Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Daedelus - 2006 - Denies the Day's Demise



Daedelus' fifth album in five years Denies the Day's Demise continues the Santa Monica soundscaper's brilliant string of records. His previous album's excellence made it seem like Daedelus was working at his peak but amazingly he not only equals that album but surpasses it, creating his most satisfying album since his debut. All the ingredients of the usual sonic feast are present in copious amounts; beats that bob and weave like punch-drunk boxers, inventive samples drawn from unique and obscure sources, a whimsical sense of humor, and seriously good songcraft. Yes, songcraft. So many electronic artists are deficient in this area that when someone takes the time to craft electronic pieces that flow like a great and meaningful song, you have to stop and give them some love. Just try to call "Our Last Stand," the achingly melancholy "Never None the Wiser," or "Sundown" anything but great songs. Added to the stew this time around are some Latin influences (the funky Brazilian samples on "Bahia," the rhythmic underpinnings on "Nouveau Nova," "Samba Legrand," and "Petite Samba"), some manic bursts of energy like on the get-out-of-your-chair-and-shake-something rocker "Sawtooth EKG," and the return of lush and dreamy orchestra and horn samples that mostly disappeared after Daedelus' first album. Check "Dreamt of Drowning," "Patent Pending," and "At My Heels" to hear how sublimely Daedelus mashes together such disparate sounds as clattering electronics and orchestras. Subtracted are the guest appearances that were all over his last album and they aren't missed at all. He also has put to rest any avant-garde leanings and moments of chaos that have slowed him down in spots before. In their place he has added more passion, more melody and more richness, which results in the most consistent, tuneful, and exuberant Daedelus record yet. Like booklet cover star Little Nemo, Daedelus creates his own dream world where everything and anything is possible and probable.