Sunday, May 2, 2010

Deru - Say Goodbye to Useless (2010)


"Having previously released for iconic electronica labels like Neo Ouija, Ghostly International and Merck, Deru now arrives at Mush for the release of his third album. Say Goodbye To Useless captures the producer (real name Benjamin Wynn) at the height of his powers, mixing hip-hop toughness with some eerily evocative sound design atmospherics that lend the album a real sense of depth and emotional grounding. 'I Would Like' heralds a great start, opening with a crackly old vocal recording, sung in French and bathed in echo. It's all a bit Caretaker, actually. There are more vocals carried over for companion piece 'I Want', whose scratchy, pitched up samples are bound to come with Burial-goes-Galic associations. The beats take shape as a shuffling hip-hop number here though, laying down a sturdy backbeat thud. Further into the record, productions like 'Walk' really add to the all-important atmosphere that hangs over the album, supplying melody and mood-setting ambient textures with deft evenhandedness. Outside his work as a solo artist, Wynn has built a career for himself as a composer and sound designer, penning scores for the Paris Opera Ballet Company and earning himself award nominations along the way. Say Goodbye To Useless calls upon this sort of experience and far transcends the album's grounding in popular forms, providing moments of real compositional merit - as exemplified by the stirring use of a wind section during 'Fadeaway'. Apparently, even Kanye West's a Deru fan, having posted the 'Peanut Butter & Patience' video (it's no 'Single Ladies' though, is it Kanye?) on his blog recently, and undoubtedly, the kind of expectation-shifting, genre-crossing sounds exhibited here reassert the strength of Deru's talents - hopefully introducing his music to a broader audience along the way." - Boomkat

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