Daedelus – Bespoke

Album Review by Bram Gieben | 24 Mar 2011
  • Daedelus – Bespoke
Album title: Bespoke
Artist: Daedelus
Label: NinjaTune
Release date: 11 April

Daedelus can tear up a dancefloor with his live sets, but his recorded output is about as related to mainstream notions of ‘dance music’ as John Coltrane’s style was to Dave Brubeck’s.

The jazz analogy is a good one, so let’s run with it: just as Coltrane pushed and mutated jazz into new forms, drawing on a huge palette of influences, not just from music, so Daedelus constantly reinvents and riffs off the elements of house, bossa nova, folk, electro, hip-hop, Victoriana, pastoral imagery, and whatever else takes his fancy.

On Bespoke his chosen palette is a blend of classical and folk instrumentation, overlaying the hip-hop drums of Sew, Darn, Mend or the clockwork 2-step styles of the exquisite opener Tailor-Made, featuring the beautiful vocals of Milosh. Bossa makes a welcome return in Penny Loafers featuring Inara George. Busdriver delivers a staccato soul disco vocal over the psychedelic washes of What Can You Do?

Overall, the effect is wondrously hypnotic. Musical ideas crash and break against each other in a seamless, organic way, always with a sense of playful wonder. Bespoke is a joy from start to finish; and Daedelus one of the finest producers working today. [Bram Gieben]