Matthew Dear: Asa Breed

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Matthew Dear: Asa Breed

Moody, variegated and deeply human record from techno chameleon

Those who still believe (against all evidence) that electronic music is cold, inhuman and homogenous would do well to discover the many modes of Matthew Dear. These contrasts don't just occur between his various aliases (Audion, Jabberjaw and False), but within the confines of this record, on which Dear's droll personality is writ large. There are a couple of constants on Asa Breed. One is Dear's voice, somewhere between Bela Lugosi and Ian Curtis (the latter, particularly, on "Deserter," where death-prom synths, raining chimes and Dear's lugubrious vocals are a spot-on send-up of Joy Divisionâ??s "Love Will Tear Us Apart"). The other is the fluid, oozing quality of his sophisticated electronica. But within this framework, Dear puts his imprint on a variety of styles: a clip-clopping Spaghetti Western feel on "fleece on Brain," poppy minimalist techno on "Neighborhoods," robo-funk on "Shy," gleaming New Wave on "Pom Pom" - all rendered cohesive by elegant, immersive production. Brian Howe

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