Release Date: Nov 18, 2014
Record label: Ninja Tune
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Ambient Breakbeat, Dubstep
After a full-length LP, a handful of EPs and numerous exclusive downloads, Machinedrum (born Travis Stewart) is set to bring his lengthy Vapor City recording project to a close with one final instalment. The prolific American producer's Vapor City Archives offers ten previously unheard tracks, though the title should not lead it to be dismissed simply as a collection of B-sides. The record is another quality example of Stewart's carefully crafted blend of jungle, footwork and UK electronic influences.Never one to confine himself to the boundaries of software and computerized instruments, Stewart's taste for the organic is largely present in both the moments of delicate piano and emotive classical guitar sprinkled throughout the disc.
Vapor City Archive concludes a year-long audio-visual project structured around Travis Stewart's exploration of an imaginary city. But don't worry if that concept has passed you by. Subscribers to the Vapor City Citizenship Programme may be able to map Vapor City Archives within that larger work, but for newbies, any Machinedrum album is intriguing on its own musical merits.There's always a lot going on in Machinedrum's music, and Vapor City Archives is no exception.
Travis Stewart is a tireless musician, but his prodigious output is also his Achilles' heel. Pouring himself into the Machinedrum project has served Stewart well over the past five years or so, as he became one of Ninja Tune's best known and beloved artists on the back of 2013's memorable Vapor City LP. But his success has allowed him to inundate excitable fans with music, and Stewart is a poor self-editor.
Last year’s Vapor City LP kicked off a year of Machinedrum projects centred around similar musical and conceptual themes, including EPs, an interactive website, a tour and free downloads. Vapor City Archives brings the series to a close, and despite the impression the title gives, this is a proper album – not a collection of B-sides and outtakes. Building on the connections between slow hip-hop rhythms and double-time footwork beats, Archives is a further exploration of some of its predecessor’s roughly sketched-out ideas.