Apr 5, 2015

Sundaze 1514


Today's Sundazers are pointed to Canada however the artist succumbed to the lure of Berlin later,. N'joy

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Though based in Montreal, Deadbeat and his ultra-textured ambient dub soundscapes made their way around the world, finding large audiences in Europe as well as in North America. Deadbeat producer Scott Monteith is a member of the same fertile Montreal scene that includes such luminaries as Akufen (Marc Leclair) and Algorithm (Jeff Milligan). Like his peers, he gained international acclaim in the early 2000s once the French-Canadian city became a hot spot for laptop techno (see the Montreal Smoked Meat compilation), thanks partly to the world-renowned Mutek festival, as well as a wealth of Montreal-based record labels. Monteith debuted as Deadbeat in July 2000 with the Cesium Beam 12" for Hautec Records and has since recorded for such labels as Revolver, Intr_Version, Background, Force Inc, Oral, Scape, Cynosure, and Clitekture. In addition, he has collaborated with Steve Beaupre as Crackhaus and with Robert Henke (Monolake) as Atlantic Wave.

Monteith moved to Montreal in 1995 and quickly became enthralled by the city's underground community of digital musicians and artists, eventually co-founding the multimedia collective Covert Ops. He began recording music as Deadbeat in early 1998 and released his first 12" in 2000. A year later, fellow Montreal producer Mitchell Akiyama released the debut Deadbeat full-length, Primordia (2001), on his Intr_Version label, and another year later, Stefan Betke (Pole) released the follow-up, Wild Life Documentaries (2002), on his Scape label. During the intermittent time, numerous other labels released Monteith's recordings as Deadbeat; most notably, Force Inc showcased the producer's work -- both as Deadbeat and as half of Crackhaus -- on its scene-encapsulating Montreal Smoked Meat (2002) collection.

The Scape label remained his home for the 2004 release Something Borrowed, Something Blue along with 2005's New World Observer, which introduced a more danceable sound. Journeyman's Annual from 2007 continued on this path with dancehall and dubstep figuring into the mix, while his 2008 effort Roots and Wire -- released by the Canadian label Wagon Repair -- was a return to slow dub. A dub techno mix on The Agriculture titled Radio Rothko followed in 2010. By 2011, Scape was no more, but with the label as his inspiration, Monteith formed BLKRTZ and released the Deadbeat album Drawn and Quartered on the imprint that year. The project's eighth official studio effort, simply titled Eight, arrived on BLKRTZ in 2012 with guest appearances from Dandy Jack, Mathew Jonson, and Danuel Tate.

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Much stronger and accomplished than the first Deadbeat album, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE sees Scott Menteith exploring the boundaries of dub further, with a keen interest to the space created by reverb, rather than reverb itself.

The second offering from Montreal's Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, for the Scape imprint, "Something Borrowed, Something Blue"" is another sublime study of microscopic rhythm structures and dub variations from a man who cut his first album from the same cloth as that Pole used so well for his groundbreaking debut six years ago. Produced in homage to his recent marriage (hence the title), the album also contains an effortless romantic undertone that's built around simple piano notes, effervescent textures and an unusual percussive character (crickets chirping, space echoes fragmenting) that's in turn startling and humerous - a rare feat in the ever-serious world of electronic music. The epic "Head Over Heels" is quite possibly the most overtly romantic and groundbreaking piece on offer - a haunting elevation of strings and solitary piano lines counterpointing the delays and bass modulations of the dub scope with beautiful assymetry and feel for heart-stopping nuance. "Requiem", meanwhile, dusts off the bassline legacy of Sly and Robbie at their most devastating and goes for the dub jugular with utmost depth. In all, a worthy follow up to Deadbeat's excellent debut - further studies into the nether regions of dub and its fractured worlds of possibility.

