When Stephen Malkmus first arrived on the scene in the early Nineties, as frontman and prime creative force in Pavement, the area of music with which he was associated couldn’t really have been further from the techno-rave sounds of the day. Electronic dance music, then as now, was about posthuman precision, inorganic textures, and hyper-digital clarity. Whereas the lo-fi movement in underground rock championed a messthetic of sloppiness, rough edges, and raw warmth - a hundred exquisitely subtle shades of distortion and abrasion. “Imperfect sound forever” was the rallying cry for a micro-generation of slacker-minded dreamers and misfits. Fast forward to the present and here comes Malkmus with a surprising new project that embraces the very digital tools and procedures he’d have once gone out of his way to avoid. Groove Denied – Stephen’s first solo album without his cohorts the Jicks since 2001 – was made using Ableton’s Live, a software sequencer and “digital audio workstation” that is the preferred tool of discerning techno producers and deejays worldwide. Instead of a human-powered rhythm section of electric bass and drums, Malkmus’s arsenal further includes drum machines, along with a host of plug-in FX and “soft synths” (digital simulations of vintage electronic hardware that inhabit your computer rather than take over your entire living room). For the first time on record, what you hear here is just Stephen and the Machine(s).
|Jo Jo’s Jacket DV||DV||07/09/15|
|Face The Truth||LP/CD/DA||05/24/05|
|AAA DPRO||dbl LP/CD||04/19/05|
|Jenny & The Ess-Dog||CD5||04/10/01|
|Who The Fuck Is Stephen Malkmus PROMO SAMPLER||DPRO||12/11/00|
|Jo Jo’s Jacket PROMO||flexidisc||12/01/00|
|Edited Press Advance CD PROMO||DPRO||10/27/00|