Matthew Dear as Audion
nn Arbor’s Matthew Dear has only been making records since 1999, but he has already developed somewhat of an identity crisis. In addition to making minimal electronic dance music under his own name, he has recorded as False, Jabberjaw, and most recently, Audion. Unlike many of his contemporaries in the minimal dance scene, however, Dear makes distinct music under each name—while “Matthew Dear” material is often fairly melodic and features vocals, False is ping-ponging percussion-based stuff, Jabberjaw is a bit more glitchy, and Audion? Well, Audion is, um, dirty.
Of course, that’s all a matter of interpretation; after all, Audion material (and most all of the cuts on this Fabric mix CD) are instrumental. We aren’t talking about a filth-talking Prince homage here. But a glance at some past Audion song titles tells you all you need to know: “Your Place or Mine?” “Rubber,” “Titty Fuck,” “Just Fucking.” I consider those to be strong hints as to what sort of activity Dear intends this particular shade of his music to soundtrack.
Look deeper into the grooves, though, and you can see that the sound of sex would permeate, regardless of the giveaway titles. Stripped down and acidic, Audion’s music is definitely the kind that get hips and asses shaking. And as we all know, when those things start moving and blood starts flowing to one’s lower half, impure thoughts and roaming hands are surely soon to follow.
Fueled with a host of like-minded tracks by Mikael Stavöstrand, Ali Khan, Ricardo Villalobos, and *ahem* Claude VonStroke (on the Dirty Bird label, no less)—as well as a quintet of Audion tunes—Dear’s Fabric mix is a seamless blend of sparse beats, bass, and throbbing, squelching low-key melodies that sing like squeaking bed springs and fit as both dancefloor and bedroom workout soundtracks. Though the beat is continuous, Dear manages to vary it enough throughout, to the point where if you randomly skip to any part of the mix, you’ll hear something slightly different, but still totally in the pocket. Any good lover will tell you that you can’t just pound away in 4/4 for the whole night and expect your partner to enjoy it.
DJ mixes can be rather samey at times, but I’d venture to say that everyone could use a record that serves this carnal purpose in his or her collection. It is skillfully crafted, mixed with a real flair, and is sure to get your feet moving, if nothing else. Chances are good, though, that if you listen to this, turn the lights low, and bring a partner (or perhaps two), you’ll get the urge to get some other things moving besides just your feet.