Arthur Loves Plastic - "Nadir"
(Machine Heart Music 2003, mhr2003alp1)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: August 2003
Though the name is slightly misleading, Arthur Loves Plastic is comprised of one person, Bev Stanton. Everything about this disc got me very excited. The album cover is just cool, the Richard Nixon quote on the inside cover was appropriate for the overall feel of the record, which is aptly titled Nadir. And, (shhh!) she dupes the IRS as do... well…umm…not me…and that’s all I’m going to offer without an attorney. Please Jesus, get The Department of Homeland Security, and namely one Sr. Ash croft, off my ass. Moving on.
Arthur Loves Plastic is, for lack of a better term, techno. Complete with pulsating basslines, tasty ambience interwoven between inspiring samples and intelligently programmed driving beats.
I have to say that being a "hardened DJ/producer" I can, at times, be overly critical of electronic music. I mean the movement itself has been almost completely trivialized by the glut of “do-it-yourself-and-for-insultingly-cheap” software and loops, e.g. Footy Loops and Acid loop libraries. How many times can we hear “big-beat on the floor 88 BPM.wav” and still get tingly?
That being said, the new release by Arthur Loves Plastic is absolutely solid from beginning to end. Ms. Stanton certainly knows how to groove both intelligently and sexy at the same time. The samples, which include such topics as the American war on drugs, missile launch/flight/delivery command language, and other blips and pieces placed carefully throughout, offered thought-provoking insight into the mind of quite possibly one of the most exciting artists in electronic music today.
Songwriting aside, Stanton is definitely "in the know" (as they say) when it comes to both the production and engineering of great sounding tracks. I particularly enjoyed the varied sound of the drum programming and the warm, fat synth sounds. This album takes listeners on a journey that few electronic records can - it makes the world feel fresh and innocent again, less Sound Blaster Live somehow.
Grab a copy of this record and never put it down. Aspiring DJ's and producers of electronica (a corporately inspired term that I hate to employ) should carefully study this one. Do this: play the album through and then say, "holy shit”. After that, stare at the wall for a moment and put the damn thing back on. Repeat. That's pretty much what I did.
For more information you can visit the Arthur Loves Plastic web site at: http://www.arthurlovesplastic.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Arthur Loves Plastic; 726 Thayer Ave; Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Reviewed by The New Digital Sound