He straddles multiple musical worlds and belongs to none — and he’s just hitting his stride. Dear’s first single was 1999’s "Hands Up For Detroit" (co-produced by ghettotech pioneer Disco D, who performed under the name Daisha). Successive singles, such as "Stealing Moves" and the chart-topping "Mouth to Mouth" (as Audion) were issued on Spectral Sound, Ghostly’s offshoot that focuses on dancefloor music. Matthew Dear’s 2003 full-length Ghostly debut, "Leave Luck to Heaven", is a suite of sparse, wickedly funky house laced with Dear’s deep, distinctive vocals, and includes the much-loved single “Dog Days” (voted one of Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of the decade). The record was met with rapturous acclaim from both the dance-music establishment and the critical press, including a four-star review in Rolling Stone. Dear’s 2007 follow-up, "Asa Breed", is a considerable departure from Heaven’s dancefloor excursions, incorporating the polyrhythms of afrobeat, the irreverent pop sensibilities of Brian Eno, and the austere beauty of krautrock.
More four-stars reviews followed (Q and Mojo magazines), and Dear subsequently began touring with a live three-piece band, Matthew Dear’s Big Hands, in which he acted as frontman, commanding the stage with a Bryan Ferry-like swagger and a gentleman’s grace. Today, Matthew Dear finds himself in a unique position. His highly anticipated fourth album, 2010’s Black City, is the culmination of years of hard work and experimentation, a darkly playful sound-world that envelops the listener like the arms of a malevolent lover. After over a decade of exploring pop’s outer limits, Matthew Dear now inhabits a rarefied corner of the musical universe: no longer tethered to any one genre, respected by his peers, and blessed with a bottomless well of creative energy. Now is Matthew Dear’s moment, and it sounds like nothing else.
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