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Now You Know

Machine Drum

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Album Review

In a genre so alarmingly prone to increasing bouts of insularity and speciation, Machinedrum's debut long-player is something of a pleasant diversion. Although there are few fabrics on this record that haven't been sewn before, Machinedrum's Travis Stewart travels from reference point to reference point in such an unencumbered and celebratory fashion that it's difficult not to get swept up in it all. As a result, certain tracks that seem like direct homages to various major players on the IDM circuit are released from the stranglehold of scrutiny, no questions asked. The joyous chimes of "Hello My Future" (Plaid), the drunken, angelic strut of "Hihowareyoudoingimfine" ("Arovane"), the positively stunning climes of closer "Jewlea" (Boards of Canada) — each and every one absolved of sins of derivation by way of their stunning compositional structure. It all amounts to a devastatingly fulfilling debut, doubly promising when you take into consideration that Stewart was a mere 19 years old when he recorded this. An absolute must.

Biography

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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Now You Know, Machine Drum
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