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Black City CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ghostly International
  • ASIN: B003RAKNDY
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,241 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Honey
  2. I Can't Feel Anymore
  3. Little People (Black City)
  4. Slowdance
  5. Soil to Seed
  6. You Put a Smell On Me
  7. Shortwave
  8. Monkey
  9. More Surgery
  10. Gem

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Texas born Matthew Dear has spent the last decade creating a vast aray of wonderful music in various guises & genres, but it was with 2007's 'Asa Breed' that he really hit upon a sound that was all his own. 'Asa Breed' marked the moment that he stepped up to the mic and decided to produce 'pop' hits for the masses (albeit with techno vibes still bubbling beneath the surface) and he was mostly successfull. Three years on and he has released the much darker 'Black City', and it is a monumental release.

Dear has often talked about his musical influences such as Talking Heads, David Bowie, Nitzer Ebb & Adonis, and all of these manage to leave their fingerprints all over this release, most notably the art-house leanings of 'Berlin Trilogy' era Bowie. The album is by no means an easy listen and it's intricate nature may take a while to seep into your conscious, Dear's music is deep & layered and his vocal range is very limited, so some tracks can sound a little distant on first listen but give the record some quality time and it's simple beauty will begin to flourish & command your attention.

The album deals with many dark & serious matters (most pertaning to sex). Tracks such as 'You Put A Spell On Me' & 'Slowdance' manage to leer into the animal nature that inhabits all us homosapiens whilst also delivering the type of tub-thumping beats usually reserved for only the most salacious of night clubs. In this respect I was frequently reminded of an alternative reality Jarvis Cocker fronted New Order hybrid (or to put it more simply, the recent LCD Sounsytem record).
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Format: Audio CD
There are advantages to having dissociative identity disorder. Matthew Dear, synth pop crooner with the voice no one would ever wish on a synth pop crooner, sounds like no one else. Because he spends more energy making things than slavishly listening to antecedents--Brian Eno, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, OMD--what comes out is just as idiosyncratic. As DJ, producer, frontman, Matthew Dear, Audion, Jabberjaw and False, he just doesn't have time for anything else.

Black City, his newest album, is the same as his previous work under his own name. It's synth pop. Sort of. It's pop music. Maybe. But mostly it's just Matthew Dear. The songs have the same sort of weird grain to them as something from DJ Koze or Pepe Bradock: It's instantly identifiable but almost impossible to pin down. Most often there's a queasiness to the songs on Black City: "Shortwave" slinks along, slow-motion lasers lazily firing away in the background along with a "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" from Dear that never quite makes it to the fore. "Slowdance" plods along at 90 BPM and ends with Dear doing doo-wop with himself.

In the press leading up to the album, Ghostly has emphasized the darkness of the album. How "Black City can't be found on any map. It's a composite, an imaginary metropolis peopled by desperate cases, lovelorn souls, and amoral motives." I don't know about that, really, because the only lyrics I made out clearly and immediately on first listen were the lines: "I'm...I'm a monkey / Frozen in my monkey dream / It's time...time to monkey / Lost in our monkey sleep." But maybe that's what they mean. If that's the only thing you can understand, you're in a place where understanding isn't all that important anyway.
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Format: Audio CD
Great electro-pop, for much want of a better word than pop. If you love ASA Breed then buy this too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c26ec60) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x999696c0) out of 5 stars Sordid, Obscure, Luscious... 18 Aug. 2010
By Rafael Cova - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sordid, Obscure, Luscious... Elegantly Corroded, Broken... at times DISCO, at other times Krautrock, Minimalist is a truly spectacular album, Matthew Dear shows the great musical maturity as a writer or storyteller, AMAZING!

An album full of contrasts, textures, environments (all in the night, but different), Matthew Dear is often in different places, does not like being enclosed, for that cause actual handing makes such diverse recordings, but with the caveat that everything has a thread, in this case the night (and sex too) is the common thread of this story, full of lust and obscene sounds delights us with this incredible material.

This album is filled with layers of sounds to explore, some softer than others and at times very hard, but very well done.

Accented vocalizations and deep (as night), come to mind, dark deserted streets, nightclubs forgotten in basements full of wickedness and lust. Full of great creativity and conceptually, by the end Matthew is going places being brighter but only to warn the equilibrium or balance between darkness and light, sometimes I think it is very sad but sometimes I feel the optimism want to experience, really a very beautiful work.

I am fascinated by exploring each sound of this album, each layer, each vocalization, every word, with divine metaphors.

An album to enjoy to the fullest, in which case the concept (Deep Night- Darkness) do not cause fear, simply spectacular.
HASH(0x99969714) out of 5 stars Excellent Background Music. 30 Sept. 2010
By Gary Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I enjoy electronica music and Matthew Dear is one of my favorite composers. I have almost his entire catalog of CDs including his Audion and False discs plus his Body Language remixes. As an electronic composer, this guy is simply one of the best. However, not all is well. I consider him to be a marginal singer. In his first CD, "Leave Luck to Heaven" he sang only a few songs and the rest of the music consisted of "instrumentals." Since that time, the vocals have become more and more dominant and on this disc every track is with a vocal. I can't understand his singing. A printed set of lyrics is included, but they are crudely hand printed in gray ink on a black background and are all but unreadable. It's hard to be very critical, because Dear is such a master composer and the background music is excellent. Wouldn't it be unrealistic to have him be a master singer too? Well a lot of electronic composers have guest vocalists, an arrangement that works out for the better. In any case, I think the background music of this CD is excellent, but it's badly flawed by the vocals.

Gary Peterson
HASH(0x999699f0) out of 5 stars Excellent semi-electronic album 30 Jan. 2012
By C. A. Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Matthew Dear's "Black City" is a richly textured collection of earthy, dark music, with some catchy hooks mixed in here and there. It is at times lively enough to be considered dance music, but most of it is downtempo, with dissonant instrumental hooks and creative loops that come together for great effect. Matthew Dear also does a great job of mixing real instruments with programming in a way that gives electronic music a certain feeling of physicality. The vocals are distorted, but keep in mind this music is not about lead vocal hooks, it's something you can listen to almost like an instrumental album, and vocals go along with the rest of the dark electronic sound.

Personal favorite: Slowdance, which is a beautiful, haunting track that someone should put in a movie.
Other standout tracks: Honey, I Can't Feel, Little People (Black City), Slowdance, You Put A Spell On Me, Monkey.
HASH(0x99969f18) out of 5 stars Matthew Dear ‎– Black City 3 Nov. 2015
By scoundrel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For his fourth album, Matthew Dear travels to the BLACK CITY and discovers some mellow blues in "Honey" before the angular funk of "I Can't Feel" creeps up your spine. The smoother, if idiosyncratic, house of "Little People (Black City) helps even out the mood, though, while "Slowdance" brings down the tempo and a sliding sense of romance. The electro comes to life on "You Put A Smell On Me," and "Monkey" captures Dear's 'anything goes' lyrical sensibilities to a tee. The nocturnal throb of "More Surgery" conjures up city lights drifting by during a slow cruise, before "Gem" ends the album on a delicate, sweet note. There's no one quite like Matthew Dear, and I'm glad to see him keep it that way.
HASH(0x99969f30) out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Jun. 2016
By Kirstie8 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Dark, lurid, rapturous. Idk why I'm late to have discovered Matthew Dear. He's an interesting composer who creates a very nightmarish reality that is somehow fun and exuberant. Reminds me of vintage Bill Nelson, and that's not a bad thing.
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