I personally take the time every day to read at least half a dozen music blogs and another three to five review sites each morning, in combination with daily news and the like. It’s my job as a writer to know the current and upcoming bands, see the opinions of other writers (which can serve as reference point for nods in reviews), and get a feel for whatever scene is making a splash. Then there are the weird unclassifiable bands and projects that I often hear by some other means, like seeing a random link on a blog that recommends it. One of those weird ones was How to Dress Well, Tom Krell’s solo project that has been deemed lo-fi, R&B, soul, 1990’s revival, and witch house. The music he makes is singular, organic, and chillingly good, often blending influences like Keith Sweat, The-Dream, Ready For The World, and a small army of other influences into some kind of glorious clusterfuck. The history of this project is as infinitely interesting in its own way as the music itself, beginning circa 2006 according to interviews with Krell. Now he has one of the most interesting jobs I could think of for a musician: translating post-Kantian philosophy in Germany. HOLY SHIT THAT IS AMAZING. Mr. Krell is obviously a well-educated man, and apparently one that studied a great period of thought (I’d like to interview him and ask about his music and thoughts on Kierkegaardian despair), so his pedigree here is easily translated into his slow-jams on codeine groove. Each song is multifaceted despite being very minimal, with the vocals often forming a massive wall of peaked reverb in a style that can be called “polished shit-fi” It all screams of a refined style and approach that is as meticulous as it is organic, something reliant on personal experience and feeling the ether to the point where nothing seems forced. Krell is a one-man band that works with collaborators that may just be pseudonyms for himself (the mysterious cokc dokc, for instance), but the focus here has never been on the names of the people – only the music and project (a wilful obfuscation). And while the scary amount of EPs the man has released in a short amount of time appears to be a daunting task to listen to or even find, it’s all extremely fan friendly, all linked on his official Blogspot page and all extremely enjoyable to listen to. Far less shocking than his amount of output is the amount of positive press the project has received, with accolades from almost all outlets that have reported on How to Dress Well. Despite having live recordings from European shows, How to Dress Well remains outsider music status hard to see live. For what it’s worth, though, these live outings seem to be as formidable and powerful as his recorded output, but when the focus is on a voice like that, it cannot be anything but. Now with one serious US live performance under his belt, Krell indeed seems ready for the world. The question is if the music community is ready for one of the most highly enjoyable yet singular takes on a genre dominated by Auto-Tune, lacklustre production, and a geographical location somewhere far away from Germany. http://howtodresswell.blogspot.com/