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Boomkat Product Review:
Alfred Darlington is a man who isn’t afraid of really working at his craft, and I’m talking graft – mine shaft style. The Victorian-obsessed LA type has been chiseling away at his unique sound for so long that his music has actually transcended all the genres it’s been lumped into. First he was IDM, then he was breakcore, then hip hop, then he was w*nky, now what the hell are we even left with? To these ears it still sounds like the same Daedelus, and for an artist who’s always liberally helped himself to just about every musical genre on the planet, what’s a few more influences? Alfred just grabs whatever is at hand, and that’s why his music sounds so particularly pointed. ‘Bespoke’ is another attempt at a kind of skewed pop album, and we see a carefully picked selection of collaborators; vocals come from young buck Baths, soul sensation Bilal, singer-songwriter Inara George, rapper and longtime collaborator Busdriver, Milosh, Young Dad and Kelela Mizankristos. These tracks make up the meat of the record, and Alfred has learned to handle vocals expertly – Milosh’s ‘Tailor Made’ is the ‘single’, and leads into the album with a neon flicker and the kind of kitchen-sink production we’ve learned to love. Elsewhere Inara George’s smokey tones float across ‘Penny Loafers’ giving it the kind of retrofitted haze Alfred has made his calling card, but it’s ‘Overwhelmed’ which is my highlight. This odd blend of bass weight and Bollywood shimmer is maybe the greatest Daedelus track I’ve heard to date – something about it even reminds me of Radiohead. All in all then - Bespoke is just a super super enjoyable album from a jack of all trades, and a master of most of them. Recommended.