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Leave Luck To Heaven

Matthew Dear
Leave Luck To Heaven
(Spectral/Ghostly International)

This is one of those releases that didn't do a lot for me the first time I listened to it, but have found myself going back to over and over since I got it. I think that the first time I spun it, I dismissed it as something that I'd heard too much of before, but the melodies and everything else went ahead and sunk in unconsciously, pulling me back for listen after listen. In a simple definition, Leave Luck To Heaven is 12 tracks and just over 50 minutes of post-house with vocals, but that doesn't really afford it the credit that it really deserves.

Much of the beauty of the disc arrives in the clean and fairly unfettered production of the album. After an ambient, swirling opening track, the disc clicks into gear and never really lets up. "Fex" thumps along with galloping delayed beat patterns and rich breathy swooshes, never really changing a great deal but dropping elements in and out to keep it all interesting. "Just Us Now" is the first track to introduce vocals, and although the BPM drops a bit from the previous track, the track is still lopes along with somewhat techy beats and a rolling bassline behind filtered vocals that actually work pretty well.

There's more than a simple nod to early Plus 8 releases and the whole Detroit sound in general, as tracks move along and progress in fairly clean and simple ways, yet Dear also has infused his music with a modern-day touch and (dare I say?) a smidge of pop sensibility. Unlike the neverending dancefloor burners of his forefathers, tracks on the disc clock in fairly evenly at about 5 minutes and shorter. The twanging bassline and pumping dancefloor beat of "Huffing Stuff" (combined with some great vocals) makes for one of the best vocal electronic tracks I've heard in quite awhile.

If Ellen Allien is the reigning queen of clean and minimal electronic music with ocassional vocals, then Matthew Dear may very well be one of her strong suitors with his slightly different (yet definitely in the same league) work. While there are a couple tracks that drag a bit, ones like the juicy "You're Fucking Crazy" help to compensate by bringing the proverbial "it" in large doses. I remember telling a friend a couple years ago that I couldn't stand electronic music with vocals, but I've been forced to eat my words once again...

Rating: 7.75