The Flying Lotus helmed, L.A. based Brainfeeder label continues on its relentless release schedule, following the last astonishing release of Lapalux's Some Other Time EP, with an album from a Spanish producer with buckets of talent. The man in question is Giovanni Civitenga, aka My Dry Wet Mess and his new album Stereo Typing exhibits an immense capability to concoct R&B and Hip-Hop soaked electronic music that exercises the uses of layers to produce a thick, colourful and vibrant soundscape. This vibrant and engaging sound is created by a mixture of live instruments and samples, including input from his father Eva Puyuelo, who plays guitar, and vocals from Maryam Modarressi, a New York inhabitant whose tailored voice can be heard throughout the LP.
Emerging from a particularly anomalous time in Civitenga's life, who now lives in Berlin, the album, which is a follow up to 2010's Irrational alphabet and was recorded over a period of 15 months, was named accordingly with Civitenga's idea of composing the album like a story, where he uses 'sounds instead of words'. When listening to the record with this in mind it seems to blossom and adds a fourth dimension to an already 3D and almost tangible sound.
The first thread that makes the tapestry of Stereo Typing is 'Berlin Stereo Hands', a tune that ascends into a violent storm of unearthly synths and colour before descending back down to its foundation. The song is based on a simple yet slightly schizophrenic looped drum pattern before layer upon layer of synths, space aged soundscapes and a single sigh of vocals are piled into the mist. This gradual build of sound, which goes through stages of intensification and dampening, increases the concept that this album is a story made by sounds instead of words, where dialogues are tossed back and forth from different participants who enter and leave the conversation.
Following directly after the manic haze of 'Berlin Stereo Hands' is 'Austere Coincidences', which softens the mood of the album with a refrain that is reminiscent of a child's music box, however, this one echoes and pops like it was made hundreds of years from now. The song evolves into yet more layers of ascending synths and pops before the centrepiece of the song, which sees a melody of sampled and highly edited vocals take over and once more ascend into a variation of the melody, which is replaced by various sampled sounds throughout the song. The two opening songs of Stereo Typing utilise its story telling concept to great effect and portray two very different textures, one which is busy and loud and the other that floats a long like a robot telling a nursery rhyme. This concept is carried out throughout the album with each song using different soundscapes to tell its story and is reminiscent of much of the Brainfeeder roster's material, especially Lapalux whose Some Other Time EP sounds equally as textural as Stereo Typing.
The albums centrepiece 'Clappin's Ears' , which wouldn't go a miss on the dance floor of one of the countries less orthodox clubs, has a stanchly R&B vibe and includes both straight and pitch edited vocals. Unlike some of the rest of the album it has a simple structure, which makes it sound more middle of the road but helps break up the album and provides an easy listening experience.
My Dry Wet Mess has produced an album in Stereo Typing, which manages sound like many of his contemporaries but better. His textural R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop infused electronic sound, which albeit can at times get a bit much for one listening experience, has huge highlights in songs like 'Austere Coincidences' and 'Clappin' Ears', as well as others. It is a very cleverly produced LP, with an interesting concept and fits neatly into the sound that has somewhat taken over electronic music recently.