Big Black Delta

Album Review of Big Black Delta by Big Black Delta.

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Big Black Delta

Big Black Delta

Big Black Delta by Big Black Delta

Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Master of Bates
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

62 Music Critic Score
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Big Black Delta - Fairly Good, Based on 4 Critics

musicOMH.com - 80
Based on rating 4
80

Big Black Delta, the new project of Mellowdrone founder Jonathan Bates, first made a mark last summer with the release of the single iFUCKINGLOVEYOU. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the highlights of Bates’ debut album under this name. It’s a huge track, the kind that cries out for stadia to echo around and pyrotechnic displays to accompany it. The bassline line is muscular, the brass parts foghorn-like and the chorus a frenzy of double-time drumming and screaming choral voices.

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Under The Radar - 75
Based on rating 7.5/10
75

Los Angeles-based master of synth, Jonathan Bates, has spent the past decade basically perfecting experimental pop with his band Mellowdrone. Taking a step away from the group, Bates has set out on his own as Big Black Delta, and his debut long play is a formidable collection of fresh material and works previously released only in limited editions. .

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No Ripcord - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

It would probably be fair to say that there’s more than a hint of dorkiness to Mellowdrone frontman Jonathan Bates’ Big Black Delta side project. As if the wanky name that he’s chosen to for his own record imprint with wasn’t enough of a tip-off, there’s his fondness for tinkering about with robotic voices, or for brash, endearingly OTT synthpop in general, such as former single IFUCKINGLOVEYOU; a little bit LCD Soundsystem, a bit Bond theme on fast forward, a touch mid-00s post-punk revival, and a whole lot of Phoenix, which culminates in Bates screaming that title over and over in an enjoyably ridiculous way. Despite such borderline awkwardness, it would be fair to say that Big Black Delta’s first album more than delivers on the first part of their (or rather his) name; everything here is written large (and then some).

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Consequence of Sound - 30
Based on rating D
30

If Jonathan Bates’ output as the founder and frontman of Mellowdrone constituted an experimental seven-part anthology, then his self-titled LP as Big Black Delta is a sonic prequel highlighting the many sources of inspiration for his earlier lo-fi project. Free of lyrics, guitars, and percussion, the sterile “PB3” is an assortment of mellow synthesizer drones that evoke imagery of isolated exploration à la past-collaborator M83’s cinematic scores. It’s how Bates modifies this underlying theme that leads to often extensive differentiation between his solo efforts.

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