aedelus’ debut album starts with “Playing Parties”. It’s a simple song that combines a on-the-verge-of-being-overdriven bassline with a simple rhythmic piano sample. Soon other elements begin to emerge from the haze- a clicking noise, obviously from programmed from a computer makes itself very prominent in the mix. This strange juxtaposition of old and new- Scott Joplin-esque piano snippets, string swells from the speakers of a radio that has long since outlasted its high fidelity trademark vs. drum breaks and digital sound processing makes for an interesting combination. Unfortunately, over the course of an entire album, the novelty of this wears thin and hides, to a degree, that there are only a number of memorable songs contained within the disc.
Plug Research’s reputation, as of late, is of groundbreaking forms of IDM. Taking the blueprint for what can be made- cold and sterile soundscapes built entirely from unidentifiable sources. Instead of embracing the glitch wholeheartedly, Plug Research artists (Safety Scissors and Dntel, most notably) have taken glitch and incorporated it into their songs. Yes, songs. The freeform and no beginning or end to songs that electronic music has used as its calling card- and with good reason- seems to be of little concern to many Plug Research artists, Daedelus included.
Approaching then, the album from a traditional song point of view, it quickly becomes apparent there is a lacking element in many of the tracks on the album. Memorable melodies. What remains are non-descript tracks that feature synthesizer melodies that go nowhere and cribbed samples from records.
Perhaps the best tracks on the album are the ones that are featured as bonus cuts. On “Quiet Now” and “Pursed Lips Reply” offer up an alternative to the nearly all instrumental record, reflecting even further Daedelus’ willingness to experiment. While the subject of rapping is less than desirable (hearing Sach rhyme about the rap game over a jaunty clarinet line is a bit odd, to say the least), the result is an interesting one that will hopefully bear some further experiments.
While the record is indeed charming and put together by expert hands, the effect of the two disparate elements of future and past combined together into one seems a bit forced on some tracks- and, far worse, forgettable on others.
To be fair, Daedelus puts these sounds together well. He also combines the traditional elements of IDM, glitchy hip hop influenced beat structures into the mix well. It is obvious that this album has been put together well- it’s just a shame I can’t really remember any of it after the album ends.