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Feeling the Fuck-a-Thon 

Matthew Dear comes on strong as Audion

Wednesday, Apr 19 2006
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As your average noise-rock freak-a-zoid, I'm a club music rookie. But over the past six months, ass kickin' electronic dance music commonly referred to as minimal techno or microhouse — a kind of über-pointillist, strip-it-down-to-essentials approach to constructing insanely mechanized and tactile polyrhythmic grooves — has seized a rather large chunk of my heavy rotation, including three discs from Detroit producer Matthew Dear: Leave Luck to Heaven, Backstroke, and Suckfish.

The first two full-lengths consist of tastefully well-crafted microhouse that operates as beat-driven, pinprick digi-pop for home stereo use; it's more mind than body. But Suckfish — which, technically speaking, was produced under Dear's alias Audion — is a collection of three previously released 12-inches and a smattering of additional jams reflecting Dear's recent desire to create a "much harder and much more aggressive music." That is an absolute understatement. Featuring such graphic titles as "T*tty F*ck," "Just F*cking," and "Uvular," the album is a full-throttled dance floor fuck-a-thon (to borrow one of Dear's fave dirty words).

The relentless intensity coursing through Suckfish is a testament to Audion's precision and control as a sculptor meticulously chiseling every sound's texture on the atomic level. The compressed snares are beyond crisp, airtight hi-hats and sandpaper handclaps leap from the speaker cones, synths stab with laser-guided accuracy, and myriad bleeps 'n' churps spiral away in the most erotically sinuous logarithms imaginable.

When arranging these various elements into some severely austere rhythmic designs, Audion doesn't induce orgasm so much as he — like an authentic tantrist — allows the orgone to simply keep building and building and building. That's how, according to Dear, you really get people to "lose themselves a lot easier."

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Justin F. Farrar

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