Machinedrum | Room(s)

Planet Mu (2011)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 10, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


For the uninitiated, footwork is a relatively fresh-faced distant relative of Chicago house. It generally hovers around 160 beats-per-minute and is named such because of its ability to incite "Fred Astaire on crystal" dance moves. If enjoying a full-length footwork album from the non-amplified comfort of your own home sounds like an ass-backwards task, that's because it is. Sort of like putting on Ride the Lightning before bed: you're not sleeping, you're head-butting walls. But with Room(s), Travis Stewart has somehow managed not only to wrangle in the off-the-cuff tendencies of the genre, but also create one of the more fully realized dance LPs in some time. The immediate attribute for listenability is undoubtedly the vocals. Mercifully neither chipmunked nor culled from forlorn '70s disco cuts, the samples sound as though they're plucked from modern-day pop radio, then liquefied with a side of amnesia. Sequencing plays an understated role in the album's completeness. Building from the Burial-esque crawl of opener "She Died There," Stewart navigates through the trill swerve of "Sacred Frequency" and eventually peaks at the ballistic groove of centerpiece "GBYE." When the highly addictive dust settles on restrained closer "Where Did We Go Wrong?," Room(s) will have resonated in more than just your feet.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Dance, CD reviews
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