ver been told you’re too nice by your soon to be ex-girlfriend? Drew Daniel hasn’t either. But consider this his calling out. Drew. Baby. You’re too nice. Too kind. Too quick to please. Slow it down. Take your time. We want to party, pal. But we don’t want to party like that.
See, Daniel is an incredibly talented programmer. You can tell on every single track on Do You Party? that a steady hand has guided the proceedings, knowing exactly what each second will bring the listener. But maybe that’s the problem. Daniel knows too much. He’s too self-aware.
Better than anything that Matmos has released, thus far, because of its lack of concept, Do You Party? still misses the status of modern classic because of simply too much thinking and not enough...well...big booty bitches.
It’s an exceptional record. It’s got great singles with tons of potential. “Gender Studies”, “Promofunk”, “Big Booty Bitches”- these songs absolutely destroy. “Gender Studies” using a confusing array of cut-up vocal samples to elicit a hesitant and stuttery dance party, while “Big Booty Bitches” lays it down for its four minute length with no regrets. Any dance party minus these songs, honestly, is sorely lacking. But there is a rest of the album to speak of, I suppose.
Which is a shame, but we must. “Soft on Crime” employs the same cut and paste method of vocals mixed with a funky house inflected beat. But something’s missing- maybe it’s the glorious chord progression that floats throughout “Gender Studies.” Maybe it’s the comprehensibility and humor of the samples that work throughout “Big Booty Bitches.” Whatever the case, it misses an essential element to allow listening on both the dance floor and the headphones a pleasurable experience.
The essential problem with Soft Pink Truth is, in the end, it’s obvious that Daniel could do better. As evidenced by single tracks on Matmos albums and the beauty of a few tracks here, Daniel is capable of moving the crowd with ease. Instead, Daniel chooses not to do so on some tracks here, allowing for respite among the true showstoppers. It’s an odd tactic and one that is not entirely effective. If you can put out an album of bangers, why keep them locked away? In the end, it makes the album unnecessary and the singles all the more essential- something the post-digital music consumer can easily identify with. As for Daniel, the self-awareness helps make himself and Matmos critic favorites and dance-floor maybes. A choice that artists like Herbert have not had negotiate, because they make music that satisfies both. For a debut album, however, Daniel has done a fine job- just not an exceptional one.