Release Date: Feb 18, 2013
Record label: RVNG Intl.
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Left-Field House
The Vedda tribe leaders of Mahiyangana feast upon the sound of the drum. They push menacing spirits away, bless the land, and make the earth sacred through banishing anything that wishes to come between the tribe’s people and a bountiful harvest. It’s the percussion that keeps custom alive, searing with energy in a ritualistic act passed down over time, generation to generation.
Maxmillion Dunbar's recent material has exuded a certain gentle euphoria, almost like he's programmed his synths to emit little blasts of serotonin with each hook or melody. It's a formula that works because each splash of colour is anchored by rugged, hypnotic drums—the rough and the smooth work in unison. By releasing House of Woo through New York label RVNG Intl., the DC-based producer (real name Andrew Field-Pickering) has room to indulge his more esoteric leanings.
Spirited and genre-jumping from the get-go, House of Woo's opening number, "Slave to the Vibe," bounces along like a mix of Derrick May, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Boards of Canada. Follow-up cut "Woo" is as if Prince and Gold Panda were sharing the same dream, and if that's five tasteful music nerd touchstones already, that shouldn't be a surprise to those who know that Washington, D.C.'s passionate electronic music blogger Andrew Field-Pickering is the man behind Maxmillion Dunbar. Still, House of Woo isn't just a crate crawler's mix of prime finds, as the Dunbar sound becomes identifiable after repeat listens.
There's an image that keeps appearing in my head while listening to Maxmillion Dunbar's second album, House of Woo. It's of Andrew Field-Pickering, aka Maxmillion Dunbar, a balding, broad-shouldered, slightly round man who looks like someone capable of giving life-affirming hugs. By his own account, Field-Pickering spent a lot of time making Woo while lying in a recliner, looping its tracks for hours on end, while his girlfriend lay in a second recliner next to him.
Maxmillion DunbarHouse Of Woo[RVNG Intl.; 2013]By Josh Becker; March 21, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG“Slave To The Vibe,” the opening track to Andrew Dunbar Field-Pickering's second LP House of Woo, is a mix of breakbeat, house, downtempo, IDM, ambient, and even (courtesy of a Legend-of-Zelda-ready panflute sample) new age. And if that one song packs such a stylistically varied punch, just imagine what the other twelve have in store for the curious listener. Not to fear: this mélange of genres never makes the record seem overcrowded with ideas or lacking in focus.