Apr 2013 11

Maduro - Catching BulletsMaduro
Category: Electronic
Album: Catching Bullets
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Catching Bullets combines old sounds with new to create an interesting yet flat record.


On the first listen, Maduro’s Catching Bullets may come across as a bit… different. By combining turn of the century instrumentation and Edison-era recording samples with all the trappings of modern electronic music, Catching Bullets sounds like nothing else out there. While the majority of the eccentric flourishes are well conceived, the album as a whole has a tendency to sound just as dated as the source material it pulls from.

From the opening bars of “Exhaustible Bottle,” it’s clear that Maduro has a journey planned like no other. Accordion melodies playfully dance behind a down-tempo drumbeat and electronic garnishes. “Sawing the Girl” sees Maduro take a decidedly heavier approach, introducing glitch infused breaks, which create a sense of excitement for what may come next. Unfortunately, the next track, “Blindfold Ballet” falls flat on its face, failing to live up to the urgency created by its predecessor. Ultimately, this is an issue with the sequencing of tracks, as the laidback vibe of “Blindfold Ballet” and its remixed version by Keef Baker later in the album are fantastic. They are simply in the wrong place. “Decapitation Mystery” gets the album back on track with dubstep influenced breaks and deep low end inflections. “Otto the Automaton” features similar modern elements, but also employs a slinking string section that adds to the mysterious sound. “Underwater Escape” features accordion and minimalist drum breaks, but also the distinct sound of breathing, giving the track an urgency of life that it otherwise may not have achieved. Halfway through the album, “Intermission” appears, acting as – you guessed it – an intermission between the two halves. Unfortunately, the second half of the album feels like a rehash of what had already been done. “Buzzsaw Bride” again showcases dubstep inspired breaks layered over an old cylindrical record. “Buried Alive” heavily showcases the accordion, making it sound less like an added bonus, and more like a detriment to the song. “Little Stars” closes out the album with a completely unnecessary and, quite frankly, boring rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” In spite of its missteps, there are some enjoyable moments on the second half. The booming synth work in “Catching Bullets” will make any electro junkie happy and the exotic “East Indian Rope Trick” introduces new and unfamiliar instrumentation instead of simply relying on the same old tricks.

With Catching Bullets, Maduro has created an innovative and mostly enjoyable album. The combination of old and new sounds works brilliantly on some of the tracks, especially in the first half of the album. Before long though, the sound that makes Maduro’s sound so original ends up becoming a burden, making Catching Bullets come across as a one trick pony.
Track list:

  1. Inexhaustible Bottle
  2. Sawing the Girl
  3. Blindfold Ballet
  4. Decapitation Mystery
  5. Casks and Cabinets
  6. Otto the Automaton
  7. Underwater Escape
  8. Intermission
  9. Buzzsaw Bride
  10. Catching Bullets
  11. Blindfold Ballet (Keef Baker Remix)
  12. Buried Alive
  13. East Indian Rope Trick
  14. Little Stars

Maduro MySpace http://www.myspace.com/maduro
Maduro Facebook http://www.facebook.com/maduropage
Octofoil Records Website http://www.octofoil-records.com
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ryan Brun (RBrun)

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