Deadbeat - Something Borrowed, Something Blue  (flac 481mb)

01 A Brief Explanation... 0:59
02 Head Over Heels 7:23
03 White Out 7:52
04 Requiem 8:36
05 Steady As A Rock 5:32
06 Fixed Elections 6:38
07 A Joyful Noise (Part I) 7:18
08 A Joyful Noise (Part II) 6:21
09 Quitting Time 9:50
10 Portable Memory (The Final Cut) 8:54

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What makes a piece of heady dance music feel closer to techno or dub in 2011? Plenty of modern tracks bears the traces of 1970s Jamaica and ‘80s Detroit, but rarely do they try to literally recreate the music of either time or place. Too many generations have gone by, and the form rarely aims for retro. But even without vintage gear or strict homage, the principles of old technologies feed the music. Dub is the product of mixing desks becoming mainstream, and techno is the parallel outcome of samplers and drum machines becoming affordable. The contrast between the two comes with how the flow of time is treated. A mixing desk implies time moving in an arrow, as the tape beneath the faders run to the end. A sampler implies time cycling, as loops and drum patterns overlap and phase. I don’t mean this in some sort of profound or philosophic sense (though it’s a split that’s been noted). To throb out musical intoxication, a techno joint whirls, and a dub is a series of chambers revealing ever deeper secrets.

Drawn and Quartered is a pretty intoxicating whirl. The only explicitly dub references come on the “fifth quarter” track, which doesn’t make it on the vinyl release. That track halts after a wispy intro, coming back in with a ska horn chart and one drop bass that flows through key changes. For the four official sides, the frequencies naturally covered by bass guitar are mostly empty, with lower-than-low tones providing a shifting floor. “First Quarter” and “Second Quarter” build themselves gradually, while “Third” and “Fourth” start with a groove and stick with it. All of them put more gears in the clockwork than the work by Rhythm & Sound and Pole that probably led Monteith to Germany, but Drawn is hardly busy. The extra layers always serve the core beat. Even the mostly ambient “Third” has a slow sway that’s implied by alternating between two long tones.
The peak of joy (and Drawn and Quartered is brighter than the title or the producer’s name suggest) comes on “Second,” where foggy palpitations assemble into a hop. Crinkled treble is pushed aside like the wake of a motorboat, as the hop bounces among the waves. As other click-and-bump expats like Shackleton and Morphosis assemble in Berlin, Deadbeat’s moves are full of good choices.

Deadbeat - Drawn And Quartered  (flac  330mb)

01 First Quarter 11:40
02 Second Quarter 12:00
03 Third Quarter (The Vampire Of Mumbai) 10:39
04 Fourth Quarter (Cala's House) 11:36
05 Plateau Quarter (Hope In Numbers) 11:44

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Deadbeat's eighth studio album lands replete with guest assistance from longtime collaborator Robert Henke aka Monolake, fellow Canuck-in-Berlin Mathew Jonson, Cobblestone Jazz dude Danuel Tate, and Chilean micro-groove guy Dandy Jack. It's a solid reaffirmation of Scott Montieth aka Deadbeat's sheer production skills and deft way with a Dub Techno flex, refining the stripped down and propulsive style he's honed with countless 12"s and remixes for respected labels such as Wagon Repair, Echocord and ~scape. Highlights have to be tense but spacious dub flux of 'Elephant In The Pool', the signature SH101 narration from Jonson on 'Wolves And Angels' and no doubt the sleekly streamlined and bodily synced TechnoHouse flex of 'My Rotten Roots', punctuated by Robert Henke's super criss woodblock snares and rendered sharp by his "metal room design".

Deadbeat - Eight  (flac  368mb)

01 The Elephant In The Pool 7:23
02 Lazy Jane (Voc Danuel Tate) (Steppers Dub) 5:45
03 Alamut 7:32
04 Wolves And Angels 8:02
05 Punta De Choros 5:19
06 My Rotten Roots 8:10
07 Yard 8:01
08 Horns Of Jericho 8:14

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Greyhoos said...

Greetings, Rho. Any chance of a re-up of these three Deadbeats? It'd be much appreciated, if you could.

Anonymous said...

Yo Mr Rho, would love a re-up of Something borrowed when you get a chance. Hearty thanks, big fella x