XLR8R - logo

 
  • Filed under: Review
  • 04/27/2011

Daedelus Bespoke

Alfred Darlington (a.k.a. Daedelus) is a dandy fella who usually has a keen nose for grooves he exhumes from discarded pop records hidden below the stacks of one-dollar Streisand albums that pollute LA's thrift shops. At his best, he floats in a psychedelic hip-hop/IDM realm that can recall De La Soul's "D.A.I.S.Y. Age." That said, Bespoke often shoots for the psych virtue of sensory overload and instead ends up a frustrating mess.

Sometimes the kitchen-sink ethic clicks. Album opener "Tailor-Made" glides on an aquatic house groove that's graced by a ripe tropicalia vibe. With its horn blasts and strutting conga rhythms, "Suit Yourself" is a fine ode to Bacharach pop that conjures up images of Darlington fitting himself into the signature Victorian suits he rocks when performing live.

Bespoke features a wealth of sounds and guest singers, but Darlington often lacks the glue to hold them together. "Penny Loafers" could have been a nice, stoned soul carnival if it wasn't for the tacky sample of a choir shouting "Someone's, someone's, someone's rocking" over chanteuse Inara George’s voice. "Overwhelming" pushes Bilal's mumbled vocals into a vat of cymbal crashes, overcompressed beats, and nauseously wobbly bass. "One and Lonely" finds Darlington tossing a sampled tom-tom roll into a washing machine and letting the carnage clash against Amir "Young Dad" Yaghmai's dreadful Morrissey impression. On second thought, maybe that last act of sonic sabotage isn’t so bad after all.

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player