Adam Stamper aka mister recently released All The Pieces. He explains the album as “a dark, introspective look at man's relationship to nature.” The album is certainly on the darker side. Comparisons could be made to artists like Fever Ray, Aphex Twin and even NIN.
I was a fan relatively fast. Stamper is a top notch producer who utilizes advanced techniques that might pass you by if you aren’t paying attention. One example are abstract rhythms but even more satisfying was that he dabbles into unorthodox scales and notes. He adjusts different elements by semitones finding dissonance and resolution between the half step of two notes.
The album works on this level for a more nuanced listener who wants to delve deep into the layers. It also works in quite the opposite way. The vocal melodies are prominent and the focal points are easy to follow along with for anyone who wants to stay close to surface. This approach is for the majority of listeners who devour their music as they eat Chipotle on their lunch break and listen to pop music.
The album opens with “The Few” which feels open and spacious. Elements have their space and each measure seems to be slightly altered in some way. I was reminded of the band The Knife and their album Shaking The Habitual in that way. The lyrics bring up imagery of nature but the intent is ambiguous. Stamper sings “A few lived in the forest / But you worked by the sea / The view was quite astounding / We knew just how to move.”
The programming on “All The Pieces” felt somewhere between NIN and The Knife. The dark, abstract nature of the song seemed to come from a similar place. Perhaps the most ominous song was “Blasphemy Devoured.” It felt like a lullaby from a nightmare world. I could picture the camera panning over the crib of the innocent child from this unnamed horror flick. Jagged elements eventually enter tearing apart the flesh from the atmosphere.
“Do Not Feed A Blur” features a female vocalist that sings on top of subterranean beats and hidden artifacts while “One Great Ocean” seemed the least drenched in darkness.
He closes with “Probably” which contains forward moving momentum that not only feels more hopeful but also states it in the lyrics. I heard a bit of Bowie in this track especially from his album Blackstar.
I give this album a seal of approval. I know it takes a certain breed to appreciate this style that make take a little effort to immerse yourself. Do yourself a favor and jump in feet first.
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