Review: Deetron - Music Over Matter


Techno purists aren't going to love this album and neither are the hipsters, but hey, hipsters are the exact same bunch that thought that Stacey Pullen was a woman. Nevertheless, I love this album - for every ounce of diversity and soul that it comes with, and will be probably be playing it A LOT in the months to come. 

Over many recent conversations with producers, DJ's and musicians alike, it seems that our main gripe, apart from the state of current pop music, is the whole 'rise of the techno hipster movement' that's been the rising tide in clubs over the last year or so. And with most 'hipsters' in general, it's actually quite easy to spot them on a dance-floor, based on the notes we've exchanged and our experiences with them over the course of time. However, like it or not, a lot of individuals base their ideals over experiences read, not lived, and more often than not, the choice to follow the wrong perceptions of the like-minded.

I had the pleasure of reviewing Deetron's 'Balance Mix' on this blog in October of 2011, and that, already, a deck-bound statement, 3 decks actually, of how far this man had come in his craft as a DJ. One thing I love about Sam Geiser, better known as Deetron to his growing fan-base, is his ability to merge the  aesthetics of everything great about dance music and churn out some of the most soulful and divine music any great DJ would take the upmost pleasure in playing. Always paying attention to substance more than style or even genre for that matter, Sam's made an art of this - switching tempos, driving rhythms, intricate layering – welding pop undertones with a rich coating of melodic, hook-laden sensibilities. 

He's now dropped a cracker of a long player in 'Music Over Matter'. His second album, eight years after the release of 'Twisted' in 2007, is much more a collaboration-heavy affair in comparison to his debut, which could be said to have been a more introspective outing then. What hasn't changed between the two, is the glossy approach to his production style and the influence and essence of the Detroit sound, which one will find within a great many tracks on this new album too.

Opening the album with a proper punch, "Thinking" takes Geiser on a trip through his soul and R&B roots enlisting the help of fellow swiss home-boy Ripperton and London house producer Cooly G on vocals. A tapestry of broken beats and sketchy bass drive the mainstay of this one layering and swirling with greater intensity as the minutes march on building into it's four on the floor signature change punctuated by subtle acid stabs before it draws to it's eventual climax.

'Crave' that follows, sees DFA stalwarts Hercules and Love Affair take centre stage on vocal duties for an arpeggiated synth driven disco-fied journey that pay every dividend of respect to the 80's synth-pop influence that was so much the basis of many an early techno record to come out of Detroit in the early 90's.

Seth Troxler lends his vocal talent on the driving and sensually sinister 'Love Song' before Deetron decides to fly solo on the deep and hauntingly melodic 'Sing' before the next collaborator takes up the microphone. Up and coming Belgian soul singer Delvis exercises his smooth, sultry vocal chords to lhe very limit on the stylish, classy deep, chuggy, Kerri Chandler-esque 'Insatiable'.

This slick deepness continues on the already pre-released 'Rhythm' with British crooner dropping his 'Breach' guard to nip in and do what he does best.

The album takes a little turn with Geiser's next 'solo flight' as 'Come Away Further' breaks it down into a more jerky broken string-laden affair - stick very slick though, by all accounts. German DJ and Producer (and one-time music journalist) Fritz Kalkbrenner takes up co-pilot duties next on the lucious 'Bright City Lights', keeping in tune with the warmth we've become accustomed to from young Fritz. 'Count On Me' keeps that lush deep-house vibe flowing on Geiser's next solo effort, before he introduces British bad-boy Simbad on vocal duties on 'Strange Things'.

The most surprising collaboration on the album comes in the inclusion of Australian born, British based singer George Maple, who, along with Jessie Ware, Jess Mills and Lulu James , is part of what no one is calling minimal tech-soul. George (she's female, for those who don't know her work) lends that smooth sultry, sensual vocal touch to another one of the albums lush laden tunes, 'Rescue'. I dare say that I quite like this actually.

The album rounds off on a more up-tempo note with Deetron back in solo-flight again,. 'Can't Love You More' and the already massive 'Starblazer' bring an end to the record in true Deetron fashion, which is needless to say, slick, driving, diverse, deep and groovy. Don't look for anything 'ground-breaking' or life changing here though. It is what it is, an album of great dance music, made for the dance-floor by a person who's a master craftsman at doing this.

01. Thinking feat. Ripperton & Cooly G
02. Crave feat. Hercules & Love Affair
03. Love Song feat. Seth Troxler
04. Sing (Album Version)
05. Insatiable feat. Delv!s
06. Rhythm feat. Ben Westbeech
07. Come Away Further
08. Bright City Lights feat. Fritz Kalkbrenner
09. Count On Me
10. Strange Things feat. Simbad & Justin Chapman
11. Rescue feat. George Maple
12. Can’t Love You More
Bonus track: Starblazer