North Carolina native Travis Stewart has been making music as Machinedrum for over a decade, but he’s just now starting to turn heads. His breakthrough album, last year’s excellent Vapor City, released by Ninja Tune, was a unique pairing of footwork and juke with IDM’s psychedelia and Burial’s emotive pitch-shifted vocals. He’s been keeping busy ever since, releasing the follow up Fenris District EP, collaborating with Prefuse 73, and touring extensively.
Now Stewart has offered up an outtake from Vapor City, the nearly nine-minute “Hazel Ash,” as a free download. The track demonstrates his unique approach as a producer, building something that’s quite danceable out of odd ingredients, such as delicate piano, guitar, and even a poem. With it's slightly generic female vocal sample and substantial length, "Hazel Ash" would have weighed Vapor City down a bit, but I'm thrilled to have the track as a free download. Machinedrum is one of the most promising projects out there, and while Vapor City is less than a year old, I know I'm already hungry for more.
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- Ninja Tune
- 'Vapor City' out now