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Album Review

If anyone has a new take on the breaks, now would be a good time to come forth, as the classic kick/ snare/hi-hat seems to have gone through every mutation possible with no small thanks to those crazy computers and their ability to instantly cut everything into double time, quadruple time and 120th time with a click of the mouse. As Machinedrum, Travis Stewart has his fun with breaks, running them through the DSP ringer or distorting them to a healthy crunch. On his fourth album, he remains technically proficient, on par with Jimmy Edgar or Jamie Lidell. But what seems missing here is the soul of the funky drummer, lost in a barrage of ones and zeros that become the ends, not the means. He keeps the boom-bap reasonably straight on "Stevie Bam Jackson" and "Legs," which twists a honky tonk piano along with the slow stuttering drums akin to Dabrye. But he also lets too much hang out, particularly on "Worldcomin" and "Inner Outer" which push the delay past the point where your neck even tries to keep time. Three mixes of other people's tracks awkwardly drop in the middle, although Stewart's cut-up of Cinelux's "Hollis" holds together nicely, with a distant vocal and a vibe melody that fills out the end nicely. If only his concept of melody stayed as firmly planted on this whole album, rather than just the insistent computerized textures, there might be something worth listening to the whole way though.


Born: 04 March 1982 in Eden, NC

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Machinedrum is handily the most well-known alias attributed to Orlando, Florida-based artist Travis Stewart, who has also released material as Syndrone, tstewart, Neon Black, and Aden. Although initially conceived as an outlet for Stewart's drill'n'bass meanderings, Machinedrum's first public release was a hazy, skittering melange that owed more to hip-hop and ambient than to early Squarepusher. Indeed, the bursting "Izey Rael" proved to be the template for Machinedrum's early output. In 2001, the...
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Bidnezz, Machine Drum
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