Matthew Dear

Matthew Dear

If you've followed Matthew Dear over the years, then you know he doesn't like to stay in one place for very long. Even as a primarily electronic artist in the early 2000s, Dear hopped from label to label, switched aliases often, and made everything from steely microhouse to harder Detroit techno. But his biggest departure was 2007's Asa Breed, the record where he stepped out from behind the decks and reached for the mic. Singing on tracks and leaning more heavily on song structure, he built strange hybrid music that had one foot in techno and the other in pop.

Dear's latest album, Black City, follows this path but pulls a pretty drastic shift in tone. Where Asa Breed was bubbly and squeaky and ultimately dancefloor-bound, this record is dark as night. The music brings to mind blown-out warehouses, desolate alleys, and seedy basement nightclubs; it's some real threatening, grimy shit. The production is as inventive and immersive as ever, but what separates this album from the last is that Dear mostly sticks with one theme all the way through. Asa Breed was all over the place at times, but this album has a cohesive thread to follow and smaller vignettes within it.

James and Evander

Nestled deep into the heart of Oakland are the two producers behind the future-poppin' duo James & Evander. James & Evander (a.k.a. Adam Myatt and Glenn Jackson) began crafting electro sounds in the latter's apartment while attending an art school over five years ago. Since then, the pair's sound has evolved far beyond its instrumental indietronica roots and now takes form as subdued, lush synth-pop voyages complete with sparkling melodies and melancholy vocals. Citing influences as disparate as Dntel-style techno, blissful chillwave, and contemporary pop, James & Evander's productions are truly a hybrid, one which has yielded a number of original releases and an on-going remix series.

"Bay Area's most cherished lunatic beat folk phenomenon" --No Fear Of Pop

"We've been hooked on his bizarrely rewarding twists of pop music." --mapzzz blog



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