artist: Material Action
title: Politics of Touch
format: Tape / digital download
keywords: ambient, chillwave, cosmic, disco , club, electro, electronic, gloomwave, gothic, rock, jazz-fusion, post-industrial, post-punk, wave,
In case you don’t know them, (Shame on you!) Material Action is an electro duo consisting of Eric Sexton ( Synths, Samples, Tapes, Atmospheres, DubFX ) and Alex Spalding (Vocals, Synths, Rhythms, Guitar, Bass, Alto Saxophone, Production / Mastering), their sound combined is like the holy grail of electro, only more easier to find (hint: check the bottom of this review.)
The great thing of this duo is that they are evolving. Their underground dance vibes are not necessarily made for people with pizza faces hiding in dark corners of their bedrooms, it is just as strong and infective as the time when the sound of acts like ‘underworld’ , ‘orbital’ and the ‘mellow methheads’ were still unknown. It’s just a matter of someone’s ear falling into the world of Material Action before this duo will embrace the laser lights and massive speakers from the electronic party festivals and other (more cozy) clubs and events around you.
You can just feel it when you hear the music of this band, see it when you watch them perform; there is this extreme catchy quality to it that you just know that we are dealing with something that stands out in its own unique groovy-ness, perfection and fresh attitude! The next best thing, so to speak!
The first two albums of Material Action (Mixed Emotions & Another Emotion) have been given away for free as netlabel releases. And together with a free downloadable video pack they have been downloaded more than 25788 times and still counting upwards! That might imply that people love free music, but also that Material Action is growing a slow but steady online fan-base.
Today we are here to review their third album that is also their first physical record. The format of choice for this release is the still popular Tape Cassette, and by releasing their work through bandcamp they went straight up in their top 5 bestsellers in their genre. You can just feel something hot is brewing in the camp of Material Action. But in this case it’s the evolving process of this band that requires attention as it implies a dark but good sex appeal for the future of electronica.
While the previous albums have had their fair share of memorable catchiness, grooves and well produced danceable material, the newest album seems to go for a more darker approach with also (if I might say so) a more ‘pop’ side that has been successfully added to the music. And with ‘pop’ I don’t mean Britney or Madonna ‘pop’ , but more in the realms of alternative eighties acts like ‘The Cure’ , ‘soft cell’ & ‘Depeche Mode’.
If you are in to these bands and love a fresher new analogue sound and groove, you will probably be very excited about endorsing the new album of Material Action. It’s filled with eight tunes that are probably their best produced works yet. The music is filled up with melodies that form spacious synth waves that will make you float while dreaming away on midnight beats and sexually charged baselines. Danceable grooves are also something they didn’t exclude and probably topped it up a knot!
It’s the music that takes on darker themes like ‘television’ ‘this black feeling’ and ‘no trust’ and sets a mood that is endorsing slightly depressive undertones, but still spots an undeniable light that is still bright enough to comfort and protect us from our connectable journey of the dark mind. It’s like it is telling us about our own worries of today’s modern society and brushes it away from our shoulders with the touch of smooth electronica. And sometimes the touch is replaced by an irresistible rhythm flourishing into a groove that goes for a big clearance sale of all our troubled thoughts and transforms us all in a fanatic crowd of alternative dancers.
There is no shame to be absorbed in Material Action’s good vibes, as there is simply no better bad ass health care system around than you can find within this music! It will boost things up, chill things down and grooves it all up again! A process that makes this record humane and smart, as it knows exactly which buttons to press to trigger and please shimmering emotions with a groove-able electronic affection.
Does this all make sense? I bet your ass it makes sense! If my words are vague, you have to know that it isn’t easy to describe good music, which is obviously the thing that we are dealing with over here. In fact when hearing this album it is hard to believe it isn’t done in some mayor record studio, with managers buzzing around and contracts and cigarettes in an unlit corner. It’s done perfectly without any involvement of investors, external music politics and other fluff that commercial acts are getting killed by each day. This is a product coming from pure DIY, a love and affection for analogue instruments, grooves and electronic music in general! Something we all should be supportive off, as an example but also just as an enjoyer!
I’m not afraid to say that the album of Material Action is probably their best produced work to date, slightly darker but definitely active enough to be cherished as good companionship that not only serves as a friend, but also comforts with the best medicine ever invented: Great Music! So if you into are danceable grooves, quality electronics with catchy hooks and a slight love for the more alternative side of the eighties, perfectly produced in a high quality record that you just want to spin on repeat, over and over again; then don’t hesitate and get this great album of Material Action before it gets too hot to handle! Get your hands on the smooth and sexy ‘Politics of touch’!