely packed, sample heavy, nearly symphonic electronica and off-kilter hip-hop that the last three albums have featured. The main difference here is that for the first time a Daedelus record is loaded up with collaborations; MF Doom, Prefuse 73, Mike Ladd, French rappers TTC and Laura Darling among others, and while a few of them add some luster to the proceedings (MF Doom unspools a typically unhinged rap on the hilarious "Impending Doom," Mike Ladd drops a typically heavy rap into the melancholy and political "Welcome Home") for the most part the guests don't add or subtract much from the sound of the album. That sound is a clattering and sparkling blend of junk shop sampladelica, post-rock sound sculptures, fractured experimental techno and underground hip-hop that will have you clutching the arms of your chair as the record lurches and whirls from one song to the next. Just trying to wrap your head around a track like "Just Briefly" with its glitchy string samples, ghostly vocals piped in from some old opera record, mumbled bits of raps and a Can-like rhythmic drive is enough entertainment to justify the cost of the disc. That almost each track has the same exuberant feeling, brilliant construction and whacked-out sense of glee makes the record an unfettered joy to listen to. Only a couple of tracks like "Drops," the collaboration with rapper Cyne that suffers from less than inspired rapping, and "The Crippled Hand," which goes on too long, are less than wonderful. Along with Prefuse 73, Dabrye, Jason Forrest and a few others, Daedelus is keeping experimental techno (or whatever you want to call it) alive with records like this, records full of humor, brains, passion and breathtaking sounds. Exquisite Corpse definitely lives up to half of its title and you would have to be the other half to pass up a chance to check it out.

Biography

Born: Santa Monica, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born Alfred Weisberg-Roberts in Santa Monica, California, producer/instrumentalist Daedelus wanted to be an inventor from an early age, a sentiment that led to him choosing an artistic moniker (in Greek mythology, Daedelus was known as an inventor, although Weisberg-Roberts also cites the character Stephan Dedalus in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man — as well as the ship in the Japanese cartoon Robotech — as equally valid reasons for his selection) when he began releasing...
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Exquisite Corpse, Daedelus
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