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Beat Magazine Joined: 9th December 2010
Last seen: 5th June 2012

Solid Light : Passwords

I do enjoy local releases that fly in the face of oh-so-neat genre… packaging. You know, artists decrying the value of genre-specific music is almost a genre in itself, so it’s nice to experience someone just shutting up and getting down to whatever warped sonic idea enters their head.
 
Passwords, the bedroom brainchild of Melbourne-based artist Solid Light (Dan Steele to some) is an eclectic affair, and it’s mostly thanks to the fact the record is only somewhat steeped within the realm of electronic composition, rather than the other way around; it makes the branching out all the more effective. Guitars, vocals and either organically hit or mapped drums, I’m not sure (awesome in itself) pepper a soundscape of programmed blippery (Getting Excited) as often as cold, precise sequencing coalesces to form the root of, when it comes down to it, blues and soul-driven numbers (Is Real).
 
Each of these numbers are terribly unique from one another; I’d prefer to call this a collection rather than an album. Still, highlights include an absolutely hilarious breakdown in El Deporto: after insistent pulse and vocoder gives way to broken-down hollers, hoots and handclaps, a thirty-second genius sidestep of lazy tropical beats and horns once again gives way to the former synthetic pulse, now more reminiscent of a surging futuristic monorail. With neon blue lights; I don’t know why.
 
Elsewhere is a sublime vocal delivery from Ms Clancye Milne, one of Melbourne’s lesser-known auditory delights, on Opium Den – a track whose sluggishness, amazingly, enhances its beauty. In fact, all the way through Passwords, you’re either treated to deceptively upbeat slow-jams or puzzlingly relaxing house jaunts. Not a bad thing!
 
BY MATT PANAG
 
Best Track: Is Real
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: MOBY, DAFT PUNK, maybe even DEEP FOREST
In A Word: Expansive