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Matthew Dear: Headcage EP

Ghostly

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A linchpin of the thriving minimal techno scene, Matthew Dear has undergone a decade-long transformation from enigmatic glitch-pop producer to melody-makin' song man. The new four-song EP, Headcage, is the existing apex of the process and a revealing look at Dear's new front-and-center future. The title track sounds immediately familiar; it's a terse and tasty slice of the sort of wry, bouncy disco Dear's dabbled with in his previous work. But tunes like "Street Song" and "Around a Fountain," which place Dear's aching Arthur Russell-meets-Justin Vernon vocals above circular anti-beats, seem cut from a different cloth. They mainly cull from the current haze craze and have a sort of fragmentary feel about them; their spectral framework sounds like the basis for something not quite yet realized. But the EP is the format for this sort of idea-fleshing, after all, and Headcage is a pretty nice outing if not roundly impactful. (3 out of 5 stars)

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