The 405 Review Alan MX

"...One of the last saving graces..."

Thom Yorke made the jump to skittish electronic a few years ago, and before that the electroclash phase was dead to pave way for more abstract forms of electronic with a heavy four to the floor kick. While experimental music was being pumped out of England by veterans like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, and heavy breakcore from people like Venetian Snares, straight electronic with pop vocals has always been a little bit of a mysterious curio of the digital age of composition. And while it has been tried and maybe even failed, making memorable melodies work over skittish but not amorphous music is even more of a mystery. Enter Alan MX, British musician, pop songster, and skittish electrofiend, and maybe one of the last saving graces to make the curio a reality. While his bizarre use of double tracks (a la The Halo Benders) immediately strikes the ear as his calling card, in fact the use of nicely and delicately warped strings is what roots his Warpsichord album, which has a title all too fitting. Each song slowly unravels while barely changing, instead focusing on the listener's ability to take things apart. Honestly, a lack of words comes to describing the music. It's sometimes a mix between Yorke and Peaches, sometimes a mix between Powdered Wigs and Charlie Barnes, sometimes something so wholly unique that it's just Alan. Of course, there?s a downside. That downside manifests in the song lengths, which can be overlong and sometimes bog the album down with too much repetition of a song that starts off nice but can end less than stellar. Take 'Flesh Emergency' which boasts an overuse of pitched up vocals and bad AutoTune. Also, a few songs are a little too Hissing Fauna for their own good, but as a personal fan of of Montreal, it has its own place in the overarching sound of Alan MX. I'm personally interested and looking forward to whatever Alan releases next, and am of the opinion that he'll definitely improve over time. For now, 'Warpsichord' is a damn fine beginning, but nothing to get too giddy about (but seriously, it is enjoyable). Rating: 7/10

- Matthew Olmos, The 405