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Socially Inept

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Album Review

File under delectable: Richard Bailey has easily created the best ambient album you're going to hear in 2004 for Miami's Merck label. Bailey accomplishes the ultimate feat in electronic music production — finding the precise amount of audio content for each track, without ever over-producing or underwhelming. For "Place Gun to Head" it means slowly simmering a grey mindscape before allowing a taunt dubby beat to slide in, followed by some ambient bleeps later down the road. On "Deep Like Airline Failure" it means allowing a wistful guitar line (or synthesized guitar as it may be) to twist up slowly through slightly fractured beats before floating out on its own midway through the track. And on "Little A" it means computing the precise arpeggiated sequence to propel the bubbling rhythm below, catching a mood halfway between the foreboding electronics of Tangerine Dream's Risky Business score and Autechre's patented rotary percussion skip. Most of these tracks rely on the bare minimum of variation to achieve their fluid movements, although "Pinching Point" comes along with a more elaborate set of sounds and stanzas just in time to keep you from drifting too far from shore. Those who perpetually seek out new sonics as the gauge of quality electronic music might be disappointed with the lack of tonal or beat innovation. But in chasing the next sound, too many artists miss the chance to really master the one that they have. Bailey takes the time and delivers one of the best examples of post-millennial atmospheric techno to date.

Customer Reviews

soft and tight

The combination of lush, spread out ambient melodies with tight electronic mechanics is a wonderful combination-you could lose yourself on 2 levels.. the looseness of dense melodic soundscapes, or magnify your attention to the intricacy and rhythmic variations found in the beat. Lovin' it...


There's only one word to describe the ambience of the album and it's beautiful. Slightly melancholy and melodic, understanding and soothing, but still in-tempo. I had to get this album as soon as I heard "When Frailty Fails." Electronica with a soul!

Best Album In My Library

Socially Inept is my favorite album of those which I have. The sound is superb and the flow of the album is strong. The majority of the album is conscious enough to take slow shallow breaths. The dreamy ambience set by the sounds and rhythms keep you in the mood to contemplate and drive long miles into the night. Mainly I listen to this album in the early morning with the shades open as the early sun accompanies me for breakfast. Proem sets the tone for the beginning of a wonderful day or a seductive and enchanting evening. And if you are a night owl as so am I, This album is there for me when the creativity seeps from within. I love this work and I feel that it stands alone in the electronic scene as a leading tone for the rising interest in atmospheric chill music. Great work proem! I am a fan of your IDM style and of your chill smooth sound. Keep'em coming!

Socially Inept, Proem
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Customer Ratings