Release Date: Sep 17, 2013
Record label: Anticon
Genre(s): Electronic, Downtempo, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Left-Field Hip-Hop
Dressed up as a Victorian dandy, and with a mad professor air about him, Alfred Darlington embodies the eccentricities of the music he produces as Daedelus. It's an image reflected in the loose concepts of some of his albums; 2011's Bespoke was an ode to haute couture, while the title of 2005's Exquisite Corpse—taken from a surrealist parlour game—alluded to the weird juxtapositions of beats and samples within. Such affectations might be gimmicky, but they also add a sense of fun and flamboyance often lacking in the LA beat scene, of which Darlington is a part.That said, such qualities aren't particularly suited to the themes of Darlington's 12th LP.
Daedelus' thirteenth album and first outing for Anticon finds the Los Angeles electronica veteran continuing to cleverly splice up ambient textures into bouncy beats. Unlike prior releases, there are no guest vocalists on this one, and hyper-compressed synthesizer swells play a bigger part, giving all the instrumentals a pumping pulse. Surprisingly, electric guitar loops come into play this time around, too.
On a mission to release his brand of lush electronic experimentation on every independent record label ever to exist, L.A.-based beatsmith Daedelus has taken his 13th studio album, Drown Out, to the legendary Anticon, and, surprise, surprise, it's a doozy. Always one to subvert expectations, Drown Out features less of the ultra-creative international crate-digging that coloured his recent releases for Ninja Tune, instead focusing on meditative synthscapes, textured and deeper than deep. Although, a sneaky Tupac sample does make an exuberant appearance on the house-tinged "Keep Still." One thing that does remain a constant on Drown Out is the intense musicality Daedelus brings to every project.
Many artists would pay to have the problem that L.A. beat scene veteran Daedelus has-- a surplus of ideas. Accordingly, his albums, including his newest effort Drown Out, can seem like they have multiple personalities, jam-packed with ideas that don’t necessarily jive. Drown Out is Daedelus’s first record for Anticon-- he hops from label to label as easily as he hops concepts-- but rather than displaying any artistic growth, he seems to be settling back into his old ways.