False: River Camping

In contrast to the bruising tech-house acid associated with his Audion alias and the microhouse serenades issued under his given name, Matthew Dear's False nurtures a subtle and less overtly rambunctious style on River Camping, his Minus sequel to 2004's Sink the Ship. Just shy of ten-minutes, the title cut opts for scenic sightseeing with Dear incrementally layering quiet bell tinkles, vocal slices, and ominous chords over a smoothly skipping base; in a particularly memorable move, the piece casts off the strata halfway through, catches its breath, and then builds it back up again during a second tour. Even subtler, “Falling Away” floats an incessant bass pulse through cavernous lattices of reverberant flares and intricate keyboard patterns, with intermittent punctuations of handclaps jarring the listener to attention. “Tanning Booths,” the most extroverted of the trio, struts confidently, prodded by a pounding bass drum and the intensifying broil of oscillating bass lines. Though the aggressive punch of the closer makes it impossible to miss, don't let the subtlety of the other tracks blind you to their wealth of detail; False material like River Camping offers an appealing if more restrained complement to Dear's other work.

January 2006