Audion, It’s Full Of Blinding Light

[Spectral Sound]

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I find it hard to believe anyone reading this site is not at least somewhat familiar with the work of Matthew Dear. His records have been both critical and commercial successes, resulting in bona-fide classics under multiple monikers (Jabberjaw’s “Girlfriend” and “EP2” under his birth name spring to mind immediately). 2008, however, was a disappointing year for Matthew Dear fans, and March’s “Love Letters” as False offered little reprieve. It was as if all Dear’s once-varied identities had simmered down to a similar, stagnant “minimal” sound. With the resurrection of Audion and a series of EPs building up to a full-length album, this has changed.

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While not the balls-to-the-wall gritty and nasty Audion of “Kisses,” the newest transmissions from Audion have been darker than anything Dear has done in some time. “It’s Full Of Blinding Light”, the first 12″ for the series, seeks to integrate these two Audions, and does so with tremendous results. Easily the best thing he’s has released in some time, “It’s Full Of Blinding Light” proceeds at a sluggish pace, awash with creepy percussion and voices soon assaulted by the loud, grating lasers that have appeared in Audion’s biggest hits. Although it hints at “Mouth to Mouth,” this is a different beast entirely — prime-time brain-melting madness, and Audion at his very best.

Unfortunately, the two tracks on the flip are less memorable. “On My Way To The Center” combines a winding beat with Dear making a mantra of the track’s title, but never reaches the cynosure. “Jukebox Hero” has a similar beat and breaks occasionally for drawn-out groans, but ends too early to have developed into anything exceptional — so early, in fact, I suspected my vinyl copy was misprinted. Ultimately very similar to “Love Letters”, side B serves as a reminder of how thin the membrane between Matthew’s personalities has become. When he’s on form, though, he’s unstoppable, and “It’s Full Of Blinding Light” is so good that, for its duration, I forget the B-sides and am back in 2005 when Matthew Dear was king. Along with the three other digital tracks released so far this year, “It’s Full Of Blinding Light” proves Dear still has it in him; and when he trims the fat, he can still stop you in your tracks.

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