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Matthew Dear

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Album Review

On Beams, basslines that switch between prowling post-punk and slithering funk, along with slash-and-prickle guitars and bounding drums, inch Matthew Dear closer to his late-'70s/early-'80s inspirations. Dear's vocals are at their most expressive, imposing, and sinister. If kept to an inaudible volume, they could be used in a slasher flick as the mutterings of an obscene phone caller. When heard as clearly as possible, certain couplets, like the one that forms the teenage wildlife chorus within the burbling "Headcage," leave an immediate impression but are sufficiently creepy no matter their harmless (or just imperceptible) meaning. Despite the increased use of traditional instrumentation — and the fact that some of the songs would be more suited for avant-rock playlists than DJ sets — Beams is not worlds away from 2010's equally fascinating Black City. Dear's music still sounds as if it was recorded with cutting-edge means in a squalid bunker beneath scuzzy, terminally damp streets. Opener "Her Fantasy" is, at once, the album's most straightforward and complex song — a simple four-four thump dressed with several elements swimming throughout to chaotic, dizzying, Moodymann-at-a-carnival effect. It's one of his most thrilling and detailed dance tracks, and there's some gorgeous shoegaze — a whole song, really — buried within it. The bass-driven grooves, including "Earthforms," "Up and Out," "Overtime," and "Get the Rhyme Right," stand out most, but the swashing "Temptation" — one of those songs that would be out of place anywhere but last — manages to be just as immense.

Customer Reviews

The Needle Drop brought me here

Great review on Matthew Dears' latest album "BEMS" by Anthony Fantone from the Needle drop. I've just finished listening to this album from cover to cover and I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. I highly recommend this album!!! 5 stars.


Simply one the great current talents - Mix My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Peter Gabriel, and Lou Reed.

seedy electro layered fuzz

love Matthew Dear! this is great music that makes my time in the car sooooo enjoyable. fighting is futile, yesss!!! this is an artist who keeps evolving and pushing the envelope…… if you've ever enjoyed him or never have heard of him, take the time to give him a listen! recently put headcage on a playmix and had a lot of positive feedback. thank you, Matthew!


Born: TX

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

It didn't take long for Matthew Dear to catapult himself into the front rank of microhouse producers, emerging in the early 2000s with a string of high-quality releases for Spectral Sound, Plus 8, and Perlon. Dear broke out in 2003 with the singsongy single "Dog Days," at once a DJ favorite and something of an indie crossover, and continued to switch between (and sometimes fuse together) track- and song-oriented material. He wasn't just a constantly evolving producer but...
Full Bio
Beams, Matthew Dear
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Customer Ratings



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