For as long as Machinedrum has been in the game, it's a little surprising that he's been only making wave in the past few years. 2011's Room(s) was one of the fist times that the producer had really gotten some shine. It revealed that Machinedrum (aka Travis Stewart) was one of the top beatsmiths in the post dubstep world, garnering praise from the far corners of the electronic music scene. He'd been crafting IDM and hyper hip hop beats for at least a decade by that point. Needless to say Vapor City, Stewart's hotly anticipated follow up, delivers in all the right places. The jungle and footwork rhythms are still intact while Stewart has expanded his breadth and forged new sonic territory for himself. There are subtle drone moments and songs that hint of Stewart's professed Boards Of Canada influence. "U Still Lie" comes off as a lost Washed Out cut and offers up a counterpoint to the rapid fire percussion of "Gunshotta" that opens the album. With the renewed interest in jungle and pastoral IDM Machinedrum seems to be providing the right sounds at the right time. It's only fitting that Vapor City is his debut for Ninja Tune. Limited edition first pressing on black speckled white vinyl, housed in a gatefold sleeve with 12 page booklet. Includes download code.
- music label: Ninja Tune 2013
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 11/2013