Release Date: Jun 30, 2014
Record label: Brainfeeder
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Left-Field Hip-Hop
The world of LA beatsmith Matthewdavid (real name Matthew McQueen) is an undeniably sexy one. In fact, that’s the first impression one will get when spinning his second album In My World – a cluster of deep house grooves, chopped and screwed R&B vocals, and sub-bass that would be played at a futuristic Stonewall Inn. Whereas McQueen’s 2011 debut Outmind obscured his hip-hop roots under an ambient sheen, here those influences are amped up into a half-hour long wild and ridiculous adventure.
While Matthewdavid's (a.k.a. Matthew McQueen) 2011 Brainfeeder debut, Outmind, was an exercise in some of the most abstract sounds to come out of the Los Angeles beat-maker scene, it often did so at the expense of cohesion. Sophomore effort In My World is an entirely different and ultimately more digestible listen, as it jettisons its predecessor's more experimental tendencies in favour of psychedelic, neo-soul-pop filtered through Brainfeeder's expected eccentricity.The title track begins with some quick scratches before melting into woozy, smooth soul and blending into the seductive "Cosmic Caller," which blends the sheen of the Stylistics' unheralded early 1980s Streetwise recordings period with an otherworldly sci-fi vibe.
Matthewdavid wants to entice you into his clutches. He’s stripped himself of the fluidly psychedelic beat-swirls of his Brainfeeder debut Outmind and replaced them with the archly seductive lovesounds of In My World, where they magic the promise of a conjugation that’s been shorn of pain, disappointment, boredom, confusion, anger, and all the other little teething problems that normally threaten to scare two people away from each other. In McQueen’s world of dream-state R&B, anesthetized hip-hop, and rainbow IDM, everything is perfect, cocooned from the imperfect realities of egos and economics by the Angelino’s tapestries of numbed synths, beatific raps, and vapor-samples.
Mixtapes that need to segue from Flying Lotus to Odd Nosdam always have the work of Matthewdavid to turn to, and as co-owner of the left-field beat-head haven Leaving Records, the man born Matthew David McQueen has earned enough avant karma to indulge himself, and maybe even in this life. That said, his 2014 effort for Brainfeeder is either an old '80s tape from some lost Prince protégé who has undergone some interstellar deterioration along with some wicked wow and flutter, or it's a pranky slice of freakbeat that demands "on acid" comparisons, such as "New Edition on acid," "Drake on acid," and most often, "R. Kelly on Acid.
Matthew McQueen’s music as Matthewdavid started attracting attention at the top of this decade, and the California-via-Florida-via-Atlanta beatmaker benefited from excellent timing. After a few years of bouncing around Los Angeles’ burgeoning electronic music scene—an exploratory period that included the founding of his initially cassette-focused label Leaving—he caught the discerning ear of Flying Lotus, who signed McQueen to his own Brainfeeder imprint. His proper debut LP, Outmind, was released in 2011, which, depending on how you look at it, was either a very fertile or very tough period for bedroom producers who drew influence from hip-hop.
Just how serious is Matthewdavid? It's a question that hangs over In My World like a pair of ironic quotation marks. The LA producer's vocal-led second album is a quirky proposition: a suite of horny, late-night R&B jams couched in the language of new age spirituality. This search for enlightenment between the sheets makes a refreshing change from R&B's default dialogue of macho arrogance and pornographic detail, but frankly it is no less ridiculous.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Amongst his Brainfeeder label mates, Matthewdavid stands out as the weirdest of the bunch. That's pretty impressive given a roster known, and adored, for wildly experimental, hazy electronic releases, but then he's probably the closest thing the label has to a quintessential artist. The tracks on In My World are a kaleidoscopic collage of sounds taking inspiration from LA's Low End Theory, dub, hip-hop, soul, R&B and electronica, the whole thing delivered through a fugue of lazy synthesisers, shuffling drums and rumbling bass.
Since his debut on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label in 2011, Matthew McQueen has been prolifically releasing material on cassette through his own imprint, Leaving Records. It seemed to be the ideal medium for his work: the limitations in quality and length giving some structure to his experiments with ambient and drone. Partly for this reason, McQueen’s compositions didn’t translate as well on his first album, Outmind.