Daedelus – Love To Make Music To
Thought I’d give it a minute to digest around this wonderful musical society we live in before finally divulging my words on Love To Make Music To by Daedelus. And now that minute has passed. Daedelus‘ third full LP on Ninja Tune dropped the other month and did, as predicted, cause a bit of a stir. But… for all the right reasons. You can buy it right now on both double vinyl LP, download and also CD.
Daedelus has long been known for his wonky electro-romantic ways, but it’s worth noting (for the newer fans at least) that Alfred Darlington (born Alfred Weisberg-Roberts) is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and master of many genres. He was spinning and creating jungle and breakcore tracks back in the day and also has his roots in the West Coast hip-hop circles, collaborating over the years with such artists as MF DOOM, Lil Sci (aka John Robinson), Busdriver, Cyne and Prefuse 73. His stock is strong.
Something I have always admired about Daedelus is his ability to turn his hand to, seemingly, any genre. But it’s never a novelty act. Daedelus’ creations have a certain flair and panache that allow the most anti listeners to connect with the music. Sounds that you may otherwise turn your nose up all of a sudden become masterful electronic compositions that leave you feeling immersed in a sonic world where everything sounds Daedelus and everything sounds good.
Love To Make Music To picks up where Denies The Days Demise left off. But this a continued musical evolution in the forever changing soundscape that is the life of Alfred Darlington. At 15 tracks long, this LP is a healthy feast of aural treats, spanning 55 minutes of electronic bliss. Remember folks; components make tracks, but journeys make albums – so let the journey begin…
01. Fair Weather Friends
02. Make It So feat. Michael Johnson
03. Twist The Kids feat. N’fa
04. Get Off Your Hihats
06. Touchtone feat. Paperboy & Taz
07. I Car(ry) Us
08. I Took Two
09. My Beau feat. Erika Rose & Paperboy
10. You’re The One feat. Om’mas Keith
11. Assembly Lines
12. Drummery Jam
13. Only For The Heartstrings
14. Bass In It feat. Taz
15. If We Should feat. Laura Darlington
The proceedings start with Fair Weather Friends, a skewed yet catchy synth laden melody accompanied by a double hand clap led drum break. It’s an uplifting affair that builds and builds – for a better idea, check out the video:
Straight after that is Make It So featuring Michael Johnson. A steady beat and cymbal crashes are paired with 80s pop style electronic sounds and the smooth, yet ever so slightly haunting, vocals. Definitely a track for the summer – only the production techniques of Daedelus could make you nod that head and tap that foot to what is essentially a glitchy electro pop song. Oh, and there is a video to this one too:
The album then takes a grittier turn with the heavy Twist The Kids featuring N’Fa from Australia. Get Off Your HiHats somehow manages to make me enjoy what is basically a house a track of sorts, whilst Hrs:Mins:Secs finds great success in blending an old skool rave/near-on-gabba sound with hip-hop beats – absolute madness, so Daedelus.
Touchstone is a wicked, dark electro hip-hop track featuring Paperboy & Taz, a very addictive track that encompasses a mean break indeed. I Car(ry) Us then brings the album back to the airy romantic scape that Daedelus is so famous for – with elements of electronic organ and Balearic guitar strokes, this intricate composition holds its arrangement with both procession and organised confusion. Frankly, for what it is, it’s quite exquisite. But I Took Two drags us back down to the dark depths with its eerie electronic melody and vocal samples. Another fine example of using 90s dance stylings and refreshing them right up to the present date, it couldn’t sound more relevant if it tried.
My Beau, unlike the version initially released on the Fair Weather Friends EP, features additional vocals by Paperboy as well as Erika Rose and there is just something about this track that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. There is a miami bass vibe in there as well as rnb elements – when it plays… I cant sit still. You’re The One is a tripped out airy hip-hop track featuring the smooth vocals of Om’mas Keith, whilst Assembly Lines is a straight up sound clash between clockwork toys and backwards fair ground aural debris featuring some piercing vocals of a rather unique sounding siren – not entirely sure I’ve heard anything worthy of direct comparison as far as style goes.
The back end of Love To Make Music To begins with Drummery Jam, which is a mash up of sounds and beats that would certainly catch the ear of someone like Cut Chemist. Only For The Heartstrings is a track that wouldn’t have been out of place on the aforementioned Denies The Days Demise LP – if you can sit back and allow yourself to be consumed by the sounds, you’ll no doubt love this complex and beautiful composition, with it’s intricate layers and precise execution. Bass In It is a head nodding hip-hop trance featuring Taz on the mic and then If We Should acts as an outro to the LP, featuring vocals from none other than Daedelus’ wife Laura Darlington – it starts off sounding like something from an early Prodigy track, then the strings come in and the track breaks down into a gorgeous melodic broken beat track that really sets the tone as an outro. An appropriate ending to an eclectic blend of electronic songs that constantly takes you from high to low and all the avenues in between.
Love To Make Music To is certainly different. But ‘different’ isn’t a word anybody should be scared of or shy away from. More than ever it is different music that is becoming not only relevant, but actually essential in the modern market. Even if people don’t necessarily realise it at first, I think that generally a lot are craving ‘different’. Nothing is black and white anymore – I can barely classify artists into genres, but that is a positive thing – especially when the execution can be so perfect. How can I fault the influences of gabba, rave, house and such if it sounds so right? This LP is most definitely a sound clash of styles, but it has the Daedelus trademark all over it and I for one have fallen in love with it.