Matthew Dear Performs Bunny Live 11/2
Friday, November 2nd, 2018
1720 E. 16th St. Los Angeles, CA
Doors: 9PM // All Ages
Pitchfork‘s Review of “Bunny” LP
Imagine an octopus: agile, stealthy, colors in flux. Now imagine the ink spreading out, the black fog of the disappearing act. Over the past 19 years, Matthew Dear has been a little like that cephalopod, flitting between aliases and sounds—bristly minimal house, thundering peak-time techno, shape-shifting electronic pop. On 2007’s Asa Breed, he reinvented himself as an unconventional singer-songwriter and black-hearted crooner; his voice has been his ink ever since. It has never been thicker than it is on Bunny.
Dear has always been a trickster. He likes slow-motion house grooves designed to wrongfoot would-be dancers—slick with grease, the rhythms kinked, synth tones distended and dissonant. In his early years, his music was notable for its brittleness; his beats sounded like they’d been frozen and smashed into a million pieces. But his music has gradually gotten more and more viscous. On Bunny, that starts deep in his throat. His voice is Bunny’s focal point, allowing him to stay hidden and slip the bonds of the confessional singer.
Mixing blurry bits of new wave, disco, and indie rock, his productions are plenty interesting, but that voice lends the essential element of intrigue, helping blur the contrast between Dear and the subjects of his songs—between the family man of his biography and the narrator of “Bad Ones,” who admits, “I played a role in all your tears/Hate flowers but they seem to work on you my dear.” He growls, purrs, and bellows, diving down to the depths of his lower register and dredging it up like silt. His voice is less a manifestation of his being than his being is a manifestation of his voice. All that artifice—the lung-scraping vowels, the charred vocal fry, the cartoon-villain sneer—becomes its own reality.
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