Peel Dream Magazine - Modern Meta Physic - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Peel Dream Magazine - Modern Meta Physic

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:7 Release Date:2018-10-05
Peel Dream Magazine - Modern Meta Physic
Peel Dream Magazine - Modern Meta Physic

With Peel Dream Magazine's Modern Meta Physic you are never in doubt where it draws its influences from. The moment the first chord of the opener “Qi Velocity” is stuck you absolutely know what is going on. New Yorker Joe Stevens is obviously an avid music fan of Velvet Underground and Krautrock as seen through the eyes of Stereolab, and he not only has a sizeable and sophisticated record collection but has obviously digested it thoroughly in an attempt to come up with meta music language of his own.

So how does Peel Dream Magazine fare? Trying to fuse the ideas of others into something your own can usually take you into one of two directions - a complete flop with just a weak copy of ideas and notes, or a brilliant work where all your musical influences are truly turned into a new musical meta-language. With Peel Dream Magazine it is more in the musical gray area. 

First of all, there is no way we can talk about a flop here. On Modern Meta Physic Stevens tries to combine all the mellow psych aspects that the Velvets developed, Krautrock electronics wizards like Neu! and Harmonia turned into their own expression, and Stereolab later on added Francoise Hardy and all the French pop girls, through their quite extensive catalog. Stevens obviously knows his influences inside out, but that certainly wouldn’t be enough. He actually has quite a nifty melodic touch, because those rhythmic swirls all his influences explore, need an even better sense of melody and Stevens has obviously got it, as exemplified in a quite exhilarating "Interiors". Otherwise, songs like “Living Room”, that have quite a natural flow, would simply turn into a repetitive mush, and they don’t. The overall effect is something you can actually listen to whether you recognize where the ideas come from or not. After all, anything done well and involves The Velvets, Stereolab or any other musical quotes Stevens comes up on this album is welcome, Stevens treats his influences with reverence and care and makes no wrong moves. In a way, it is like some sort of musical comfort food.

On the other hand, Stevens is not yet at a level where he has his meta-physic quite in full swing, the influences are still just a bit too strong. Yet, they are exquisite influences and Stevens gives an ample showing that he can actually come up with something modern, as in his album title.

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