Matthew Dear - Leave Luck to Heaven
Excerpts from Leave Luck to Heaven
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I was in the Virgin Megastore on Michigan Ave. in Chicago when I first heard Matthew Dear’s debut long player.  I was browsing around and the stripped down techno/minimal beats and mumbled/sang lyrics instantly had me hooked.  I asked the guy in the music booth what it was and added it to the stack of CDs that I was picking up on that trip.

 

Matthew Dear is a transplanted Texan living in the Detroit area of Michigan.  Apparently, he earned his chops as something of a techno/minimal/acid techno producer, and has released several tracks under various pseudonyms.  Prior to my visit to Chicago, I’d never heard of him.  Clearly I have a general idea of who he is now.  He’s one of the few American producers I can say I seriuosly follow.

This is really a well prepared album.  It’s very listenable, even though it’s often stripped down, each track carries with it a sound that is distinctly similar to the other tracks on the album, but each track has it’s own vibe and flavor.  I particularly like some of the complex soundscapes between tracks with hushed vocals or bits of conversation that leave the listener with a sense of eavesdropping on a private conversation or some other clandestine event.

 

Here is what others have thought about “Leave Luck To Heaven”:

 

Pitchfork Media

 

. . . . Leave Luck to Heaven is more like alchemy. Instead of genre-hopping from track to track-- substituting some sort of focused vision and sound for a lack of ideas dressed up as a surfeit of them-- Dear boils down his wide-ranging influences and combines elements of his own more catagorizable work. The result is his most satisfying release to date and (along with Ricardo Villalobos' Alcachofa) another techno-dub record that deftly straddles the line between home listening and the dancefloor.

 

As a result, Leave Luck to Heaven is an attractive listen for causal electronic listeners. Its ebb and flow of soothing melodies and lubbing beats-- and its blend of vocal and instrumental tracks-- keeps things lively and creates a sense of balance and dynamics. When the record peaks it's often when Dear stays closer to Detroit techno roots such as the invigorating stripped-and-clipped jaunt of "Just Us Now" or minimal second-wave melody of "The Crush". Elsewhere, gently snapping beats and gracious stabs and eerie washes of synths color Dear's deceptively complex rhythms, creating palpable sensations of tension and release on tracks such as "An Unending" and "You're Fucking Crazy", each of which twitch and hum with hollowed-out nervous energy.

 

Leonard’s Lair

 

Respected as a producer of house music for a number of years now, it has taken Michigan's Matthew Dear some time to actually get round to releasing his first long player. The result is that rare thing - an excellent techno album. The key to 'Leave Luck To Heaven's success lays in Dear's canny ear for a pop tune allied with a slightly melancholic late night ambience. 'Fex' is reminiscent of 'Self Abuse' by The Aloof, another exponent of drama beneath the processed beats. Dear generally keeps the arrangements uncluttered, all use of repetition controlled. 'In Unbending' is inventive and multi-layered, 'Dog Days' and 'It's Over Now' are playful without ever becoming mere dancefloor fillers and on 'Reason And Responsibility' the rhythms are tight and the mood is haunting. Music for the head as much as it is for the feet.

 

BBC Collective

 

Detroit has a habit of coughing up producers who can find real musicality in the often barren lands of techno. Detroit resident Matthew Dear (originally from Texas) follows neatly in that tradition, albeit with a camp pout on his face and a wiggle on the hips. The clicky beats, funky hooks, bass stabs and spooky atmospherics have been used before, but never with a classy pop sensibility bringing it all together, and never with his sleazy vocals. This is the dark glamour queen to Electroclash’s cheap whore. Prepare to be seduced.