DAEDELUS: Love To Make Music To (Ninja Tune)


Posted on Jun 2nd 2008 12:17 am

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Daedelus: Love To Make Music To

Love To Make Music To
Ninja Tune 2008
15 Tracks. 55mins00secs

With nine albums and a handful of EPs and collaborations under his belt, Daedelus’s Alfred Darlington has made the blend of hip-hop-infused electronica he has helped shaping up his own, giving it an unmistakable dandy slant. Love To Make Music To, his latest offering, his first long player recorded especially for Ninja Tune, is once again a distinctively colourful and varied collection, centred on an imaginary story which begins during the 1894 Chicago World’s Fair and concludes a hundred years later.

Released as a taster to the album, Hrs:Mins:Secs was originally given away on Daedelus’s website. With its chunky aggressive techno bits and maddening vocals, sounding uncannily like Black Sifichi, the track lifted the veil on a raw, vivacious sound, evoking late eighties British rave music, which, if not in any way defining the album, bounces back on the slightly gentler I Took Too, Bass In It and If We Should further down, while on the mechanical Assembly Lines, which seems to find its roots in Chaplin’s Modern Times, Daedelus gives his light-hearted electronica a welcome airing.

The album opens on a much sunnier note with the sixties-fuelled Fair Weather Friend, released as an EP last year, with its driven beat and child-like female vocal, and the breezy Make It So, featuring vocal contribution from Michael Johnson, setting Love To Make Music To on a very different path to that hinted with Hrs:Mins:Secs. Later, Get Off Your HiHats or the playful Drummery Jam, with its discharges of library music, find Daedelus in a similar cheerful disposition, busy arranging fresh hooks all over heady grooves. Elsewhere, a hint of R’n’B on My Beau provides the album with one of its catchiest tunes, while Twist The Kids, Touchtone or You’re The One confidently reaffirms Darlington’s hip hop credentials.

For this record, Darlington has once again surrounded himself with a wide range of contributors, including hip hop luminaries such as 1200 Techniques’ N’fa on Twist The Kids, Taz on Touchtone and Bass In It, Paperboy on Touchtone and My Beau, and Sa-Ra member Om’mas Keith on the rather splendid You’re The One, while Erika Rose gives My Beau a smooth silky chorus, and Darlington’s wife, Laura, with whom he is due to release an album later on in the year as The Long Lost, appears on closing piece If We Should.

Despite so many undeniable highlights, the album somewhat fails to gel properly and ends up feeling a tad bitty and lacking of conviction. It is as if the sheer scale of the project was ineluctably bringing it down. In the past, Daedelus has handled similarly varied and ambitious records with incredible versatility and bravery. Here though, it is as if he wanted to fit in just a little too much for one serving, resulting in a slight loss of focus. Love To Make Music To is certainly not a bad record, and actually features a handful of classic Daedelus moments, but it is not one that appears to have enough direction to rise to the challenge of previous records convincingly.


Daedelus (MySpace) | Ninja Tune
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