You’re lying around someone’s house at 8 a.m., frontal lobes saturated and then rinsed clean. Muscles turned to jelly, people roll on the floor smoking cigarettes slowly, dropping ash on the floor and the curtains are drawn to keep out the clarity of daylight. Your senses are so finely attuned that you can’t bear the slightest bit of harshness, and you must have everything you need right now if only you could work out what you needed. One thing you do know is that you need music that’s soft and enfolding and that brings out the beauty in a moment that could otherwise be squalid.
That’s what ‘Deserter’ is aiming at – soft beats roll along while string-like sounds soar. The tempo is languid and you can close your eyes and taste the remnants of euphoria left over from a few hours before. Dear sings slowly, metronomically and repetitively. The words, about cynicism, loss and excess seem poignant.
In the cold light of day, the words are doggerel, somewhat pretentious and over-the-top. But is that really the point? In messy rooms across Europe this will still hit the spot at that key moment.
Dear is one of the great talents we’ve got in electronic music right now, and he does prove that he can do more than churn out bangers here. Lyrics are clearly not his strong suit but that probably doesn’t matter in the end, because with a bit of practice he’ll improve (or get someone else to write them). I can’t wait for the album to drop.
Kieran Hebden’s mix is harsher and beatier despite taking the simple melodies of the original and turning them into an overload of tinkly sweetness. I for one won’t be listening to it after I get home from Sonar, because of that lack of pillowy comfort. It is, however, still beautiful and places less emphasis on the lyrics which is a good thing. So although it might not be right for the living room, it'll still sound great on the beach, especially the unexpected eight bars of kickdrum at the end.
Tracklist: Matthew Dear – DeserterA1 Deserter
A2 You Know What I Would Do
B1 Deserter (Four Tet remix)